top of page

Columbia Arts Network C.A.N.

Our Purpose

(Why we exist) “Our purpose is to develop art, artists, and interest in art for people of all communities and backgrounds in the greater SW Washington area.

Our Vision

(What we want to achieve) “Our vision is to form a visual arts center in SW Washington that facilities arts education, creation, and display to create cultural opportunities that enrich and improve our community.”


Our Misson

(How we plan to achieve our vision) We will achieve our vision by unifying local arts organizations in SW Washington through partnership, education, and collaboration in order to promote economic and cultural vitality in our region.

Our Core Value

We will strive to create equitable artistic opportunities for everyone.  

In 2020 a few artists from several visual artist organizations in Vancouver, Washington discussed creating a coalition of art organizations in Clark County, Washington to pool our resources to support a Regional Visual Arts Center.  The coalition would

  • Enlarge the base of support, networks, and connections for visual artists.

  • Enhance our credibility and influence with government and political entities.

  • Provide guidance to the city in identifying the needs and wants of visual artists.

  • Reduce duplication of effort/resources.

  • Facilitate the exchange of information, skills, experience, materials, collaboration, etc.

  • Cut costs/combine and share resources.

  • Respond to community goals and produce social impact.

Our next step was to form task forces to develop our remaining organizational structures and establish strategic direction.  The task forces included naming and branding the coalition, governance, identifying stakeholders, setting strategic and operational goals, and establishing ways to become financially sustainable. We were granted 501 (c) 3 status in February of 2021.

Accomplishments for 2021

Created a planning team made up of individual artists and representatives from art organizations in Southwest Washington.  The planning team proceeded to establish tasks forces to accomplish the following:

  • Developed a purpose, vision, and mission for an alliance of regional, art related groups and individuals

  • Adopted a name and logo for the alliance.

  • Developed Articles of Incorporation

  • Applied for and attained 501 (c) 3 status

  • Planned and collaborated with three other agencies to host a regional arts event in September to bring all the arts organizations in Clark County together to reconnect the community with local arts after the pandemic had kept us all inside for the past year.

  • Created a vibrant website capable of promoting visual arts events and activities in all of Clark County, Washington.  A calendar to highlight all art activities and events in the County is a major part of our website.

  • Set up a team to assist other small arts-related groups to file for and establish their own 501 (c) 3 status.  Successfully assisted a small Latinx performing arts group in attaining 501 (c) 3 status. 

  • Identify the needs of local arts organizations & services not currently covered by existing organizations.

    • A survey was sent out and the results tabulated

  • Established Strategic Overarching Goal

 2022 Accomplishments
  • Host at least 1 in-person event 

    • Collaborated with Clark County Arts Committee and ARTSTRA to plan and execute Arts Alive,

    • Co-Sponsorship of Dia de Muertos in Esther Short Park,

    • Collaborated with the Culture, Arts, and Heritage Commission to provide “PopUp” Art activities in conjunction with the Parks & Recreation “Movie Nights” for 8 weeks during the summer.

  • Partner with educators in an event.

  • Put on the back burner but will, hopefully, be working on it in the Fall of 2023.  There was some brainstorming on ideas for the future. i.e., create a presence in at least one school—after-school program, a contest for kids CAN logo—tie into a holiday.

  • Partner with local schools to provide an art activity around the “Masters” that would incorporate the history, food, culture of other Countries.

  • Create a presence and relationship with local municipalities and businesses.

  • Collaborated with the State to establish a Creative District for the city of Vancouver, collaborated with the County Parks and Recreation, the Culture, Arts, and Heritage Commission, the Clark County Culture, and the Vancouver Downtown Association.  The Creative District will be certified in January 2023.

  • Collaborated with Clark County Arts Commission to have a booth at the 2022 Jazz Festival in Esther Short Park. 

  • Create established partnerships and relationships with local organizations and community members.

  • We currently have 10 Art Groups, one business, and 10 individual members in CAN. 

  • Begin the process of finding physical space.

  • We are working on acquiring a short-term site as well as a long-term site.

  • Establish a Fundraising Committee – Committee still needs to be created, however, CAN has accomplished:

  • Two major fund-raising events. 

  • Established a Grant Research and Writing Committee.

  • Identify overlooked and underserved communities and their perspective and needs.

  • Some success but definitely needs work. 

  • Identify the partnerships/stakeholders needed to accomplish our overarching goals.

  • Some partnerships identified and we are working with them but still need to be cognizant of other potential partnerships.

  • Develop a regular outgoing communication strategy.

  • Need to identify and develop: Newsletter built around the calendar, Create a brochure


Looking Forward

Columbia Arts Network is looking forward with excitement to servicing our member groups in their endeavors in the coming year and finding a physical space large enough for a Regional Visual Arts Center to be managed by the Columbia Arts Network and made available to our members for workshops, shows, meetings, etc. 

“To practice any art, no matter how well or how badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. So do it.”

Kurt Vonnegut

Our Mission

Support Visual Arts in SW Washington Today!

bottom of page