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Don’t forget the arts community

In the Pilot’s front-page story about the recent Tourism Conversation meeting (Feb. 9), one major local attraction was sadly overlooked in the discussion: the vibrant Brookings arts community.

While Brookings may not have Broadway, Carnegie Hall, or the Metropolitan Museum of Art, we have many attractions that involve visual arts (painting and sculpture), music, and theater.

To list just a few, there are the Second Saturday Art Walks, summer Concerts in the Park, concerts by Friends of Music and Curry Del Norte Orchestra, theatrical productions by Chetco Pelican Players and Brookings Harbor Community Theater, and various art shows and festivals sponsored by the Manley Art Center, Azalea Quilters Guild, our private art galleries, and others.

As an example of the positive impact that these cultural events have on the local economy, I’d like to point to the Watercolor Society of Oregon (WSO) art show here a few years ago. This event, held at the Manley Art Center, brought dozens of artists and art lovers from all over Oregon for a long weekend of activities, including bus tours to local attractions and an awards banquet. 

Last fall, the community celebrated the 100th Brookings Second Saturday Art Walk. The event continues to be popular with both locals and visitors. In fact, there are many visitors and part-time residents who plan their stays here to coincide with our art walk.

This August, others will come here for a new Art in the Park Festival at Stout Park. Then, in September, there’s the Art Studio Tour event, and, in November, the Watercolor Society of Oregon Traveling Art Show.

It’s not just individuals who are drawn to a community by arts and culture. Often, when corporate management decides where to locate their headquarters or other facilities, the final decision is based on whether the community has a good selection cultural amenities and events.

Of course, our beaches, fishing, and scenic beauty will continue to be the major attractions here. But don’t forget the important role that our vibrant arts community contributes to the local lifestyle and economy.


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