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No art? No joy

It seems like the hard work of a few people in Wilsonville is going unappreciated.

Have you ever enjoyed the sculpture outside of the Wilsonville Public Library while halted by the stop light?

Have you ever taken in the two-day Festival of Arts — walking the booths, enjoying the concerts and nibbling on the snacks? Do you miss the community parade that was once part of the festival?

Did you and your family take in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” or perhaps “James and the Giant Peach” at Frog Pond Grange Hall?

Did you know these installations and events are put on by volunteers and with donated funds? Did you know some of these folks have been working tirelessly for your enjoyment for years? Did you know some of them are finally getting tired and the money is running out?

The Wilsonville City Council has been asked by the Wilsonville Arts and Culture Council for up to $10,000 in grant funding to help keep the Festival of Arts and the Wilsonville Theater Company alive. And we think at some point the city should pony up for the cause.

Life in Wilsonville would go stale if not for the arts. Both visual and audio art bring joy into our lives. Art and culture touch our souls, our minds and our senses.

The Arts and Culture Alliance of Wilsonville once brought in nearly 20 sculptures into the city. You may have seen them at the library, the transit center, city hall, Argyle Square and the Family Fun Center. Now, the alliance is run by two men in their 70s who are seeking help to keep the program alive.

The Festival of Arts, sponsored by the Wilsonville Arts and Culture Council, has been led by Theonie Gilmore for years. However, with both volunteers and funding dwindling, the community event is now in danger of extinction.

Now is the time for the city to step in and invest in the arts in Wilsonville. With a recent push to boost tourism, nothing attracts visitors to a city more than music, art and good food.

Now is also the time for new volunteers to step up and help out. Both businesses and residents need to back these important programs and initiatives with donated goods, services and manpower.

To recruit new interest, a special Festival of the Arts planning meeting is set for March 10 at 1 p.m. at ALT Creative Studio, located in Old Town Wilsonville on Southwest Boones Ferry Road. This year’s festival is set for May 31 and June 1 at Wilsonville’s Town Center Park. We encourage you to attend and take part.

Because, without art, there is no joy.

Arts and Culture Alliance of Wilsonville: artinwilsonville.com/index.htm

Wilsonville Arts and Culture Council: wilsonvillearts.org

Wilsonville Theater Company: wilsonvilletheater.com



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