There is no question in my mind how exciting the arts environment is in the Tri-Cities at this time. As our community continues to grow and thrive, so do initiatives surrounding all artistic endeavors. The visual arts, the performing arts, the literary arts, not to mention the art of wine making, the culinary arts and all forms of artistic design are in periods of growth in the Tri-Cities. The Arts Center at Columbia Basin College is proud to be a catalytic partner in these exciting times of community conversation and initiative.
The faculty and staff at the CBC Arts Center are working toward redefining who we are and what we will become. As I reflect on the additions in faculty alone, this period of new hiring will have a positive impact of our evolution. We have two new faculty members in the music department, one new full-time faculty member in communications, and will hire two new art faculty in the coming months. We are excited to see the growth of ideas, which come from the dedicated people that will be part of the CBC Arts and Humanities faculty.
Our partnerships are ever evolving as we focus our energy on our primary mission — the education of a new generation of artists. Most recently, within the music department, we are proud to play host to the Columbia Basin Music Educators Association Middle School Orchestra Festival and Adjudication during spring break. We have also opened our doors to provide a rehearsal space for the All City Jazz Orchestra, which is part the “live arts initiative” of another CBC partner, the Columbians Drum and Bugle Corps, a nonprofit organization. Additionally, we are in conversation with the Cadenza Youth Honor Orchestra to provide them a place to create art. All of these groups are indirectly or directly part of our community Educational Service District (ESD) and represent coordinated educational efforts to provide talented students with opportunities to experience collaborative growth together. A number of the directors and instructional staff of our partners are former graduates of the CBC music department. They all have gone on to complete their degrees and have returned to the Tri-Cities to teach in the K-12 system.
In the theatre department, the addition of the Diane C. Hoch outdoor stage dedicated last summer has energized the theatrical efforts and created much conversation internally and externally in the community. Last year, the three evenings of dinner theatre were an artistic and technical success. We have moved forward, thanks to the generous donation from the Hoch family, which has given us a professional truss system stage to train our students and provide our community with educated technical expertise. This summer, we have committed to return outside and will be mounting a full-scale production of Fiddler on the Roof, as well as another evening of dinner theatre with the production of Musical of Musicals, The Musical.
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Our collaboration and hosting of the ESD123’s Regional Art Show and Competition continues to be a part of our visual art efforts along with the active Esvelt Gallery housed in the Arts Center at CBC. The campus at CBC is continuing to grow visually as the Art in Public Places Program, organized through the Washington State Arts Commission, provides our new construction projects with important visual enhancement.
Additionally, the Arts Center at CBC partners with the Cavalcade of Authors event on our campus. And CBC’s own Jazz Unlimited Festival and Theatre Festival are cherished showcases. We also see our growing communications department efforts with student debate and other events, which showcase our own faculty. It truly is never slow in the Arts Center at CBC.
We believe the arts truly are something for everyone, and through our educational focus, we are poised to offer enriching opportunities for all of us to experience. The Arts Center at CBC applauds those who support all arts in the Tri-Cities and enjoy the possibilities that do seem limitless in the exciting times in which we live.