I just returned from the Washington State Arts Alliance Cultural Congress; Take Charge of Change. The new location, Skamania Lodge, in the Columbia River Gorge, is beautiful, has great conference facilities and a very accommodating staff. It was an invigorating three days of greeting old friends and meeting new colleagues from all over the state and Oregon, making art and learning. The air was clean and sweet smelling, the buffets delicious and the company stimulating. Choosing from the many timely and topical sessions, both new and ‘back-by-popular-demand’ is always difficult, but there is something there for everyone weather artist, administrator, commissioner, educator, board member, presenter or volunteer. For me, the highlights were
– An inspiring address by President & CEO of the Seattle Foundation, Norm Rice,
– A slide presentation and fun hands-on collage workshop by international artist Romson Regarde Bustillo,
– ‘Songwriting Made Simple’, a really engaging demonstration of arts education in action by Jonathan Kingham and Ryan Shea Smith,
– Seeing plain copper wire turn into beautiful and unique jewelry by artist Esther Ervin, and
– The fascinating address by Diane Ragsdale of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
I look forward to again serving on the planning committee for the next Congress and hope to see you there next year!