August article in The Charbonneau Villager, Eric Hoem, President,Charbonneau Arts Association

The covid-19 crisis has deepened my sense of gratitude and appreciation for the support we receive for our fund-raising efforts on behalf of public art education.As I write this, we are beginning to reach out to former sponsors of our annual Festival of the Arts because they contribute about half of what we are able to donate to art programs in local schools.Although 2020 has been a very challenging year for them, many are responding favorably, and that is both humbling for our organization and very motivating.

Virtual art gallery registration

In addition, it is gratifying that we are getting very positive feedback from artists registering for our virtual art gallery that will be featured the entire month of October.For any artists and musicians interested in being part of the 2020 Charbonneau festival, registration information can be found on our website: https://charbonneauarts.org/2020-cta.The deadline to enter is August 21, 2020

Fund raising more important than ever

The prospects for the reopening of schools continue to be in limbo: will it be regular classrooms, web-based learning, or some combination?Will the schools need to cut back on programs not considered most essential, such as art education?Will teachers have heavier loads both in class size and the demands of instructional technology?

However all that develops, it is clear that art supplies will be an issue.Whether in class or online, students will not be allowed to share supplies as the Covid crisis continues, but funds for them will be more limited than ever.

To me, all this underscores ever more strongly, the need for whatever financial support we will be able provide through the fund-raising efforts of our virtual Charbonneau Festival of the Arts in October.In past years, teachers have used our funds to support student participation in regional exhibits, take on special community projects, replace outdated equipment and thereby enrich the educational experiences of their students. This year our support will be even more critical as schools cope with the new reality brought on by Covid-19.

Benefits to high school art programs

Jennifer Dorsey, Visual Arts Teacher at Canby High School, says this about the support their programs have received from Charbonneau Arts Association:

“Canby is a smaller school district in Oregon.  Our school district has suffered severe cuts over the years and unfortunately the elective programs are some of the first departments and supply budgets impacted. When our school district eliminated all field trip funding, the donation from Charbonneau Arts allowed the art teachers to bring students to exhibits at the Portland Art Museum and local galleries.For many of these students, this was their first experience at a museum.”

Prior to his retirement at the end of the 2019-2020 school year, Christopher Shotola-Hardt served as Artist-teacher & Art Director at Wilsonville High School. About the assistance his school’s art program has received from us over the years, he says:

“The benefits of the Charbonneau Arts Festival are manifold, from providing an annual venue for appreciating and promoting the arts, to supporting art education budgets in the schools, to supporting, celebrating, and encouraging the work of young artists for so many years now.

“Think of the ripple effect over all of these years.The track record of this volunteer organization, and the heart behind it its mission, are truly moving. I encourage you to support their efforts.”

Donations of both cash and items for silent auction needed

If you would like to help, there are two avenues you can follow this month.Tax deductible donations can be made directly to us.We are also collecting items for the Silent Auction portion of our festival, which is a major fund-raiser for the art programs at Wilsonville and Canby High Schools.Information about these opportunities can be found at https://charbonneauarts.org/donate.

Sponsors stepping forward

As of the deadline for this article, several sponsors have already made their commitment to support our 2020 Charbonneau Festival of the Arts: William and Nancy Hall; Lynda Huber, Equity Oregon Real Estate; Roof Masters, Canby; and Robert Bennett, CPA, Wilsonville; and Canby Smile, Dr. Joshua Wieland, Family Dentistry. Let me express my gratitude to their generosity.

Let me also express gratitude to our partners: Charbonneau Country Club; Mediaphysics, Wilsonville; The Charbonneau Villager; and CharbonneauLive.org; and Pamplin Media.