New player took the stage in 2010

Performance academy joins array of arts offerings

By Mary Ann Albright, Columbian Staff Reporter

Published:

 

The arts

Arts organizations, businesses and events in Clark County run the gamut in size and focus. Here’s a sampling of what the local arts scene has to offer:

Angst Gallery: http://angstgallery.com.

Art on the Boulevard: http://artontheboulevard.org.

Aurora Gallery: http://auroragalleryonline.com.

Bravo! Vancouver: http://bravoconcerts.com.

Christian Youth Theater Vancouver/Portland: http://cytvanport.org.

Clark College Orchestra and Theatre: http://clark.edu.

Columbia Dance: http://columbiadance.org.

Columbia Gorge International Film Festival: http://washougalfilmfest.org.

Firehouse Glass: http://firehouseglass.com.

Gallery 360: http://gallery360.org.

Junior Symphony of Vancouver: http://oregonchamberplayers.org/jsv.html.

Magenta Theater: http://magentatheater.com.

Metropolitan Performing Arts Academy: http://metropaa.org.

The New Blue Parrot Productions: http://newblueparrot.com.

Niche Wine & Art: http://www.nichewinebar.com or http://facebook.com/nichewineandart.

North Bank Artists Gallery: http://northbankartistsgallery.com.

Northwest Classical Ballet: http://nwclassicalballet.com.

Slocum House Theatre Company: http://slocumhouse.com.

Southwest Washington Watercolor Society: http://swwswatercolor.org.

Southwest Washington Wind Symphony: http://swwindsymphony.org.

Stray Gallery: http://straygallery.com.

Tryckpress Galleri: http:// tryckpress.com.

Vancouver Dance Theatre: http://vancouverdancetheatre.com.

Vancouver Symphony: http://vancouversymphony.org.

Vancouver USA Singers: http://vancouversingers.org.

A new player entered the local performing arts scene last year. Metropolitan Performing Arts Academy opened in January and runs its programs out of Alki Middle School in Salmon Creek.

The nonprofit organization, an all-ages musical theater education and performance program, staged its first show in April. The $18,000 production of “Bye Bye Birdie” drew about 2,000 people.

In addition to community theater, Metropolitan Performing Arts Academy offers classes for children and adults in disciplines such as singing, acting, dancing, stage makeup and costume design. In the summer, it offers a month-long musical theater workshop for youth.

Its first show this year will be “Disney’s My Son Pinocchio: Geppetto’s Musical Tale” in April, followed by “Into the Woods” in the summer, “Meet Me in St. Louis” in the fall and a holiday musical revue in December. There also will be two children’s productions — “Seussical Jr.” and “101 Dalmatians” — in the summer.

The academy was started by area educators and school administrators with the goal of providing supplemental arts education and top-notch musical theater experiences for the community, said creative director Noah Scott.

“I want people to stop taking their dollars over the river to Portland because they think that is the only place to see quality musical theater,” Scott said. “We want to offer that here.”

The changes the academy has brought to the Clark County arts scene are joined by others, both additions and subtractions.

The Camas Performing Arts Series is on hiatus, and high-profile performing arts groups such as the Vancouver Symphony and Christian Youth Theater Vancouver/Portland have struggled during the economic downturn.

The visual arts scene in downtown Vancouver and Uptown Village continues to evolve. Sixth Street Gallery closed at the end of September because members of its nonprofit parent organization, Mosaic Arts Alliance, could no longer afford the space. Now Mosaic has a new venue, Gallery 360, just a few blocks away.

Lincoln’s, Rainy Day and Guerrilla galleries all closed in 2010. The Space Artists Collective was put on hold while members try to reposition the gallery as a nonprofit.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. New galleries such as Niche Wine & Art and Tryckpress Galleri are persevering, as are fixtures including Angst Gallery, North Bank Artists Gallery, Aurora Gallery and Art on the Boulevard. Stray Gallery, home to the Neo-Romantics Artist Collective, is still around as well, though it has moved from 26th and Esther streets to 1706 W. Columbia St.

Some arts endeavors have flourished despite the economy. Art in the Heart III, the third outdoor First Friday event organized by Vancouver’s Downtown Association and Southwest Washington Art Galleries, saw double 2009’s artist participation last year.

The third annual Washougal International Film Festival was rebranded as the Columbia Gorge International Film Festival. The August event moved from Washougal to downtown Vancouver and featured about 300 films from some 40 countries.