Gideon F. For-mukwai presents dramatic one-man show “Dare to Tell”

Dare to Tell: Crossing the Columbia with York
Saturday, January 13, 2018 | 7:00pm
Admission: $10
Hoffman Center for the Arts in Manzanita

“Dare to Tell: Crossing the Columbia with York,” is a dramatic one-man show, starring Gideon F. For-mukwai as York of the Lewis and Clark Expedition 1804 -1806. York was Captain Clark ‘s black slave. His status notwithstanding, the records show he contributed immensely to the success of the expedition, as an indispensable bridge-builder.

Gideon takes the audience on a panoramic journey from Camp Dubois in Missouri to Fort Clatsop in Astoria, Oregon. In the course of the journey, York experiences 850 days of freedom. Unlike other slaves of that era, he was allowed to carry a rifle, vote alongside the soldiers, and given express permission to hunt and trade with the Indians.

 But for the footnotes in the journals of his fellow explorers, York ‘s story would have been lost. York s story is an open invitation to all 

of us to explore and to tell the stories of today ‘s unsung heroes in communities, corporations and institutions. Who is the York of your community? Dare to tell the story of your own unsung heroes and keep their legacy alive.

After two years of researching and piecing together York ‘s untold story, Gideon did test performances in Portland, Oregon and St Louis, Missouri. Prior to attempting this project, Gideon spent over 15 years honing the craft of business storytelling in Asia, Europe, Africa and America.

He combines a natural flair for telling stories with dramatic and poetic characters that blend entertaining serio-comedic messages with topical issues that engage and educate across cultures. With speaking awards from Nevada, California and Singapore, Gideon’s public speaking and storytelling have taken him to countries such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Germany, Iraq, Canada and United Arab Emirates.

Gideon is a bestselling author of The Science of Story Selling. Growing up in Africa, he was very mischievous and often got himself into deep trouble with all the villagers. Everyone in his village predicted that he ‘d end up in jail. He ended in Portland, Oregon. Not bad for a kid with a weird name and goofy accent from Africa.

The event will be held at Hoffman Center for the Arts; 594 Laneda Avenue, Manzanita, OR, at 7pm on Saturday, January 13, 2018.  Admission fee is  $10.

This is a program of the Hoffman Center of the Arts and will be held at the Hoffman Center (across from Manzanita Library at 594 Laneda Ave). For more information contact Vera Wildauer at


Ingrid Thoft to Read from Duplicity


Ingrid Thoft will read from her latest book, Duplicity
Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017 | 7:00 pm
Doors open 6:30 pm
Hoffman Center for the Arts in Manzanita
Admission: $7

Duplicity is the fourth in Thoft’s series with Boston-based P.I. Fina Ludlow.

Thoft’s first book Loyalty sold to rave reviews. Her second in the series Brutality was awarded the Shamus Award for best P.I. novel by the Private Eye Writers of America. The Fina Ludlow books are now “in development” for a TV series on ABC. The Boston-based investigator has been compared to V.I. Warshawski, and Kinsey Milhone, even Lisbeth Salander.

“Thoft is an entertaining storyteller, and her quirky
protagonist’s the equal of any male gumshoe.”

Thoft was born in Boston and is a graduate of Wellesley College. Although always wanting to be an author, her first real-life job was at a radio station in coastal Massachusetts, ripping wires and running the board for a Sunday talk show. She’s worked in human resources at Harvard, and did a stint with an interactive software company.

She wrote two novels about an amateur sleuth that did not sell. When she decided an amateur sleuth character led to limitations, she decided to focus on a professional Private Investigator instead. In order to create a believable P.I. character, she enrolled in the Private Investigation certificate program at the University of Washington.  Thoft lives in Seattle with her husband.

Following Thoft’s reading and Q&A in the evening, we’ll have our popular Open Mic where up to nine local or visiting writers will read 5 minutes of their original work. The suggested (not required) theme for the evening’s Open Mic is “Mystery and Murder.”

Thoft will teach a workshop titled “Mastering Murder” 
Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017 | 10 am – 12:30 pm
Hoffman Center for the Arts in Manzanita
Tuition is $40

Want to demystify the process of writing a mystery?  We’ll examine the guts of the modern mystery and help you make progress on your idea or manuscript.  How do you craft a suspenseful plot?  Create memorable characters?  Make it realistic?  Write from the viewpoint of an assassin? And knock your readers dead?  Join Ingrid and find out!

Register using the Add to Cart button below.

Liz Cole to Read at the Hoffman

Liz Cole to Read
Wednesday,  October 25 | 7:00pm
Hoffman Center
Admission: $10

“Bedside Manner Reading:
A Doctor’s Journey of Literary Discovery.”

Local award-winning actor Liz Cole returns to the Hoffman Center for the Arts stage Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. to present “Bedside Manner Reading: A Doctor’s Journey of Literary Discovery.”

The presentation will be based on the work of early 20th-century physician Sir William Osler, known as “The Father of Modern Medicine.”

Osler, a Canadian physician, was one of the founders of Johns Hopkins Medical School, and is remembered for his medical humanism. He was an avid reader who brought literature directly into his practice of medicine.

Cole will share some of those readings and reflect on the ways in which medicine and literature illuminate each other.

The Hoffman Center has presented Liz Cole’s Story Time for Grown Ups five times before to enthusiastic audiences.

Cole has had a long acting career on the professional stage, and has also made TV guest-star appearances on Seinfeld, ER, Star Trek, The Practice, Judging Amy, Las Vegas, and many others.

She originated the leading role in Margaret Edson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Wit in 1995, for which she received the L.A. Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Outstanding Performance.

Admission to the Oct. 25 reading is a suggested donation of $10, and all proceeds will go to support Hoffman Center programs. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m., and refreshments will be served.


Diana Abu-Jaber will read from her latest book ~ Life Without a Recipe 

Diana Abu-Jaber reading: Life Without a Recipe
Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017 | 7pm | Doors open at 6:30
Admission for the evening reading is $7
Hoffman Center for the Arts in Manzanita | 594 Laneda Avenue

Abu-Jaber’s new culinary memoir, Life Without A Recipe, has been described as “a book of love, death, and cake.” Ruth Reichl calls it “bold and luscious” and “indispensable to anyone trying to forge their own truer path.”

Abu-Jaber was born in Syracuse, New York to an American mother and a Jordanian father. Her family moved to Jordan a few times throughout her childhood, and elements of both her American and Jordanian experiences, as well as cross-cultural issues, especially culinary reflections, appear in her work.

Her novels and a previous memoir have won numerous awards, including the Arab-American National Book Award, the PEN Center Award for Literary fiction, the American Book Award, the Northwest Booksellers’ Award and the Oregon Book award for Literary Fiction. Her books have been included in many “top books of the year” lists by National Public Radio, the LA Times, the Washington Post, the Oregonian and others.

Diana teaches writing and literature at Portland State University and divides her time between South Florida and Portland, Oregon.

Sweet and Salty: Writing the Food Memoir
Abu-Jaber will teach a writing workshop
Saturday, Oct. 21 | 10-12:30
Tuition is $40

Register using the “Add to Cart” button below.

Tell me what you eat, said Brillat-Savarin, and I shall tell you what you are. Lives are filled with stories and plots but none is juicier than the one told with food. Culinary memoirs are wildly popular, taking readers beyond memory into the senses—especially the deep pleasures of the appetite.  Food sharpens the focus, introduces universal themes, and endows writing with imaginative, emotional, and physical layers of complexity.

This workshop will look at ways to write life stories by peering through the culinary lens.

There will be writing prompts, exercises, discussions, and food. We’ll be tasting and thinking and comparing notes, considering all the ways that our connections to eating give rise to remembering and inspiration. Come and see what you cook up. Bring your curiosity and your appetite, a sense of play and a sense of humor.

Following Abu-Jaber’s reading and Q&A in the evening, we’ll have our popular Open Mic where up to nine local or visiting writers will read 5 minutes of their original work. The suggested (not required) theme for the evening’s Open Mic is “Food Memories.“

The Manzanita Writers’ Series is a program of the Hoffman Center for the Arts and will be held at the Hoffman Center (across from Manzanita Library at 594 Laneda Avenue.) For more information contact Kathie Hightower,

A Doctor’s Journey of Literary Discovery

A Doctor’s Journey of Literary Discovery
With Liz Cole

Fundraiser for Hoffman Center for the Arts
Wednesday, October 25 | 7pm
Hoffman Cenrer for the Arts | 594 Laneda Avenue, Manzanita, OR
Admission $10

Liz shares glorious readings from the writings of the early 20th-century physician Sir William Osler  ~
“The Father of Modern Medicine”
~ and reflects on the ways in which medicine and literature illuminate each other.



Pauls Toutonghi Will Read From His Book “Dog Gone”

Dog Gone: A Lost Pet’s Extraordinary Journey and the Family Who Brought Him Home
Saturday, September 16, 2017 | 7pm
Hoffman Center for the Arts | Manzanita

Toutonghi’s reading kicks off a weekend for dog-lovers in Manzanita, preceding the all-day Sunday events for the 9th annual Muttzanita Festival (

On October 10, 1998, Fielding Marshall is hiking on the Appalachian Trail. His beloved dog—a six-year-old golden retriever mix named Gonker—bolts into the woods. Just like that, he’s vanished. And Gonker has Addison’s disease. If he’s not found in twenty-three days, he will die. “Dog Gone” is the story of the Marshall family and their epic hunt to track down Gonker.

“Toutonghi’s narrative is well-written and fast-paced. . . . Like a good novel, “Dog Gone” is full of twists that keep the reader engaged until the very end. . . . Don’t be surprised if, at the finish of “Dog Gone,” you find yourself wanting to rush to an animal rescue shelter. . . . Dog lovers of the world can unite behind this book.” —The Washington Post

“Lovely. . . . He’ll make you laugh…and he’ll evoke your tears. . . . It’s a story about the triumph of hope over despair. And a story of persistence, courage, and determination. And in its most profound and universal sense, a love story.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch 

“A moving nail-biter.” —Good Housekeeping

Author of four books, Toutonghi has been awarded a Pushcart Prize, and has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times, Virginia Quarterly Review, Granta, Tin House, and numerous other periodicals. After receiving his PhD in English Literature from Cornell University, Toutonghi moved to Portland, Oregon where he teaches at Lewis & Clark College.

On Saturday, from 1-3:30 pm, Toutonghi will teach a workshop “Writing with Balance.” Whether in fiction or nonfiction/memoir, how do you share personal, painful stories and still negotiate active relationships with the people involved?

How do you decide what to tell — and what not to tell? What are some of the best practices for determining the best way to use a difficult or personally challenging piece of your story?

The workshop will be held at the Hoffman Center for the Arts and tuition is $40. Register online by clicking on the Add to Cart button below.

Following Toutonghi’s reading and Q&A in the evening, we’ll have our popular Open Mic where up to nine local or visiting writers will read 5 minutes of their original work. The suggested (not required) theme for the evening’s Open Mic is “Dog Stories.“

Admission for the evening reading is $7
Doors open at 6:30

The Manzanita Writers’ Series is a program of the Hoffman Center for the Arts. For more information contact Kathie Hightower,

Carolyn Wood, author of Tough Girl, will discuss Aging Adventures

Carolyn Wood, author of Tough Girl:
An Olympian’s Journey will discuss Aging Adventures: Overcoming Obstacles
Tuesday, August 8 | 3 to 5pm
Hoffman Center for the Arts in Manzanita
Admittance fee is $5 


Carolyn will read from her book Tough Girl and lead a discussion about aging adventures, going for new (or old) dreams and creating a practice that supports those dreams.

Carolyn will share thoughts about aging, readings from her journals along the Camino related to aging, “coming to terms with being alone and being frightened of being alone.” She’ll raise ideas of the value of “practice,” what we choose to practice we get good at. What are you choosing?

Carolyn will share a short writing prompt for participants to write down their own dreams of activities/trips they still want to pursue.

Carolyn Wood is living a life worth reading about.  An Olympic swimming champion at age 14 and a slowly emerging gay person in an earlier, less understanding era, she has been resolutely the “Tough Girl” of her book title.  Beautifully written, the book artfully weaves her life story around the tale of her long walk on the Camino de Santiago, an effort to understand and accept the end of a decades-long marriage.   This memoir could easily become a favorite of  American literature teachers and their students.    —George Vogt, Retired Executive Director, Oregon Historical Society

A life long Oregonian, Carolyn grew up in southwest Portland and attended Beaverton High School.  In the summer of her freshman year she competed and won a gold medal in swimming at the 1960 summer Olympics in Rome.  She raced nationally and internationally for three more years before attending the University of Oregon.

After graduation in 1967, Carolyn began a thirty-five year career teaching high school English, first at her alma mater, then at Lake Oswego, Glencoe and Wilson high schools.  During that time she earned a Masters of Social Work and an MS Education from Portland State University.  A fellow of the Oregon Writing Project, Carolyn wrote with her students over the years, attended writing workshops and retreats, published a poem here and an essay there and promised herself that someday she’d “pull those writings together and tell her story.”  In 2010 she began to write TOUGH GIRL: An Olympian’s Journey, her first book.

Even though Carolyn remains deeply rooted in Oregon, life’s journeys have taken her far:  working as governess for the Robert Kennedy family the year after the senator’s murder, backpacking throughout the Oregon and Washington Cascades, exploring Europe, Africa, India and Asia, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, trekking in the Himalayas and Alps, walking a thousand miles across France and Spain on the Camino de Santiago.  Volunteer work after retirement with Habitat for Humanity International, Medical Teams Northwest (Mexico), Wilderness Volunteers, and Coffee Creek Corrections have furthered her education.  These days her explorations include yoga and meditation as well as gardening and bee keeping.

The Art of Aging/of Dying Series is a program of the Hoffman Center of the Arts and will be held at the Hoffman Center (across from Manzanita Library at 594 Laneda Ave). For more information Kathie Hightower at

If you’d like to be on an email list for the Art of Aging and Art of Dying announcements, email


Authors and Participants Read Their Work on Saturday, June 3rd

Jennie Shortridge

Jennie Shortridge will read from Love Water Memory, and Megan Kruse will read from Call Me Home at 7pm at the Hoffman Center for the Arts in Manzanita on Saturday, June 3, 2017

As part of the first Manzanita Writers’ Retreat this weekend, the two author instructors will read from their latest books, and retreat participants will read at Open Mic. The event is open to the public at 7pm at the Hoffman Center for the Arts on Saturday June 3.

Jennie Shortridge is the author of five novels, including Love Water Memory and When She Flew, and numerous magazine articles and essays. Her novels have been translated into many languages, optioned for film and television, and selected as American Booksellers Association’s Indie Next picks, Target Bookmarked picks, and Library Journal’s Editors’ Picks.

Megan Kruse

Megan Kruse studied creative writing at Oberlin College and earned her MFA at the University of Montana. Her work has appeared widely in journals and anthologies, and her debut novel, Call Me Home was released from Hawthorne Books, with an introduction by Elizabeth Gilbert. She teaches fiction at Eastern Oregon University’s Low-Residency MFA program, Hugo House, and Gotham Writers Workshop. She was the recipient of a 2016 Pacific Northwest Book Award, and one of the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 for 2015.

Following the author readings and Q&A in the evening, the Open Mic will feature participants from the weekend writers retreat and/or from a recent month-long HoffOnline Writing Course. 

Admission for the evening reading is $7.

The Manzanita Writers’ Series is a program of the Hoffman Center for the Arts and will be held at the Hoffman Center (across from Manzanita Library at 594 Laneda Avenue.) For further information contact Kathie Hightower,

Jonathan White Shares His Book Tides

Jonathan White will read from his book Tides:
The Science and Spirit of the Ocean 

Hoffman Center for the Arts
Saturday, May 20, 2017 | 7pm

After nearly losing his 65’ wooden schooner in a large Alaskan tide, writer, sailor, surfer and marine conservationist Jonathan White vowed to understand the tide.  He knew the moon had something to do with it, but what exactly?  He thought he’d learn enough from a book or two, but the subject turned out to be far more complex, fascinating and poetic than he imagined.  Two books turned into three hundred — and ten years of research criss-crossing the seven seas to view the largest, fastest, scariest, and most amazing tides in the world.

His book mixes science, history, ocean lore and literary travel writing. He fills you in on various cultures’ ancient myths about the tides and scientists’ gradual discovery of what triggers tides’ rise and fall. He touches on rising sea levels triggered by climate change, the latest efforts to tap tidal energy for our electrical power needs, and more.

White has written for the Christian Science MonitorSierraThe SunSurfer’s JournalOrion, and other publications.  He holds an MFA in creative nonfiction, and lives with his wife and son on a small island in Washington State. He has served on numerous conservation boards  and committees, including the San Juan Preservation Trust, the San Juan County Marine Resources Committee, and the Northwest Straits Marine Conservation Initiative.

As founder and former director of the Resource Institute, a nonprofit educational organization based in Seattle, Washington, he spent eleven years building a seminar program aboard the schooner Crusader in the Pacific Northwest. Resource Institute sponsored weeklong seminars aboard the sixty-five-foot schooner, with subjects ranging from navigation, anthropology, and whale research to poetry, writing, music, and photography. James Hillman, Lynn Margulis, Gary Snyder, Robert Bly, Art Wolfe, and William Stafford were among the many who taught aboard Crusader.  Jonathan’s first book, Talking on the Water, grew out of these experiences.

                        “When I first received this book for a review I thought I would learn some neat facts for impressing people on trivia night. I was ready to learn, but I wasn’t ready to feel. Tides is poetry, prose, and practical science intertwined with incredible skill.” – BlogCritic

“White makes gnarly subtleties lucid, and has a sense of humor when confronted
with the technicalities of his subject.” – Michael Upchurch,the Oregonian

During the day Saturday, from 1-3, White will teach a workshop on Research and Writing: A Balance. How much research is too much?  Too little?   Discussion topics include how to conduct interviews, travel, note-taking, recordings, the role of patience and luck, and how to organize and manage research materials while writing. This will be useful whether you write fiction, nonfiction, memoir.

The workshop will be held at the Hoffman Center for the Arts and tuition is $40. Register using the Add to Cart button below.

Following White’s reading and Q&A in the evening, we’ll have our popular Open Mic where up to nine local or visiting writers will read 5 minutes of their original work. The suggested (not required) theme for the evening’s Open Mic is “Not Your Usual Ocean Story.“

NOTE: Admission for the evening reading is $7. This event may well sell out, so come early. Doors open at 6:30.

The Manzanita Writers’ Series is a program of the Hoffman Center for the Arts. For more information contact Kathie Hightower ~

Help Us Bring the Arts to Life: Donate Today!

More than ever, the arts play an important role in our community!

“I often tell my friends and former colleagues—from all over the country—that one of the best reasons to visit or live in Manzanita and the surrounding villages, is the fact that there’s a community art center here that is integral to the very spirit of the North OR Coast. The Hoffman Center is an ideal place to explore one’s creativity and make deep connections with others.”
~ Kathryn Stock, Nike Retiree & Manzanita resident

All of us at the Hoffman Center for the Arts are committed to providing an inspiring and welcoming place to explore, create, and connect with others.  Along with the many dedicated volunteers, we need your help to make that happen. 

More Programming than Ever
This year we’ve grown our programs, adding more classes and opportunities for people to participate in the arts. We are delighted to reach locals who enjoy frequent working sessions in the Clay Studio, as well visitors who come to the area for a writing or art retreat as a creative respite from their busy lives. Here are some notable accomplishments this year:

·     Added Clay Studio classes in techniques for beginners and experts; increasing the number of visitors along with the volume of visits per person and collaborative work on projects such as the totem installation in the Hoffman Garden

·     Increased visual arts classes in sketching and drawing, watercolor, encaustic, and more

·     Added more workshops as part of the Manzanita Writers’ Series and increased the size of our North Coast Squid literary journal

·     Introduced a new community-driven discussion series:  The Art of Aging & The Art of Dying

·     Expanded our art shows—including a new Quilt & Fiber Arts Show and the Kathleen Ryan Art Retrospective Exhibit—and began offering Open Gallery hours on Fridays

Continuing the Momentum:  2017 & Beyond
With your help
, we’ll continue to develop valuable programming that meets the interests of our community. We’ll also continue to strengthen the organization by adding talent to our board and operating committees, further improving processes, and managing our finances with a goal to accelerate paying down our mortgage.

To be successful going forward, we need you to be a part of this important work.. Whether it’s a yearly membership of $25 or more, a sustaining donation of $50 or more per month or a one-time donation, every contribution ensures our continued high-quality programming and gets us closer to our long-term goals.

Please contact us at or 503-368-3846 if you have any questions or would like to discuss your donation with a member of our Board.