Art in the country is this weekend

Local creatives gathered at last year’s first Art in the Country Fine Art & Authors Festival, including musicians, actors and food enthusiasts. This year’s event runs Saturday and Sunday, July 27 and 28. Photo provided

This week I want to share with you the story of a special organization I have had the privilege of being closely affiliated with over the past 10 years or more.
I have mentioned my work with the nonprofit Applegate Regional Theater (ART, Inc.) in this column quite a few times, but many don’t realize how the strength and perseverance of the founders, Vicki Sourdry and Marti Byers, and the dedicated board of directors have worked to give the West Lane community a quality performance and event venue.
My readers in Creswell have long had an exceptional performance center – the Cottage Theater – close by in neighboring Cottage Grove, but those living in Veneta, Elmira, Noti, Crow, West Eugene and other neighboring communities have had to travel to other parts of Lane County to enjoy live theater.
After many difficult years of trying to establish a permanent theater and two major moves to build one replete with stage, tiered seating and velvet theater curtains donated to them, the dedicated group finally found a permanent home when they purchased the campus and buildings of the former Central Elementary School on the corner of Central and Fleck roads.
In the past several years, they have sponsored and/or hosted drama workshops for all ages, plays, readers’ theaters, holiday sing-a-longs and TED talks. They’ve rented their facilities to local organizations to put on fundraisers, auctions, graduation parties, author readings and other meetings and events.
ART, Inc. has proven to be a huge supporter of art and creative writing over the years and I am very proud to be affiliated with it.
Recently, my days have been filled with working to organize and plan the Oregon Authors’ tables that are to be part of the Second Annual Art in the Country Fine Art and Authors Festival to be held on the ART, Inc. campus on Saturday, July 27 and Sunday, July 28. We had a very successful one-day inaugural event last year, and this year looks to be even better.
Jennifer Chambers and I have lined up 25 very talented Oregon authors to present their talents at the Oregon Authors’ tables, and 12 of them will be reading from their books in the theater every hour, both days.
There will also be almost 30 professional and amateur artists displaying a wide variety of artwork and demonstrating their particular talents on both days, as well.
Other features include dramatic readings and mini-plays interspersed with the author readings, a kids’ zone, a beer and wine garden, food vendors and some of the best live music in the area.
Festival proceeds will benefit artists and authors in Lane County and will allow the Applegate Regional Theater to continue to grow and provide its special gifts to the residents of Lane County.
To see our tremendous line-up of artists, authors and musicians, check out the Art in the Country Facebook page. We are featuring some each day until the event.
More info: Vicki Sourdry at [email protected] or 541-935-3636.


What: Second annual Art in the Country Fine Art and Authors Festival
When: Saturday, July 27 & Sunday, July 28
Where: ART, Inc., corner of Central and Fleck roads (north of Crow, west of Veneta and south of Fern Ridge Lake off Highway 126)
Details: Oregon authors and artists, dramatic readings, mini-plays, kids’ zone, beer/wine garden, food vendors, live music
More Info: Vicki Sourdry at [email protected] or 541-935-3636



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