Lineup announced for first Vancouver USA Arts & Music Festival
July 6, 2023
The Vancouver USA Arts & Music Festival comes to Esther Short Park (W. 8th & Columbia streets) and downtown Vancouver August 4–6. Free and open to all ages, the festival invites community members and visitors to experience three days of exciting music, art, dance, food and fun in downtown Vancouver. Three outdoor stages will host more than 30 live music and dance performances, from jazz to alt rock, and African beats to Ukrainian pop. Judged regional and national art shows will be on display with works available for purchase during the festival.
The Vancouver USA Arts & Music Festival features daily activities for attendees of all ages including interactive mural painting, vendor booths and art demonstrations in glass blowing, ceramics, calligraphy and more. Children will love the instrument petting zoo, caricature artists, doodle walls, roaming entertainers, face painting, balloon art and lawn games set up across the festival grounds.
Friday, August 4
Washington State Poet Laureate Arianne True will join Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle for the opening ceremony at noon in Esther Short Park where ASL interpretation will be available.
Following the ceremony, IXIC Aztec dancers and Yeates Academy Irish dancers will keep the entertainment going in Esther Short Park and Arianne True will return for a spoken word performance at 3 p.m.
The 7th Street Community Stage (between Washington and Main streets) will feature a diverse lineup of local musicians playing music from around the world from noon to 8 p.m. Scheduled performers include Ensemble Gitane, Zingaresca Ensemble, Ne Plus Ultra Jass Orchestra, Darling Radio, Etta’s World, Raven Fables and Jujuba.
Festival attendees can enjoy the Vancouver’s Downtown Association Art Walk starting at 4 p.m. and featuring music by Portland Opera a la Cart and Pamela Jordan on 9th Street.
Skyview High School alumnus Michael Siess comes home to Vancouver with multimedia musical group Astral Mixtape at 6 p.m. in Esther Short Park, fusing classical, pop, jazz and immersive staging for a unique concert experience.
At 7 p.m. GRAMMY winning trio Time for Three will present a genre-defying performance on the Esther Short Park main stage with Vancouver Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Salvador Brotons.
Finish out the evening under the stars at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site (612 E. Reserve St.) with an outdoor screening of silent film classics Ask Father and Sherlock Jr., with live musical scoring compiled by Rodney Sauer and performed by members of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
Saturday, August 5
The excitement starts at 10 a.m. in Esther Short Park with dance performances from Hawaii, Tahiti, India and Mexico scheduled until 3 p.m. Stop by the Vancouver Farmers Market just outside the park and discover over 250 local vendors.
The fun continues on the 7th Street Community Stage from noon to 8 p.m. with performances from the energetic Festival Brass band, Junior Symphony Orchestra of Vancouver, Rodney Mason, the Bylines, Bridgetown Sextet, Darka Dusty and the Borshch Beatniks, the Departures and DC Malone and the Jones.
Those looking for a midday break from the heat are invited to Kiggins Theatre (1011 Main St.) at 2 p.m. where star of television, film, and stage Lawrence Gilliard, Jr. (The Wire, The Walking Dead) will host a conversation about the art of acting.
The day comes to a close at 7 p.m. as Maestro Gerard Schwarz leads the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra with esteemed violinist Anne Akiko Meyers performing Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto on the Esther Short Park main stage.
Sunday, August 6
The last day of the festival begins at 10 a.m. with performances by Columbia Dance and award-winning Native American flute performer Dr. Sherrie Davis in Esther Short Park. The final matinee features Maestro Schwarz leading the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra with acclaimed pianist Orli Shaham performing Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini on a nine-foot grand piano on the Esther Short Park main stage.
The Vancouver Arts & Music Festival is presented by the City of Vancouver, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra USA and M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust in partnership with Columbia Arts Network, Vancouver’s Downtown Association and the Vancouver Farmers Market.
Other event supporters include Hilton Vancouver, Washington; Kuni Foundation; United Grain Corporation; Oregon Public Broadcasting; AC Hotel by Marriott; Peacehealth Southwest Medical Center; All Classical Portland; Gravitate; Waste Connections; The Columbian; and the Oregonian. Special thanks to Columbia Dance, theARTScentered, ArtsWa and Humanities Washington.
About the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO)
The VSO, now in its 44th season, has been a cornerstone of Southwest Washington’s arts community, providing symphony music of the highest caliber in live performances and through music education in schools, concert halls, and throughout the community. For more information, please visit vancouversymphony.org.
Three stages, three days
Three outdoor stages will host more than 30 live music and dance performances, from jazz to alt rock, and African beats to Ukrainian pop.