As many of you know, Art on the Boulevard is a non-profit gallery, part of Friends of the Arts here in Clark County. Yesterday I attended a luncheon (along with about 700 other people) for the Southwest Washington YWCA Women of Achievement and Leslie was one of the women being inducted into this years class of honorees. I wanted to take the time to publicly congratulate and thank Leslie for all that she has done for not only myself, but for all in the arts community and the community in general. Every once in awhile you meet a person who inspires you to want to do more, give more and be a better person. Leslie is that person. She is never one to want the limelight or praise for all that she does, but is someone who greatly deserves it. Along with being so incredible for all that she has given to the community, Leslie is also one of those people who will light up a room with her infectious laughter and personality. Anyone who has ever met her knows she is a joy to be around. I feel incredibly grateful that I have got to know Leslie these past few years and I am proud to call her both a mentor and a friend. Thank you Leslie, to put it quite simply: YOU ROCK!!!
From the program:
Leslie Durst refers to herself as a "career volunteer" and if that's the case, this Women of Achievement is having a stellar career.
An East Coast native, Leslie move to Vancouver in 1992. "I had the great privilege of growing up with arts as part of my life" said Leslie. Her passion for arts led to Leslie's involvement in and support of the Vancouver School of Arts and Academics. She has also sponsored three classes in the "I Have a Dream program of Southwest Washington.
Leslie's support of the arts extends to the world of practicing artists. Leslie was one of the founders of the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA). She currently serves as president of Vancouver's Friends of the Arts, and is a member of PICA's leadership council and the Southwest Washington Center for the Arts board of trustees.
"My parents instilled in me the importance of giving back to the community" she said. "It is easy to write a check - but I am happiest when I can also be involved in the work of the organization...the rewards are just astronomical".