Press Releases

CGOA brings Opera to the Gorge

The Columbia Gorge Orchestra Association is excited to announce a new partnership with the San Francisco Opera, presenting exclusive filmed performances of some phenomenal presentations and classic operas including The Magic Flute (Oct 9), La Boheme (Dec 18), Porgy and Bess (Feb 26), and Madame Butterfly (April 16). All screenings will be at the Wy’east PAC at 2 pm and free for students, children, and seniors.

These operas — all filmed in hi-def, blu-ray quality and in English or with English subtitles — all all great introductions to opera. Most people know that La Boheme was adapted to form the hit musical Rent and that the Miss Saigon was based on Madame Butterfly. But the original operas are even more powerful and engaging!

This partnership and series is made possible through a generous donation by Dr Neil Watanabe, DDS.

Lee Weinstein PR – Sponsor

WeinsteinPRLogoSmallColumbia Gorge Arts and Culture Alliance (CGACA) thanks Weinstein PR, for their continuing support. Weinstein PR is a prestigious local firm offering a wide range of public relations and communications expertise in media and advertising for a broad segment of local, regional, national, and international clients.

Owner/director, Lee Weinstein, was instrumental in the formation of CGACA and has continued to be a strong supporter since.  Lee has once again stepped up, continuing to host our website and secure our domain name through his company, providing another vital link in our ongoing outreach efforts.  We deeply appreciate Lee’s contributions and dedication to helping “make arts and culture a magnet to the Columbia Gorge, attracting visitors and residents and benefiting our economy.”

Without this strong level of communications support the alliance could not be an effective voice for the arts, culture, and heritage in the Columbia Gorge region.

Columbia Gorge Arts & Culture Tour Map Released

36 known and lesser-known art and culture destinations are highlighted in this handy map!

Just in time for the spring/summer visitor high season, the Columbia Gorge Arts & Culture Alliance (CGACA), has released its first “Columbia Gorge Art and Culture Tour” map featuring 36 known and lesser-known art and culture destinations on both the Washington and Oregon sides of the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area.

The map reads: “The natural scenic beauty of the Columbia River Gorge is a magnet for arts and culture. We invite you to experience the wonder of the Gorge and share in the inspiration it provides the thousands of artists who’ve captured its beguiling charm. Use this map to choose an area and explore its art and culture. This map represents only a limited selection of Gorge Arts and Culture venues. For complete Gorge Secrets maps and details and a list of arts festivals, events and art workshops please visit”

The Columbia Gorge Art and Culture Tour map features well and lesser known destinations in the ‘State of the Gorge’ Oregon/Washington border—from the Vista House to the west to Maryhill Museum of Art in the east, destinations include:

  • Alder Creek Pioneer Carousel Museum in Bickleton, WA, which features one of the oldest carousels on the West Coast. The carousel, purchased from Portland’s Oaks Park in 1929,
is originally built by the Herschell-Spillman Company of North Tonawanda, NY.
  • Columbia Gorge Discovery Center and Museum in The Dalles, OR, a multimedia, interactive museum about the volcanic upheaval and floods that created the Gorge, the unique flora and fauna, and 11,000 years of cultural history.
  • Presby House Museum in Goldendale, WA, a century’s old symbol of Washington’s past. The Presby Mansion is also home to the Klickitat County Historical Society.
  • Western Antique Aeroplane and Auto Museum in Hood River, OR, home of the largest collections of operating antique aeroplanes and antique automobiles in the country.

Galleries highlighted range from the Caswell Gallery (Troutdale, OR) to Don Perry Metal Art (Stevenson, WA); Glassometry Studios (Hood River, OR), Lorang Fine Art And Gorge-ous Gifts (Cascade Locks, OR), Westwind Frame And Gallery (The Dalles, OR) and many more.

CGACA printed 5,000 copies of the Columbia Gorge Art and Culture Tour map, which have been distributed throughout the gorge (they won’t last long). It was funded by the CGACA and provided as a service to arts and culture groups in the Gorge. It lists many of the arts and culture places in the gorge that are open to the public on a regular basis (not places open by appointment). The list was developed by volunteers of the CGACA.

“Every effort was made to ensure accuracy; but users should always call in advance to confirm opening days and hours,” explains Lloyd DeKay, past-president of the White Salmon Arts Council. “Also, places may have been inadvertently left off the map; please let us know by email.”

The map is downloadable and printable on standard paper and can be found at CGACA plans for a second printing in 2014.

Download the full CGACA-TourMapPressRelease.

Gorge Article in Portland Monthly Magazine

The Columbia River Gorge is one step closer to becoming an international destination for art, culture and heritage! Stacey Malstrom of Maxwell PR, Kasey Cordell of Portland Monthly, and Linea Gagliano of Travel Oregon spent an afternoon visiting some of our region’s wonderful venues and talented artists. 

Portland Monthly’s editor, Kasey Cordell, profiled the Gorge in the April issue and included a number of Gorge businesses. The article is titled “Western Muse; The Columbia River Gorge’s growing art scene inspires itineraries beyond the outdoors.”  To read the full article just click the link above.

The tour began with resident artist and GM, Loree Harrell, to view the “Mirror Project Installation”. Then on to Caswell Gallery to visit bronze sculpture artist, Rip Caswell and jewelry designer Ali Peret. Rip shared his design for a destination gallery to include studio/apt. spaces, shared gallery, gorge wine tasting and art gardens.

Art Director, Parris Foley was a good sport when we dropped in to the sounds of power tools as workers frantically worked to put the finishing touches on the soon to be open “Infusion Gallery”. Claude and Penny Cruz, owners of Troutdale’s newest gallery, Marco Polo Designs, shared the process of hand making, Venitan and Murano glass beads that Claude designs for their jewelry collections.

On to Corbett, traveling along the Historic Columbia River Hwy and past the Historic Springdale School where children learn in an art based environment. Joseph Schneider was waiting for us as we pulled into the driveway adjacent to his big red barn and proceeded to awe with his dramatic sculptures created from unexpected objects.

Then to Cascade Locks on I-84, pointing out the 6-mile stretch of scenic Hwy 30 that is currently under reconstruction to open this summer as a bike/pedestrian only route connecting Troutdale to Cascade Locks. In Cascade Locks, Heather Soderberg showed her sculpting studio and shared her latest projects, still in wax.  A private tour of the foundry gave us all a new respect for the numerous and complex steps taken between the wax figure and the final bronze form.

Stainless Steel Sculpture artist, Brad Lorang, demonstrated the process of transforming a flat sheet of steel onto a beautiful relief sculpture and discussed the use of heat and elements to create the desired colors. Finally, we met the Cascade Locks Tourism Team at the newly re-opened Cascade Locks Ale House. They shared their visions of International sailing events at an expanded beach front and 26 miles of proposed mountain biking trails.