ASTORIA - The first organizational meeting to form a North Coast Regional Arts Commission was held at the Clatsop College Art Gallery on Wednesday, Dec. 4.

The meeting was attended by about 25 regional artists, writers, musicians, arts organizations, and art teachers to explore the possibilities of establishing a regional organization of Clatsop and Columbia Counties.

Royal Nebeker and members of the art department of Clatsop Community College hosted the event, and Steve Forrester, representing the Oregon Arts Commission, offered background information to the discussion.

There was consensus that since the arts already flourish and enrich the community, what is needed is representation in one regional organization. As a regional art commission, grant funding will be available to support planned activities focused on the arts, benefiting communities culturally and economically.

Possible activities include forums, regional conferences, and community art events. Funding will provide more opportunity to the art community for better coordination and communication between artists and arts organizations, as well as opportunity for training, sharing resources, and developing both profit and non-profit art organizations.

Because this commission intends a wide diversity of representation - art educators, artists in all media, art organizations, and entrepreneurs from both counties - those interested are encouraged to attend the next meeting on Jan. 15, 2003, at 5 p.m. at the Art Gallery of Clatsop Community College in Astoria.

For more information contact Patsy Wubben at (503) 325-0658.

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