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News / Life / Clark County Life

Fourth Plain Multicultural Festival brings diversity, energy to blossoming corridor

By Scott Hewitt, Columbian staff writer
Published: September 21, 2018, 6:05am
15 Photos
The mural created by artist Camille Cote is pictured on the Evergreen Floors & Doors Building along Fourth Plain Boulevard in Vancouver on Monday, Sept. 10, 2018.
The mural created by artist Camille Cote is pictured on the Evergreen Floors & Doors Building along Fourth Plain Boulevard in Vancouver on Monday, Sept. 10, 2018. (Alisha Jucevic/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Fourth Plain Boulevard didn’t used to be a tourist destination, but nowadays Jackie Steiner keeps noting clues to the contrary. A corridor mostly infamous for dense traffic and urban grit has started earning public praise for vibrant colors and positive vibes.

“We should go check them all out!” is the sort of social media chatter Steiner happily quotes about eight big murals, created in summers 2017 and 2018, that now bedazzle business walls along Fourth Plain. Those murals were sponsored by the city of Vancouver and its Fourth Plain Forward project, which aims to improve health and safety and promote the corridor’s unique identity as the city’s International District. The mechanics of the mural project were coordinated by the Clark County Mural Society, which put out a competitive request for proposals and got dozens from all around the nation.

The murals “are really making their mark on this city,” said Steiner, a co-owner of Anderson Glass on Fourth Plain and an eager spokesperson for the mural project. She noted that Florida muralist Camille Cote (aka FABS) flew here a second time this summer to extend her 2017 street scene on the side of Evergreen Floors and Doors. So brewpub Trap Door Brewing on Main Street got her to do one on its wall too.

The mural Steiner selected last year for an exterior wall on her own Anderson Glass is a flowery family by muralist Michael Feliz. Steiner likes its clean lines and happy faces, she said. “I still get a lot of feedback on it. It’s crazy and fun” that people keep stopping by her Fourth Plain business to snap selfies with beautiful public artworks that remind them of themselves, Steiner said.

If You Go

What: Fourth Plain Multicultural Festival.

When: Noon to 6 p.m. Sept. 22.

Where: Evergreen Park, 3500 E. Fourth Plain Blvd., Vancouver.

Admission: Free.

Parking, transit: On-street parking is limited; additional free parking at Poncho’s Bar & Grill, 4250 E. Fourth Plain; more free parking in Clark College’s Red 2 parking lot (on Fort Vancouver Way near East McLoughlin Boulevard) with nearby Vine Bus Rapid Transit service to the park.

 Find out more: www.facebook.com/4thplainfest, www.fourthplainforward.org

The smiling faces on her business wall make Steiner smile too, every time she arrives at work, she said. “I’m so proud of our mural.”

On the march

Multiculturalism is on the march in Clark County, in case you hadn’t noticed. On Sept. 1, the historically not-very-diverse town of Ridgefield gave diversity a big public hug with a stunningly successful multicultural festival; on Sept. 22, the Fourth Plain Forward project and its partners, including Clark County Public Health, will do more of the same in their latest Fourth Plain Multicultural Festival.

Get ready for an afternoon of food, music, art, dance and sport from around the globe. Live entertainment will be provided by 10 different performers and groups, starting with a blessing of the event and Native American men’s traditional dance by Louis Kameroff of the Modoc and Yupik tribes. Then comes Bulgarian-Macedonian folk dancing with Podkrepa; West African drumming with Chata Addy; Punjabi dance of North India with the Maharaja Bhangra Dancers of Camas; Afro-Cuban dance (and a salsa instruction session for the audience) with the Bachata Soul Dance Company; Hawaiian/Polynesian dance with Kaleinani o ke Kukui; Russian-Balkan-Gypsy-Dixieland-Ska-Polka-party rock with a band called Chervona; traditional Latin American dance with Vancouver Ballet Folkl?rico; and salsa band Son Cubano.

It’s a busy schedule, but at 1:45 p.m. Steiner and some of the artists will take the spotlight for a few minutes to talk about the mural project and distribute walking tour maps. (Meanwhile, you can take a look at our list.) Also, Bike Clark County, the grass-roots education-and-safety nonprofit group, will hold an ongoing raffle during the day that gets six bicycles into the hands of local kids.

Steiner, who said she’s been coming to work, and working to make things better, on Fourth Plain for the past 21 years, added that festival site Evergreen Park is looking mighty fine these days. After spending about a decade starting, stopping and moving around in search of a permanent base, she said, the Fourth Plain Multicultural Festival has finally come home.

“The city has put a lot into that park and it shows,” she said. “The park has come a long way. It is a beautiful place, and it will be a beautiful festival. I’m very excited.”

Fourth Plain Forward

Summer of Murals locations and artists:

New in 2018

Evergreen Floors & Doors, 2504 E. Fourth Plain Blvd., west side (part two). Artist: FABS (Camille Cote).

Melodie’s Salon, 2415 E. Fourth Plain Blvd., east side. Artist: Christian Barrios.

Melodie’s Salon, 2415 E. Fourth Plain Blvd., west side. Artists: FABS (Camille Cote), CD Valdes, K-Choy.

Best Cabinet & Granite Supply, 3001 E. Fourth Plain Blvd., east side. Artist: Pierre Bombardier.

Grocery Outlet, 5800 E. Fourth Plain Blvd., south side. Artist: Travis London.

Painted in 2017

Evergreen Floors & Doors, 2504 E. Fourth Plain Blvd., west side (part one). Artist: FABS (Camille Cote).

Anderson Glass, 2516 E. Fourth Plain Blvd., west side. Artist: Michael Feliz.

Velonia’s Boutique, 2826 E. Fourth Plain Blvd., east side. Artists: Chloe King, Joanna McCarthy.

International Plaza, 6000 E. Fourth Plain Blvd., east side. Artist: Christian Barrios