Columbia Arts Network C.A.N.
(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.
(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.”
(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.
Columbia Arts Network (CAN) started our first year with excitement and planning for a year of activity ahead.
CAN 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.
A partnership of Clark County Arts Commission, Artstra, and Columbia Arts Network, Arts Alive! is designed to reconnect the community with local arts organizations and to remind everyone that the arts are still alive and well in Southwest Washington.
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.
Because we believe in helping people of all communities and backgrounds in the greater SW Washington area, members of CAN assisted the Vancouver Ballet Folklorica to apply for 501 (c) 3 status.
CAN has planned for programs to be implemented as soon as the Omicron virus allows face-to-face gatherings. One such program is an art class for grade school students which includes age-appropriate activities centered on a master artist (such as Picasso) using the senses: touch, taste, sight, sound, and smell. Another is “pop up” art activities in the parks in partnership with The Parks and Recreation Department.
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.”