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Editorial - Renee Patrick

Arts Summit Takeaway: Matter by Mattering

Read more: Arts Summit Takeaway: Matter by Matteringby RENEE PATRICK Cascade A&E Editor


During the first regional Arts Summit, a collaboration with the Oregon Arts Commission and the Arts & Culture Alliance, a prominent national arts leader and advocate, Doug Borwick, provided the keynote address with an important theme: community engagement is key to the survival of the arts.

Citing a precarious public trust in arts organizations across the country, he noted that Central Oregon is already ahead of the curve since we had voted in a very unique piece of legislation last year that created a public fund for cultural tourism. This, however, would not be enough to keep the public trust alive, arts organizations must matter by mattering, or in other words, need to be in service to the community.

“Communities are not resources to be exploited. It is from the community that the arts develop and thrive,” Browick explained. “For the survival of arts organizations they must be valuable contributors to the community…especially for those who don’t think the arts apply to them.”

Borwick suggested to start by asking yourself, your board or your employees: How are the lives of the people in your community made better by the work that you do? Working towards a service-oriented approach can help organizations learn how to interact with the community by first understanding how they interact with your art/event/organization.

One example of how an organization can change their thinking about engagement is to avoid the term outreach. “It is well-intentioned, but it has the effect of placing the “outreacher” in the center,” Borwick said. “There is an implicit assumption, though usually not intended, that those that are out need to come in. It can have the effect of placing extra distance between the arts organization and its community.”

The take-away was clear: for the health and sustainability of the arts in a community, you must be a valuable contributor to that community. You matter by mattering.

What is Your BendFilm?

Read more: What is Your BendFilm?by RENEE PATRICK Cascade A&E Editor


Everyone experiences BendFilm differently. Choosing among 94 films watched over four days at seven different venues ensures an entirely different combination of movies for each festivalgoer. Often when I’m standing in line on Sunday after three days of the festival, I poll those around me for their favorite films, and they are always the ones I haven’t watched.


It’s so hard! The documentaries are riveting and cover every subject under the sun. This year the films range from Freeload, documenting the life of a hobo, to Slingshot, a tale about the eccentric genius of Segway inventor Dean Kamen, to Heaven Adores You, the intimate inquiry into the life and times of Portland singer Elliot Smith.


And the narratives? BendFilm Director Todd Looby called Bob Birdnow’s Remarkable Tale of Human Survival and the Transcendence of Self one of the best films he saw last year and Kumuko: The Treasure Hunter one of the more original movies in the festival. A is  for Alex is hilarious and I Believe in Unicorns is a fascinating coming of age story.


And the shorts! I love the shorts. Smart, funny, witty and bizarre, shorts this year run the gamut from local Richard Scott Nelson’s poignant look at our well-know waterway, Rivière Des Chutes, to animated films like Eye in Tuna Care and Women Who Hates Plants.


The best part? Getting transported to other worlds, other imaginations and emerging from the theatre unsure of the time of day, the day of the week or even where you are.


What is your BendFilm?

Art Shapes Worldviews

by RENEE PATRICK Cascade A&E Editor


Art teaches nothing, except the significance of life. - Henry Miller


Schools have been under increased pressure to raise student proficiency rates in “core” subjects of reading and math since the No Child Left Behind legislation became law in 2002. Based on the idea that high standards and measurable goals in education can improve individual outcomes, schools now have to test their students annually in these subjects.

Several studies compiled data showing 71 percent of schools have reduced instruction time in the arts, history, language and music, and many art educators saw budgets for their programs decline and money redirected toward “core” classes and test prep.
This is troubling for many reasons. “Art education should be seen as something that contributes to the economy and makes for a more thoughtful society,” said Dr. Robert E. Sabol, president of the National Art Education Association. “It is often the designs of artists that influence consumer and civic decisions that range from what car or home to buy to how to interpret messages from political candidates and others who are trying to shape public opinion.”

What our art educators have done in the wake of No Child Left Behind is step in and fill the void. We are lucky to have institutions like Arts Central, Cascade School of Music, BEAT and the many other individuals and organizations who specifically work with school-age children to impart a more holistic view of learning and creativity, and they need our continued support. See the article on Arts Central to learn more about their needs and how you can contribute to arts education in our community.

The Hazy Days of Festivals on the High Desert

by RENEE PATRICK Cascade A&E Editor


The days are heating up, and so are your options for festivals in Central Oregon this summer. Fantastic options range from quilts and beer, to music and fine art. And fortunately they are spread out throughout the month, so you may just want to hit them all!

Head to Sunriver for the Sunriver Quilt Show and Sale on August 2, or the Sunriver Art Faire August 8-10. An annual event since 1988, Mountain Meadow Quilters will display over 100 quilts in The Village at Sunriver along with music by the Notables Swing Band. The Sunriver Art Faire, also at The Village will showcase over 65 artists. From ceramics to glass and jewelry, peruse the art while enjoying three days of professional entertainment, and of course the dance party on Saturday night.

Starting with the Festival Fair, the Sunriver Music Festival’s (SRMF) annual fundraiser, on August 4, the SRMF will provide six different concert opportunities in Bend and Sunriver throughout the month. With the theme, A Season of Love, the music of love will infuse each concert from Brahms to Mendelssohn to Beethoven and the remarkable voice of Storm Large.

Love the charm of Sisters? The 19th annual Country Fair & Art Show on August 8 and 9 at the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration is sure to please the whole family. Head to Sisters for the juried art show, silent auction, book sale, children’s activities, music, food and more.

After all that activity, head to the Bend Brewfest in the Old Mill District for a tasty brew! August 14-16 over 170 distinct craft beers will be available at the Les Schwab Amphitheater from more than 60 breweries.

Rounding out the month is the fine art show, Art in the High Desert (AHD), August 22-24 on the grassy banks of the Deschutes River in the Old Mill District. Bringing over 110 professional artists from all over North America, AHD was recently ranked in the top 15 art shows in the country. Take home some stunning art by master artists, and if you attend on Sunday, August 24, stick around for the Jack Johnson show at the Les Schwab Amphitheater.