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Supporting Arts in the NW

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President, Linda Lipke

President, Linda Lipke

Linda is an art/music advocate working as a community volunteer to raise funds to support the arts. She has over four decades of experience producing live events and supporting film and video crews throughout the Pacific Northwest. She served on the Washington State Arts Comission for two terms along with Rick Epting and on the Lincoln Theatre Board of Directors. Linda has been a tireless advocate for exposing children to art at an early age and is making a difference in our community.

Vice President, Steve Clarke

Vice President, Steve Clarke

Steve is an editor and web producer by day and singer-songwriter and volunteer in the Skagit music scene on evenings and weekends. Currently performing with the acoustic trio “Mann Road,” Steve volunteered with Community Action of Skagit County prior to the pandemic and most recently has helped out with numerous REFA and Anacortes Music Project events. A familiar face at open mics around the region, Steve hopes to give back as much as he gets enjoying the bountiful natural and artistic riches of this area.

Treasurer, Sara Holahan

Treasurer, Sara Holahan

Sara is a librarian, music fan and community activist. She has served on the boards of Mount Vernon Library Foundation, Anacortes Food Coop, Fidalgo Bay Aquatic Reserve Committee, Skagit Valley Soccer Association and Anacortes High School PTSA. She has volunteered with the Lincoln Theatre and Anacortes Community Theatre. She also adores dancing, theater and literary arts. She says her artistry is only expressed through her gardens and mosaics and is in awe of the diversity and talent of artists in Skagit County.

Secretary, Debra Crowe-Vitale

Secretary, Debra Crowe-Vitale

Debra may be a newcomer to Anacortes but not when it comes to appreciating art, music, and live performances. She grew up surrounded by a family of musicians, painters, and ceramists. She learned how to play clarinet and saxophone during the school years, participating in a variety of bands (marching, jazz, concert), and is currently learning how to play mandolin. She enjoys live music and theater performances. She also enjoys spoken word, publishing one poetry book through MyPublisher.

Debra believes strongly in giving back to the community through volunteering. She has been an active member of the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) for over 25 years, currently sitting on the Executive Committee Board of the local section. During her time with ASSP, she has been involved with putting on conferences and fundraiser events to promote the safety industry. She has also volunteered with Homeward Pets, donating her time to promote animal rescue efforts in the King County area and raising funds to provide continued benefits for dogs and cats in need of a new home. Debra enjoys surrounding herself with nature, photography, and art as a way to experience the world, share similar experiences with others, and to nourish the soul.

Trustee, Chris Terrell

Trustee, Chris Terrell

Chris currently sits on the Board of the Anacortes Chamber of Commerce, Honorary Board member of Skagit Symphony, Co-founder and Board Member of Charlie Randall Pet Foundation, Member of the Mainieri Foundation Jazz Committee, and Member of the Depot Arts and Community Center committee. Chris not only dedicates his tireless energies to these foundations and boards but in his position as CEO of How It Works he has contributed countless dollars worth of his company’s services to non profit fund raisers in the form of graphics, printing, posters, consulting and ad copy.

Trustee, Ranger Kidwell-Ross

Trustee, Ranger Kidwell-Ross

Ranger Kidwell-Ross is a Master’s level economist who is president of Skagit County-based American Proofreading Co. Long an advocate of giving back for the greater good, Ranger was a founding member of an early Skagit County-based environmental group, Habitat Watch. He served on the Citizen’s Advisory Board for the Environmental Element of the Washington State Comprehensive Plan, as well as spent a year as a member of the Advisory Board of the Skagit Valley Herald.

Ranger has also donated his time to non-profit and charity events as a performance artist for over 35 years. From the mid 1970s to around 2004, he appeared as the clown and magician personality “Mr. Turquoise” at non-profit and charity events, as well as participated in dozens of local and regional parades.

In the early 1990s, recognizing the importance of ensuring the Earth’s clean water supply, Ranger founded, and then edited for a decade, American Sweeper magazine, which was the first U.S. publication to address the negative impacts of storm water runoff pollution generated from pavement and other impervious surfaces. Today, his WorldSweeper.com website is the world’s leading resource in that field.

In addition to actively writing on this topic for his website and other publications, Ranger provides counseling on the subject to businesses and municipal agencies around the U.S. and the world.

Ranger’s writing and Internet publishing work have garnered him 19 national APEX Awards for Publication Excellence since 1994, as well as other honors and accolades. He was the author of a book entitled “The Rise of Bio-Diesel,” which was published in 2008. In 2009 Ranger co-authored, with Dr. Jack Lessinger, a book on current socio-economic theory entitled “The Great Prosperity of 2020; Fall of ‘What’s in it for Me?’ — Rise of ‘What’s in it for Us?’”

An accomplished percussionist, Ranger has enjoyed a lifetime of wide-ranging musical experiences throughout the Pacific NW and around the world. He has played with numerous bands since the age of 16; currently, he plays with “The Poor Man’s Jug Band,” which appeared at the 2010 Skagit County Fair. Over time, Ranger has performed in Japan, China and Europe, as well as had a headline appearance in 2007 at Thailand’s 2nd World Music Festival.

In addition to his enduring interest in music, Ranger is a sculpture artist who has designed and built a number of large-scale, whimsical sculptures on his wooded Skagit County property. He is also involved in the U.S. art car community, and displays his art truck “Toynota” at numerous public events throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Trustee, John Sollie Holmes

Trustee, John Sollie Holmes

A retired Software Developer who has lived in Skagit Valley most of his life. He is a musician and songwriter and currently performs in The Holmes Shea Band and Pacific Twang. He also has a home recording studio which has thrived on the creative energy and friendships of local musicians. He first met Rick Epting when Rick wanted to do a CD project at the studio and was touched by his ever-positive and enthusiastic energy for supporting and preserving the arts in the Skagit Valley and the greater Pacific Northwest.

August 24, 2019 5:00pm

This annual REFA fundraiser at the Heart of Anacortes featured the rockin’ sounds of Janie Cribbs and the T Rust Band. The sellout crowd of supporters danced and participated in the auction. A fun time was had by all the attendees and this was a very successful fund raising event for the organization.

July 4, 2019 6:30pm

Fireworks will light up the sky and music will fill the air as the Town of La Conner and the Port of Skagit combine forces to celebrate the 4th of July the old-fashioned way. Highlights of the day will be a free outdoor concert at the La Conner Marina followed after dark by a fireworks display over the Swinomish Channel. The concert featured Seattle Band The Side Project and local retro-rock favorites Fantasy Band.

June 15, 2019 6:30pm

REFA partnered with The Old Edison Inn in a fund raising event for the Burlington Edison High School Band program to help insure that all kids who want to participate have the opportunity. Entertainment was provided with a performance by three BEHS Student Bands followed at 8:30 by the rockin’ Fantasy Band for an evening of fun and dancing. The event was a big SUCCESS!

November 30, 2018 7:30pm

Each and every season for 33 years Grammy Award winning artists Eric Tingstad and Nancy Rumbel have been home for the holidays creating a longstanding tradition with Northwest families. Their holiday presence illuminates the enduring spirit of the season with a gift of song. This year REFA sponsored an event with Tingstad and Rumbel at The Hall at Kennelly Keys where they gave an incredible performance. A fun time was had by all.

August 25, 2018 4:00pm

REFA’s Annual Fundraiser featured a performance by The Penny Stinkers at The Heart of Anacortes. Although the band began over a decade ago as a folksy busking band, it has grown into a unique, high-energy party and dance band that balances trips down memory lane with the latest in musical genres and hard-charging originals. A fun time was had by all the participants and it was avery successful fundraiser for REFA.

July 4, 2018 5:00pm

Fireworks will light up the sky and music will fill the air as the Town of La Conner and the Port of Skagit combine forces to celebrate the 4th of July the old-fashioned way. Highlights of the day will be a free outdoor concert at the La Conner Marina followed after dark by a fireworks display over the Swinomish Channel. The concert features Pacific Northwest Legends Jr Cadillac and local classic rock favorites The Walrus.

March 16, 2018 8:00pm

This Lincoln Theatre St. Patrick’s Day Celtic Celebration features violin wizard Geoffrey Castle who has been putting this show on for 13 years now. For this year’s production, Castle is bringing the Award Winning Seattle Irish Dance Company, his All-Star Celtic Night Band with Dan Connolly and special guests including Anacortes Town Crier Richard Riddell, Mt Vernon’s own Don Wick as MC and bagpiper Don Scobie. Come support the arts and enjoy seeing this Northwest artist.

February 10, 2018 7:30pm

This Lincoln Theatre show features soul-singer/harmonica icon Curtis Salgado, a Northwest blues legend from Everett.Curtis released his latest album in 2016, The Beautiful Lowdown, which was number 6 on the Billboard Blues Chart when it came out. Curtis was awarded the 2017 Soul Blues Artist of the Year in addition to the Song of the Year for Walk A Mile in My Blues. Come support the arts and enjoy seeing this Northwest Blues legend.

October 28, 2017 7:30pm

REFA and Kennelly Keys in Anacortes joined together for this dress up Halloween Party to help raise money for free music lessons to kids who can’t afford them. The party featured live music by the Penny Stinkers who kept the lively crowd up and dancing for the evening.

August 19, 2017 5:00pm

This annual REFA fundraiser at the Heart of Anacortes featured the rockin’ sounds of the Walrus and celebrated the summer of love. The sellout crowd of supporters danced and participated in the auction and costume contest. A fun time was had by all the attendees and this was a very successful fund raising event for the organization.

March 4th, 2017 7:30pm

This early 2017 Lincoln Theatre show featured the funky Lydia Pense and Cold Blood with former Tower of Power singer Fred Ross doing a Tower of Power set as well as a Cold Blood set. This was an energy packed show enjoyed by the Lincoln crowd.

October 20, 2016 7:30pm

This Lincoln Theatre show featured Paula Cole. Paula played a grand piano and was accompanied by guitar and drums. She gave a very emotional and moving performance including “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?” and “I Don’t Want to Wait”. The Lincoln crowd was blown away and reacted accordingly.

August 27, 2016 5:00pm

The annual REFA fund raiser was a big success. Scary Monster and the Super Creeps, a Bellingham band that covers David Bowie and Prince, performed David Bowie’s hits and the whole Purple Rain album by Prince. The event was held at the beautiful outdoor Anacortes venue, The Heart of Anacortes. There was a variety of items that were auctioned or raffled off to the attendees. It was a beautiful day that involved a costume contest, dancing and lots of prizes. Another fun musical event which raised over $4000 toward our grant and scholarship programs!

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