Vancouver Philanthropist Paul Christensen Honored for Support of Arts in Clark County

March, 7 2023

Vancouver Philanthropist Paul Christensen Honored for Support of Arts in Clark County

Columbian journalist Scott Hewitt recently sat down with Vancouver Philanthropist Paul Christensen to find out how arts and culture drives "The Arts' Best Friend." As the Clark County Art Commission's 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Christensen has a lot to say on the subject of the arts.

"Art exemplifies our best views of life," he said. "Art can show us the way we would like life to be. And it can also show us the things about life that we need to rethink."

He has been a key supporter of local arts organizations large and small, as well as the effort to create a performing arts center in Vancouver. While arts and culture are thriving in Vancouver, Christensen said, he believes downtown still lacks an essential missing piece; a concert hall, something he has long pushed for.

Christensen's generosity has extended to many more cultural and arts organizations, including the Clark County Historical Museum, Artstra, Columbia Dance, Enspire Arts, Magenta Theater and Opera Quest Northwest (founded by Loti Christensen, who died in 2020). He is probably best known as the best friend of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. He said he is in awe of its talent and dedication, including that of Maestro Salvador Brotons, its celebrated conductor.

Thank you to fellow arts lover Scott Hewitt -- journalist, writer, and musician -- who, in his own words, writes "about arts, culture, creativity - and other fascinating stuff." Please read his full article below, and subscribe to the Columbian to stay on top of all the great things happening in our community. Read the full article HERE.

And Now For This Week’s Top Picks…

Journey Theater Presents Bye Bye Birdie Young Performer's Edition

Journey Theater Presents Bye Bye Birdie Young Performer's Edition

A loving musical send-up of the early 1960s, small-town America, teenagers, and rock & roll, Bye Bye Birdie remains as fresh and vibrant as ever. Teen heartthrob Conrad Birdie has been drafted, so he chooses all-American girl Kim McAfee for a very public farewell kiss. Featuring a tuneful high-energy score, plenty of great parts for kids, and a hilarious script, Bye Bye Birdie remains one of the most popular shows in schools across the country. Hit songs include “Put on a Happy Face,” “One Last Kiss,” “One Boy,” “A Lot of Livin’ to Do,” “Kids!” and “Rosie.” Fort Vancouver High School Friday, March 3rd @ 7pm
 Saturday, March 4th @ 2pm and @ 7pm Friday, March 10th @ 7pm Saturday, March 11th @ 2pm and 7pm Tickets are on sale now at or by calling 360.750.8550. Adult tickets are $17 Youth and senior tickets are $14 Tickets for all performances will be $2 more at the door

Southwest Washington Wind Symphony presents "Wind Songs"

Southwest Washington Wind Symphony presents "Wind Songs" Sunday, March 5, at 3:00 pm with Guest Vocalist: Sarah Maines

Portland-based mezzo-soprano Sarah Maines will perform with the Southwest Washington Wind Symphony at a concert titled "Wind Songs." Under the baton of conductor Patrick Murphy, the program includes "Jupiter" from "The Planets" by Gustav Holst, "The Seal Lullaby" by Eric Whitacre, and more. Sarah Maines will perform "They Can't Take That Away From Me" by George Gershwin and "My Soul to Keep" by Julie Giroux. The latter piece is dedicated to all touched by gun violence. Concerts are free, open to the public, and performed at the Union High School Performing Arts Center located at 6201 NW Friberg-Strunk Street in Camas. Face masks will be required indoors.