A worthy celebration
By DON NELSON
It’s fair to say that the Confluence Gallery & Art Center is largely responsible for my being here.
Back more than a decade ago, when there was still a small cafe attached to the gallery in Twisp, Jacqui and I were having a nice lunch after taking in the artwork. Two women were chatting at an adjacent table, and the bits we overheard made it clear that one of them was a salesperson for the Methow Valley News.
Being newspaper people, we introduced ourselves – and got an invitation to walk across the street to “tour” the newspaper office. That’s when I first met former owner Paul Butler and former editor John Hanron.
Over the years we periodically kept in touch, which is how I learned that Paul was thinking about selling the newspaper. One thing led to several others, and here I am today.
I was thinking about the serendipity of it all last Saturday during the Confluence’s 25th anniversary gala at Pipestone Ranch on a glorious summer evening. The room was full of people who have supported the gallery in a variety of ways over the years. The event was both a “thank you” and a “please” – silent and live auctions raised a sizable amount to help keep the nonprofit going.
That the gala was as social as it was meaningful is, it seems to me, typical for the valley’s many worthy nonprofits. Fundraising events end up being convivial gatherings of friends and neighbors, and for as a long as they’ve been going on there are still new people to meet.
For me, the number of familiar faces keeps growing (after two years, I’m still building my mental Rolodex – thank you for being patient). The evening was even more charmed by the presence of two dear friends from Seattle who are close friends of a valley couple. The connections, I continue to learn, just go on and on. And the generosity of people who live here, or people who don’t (yet) live here full-time but love the place, is always remarkable.
After a quarter of a century, Confluence can certainly be listed among local “institutions” such as the Merc Playhouse, the Methow Conservancy, the Methow Valley Sport Trails Association, the Public School Funding Alliance, Methow Arts, the Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival, Little Star Montessori School, the Methow Valley Community School, The Cove, the Methow Valley Community Center, the Winthrop Barn, the Shafer Museum and many other organizations that we have come to treasure without taking for granted.
At the same time, they all have to work at keeping our support. The Confluence has done that. Look for more anniversary celebrations down the road.