More than 270 guests donned Hawaiian attire for an evening with Cascadia Art Museum founder and director Lindsey Echelbarger and his wife Carolyn, as they opened their home to donors, supporters and friends to celebrate the museum’s second anniversary and raise funds in “aloha” style.
The Echelbargers are passionately committed to exhibiting, educating about and advocating for Pacific Northwest art and artists, and the Cascadia Art Museum represents a life-long dream realized: Providing a world-class venue celebrating the remarkable range and creativity of our region’s artistic heritage.
“Three years ago the museum had no members,” said Echelbarger as he addressed the guests. “Today it has more than 800. ‘Ohana’ means family in Hawaiian, and our members are truly our ohana.”
As the museum moves into its third year, “we’re working on four major fronts to encourage and build appreciation of our artistic heritage,” he continued. “The first of these is working with schools to bring school groups into the world of art. Each week school buses roll up to the Museum and out jump 70-80 eager kids, many of whom have never even been inside an art museum. I just love seeing the light in their eyes as they come into contact with art, many for the first time.”
The second initiative, he said, is monthly art tours for memory care patients. “Alzheimer’s experts agree that many patients respond favorably to art, and that the visual impact is calming,” he said. “I’m proud that Cascadia can play a role in making this happen.”
Third on the list is the museum’s frequently sold-out Saturday morning “Coffee with the Curator'”series, where curator David Martin shares his “encyclopedic knowledge” of Northwest art and artists,” Echelbarger said. “By adding his personal insights and even some gossip about our regional art greats, he helps bring the subject alive.”
Finally, the museum has launched a new Music in the Museum program, which offers a series of chamber music concerts that take advantage “of what many musicians are finding are the top notch acoustics in our building,” he said.
“I am so gratified that more than 270 of you are here tonight to show your support of the Cascadia Museum and its mission,” Echelbarger concluded. “It simply couldn’t happen without you.”
Information on these programs, and ways to help the museum by becoming a member and/or volunteering, is available on the Cascadia Museum website here.
— Story and photos by Larry Vogel