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Hillsboro artist, mariachi band awarded for contributions to community

Artist Linda Holland and Hillsboro School District's Una Voz Mariachi Band named Arts & Culture Council Endowment Award winners for their contribuions to Hillsboro's cultural landscape.


NEWS-TIMES/HILLSBORO TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO - Hillsboro resident Linda Holland, shown here in her studio, is the recipient of Hillsboro Arts and Culture Council's 2016 Endowment Award.After retiring from a career in publishing and graphic arts in Portland, Hillsboro resident Linda Holland immersed herself in the arts.

Joining local art groups in Hillsboro and becoming involved in local art and culture discussions, she eventually found her home by forming a nonprofit artists' group, Tualatin Valley Artists, and started Influence Gallery in Hillsboro in 2007. Although the gallery closed in 2011, the music side of the nonprofit group is still active as Influence Music Hall on Southeast Third Avenue in Hillsboro.

This year, Holland and Hillsboro School District's Una Voz Mariachi Band were named the Hillsboro Arts & Culture Council Endowment Award winners for their contributions to Hillsboro's cultural landscape.

Mariachi Una Voz was awarded $3,000 and Holland received $500. The differential is due the awards going to an organization versus an individual.

“One of our projects is to create sustainable funding to support creative life in Hillsboro through the Arts & Culture Endowment Fund established in 2012,” said city of Hillsboro Community Arts Program Supervisor Melissa Moore. “As the fund has grown, we’ve been able to award funding to support the good work done by arts organizations and individuals to support creative expression.”

Cultural exploration

COURTESY PHOTO - Hillsboro School District's Mariachi Una Voz, directed by Dan Bosshardt, plays at school and pubic events around western Washington County. The group was awarded a 2016 Endowment Award by the Hillsboro Arts and Culture Council.Mariachi Una Voz was started in 2010 by Lincoln Street Elementary School music teacher Dan Bosshardt.

The band, made up of middle and high school students from around the school district, promotes cultural understanding, community unity and music education, and gives students the opportunity to explore Mexican culture through music and the Spanish language.

The group recently played at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland alongside well-known Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan. The group also performs at school and community events around western Washington County.

Creating opportunity

Holland was nominated and selected as a recipient for the long-lasting impact she’s had on the downtown creative community.

She’s been instrumental in creating and promoting the First Tuesday Art Walk in Hillsboro by regularly organizing artists and musicians to show their work in downtown businesses. Additionally, Holland volunteers to organize the artist area of the summertime Tuesday Night Market, coordinating a different artist each week to do a demonstration there.

“I didn’t want any award, I don’t do any this for any awards,” said Holland. “I was surprised I even got it.”

This year, she reached out to the M&M Marketplace in the heart of Hillsboro’s Latino community to partner on the Frida Project.

For the project, Holland coordinated artists to paint a large scale painting that includes Frida Kahlo’s image and depicting the land and people of Oregon and Mexico.

At the end of the summer season, the panels were taken from the downtown Tuesday Market to the M&M Market for installation and a dedication celebration.

Holland conceived of this project as a way to bridge the two cultures and communities.

“When people go out of their comfort zone to do this and make this connection, something happens, and the next time they meet someone with a different culture they may act differently and that interaction makes them better people and better people make our community better,” said Holland. “And this all happens because of art.”

An avid volunteer, she currently spends time helping out at the Washington County Museum and runs a business advocating for artists and musicians called Linda’s List.

She arranges to show artists’ artwork at the Weichart Real Estate offices in Hillsboro and Forest Grove for month-long shows and then plans their opening receptions with musical entertainment.

“Sometimes, artists don’t necessarily have the time or know how exactly to market their work,” Holland said. “Or sometimes, artists are busy promoting themselves, but don’t always have the time to support other artists.”

With Holland’s connections artists are able to show and sell their art and have a gallery experience without the expense.

"Personally, Linda inspires me with her dedication to providing opportunities for artists at every stage in their careers to show their work and connect with the community,” Moore said.

In her free time, Holland enjoys creating art of her own. With over 30 years’ experience painting, her watercolor artwork gained popularity with a series of dragon and baby paintings and she went on to portraitures and kindred depictions. But throughout the periods of painting different subjects she continued painting vivid florals.

“Painting flowers soothes my soul,” she said. “And I’ve volunteered for nearly ten years now, and I’ve seen how art touches people’s lives.”

In the meantime, Holland will continue to contribute and shape the arts in Hillsboro, and beyond. “I’m kind of tired and old,” she said. “I’ve been looking around and thinking that I need to find people to take over the mantle and help.”