The Oregon Coast Council for the Arts welcomes senior editors and directors from Oregon ArtsWatch for a meet and greet social hour today (Friday), Nov. 2, from 6:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Newport Visual Arts Center.
As part of November’s First Friday opening reception, event attendees will get to know more about OAW, while OAW will expand its knowledge of artists and art leaders along the Oregon coast. A panel discussion will be held at 7 p.m., with OAW representatives discussing their mission and perspectives on the state of the arts in Oregon.
OAW was established in 2011 and has grown into one of the state’s most recognized and respected online news sites focused on arts and culture. In May 2018, OAW formally expanded its primary focus areas to include the Oregon coast, and the site has since run numerous feature stories on art activities from Yachats to Astoria.
OAW representatives will include Bob Hicks, senior editor for theater, dance and visual arts; Laura Grimes, executive director; and Lori Tobias, contributing writer. Hicks has been writing about arts and culture in Portland since 1978, first at the Oregon Journal and for 25 years at The Oregonian. Grimes worked as a journalist at The Oregonian for 24 years and has deep experience in nonprofit arts administration. Tobias is a journalist of many years and was a staff writer for The Oregonian for more than a decade. She lives on the Oregon coast and pens a weekly column for Oregon Coast Today.
OAW was founded by current executive editor Barry Johnson, who worked as the arts editor at The Oregonian from 1983 to 2009. “We believe that the arts play a central role both in individual lives and in a democratic society, and Oregon ArtsWatch provides ever more useful descriptions of this dynamic interplay — the arts, the individual, the culture,” Johnson writes. “We are committed to being a trusted public source for stories about the arts, written in a manner that is independent, transparent, fair, accurate and responsive.”