The recession was a brutal time for Central Oregon’s arts scene. Galleries closed, day jobs dried up, collectors and philanthropists held on to their cash.
So how are the region’s creatives doing now? Some artists we spoke with expressed a deep-seated wariness. Hard choices had to be made during the recession. It’s not always easy to pick up where you left off. What kind of growth will be sustainable in the years to come?
But these three panelists offered some different views.
Emily Carr, poet and professor, runs the Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing at OSU-Cascades. She spent this week shepherding students and faculty around at Caldera during the program’s twice-yearly residency week. Carr says the consensus among the working writers in her program is this: there’s never been a better time to dig in. Carr also read for us from one of her more recent poetry collections.
Pamela Hulse Andrews is the publisher of Cascades A&E and an avid advocate within Central Oregon arts circles. A fervent supporter of innovation, she’s not been shy about calling out non-profits she felt took the wrong road. But Andrews says, despite some closures, she explains the recession’s survivors emerged better positioned to serve the community.
Pat Clark is a survivor of several downturns. A respected print maker, she is the founder of Atelier 6000, a gallery and printmaking arts studio in Bend. Atelier made the transition in 2013 from a for-profit to non-profit status. Clark explained what the shift made possible in terms of educational programming and revenue.