Ron Artist II will bring his band, “The Truth,” along — all the way from Hawaii — for an in-person show at Vashon Center for the Arts. Ron’s brother Stevon (right) is the drummer in his band (Courtesy Photo).

Ron Artist II will bring his band, “The Truth,” along — all the way from Hawaii — for an in-person show at Vashon Center for the Arts. Ron’s brother Stevon (right) is the drummer in his band (Courtesy Photo).

Upcoming at VCA: Big Cats and Cool Music

Mark Elbroch talks mountain lions, and Ron Artis II will play an in-person concert with his band.

Upcoming events at VCA include a Zoom nature talk with a mountain line expert Mark Elbroch, and a concert with Ron Artis II and his band which is being offered both as an in-person event and a live-streamed show to watch at home.

Talks on the Rock: Olympic Cougar Project

Mark Elbroch, whose life work revolves around mountain lions, will give a talk at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 4, on Zoom. Registration is required for the event, at vashoncenterforthearts.org, and there is a $10 suggested donation.

Elbroch is a writer, mountain biologist and the director of Panthera’s Puma (Cougar) Program, for which he designs and implements cougar conservation research in North and South America. He has contributed to mountain lion research in Idaho, California, Colorado, Wyoming, Washington, Mexico and Chile.

His work with mountain lions has been covered by National Geographic, the BBC, National Public Radio, The New York Times, Scientific American, and The Washington Post. Among other honors, he is twice a National Geographic Explorer, a 2011 Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation Fellow (for environmental leadership), and the 2017 recipient of the Craighead Conservation Award for “creating positive and lasting conservation outcomes.”

A cougar portrait by Mark Elbroch, a well-known expert on mountain lions (Mark Elbroch Photo).

A cougar portrait by Mark Elbroch, a well-known expert on mountain lions (Mark Elbroch Photo).

Elbroch has also authored or co-authored 10 books on natural history, including two award-winning books on wildlife tracking and the Peterson Reference Guide to the Behavior of North American Mammals. His most recent book is “The Cougar Conundrum: Sharing the World with a Successful Predator,” published by Island Press. Find out more about his work at markelbroch.com.

The Talks on the Rock Wild Wonder series is part of a “Year of Wild Wonder” celebrating island natural history. VCA shares a portion of donations with Vashon Nature Center to support the opening of the Wild Wonder natural history exhibit at Vashon Heritage Museum in 2021 and a year of talks, activities and workshops about nature and our place in it.

Registration is required for Elbroch’s talk, and donations of $10 or more will support this and future talks.

Debra Heesch and VCA Present Ron Artis II

Ron Artis II, a Hawaain musician inspired by deep Delta blues, gospel, northern Soul and R&B, will play an in-person concert with his band at 7 p.m. Friday, April 16, at VCA’s Kay White Hall. The show, which will have limited in-person capacity, will also be live-streamed at vashoncenterforthearts.org and VCA’s Facebook page.

Artis moved to Oahu with his family when he was four years old. He was one of eleven total children, all of whom grew up immersed in a creative and religious household led by his musically gifted parents.

While developing his talents as a multi-instrumentalist playing in the Artis Family Band, Ron quickly took to piano and guitar as his main modes of expression. As he got older and played more around Oahu, Ron was noticed by such artists as Mick Fleetwood, Jack Johnson, Jake Shimabukuro, and came to play with them all, eventually. Those opportunities led to more exposure to artists from the mainland who, while they were touring the islands, took notice of Ron and offered more chances to collaborate. These included Booker T Jones, Eric Krasno (Soulive, Lettuce) and G Love.

Their support, Ron said, aligned with his vision for his music.

“To me, music is about giving,” he said. “When I’m performing, I let go of everything. I look out into an audience and feel: ‘What do they need right now?’ We as artists have been given a gift and gifts are meant to be shared.”

Ron’s debut full-length album “Soul Street” dropped in early April 2020 and has garnered critical praise.

Tickets to Ron’s show at VCA are $20 in advance for the in-person show or a $10 suggested donation for the live-stream. Tickets to the in-person show must be purchased 48 hours in advance, according to VCA’s strict patron protocol for live shows. Find out more at vashoncenterforthearts.org.


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