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Big Fish

BANDON - The Bandon Public Library has invited top-notch professionals and organizations to share their visions of the past, present and future – all with a single focus of enriching coastal lands, waterways and fish populations.

Whether Miluk Coos story-telling, ideas for native plant gardening, art with a salmon focus, or enthusiasm for coastal stewardship – the Bandon library will offer all that and more this spring and summer, under The Big Fish Vision, under the umbrella of the Big Fish Project.

South Coast residents and visitors are welcome to join in the Big Fish Project, which will offer opportunities to learn and create art in service to the salmon and the long relationship to nature people have worldwide.

“Through public art and free community events we will focus on giving voice with our words and pictures to those who can't explain,” said local artist Vicki Affatati, who is collaborating with others, such as Bandon Public Library assistant library Sara Michael Vicki Affatati, on the vision of the Big Fish Project.

“The Big Fish invites Coos County and its visitors to explore, learn, and create in honor of the salmon, marshes, and streams,” Affatati explained. “The wheel of the Big Fish project includes opportunities for the local community, visiting guests, students from Bandon School District, homeschoolers, tribal members, scientists, historians, gardeners, artists and more.”

The following events are planned at the library:

Friday, March 16, storyteller Brenda Brainard, 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., Bandon Library Sprague Room

Brenda Brainard, Miluk Coos traditional storyteller, will present “Salmon Story: How Salmon Brought People to the Land,” and “Raven Story: How Raven Put Light in the Sky” at 1 p.m. Brainard will also present “How the Baskets Saved the Beaches” and “Coos Contemporary and Old Baskets” at 2:30 p.m.

Brainard, a Miluk Coos traditional storyteller and basket weaver will be displaying both contemporary and old Coos baskets and talking about them. Through her storytelling, Brainard shares her native history and culture with the audience.

Brainard is a graduate of the University of Oregon School of Law, and an attorney, having practiced in the area of Indian law for over 35 years. For the past 20 years she has been the Director of the Indian Education Program in Eugene. She is an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians.

On storytelling and basket weaving, Brainard said, “It keeps me connected to my roots, my culture and who I am and where I come from. It is important to me to know that the ancestors are pleased with what I do for my culture."

Tuesday, March 20, 6 p.m., "Salmon Dreams, Marshes & Streams," Bandon Library Sprague Room.

2018 Boardwalk Art Show workshop with local artist, Vicki Affatati

Get started on your boardwalk art project at this workshop. This is Affatati’s sixth year of providing Bandon School District’s art instruction for the Port of Bandon’s Boardwalk Art Show. Join us for a short salmon presentation for inspiration and stay to begin designing your boardwalk art board. Supplies and references will be available. ($10 Donation requested for board and supplies).

This year’s boardwalk art show coincides with the town-wide Big Fish Project. Bandon’s public art will include the boardwalk art show, an art show about fish at the Southern Coos Hospital, 20-plus hand-painted salmon hung all over town as a walking mural, and a giant salmon windsock hung over the boardwalk with the help of Bandon High School students. Educational panels will help to explain more about our local biome.

Wednesday, April 11, 6:30-8 p.m., Salmon friendly gardening class: What you can do to protect our salmon. 

(Class will be repeated from 10-11:30 a.m. Saturday, April 21.)

Learn the four things a gardener can do to protect our salmon streams for the future. Learn which Native Plants will thrive in your home garden as well as get landscape ideas. You’ll receive a Native plant list along with tips to analyze your soil. Go Native! These gardening classes are in collaboration with Go Native – Bandon High’s Darcy Grahek and with the assistance of OSU Master Gardeners Christine Hall and Everett Johnston. If you want to garden and help the salmon, here’s your chance to learn how.

Grahek is a native Oregonian and life-long gardener. She has worked for the school district since 2006 and currently serves as the Go Native Plant Nursery coordinator. In 2014, Grahek became a certified Master Naturalist through OSU Extension program. Hall and Johnston are both passionate lifelong gardeners and Master Gardeners. They both use Native Plants in their landscapes. Hall is currently on the Bandon Parks and Recreation Commission.

Friday, April 13, 6 p.m., Bandon Library Sprague Room: “A Dawn of a New Era in Ocean Stewardship."

An oceanography film presented by Shoreline Education for Awareness. View this excellent 60-minute film on ocean and fish stewardship which takes us from coast to coast learning from those acting now - for the future. Learn what farmers, fisherman and others are doing to preserve the vision of an abundant earth. About 20 minutes of this fascinating film includes Southern Oregon coastline and conservationists. Uplifting and hopep-filled. Vivist to learn more about SEA.

Saturday, April 21, noon-2 p.m., Earth Day Celebration at Bandon City Park.

Earth Day isn’t just another day! Join us to bring awareness of our environment and share the vision of a healthy Earth. Activities begin and noon and run through 2 p.m. at Bandon City Park. Both the gazebo and bandstand areas will provide activities and information, including: Tree giveaway, shrubs and other native plants; create bookmarks with plants; make seed balls to take home; gardening questions answered by Master Gardeners.

The Earth Day Celebration is sponsored by the Bandon Public Library in collaboration with Darcy Grahek from Go Native-Bandon High School with assistance of OSU Master Gardeners Christine Hall and Everett Johnson and other volunteers.

Wednesday, June 27, 6 p.m. “The History of Salmon,” Bandon Library Sprague Room.

This event is sponsored by the Coquille Watershed Association. Additional information will be announced later.

“This is what The Big Fish Vision offers us – opportunities to recognize the inter-connection of all things and find the ways to honor this truth,” said Michael. “If the library is the ‘heart of a community’ the community is also the heart of the library. We hope you’ll join The Big Fish Vision and look for more classes and events to be offered.”

Other spokes on the Big Fish Project wheel include:

- Ocean Crest Elementary School students, who will be learning more about the local biome from a team of Bandon High School's, "Salmon Boys," volunteers from the Go Native science class Following those lessons, K-4 students will create a river mural with Affatati for their school that will eventually travel to this summer's Southern Coos Hospital's summer art show with the theme, “Fishes and Other Swimmers-Monsters to Minnows.”

- Artwork inspired by science offered by local master naturalists and history of the local area will be the focus of Bandon's 5-8 graders as they create paintings for the 2018 Port of Bandon's Boardwalk Art Show, “Salmon Dreams, Marshes & Streams.” This year along with the 200 panels painted by local artists and students for our boardwalk show, 20-plus hand-painted, salmon cut-outs will decorate Bandon with a "walking mural." Students from Strider Kachelein’s BHS technology class will create posters and a "passport" giving a list of where all the painted salmon have swam to, inviting people to explore Bandon's merchants and discover some of the town’s more hidden treasures.

- BHS students will help Affatati create a huge salmon windsock to fly over the boardwalk giving visual direction towards what has been called, “The coast's most accessible public art show." Student-created information panels will be hung throughout town.

- Bandon's Historical Society Museum plans to create a summer exhibit that will give the historical perspective as well.

This project is being made possible by the support of the Bandon Professional Center, The Coquille Tribe, Coos County Cultural Coalition, community and student volunteer partners, and future funders.

Anyone who wishes to collaborate or volunteer for any of the activities can contact Sara Michael at the Bandon Public Libray, 541-347-3221, or Vicki Affatati at or 541-252-1626.

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