Art as a vital foundation to build an economically thriving city filled with soul-enriching nourishment, enhanced livability, and connected communities

Creative energy lives in all of us. It’s up to us to decide to let its power fuel our inspiration, transform our moments, and spark the courage to share its gifts with others. It is true some people choose to embrace art as a lifestyle. It is also true that still more people quietly tap their creative passions if only to satisfy the very real need to feed their souls with the nourishment only art can provide.

This is why art matters.

This is why art needs to become a higher priority in the development of our community. And this is why Arts of Clark County, an all-volunteer nonprofit, has joined Give More 24, a Community Foundation for Southwest Washington fundraising campaign. We want to get everyone as excited as we are about the value art brings as a public good to a community.

Dedicated to boosting arts in the region, Arts of Clark County celebrates the vision and creativity of not just artists in all mediums — but all people. Art is inclusive and connects all of us on a local, national, and global level. We believe art matters greatly to the human spirit. It is a need that when met enhances our quality of life. We know the stronger the foundation art has in a city, the greater the livability is.

We are proud of our many good works, including the annual Clark County Open Studios tour and Poetry Moves, a collaborative effort to feature the words of local poets on C-Tran buses. Both of these programs have already demonstrated the power of art in our lives, the power art has to connect and transform us, and the power art has to fuel the economy.

Our immediate vision includes building greater art awareness, rewarding creative excellence, and expanding art accessibility. We also are striving to facilitate long-term arts development for Southwest Washington. We envision a stronger arts infrastructure that includes an art center and a performing arts facility with the potential to attract visitors from Portland and beyond. A stronger foundation for art creates the possibility for our community to become a vibrant arts hub. Public support will help to make this vision a reality. Public support means our vision becomes a collective investment in our quality of life.