Columbia Center for the Arts (CCA) is located in downtown Hood River, Oregon in the heart of the spectacular Columbia River Gorge. This thriving art center increases and enhances the opportunities for artists and residents of the greater Columbia River Gorge community to participate in arts education and the literary, performing, and visual arts.
We invite you to visit often to discover the arts and artists of the Columbia River Gorge.
To cultivate the arts in the Columbia River Gorge by providing experiences that touch the heart, challenge the intellect, and spark conversation.
Support a community that values, participates, and partners in the arts.
WHAT WE DO
Columbia Center for the Arts is dedicated to offering a wide range of opportunities for students, artists, and audiences to engage in the arts and in their community. We administer and maintain a centrally located facility that houses a gallery for the exhibiting and sale of visual artwork, a theatre/auditorium for performing arts, and multi-use spaces for artistic skill-building programs that are fundamental to our mission. These ongoing activities connect and benefit the arts community and all ages of the general public.
Our Team includes hundreds of volunteers, donors, and sponsors as well as paid consultants and staff who work together run this art hub that fosters collaboration and interaction between artists, community and local businesses. We value art-making as an essential part of a vibrant and healthy society.
THE CCA TEAM
Columbia Center for the Arts consists of many individuals working to increase access to the arts and provide unique educational opportunities. Members of the staff, Board of Directors, and our various CCA committees play a key role in helping to make the Center thrive. Find a complete list of names here.
ABOUT THE FACILITY
- Our facility features a 1700- square-foot gallery, a 160-seat black box theatre and, a 700-square-foot multi-use studio/classroom space.
- Art Gallery– with monthly exhibitions and a Gallery Shop with local art.
- Education & Outreach–Offers classes and arts access for children and adults.
- CCA Presents–Presents film, dance, music, and other arts entertainment from around the world.
The idea for the Columbia Center for the Arts originated with the discovery of mutual interests between CAST (a community theatre group) and the Columbia Art Gallery. In January 2003, both CAST and the Columbia Art Gallery announced they were looking for new locations. With these two organizations facing a similar situation, they began working together on a mutually beneficial solution.
In April 2003 that solution arose. The American Legion Hall, a 10,000-square-foot building located in the heart of historic downtown Hood River was put up for sale. Because the two groups did not have the funds necessary to buy the building immediately, a small group of local art supporters stepped forward and offered to purchase the building and hold it until the groups could raise the funds to purchase and renovate it to suit their needs.
Included in this group of supporters were the board members of Gorge Arts, the regional arts council. Because most of the successful arts councils around Oregon operate a facility in conjunction with their councils, both Gorge Arts and Columbia Arts saw this building project as an excellent opportunity to strengthen the efforts of both groups.
The fundraising began in July 2003 with the project goal of purchasing and renovating the building in approximately two-and-a-half years. In order to turn this idea into reality, a separate 501(c)(3) called CCA was formed in order to represent the collaborating partners and work to raise necessary funds.
We are continually thankful to the community for making it possible for CCA to purchase the old American Legion building and renovate it into a state-of-the-art facility.
Our overall goal was to create a cultural destination in Hood River, with facilities that enable the arts to thrive in the Gorge. An additional goal was to draw a variety of artists and art groups to not only enhance and improve the arts, but to help boost the region’s economy as well as improve the overall quality of life.
The Gallery’s first show was in February of 2006, and the theater’s first performance was in June of that same year. The first show for CAST was in July/August 2006. Since then, art shows and theatrical performances occur regularly throughout the year.
In addition to the gallery and theatre spaces, CCA has a classroom/studio which is utilized by the Center for art classes, smaller art groups, individual artists, and the community for educational, art-related activities.