Jayson Jacoby
The Baker City Herald

Grant Will Help Bring Art, Workshops To Baker City Library

A grant from ArtPlace America is bringing more art and workshops into rural libraries across Eastern Oregon, including Baker City.

"We'd like 30 programs a month," said Brian Vegter, art resource coordinator for libraries in five counties (Baker, Malheur, Grant, Harney and Lake).

The $250,000 grant was awarded to Libraries of Eastern Oregon (LEO), which encompasses 15 counties from Hood River east to the Idaho border and south to the California and Nevada borders.

Vegter said 30 of the 55 libraries across those counties have enough space for special programs and workshops, including Baker City's.

The grant was announced in August and programs started in October.

So far, the Baker Library District has hosted dulcimer workshops and performances with Heidi Muller and Bob Webb, plus art workshops with Sara Cothren.

"The main inspiration is making the library a place to immerse yourself in the arts," Vegter said.

Right now, the Baker City Library, 2400 Resort St., has an exhibit of Nancy Coffelt's eight original illustrations for the book "What's Cookin'? A Happy Birthday Counting Book."

The framed artwork is displayed in the reading area that faces Powder River. It will be up through January.

Coffelt also donated two copies of the children's book to the library.

Coffelt started her artistic career in 1984 and since then has shown and sold artwork across the U.S. She published her first book in 1992. Since then, she's written more books for children, young adult, middle grade and nonfiction.

Vegter has plans to bring more artists, authors and filmmakers to local libraries. He said many will present at a "circuit of libraries."

See more in Monday's issue of the Baker City Herald.