Theater, films and monthly art exhibits are regular hallmarks of Columbia Center for the Arts.
Special events also fill the community-based non-profit center’s spring and summer scheduled. Leading the center is its new executive director, MiKayla Ryan, who in fall 2018 succeeded former director Kerry Cobb, who retired.
CCA introduces its new “Summer Movie Series” starting June 7, a weekly screening of classic 1980s comedies, adventures and other family fare. Titles involve an Oregon coast mystery, time travel, a mythic maze (and David Bowie,) mystical crystals, a friendly alien, unfriendly ghosts and witches, a classic pirate meets happily homeless boys and a puppet-filled retelling of a Christmas classic.
Dates are June 7, June 14, July 5, July 19, Aug. 9, Aug. 16, Sept. 20, Oct. 18, Nov. 15 and Dec. 20.
See sidebar for details on exhibit and film series titles and other programs.
Here are highlights of returning and new events for the remainder of 2019.
April 17 — “Zamora: A Kayaker’s Journey to Discover Ecuador’s Unseen Rivers,” presentation by Todd Wells and Galen Volckhausen, 7 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.). Join the center for an engaging evening to learn about first descent kayaking and river conservation in Ecuador.
Tickets are $10. They’ll be available at the door or can be purchased online at
Wells and Volckhausen will share photos, videos and stories from their years of adventuring across the country, then take you along a wild descent of the previously unknown Rio Zamora.
At the end of the show Todd and Galen will open the floor for a Q-and-A.
April 20 — “Along the Columbia, Discovering the Architectural Heritage of Our Gorge Towns,” Gorge Owned Sense of Place lecture,” by Ellen Shapley, 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 at
For more information, visit
April 27 — Art of Movement:  4 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Tickets: $20 for adults; $15 for students and seniors; $10 for children 10 and under
This annual favorite showcases multiple dance forms in a matinee and evening performance. CCA welcomes back Jefferson Dancers from Portland,
The program includes:
  • Columbia Gorge Dance Academy
  • Scarlet Thistle Studio
  • Jefferson Dancers
Tickets available online or in-person at CCA’s gallery, 215 Cascade Ave.
May 18 — CCA Children’s Theatre Teen Apprenticeship Capstone, 5 p.m. Teen apprentices will present their Capstone projects to their friends, family, and community. Free and open to the general public.

The Teen Apprenticeship program aims to provide theatrical training for teens in the Columbia River Gorge. Its purpose is to create a supportive ensemble of skilled, professional teen collaborators who are knowledgeable in a variety of theatrical disciplines and ready to take on leadership roles within CCA Children’s Theatre and other environments. It prepares students for future rigorous training in a college or conservatory setting while allowing them to explore personal interests in theatre and related fields.
May 29 — Astrophysicist,  author and blogger Paul M. Sutter (“Your Place in the Universe: Understanding Our Big, Messy Existence”; “Ask A Spaceman”) gives a lecture and book signing, 7 p.m.
June 8 — Joni Mitchell’s 1971 album “Blue” performed by Merideth Kaye Clark, 7 p.m. (theatre doors open at 6:30 p.m.)
This is a benefit concert for Columbia Center for the Arts.
Tickets are $40 and includes one complimentary beverage and desserts .
Released in 1971, “Blue” is her most iconic work. Rolling Stone wrote, “with ‘Blue’ she has matched her popular music skills with the purity and honesty of what was once called folk music, and through the blend she has given us some of the most beautiful moments in recent popular music.” It marked a pivotal time in Mitchell’s career, inspiring David Crosby to say, “by the time she did Blue, she was past me and rushing toward the horizon.”
“This album has influenced me a lot as a singer and a songwriter,” said Clark about the idea to perform ‘Blue’.
“I’ve always had a strong relationship to this music. Every time I return to it, I hear something new and find something new in her poetry. I hope people will find their own new connections hearing the entire body of work live.”
Music Director Mont Chris Hubbard accompanies Clark in this production with original direction by Portland Center Stage’s Producing Associate Brandon Woolley.
Tickets available online or in-person at CCA’s gallery.
In the gallery
April — In “Migration,” CCA challenges artists to consider and respond to the definition: “movement from one part of something to another.” Migration is an opportunity for artists to bring attention to the ways and reasons for movement around the world. Whether it be economic, political, cultural, religious, environmental or a reason beyond one’s control, people have and will continue to migrate. This exhibition seeks to engage with these important issues. This exhibition is not limited to the migration of people, but entries with this focus are strongly encouraged.

April in the Nook: Hood River Reads - Poster Contest; in the lobby: Rich Bergeman
May — Off the Wall
Off the Wall is devoted to three-dimensional art forms and non-traditional mediums and methods. CCA challenges local and regional artists to create sculpture, installations, or any type of artwork that can be seen from all sides. Artworks exploring depth presented on flat media are also welcome! Gallery guests will see new forms of creativity that will challenge the intellect, spark conversation and touch the heart.

May in the Nook: Friends of the Columbia Gorge – Photo Contest; the lobby: Julie Abowitt
June — Functional Art
What occupies the space between fine art and the day-to-day? Functional art! CCA presents an exhibition featuring the many ways artists create works that also serve functional purposes. This art genre encompasses everything from furniture and creations that can perform a utilitarian task to highly crafted wearable pieces. Artists will present works that function as objects for use while also functioning as works of fine art and craft.

June Nook and Studio: Hood River Valley High School - AP Art Students; in the lobby: Dave Gonzo
July — Big & Small
From small pieces to extra-large formats, this exhibition features the extremes of an artwork’s finished size. The small pieces are 6 inches or under per side, and the large pieces require one side be 42 inches or larger for either height, width, or depth. Artists are challenged to create within a particular dimension, exploring the possibilities of the miniature and large scale creation. 

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