Progress Edition

Columbia Basin College Arts Center: The CBC Arts Center remains strong and dedicated to our educational mission

Our Arts Center Home. Opened in 1971, this award winning building has been the inspiration of countless artistic ventures.
Our Arts Center Home. Opened in 1971, this award winning building has been the inspiration of countless artistic ventures. Courtesy CBC Arts Center

In winter quarter 2019, the CBC School of Arts, Humanities and Communications has 250 students intending to major in our department areas. Along with our majors, we also provide thousands of students at CBC the supporting coursework necessary to complete the “AA transfer” degree.

Kelly Pollock, the executive director of COCA-Center of Creative Arts in St. Louis since 2010, states “The true purpose of arts education is not necessarily to create more professional dancers or artists. [It’s] to create more complete human beings who are critical thinkers, who can have curious minds, who can lead productive lives.” This quote aptly describes a part of our instructional mission in the Columbia Basin College School of Arts, Humanities and Communication.

Who are the Columbia Basin College Arts Center majors? They are students in our plays, our concerts, our gallery events and our debate tournaments. The students are the other focus of the mission of the CBC Arts Center. These same students (both our majors and non-majors) are active as artists in our community; involved in community productions, playing at wineries and eating establishments and working with community partners. They are the CBC Arts Center and make our community a better place to live.

We, the faculty and staff at the CBC Arts Center, are very proud of them and are here to assist them in achieving their individual goals. The list of CBC student success in the Arts, Humanities and Communication is long and impressive. I only wish I had the print space to personally applaud each one.

Who are the Columbia Basin College Arts Center faculty? They are working professional artists and educators, academically prepared and passionate to bring their personal experiences and expertise to the classroom. The energy and excitement they create in the Arts Center is infectious.

CBC, similar to our area, is growing rapidly. As a result, the arts are growing and expanding across our community. Arts organizations are finding their niche and continually reframing their missions. The CBC Arts Center is always reflecting back and moving forward at the same time.

We work through some of the similar challenges other arts organizations in our area face. As our programs continue to grow, we strive for more and more creative ways to provide the space needed to showcase our students while at the same time keeping our program offerings on our campus as much as possible. Additionally, we continue to welcome our community partners into the Arts Center as these partnerships provide additional opportunities for our students, faculty teaching artists and community to have access to gifted artists and educators.

As two examples, we regularly host The Camerata Musica Series, and also provide rehearsal and performance space for the “Mastersingers Youth” choirs under the umbrella of the Mid-Columbia Mastersingers.

The CBC Arts Center is grateful for the support and encouragement we receive from our President, Dr. Rebekah Woods and our Vice President of Instruction, Dr. Michael Lee. Additionally, our relationship with our own ASCBC provides us funding which is so important to achieve our mission and quality. We thank the students of the ASCBC for their support and recognition of the importance of the arts in these evolving times.

We are also honored to have supportive donors and benefactors such as Barbara Wood and the late Donald Wood, Dick and Diane Hoch, and the family of the late professor of music at CBC, Terry Crab. These families inspire us to achieve greater and greater things.

The CBC Arts Center challenge is simple and complex at the same time: to continue to provide educational and thought-provoking events for our students and community, to remain flexible and creative in a time with uncertain elements which need artistic response, to ensure our students are well prepared for the professional world or to successfully transfer to a baccalaureate institution to continue their chosen path.