There is no doubt that arts and culture are a big part of what makes Beaverton a special place to live. Not only am I in awe of the tremendous talent in our community, but I appreciate the contributions that our arts and culture organizations make to our community.
Right here in Beaverton, the Patricia Reser Center for the Arts is under construction and will open in 2021. It will feature a 550- seat theater, providing a place to appreciate the arts with events, plus a gallery, meeting space, and even an outdoor plaza.
We support our artists through grants and art-centered events throughout the year. Even though our arts organizations are struggling themselves, many continue to give back. Organizations like the Peruvian Cultural Festival are helping the community by distributing food baskets. Beaverton Civic Theater is partnering with the Girl Scouts of America and providing virtual classes that Girl Scouts can take to earn their badges. The Village Gallery is making free “to-go” craft bags for families.
Artists and arts organizations are often “second responders” — helping communities heal after disasters and unrest. Across the country, after hurricanes and devastating wildfires, artists have stepped in to bring healing, to uplift and offer reflection to depressed and anxious communities. We are beginning to see this in response to the pandemic, as well as the outpouring of concern over long-standing racial injustice nationwide.
Many of us, myself included, have turned to the arts during these ongoing difficult times for comfort, distraction, centering, reinforcement and reaffirmation of our values, and connecting with other people. Perhaps even unconsciously, we find ourselves seeking solace and connection through the arts. While we might not think of artists as “essential workers,” we actually rely on them far more than perhaps we realize.
The COVID-19 pandemic has left artists all around the world with canceled tours, closed galleries and empty theaters. Our artists and arts organizations need your support more than ever — and by contributing or participating, you just might find it rather therapeutic and healing for yourself!
Check out the 2020 Beaverton Arts Mix! Virtual Art Show & Sale this October. The virtual show will be available online throughout the month of October at www.BeavertonOregon.gov/BAM.