Thank you to the Camas-Washougal Post Record for such an AMAZING write-up for our upcoming February concert. Be sure to check out the full article. So wonderful to have this support from our local community!

“The arts can have a tremendous impact on the world around us,” said Camas piano teacher Sarah Lightfoot.

But, first, we may need to change our perception of who is — and who is not — an artist.

“Schools set up kids to think they’re the art kid, the brainy kid, the music kid, the athletic kid … and if you don’t choose art or music, you’re done, like music and art are only for professionals, but that’s not real life,” Lightfoot says. “There are ways for all of us to participate in the creative process without having to be professionals.”

Lightfoot founded a Camas-based nonprofit, Enspire Arts, in 2017, to help increase access to the arts and dispel any notion that making music, dancing, painting, writing or participating in the arts is reserved for a chosen few.

Enspire Arts offers tools for educators to better integrate music and art into their classrooms; an after-school art exploration program; and a $500 “Arts Ambassador” scholarship opportunity for local youth in grades 5 through 11 who are, according to the nonprofit’s online resources, “dedicated to improving their talents” and are willing to use their artistic abilities to contribute to their Clark County community during their year-long stint as an arts ambassador.

“We believe in the power of creativity to empower youth and enrich our communities,” Lightfoot says, quoting Enspire Arts’ mission statement, and “create vibrant and interactive arts experiences that promote well-being, learning and connection.”

Since its founding in 2017, Enspire Arts’ scholarship program has awarded $7,500 to 15 students from the Camas, Washougal, Vancouver and Evergreen school districts, and the students’ community projects have impacted more than 800 Clark County residents.

The 2022-23 arts ambassadors — Keilene Brown, Jacob Crabtree and Bianca Flores — are all Camas-Washougal students with a passion for music.