The annual Charbonneau Festival of Arts will have virtual art displays and a musical component

The COVID-19 pandemic has created new opportunities for innovation in art and musical expression, as evidenced by the newly reimagined Charbonneau Festival of the Arts.

The board of Charbonneau Arts Association (CAA) was quick to decide to move their annual "Art with Flair" Festival of the Arts to a "virtual exhibition" for the month of October.

"We are not alone in going virtual with our gallery, as art festivals throughout the country have moved online in order to avoid having to cancel outright," asserted Elaine Swyt, board vice presient.

FILE PHOTO - The Charbonneau Festival of Arts will be a virtual event this year.

This event is a fundraiser to support the art programs at Canby and Wilsonville high schools. Sustaining that mission was a key motivator in finding ways to keep it alive in 2020. The Silent Auction, a critical platform for raising funds, will go virtual Oct. 15-31.

CAA's partner, Wilsonville Festival of Arts, had to cancel Its annual outdoor festival earlier in the season, and welcomed the opportunity to partner with Charbonneau, and to offer the virtual gallery to its exhibitors. Going virtual opened other doors for partnerships, including Blackfish Gallery's "Be About Love Festival," which will coincide with Charbonneau's.

As the virtual gallery began to take shape, jazz guitarist and Charbonneau resident David Rowe volunteered to coordinate a virtual music stage. The effort expands on the live musical performances festival patrons have enjoyed in recent years. It will showcase works from more than 10 jazz artists, including Basso a Deux, Rebecca Hardiman, and Don Latarski. On Oct. 23, a live stream from Blackfish Gallery will feature Portland recording artists Marilyn Keller and Darrell Grant.

More information is available on the CAA website at

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