The Dalles Hosts Literary and Music Fest in May

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The Dalles Hosts Literary and Music Fest in May

Published 03/03/2010

(The Dalles, Oregon) - Words and music. That’s the bait being dangled by the folks at Fishtrap, Inc., the Wallowa County-based literary arts nonprofit known for its programs and workshops promoting “clear thinking and good writing in and about the West.”

What they hope to hook is the public: your attendance at “Fishstock: Get Hooked!,” the organization’s second annual statewide fundraiser celebration to be held at the Civic Auditorium in The Dalles, Oregon, on Saturday, May 15. Tickets are $25.

That will buy you admission to an evening of fun, beginning at 6 with the Fishstock Art Auction being hosted by The Dalles Art Center. The entertainment follows at 7 p.m. with a lineup of literary and musical luminaries.

The musical lineup will include Idaho folksinger/folklorist Rosalie Sorrels; Eastern Washington folksinger/public radio host Dan Maher; and two Portland-based folksinging duos, Fishtrap regulars Kate Power and Steve Einhorn, and “Heart & Hammer,” otherwise known as Julianna Waters and Barry Crannell.

Between musical performances will be readings by three Oregon writers: novelist/nonfiction writer Robin Cody (“Richochet River,” “Voyage of a Summer Sun”) and poet Clem Starck (“Journeyman’s Wages”). Both are Oregon Book Award winners. Also reading will be nonfiction writer and former Oregonian newspaper columnist Jonathan Nichols (“Greetings from Oregon,” “On the Oregon Trail”).

All proceeds go to support Fishtrap, which, since its inception in 1988, has grown from a single summer gathering into a year-round operation offering 15 different programs, all with the mission of promoting literacy, literature, and writing (including songwriting), with a particular emphasis on Western issues and themes. These programs are administered by a small staff based at Coffin House, a historic older home in Enterprise where Fishtrap is headquartered. In 22 years, Fishtrap programs have served an estimated 20,000 people and engaged more than 350 writers.

The demand for programs continues to be strong, but there is an associated cost, particularly in these hard economic times, according to Fishtrap executive director Rick Bombaci.

"Fishtrap tries to make its programs affordable for all,” Bombaci said. “The fees we charge cover only 40 percent of the cost of Fishtrap activities. While we are grateful to private and public foundations for their generous support, we still depend on about $60,000 in donations from individuals each year. Simply speaking, without support from individuals, Fishtrap cannot carry on its programs, which benefit over 4,000 people annually."

That’s why Fishtrap is looking for a good turnout at its Fishstock bash on May 15. Last year’s inaugural event drew a good crowd and raised $4,000 for Fishtrap programs. Bombaci and his staff hope to surpass that this year.

"I always think of the still-historic town The Dalles as the fulcrum between two Oregons:  urban and urbane westside Portland, and rural and downhome eastern Oregon,” Bombaci said. “What better place to bring together music, literature, and art that all Oregonians, east and west, rural and urban, can enjoy?"

Tickets to Fishstock may be purchased online at In The Dalles, tickets may be purchased at Columbia River Music, 410 E. 2nd, or at Klindts Booksellers, 315 E. Second St., or at the door on the evening of the event. Other sponsors include The Civic Auditorium, Columbia River Music and The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce. For further information, call the Fishtrap office at 541-426-3623, or visit the website:


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