I just spent five days in Twisp, Winthrop, Okanogan, and Brewster. Of course, while I was there, I had to take a minute to read William Stafford’s wonderful poem (behind the bookstore in Winthrop)–and think about helping and hurting. Methow Arts sponsored my visit; they are a dynamic organization that offers a wide-range of public events in the area. From international music to poetry workshops, their yearly schedule is impressive; however great it is, though, the public programming isn’t the most compelling work that they do. I went to Okanogan and Brewster schools on Thursday and Friday of my visit, and I met with hundreds of students, and teachers at both schools praised Methow Arts for spreading resources into areas that have less funding for the arts and humanities. They are a fine model for all of us to emulate–to borrow from Stafford, they are an organization that helps, that makes a difference.
Methow Arts is also launching this really great space in Twisp where the public can tour the workshops of practicing artists (printmakers and designers and many other mediums)–and, of course, buy great art. Twisp Works is a literal campus of artistic bustle and good energy. Check it out if you get to the region. I’m off to Royal City and West Seattle and Wallingford and Benton City and Tieton this week, and I’m glad that I’ll carry the good energy of the Methow River (and its people) with me.