WEST END NEIGHBOR: Flexibility reigns at Forks’ RainFest

“BLESSED ARE THE flexible for they will not be bent out of shape,” read a sign in my former employer’s staff room.

The longer I live among people, the more I see profound wisdom tucked neatly in clever wording.

The Rainforest Council for the Arts continues to display the art of flexibility in some key areas, knowing that to flex and yield is far different from melting.

Forks’ annual festival of the arts, RainFest, begins today as the celebration of the prolific rain of the West End.

For decades, it’s been sponsored and promoted by the Rainforest Council for the Arts but was broadened to include Ocean and River Days a few years ago.

This made a single weekend of arts stretch out to include a second weekend of environmental focus, usually around Earth Day.

The North Pacific Coast Marine Resources Committee, commonly referred to as the “rivers and ocean people,” plan the environmental affairs.

“In February, it was realized that the best tides for ocean cleanup as well as closest to Earth Day happened to be the same dates as Rainfest this year, ” said Sue Shane.

She is the president of the arts council and has a board of eight members to help with decision-making for a “loose collection” of more than 100 members.

“We really like this collaboration with the rivers and ocean people,” Shane said and spoke of the promotion benefits and the age diversity the rivers and ocean people bring to RainFest.

“The weekend will be jam-packed but really fun,” Shane said.

“Since we are celebrating rain and what it does for our surroundings it only makes sense to celebrate Earth Day with other conservation-minded folks who love where we live, play and work together,” Shane said.

RainFest begins Friday at 9 a.m. with the annual Fabric of the Forest quilt class held at the Department of Natural Resources conference room.

Pre-register at piecemakers quiltclub.org and click on the RainFest link.

The Rainforest Arts Center is the primary venue for all-ages, family-friendly activities Saturday and not one of them costs a dime to participate.

The overlapping schedule for that day subtly hints at the collaboration that has been going on for months.

The day at the arts center begins at 10 a.m. with an art show and sale by the Far West Art League in the foyer.

In the side room of the building, the Forever Twilight in Forks Collection opens to the public at noon.

This assemblage of memorabilia from the Twilight series of books and movies is a big draw for out-of-towners.

The main auditorium of the Rainforest Arts Center starts the day at 11 a.m. by welcoming everyone and anyone to Art For All Ages.

“We especially like to see families doing things,” Shane said, explaining that this time of artistic expression is designed to fill that desire.

Teachers will be available to help folks try their hands at “sophisticated” finger painting, card making and crocheting with plarn — plastic bags made into yarn.

All of the materials are provided and it’s all — that word we don’t hear often enough — free.

“I like to see families wander in and get involved in a project or two,” Shane said.

She added, “It’s always a lot of fun and sometimes we have to push people along so we can get stuff out to set up for the next event.”

If that was true in the past, it’s even more so this year with the compacted schedule.

Perhaps the highlight of RainFest is the River and Ocean Film Festival.

This year marks its fifth anniversary.

Everyone I have talked to throughout the years absolutely raves about these short films selected from entries submitted the previous year.

As testimony to the magnitude of the movies, the Rainforest Council for the Arts yielded this prime slot to the Marine Resources Committee for the films rather than pushing for the usual dance the art council sponsors.

For more information on the film festival, go to wsg. washington.edu/film-festival.

Having a compact schedule seems to make RainFest easier for people coming from out of town as one doesn’t have to pick one weekend over the other.

Full schedules can be found on the Forks Forum website at https://www.forksforum.com/news/rainfest-2018-event- schedule.

However, flexibility reigns and the schedule might yet have some changes.

_________

Zorina Barker lives in the Sol Duc Valley with her husband, a logger, and two children she home-schools.

Submit items and ideas for the column to her at [email protected], or call her at 360-327-3702. West End Neighbor appears in the PDN every other Tuesday.

Her next column will be May 1.

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