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First Friday event offers more than just art

The downtown section of a city is often the pride and joy of the community, and downtown Vancouver, Washington is no exception.

The Pacific Northwest is known for its arts and crafts community, and this is evident in Vancouver’s monthly event, First Friday.

“We love this event, it’s very consistent, the galleries are marvelous partners, they work really hard to make sure the shows are never the same, to always bring something new,” said Lee Rafferty, executive director of Vancouver Downtown Association.

Originally there were not very many galleries in Vancouver, so First Friday started out rather small, she said. Now churches, retailers, and galleries in the area participate.

“Downtown property owners realized that art is a great way to improve retail,” she said. “Art and food are great ways to bring people around.”

The Vancouver community has put several thousands of dollars into the art on display in the downtown area, helping to increase its beauty, Rafferty said.

Also, a new business, Dengerink Art Supply, will open this summer to provide art supplies unavailable anywhere else in the area.

“We want to bring people to the city center, to create community,” she said. “You are enjoying your downtown and (First Friday is) just authentically fun.”

The next First Friday art event will take place June 5 from 5 – 9 p.m. in downtown Vancouver.

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