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Lifetime Achievement Award

Paul E. Christensen

The Clark County Arts Commission is excited to award the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award to Paul E. Christensen—and a lifetime of achievement in many, many arenas certainly defines this remarkable gentleman. Pilot, adventurer, singer, historian, veteran, priest, real estate magnate, and philanthropist, Paul has blessed Clark County for many decades with his contagious joy, and his boundless passion and generosity for the arts.



“Paul, who has never been a “think INSIDE the box person,” has always been a creative visionary—usually with a touch of glee.”

—Lee Rafferty, City of Vancouver Culture, Art and Heritage Commissioner


Born in South Dakota, Paul moved to Vancouver at the age of nine after the loss of his father, entered the local school system, and quickly distinguished himself as an enthusiastic young musician and singer. These early loves would follow him all his life, and Clark County would end up the beneficiary of his musical passion and his seemingly endless contributions to so many large and small arts and music organizations in SouthWest Washington.


 “If an opportunity arises to bring the arts into the world of our kids and families, Paul helps us make it a reality.”

- Jill Campbell, Hough Foundation

His success at Real Estate with his company, Realvest, enabled him to then make substantial investments of time and treasure to the Vancouver Symphony, The Hough Foundation, The SW Center for the Arts, The Historic Trust and many other nonprofit organizations.


“Paul, thank you for wholeheartedly supporting Opera Quest in every possible way….you are set up for success  if you have

Paul Christensen in your corner.”

—Kathryn Hobbie, Opera Quest founding board member


One of Paul’s dreams over the past 20 years has been the establishment of a destination-quality Center for the Arts in collaboration with The SW Center for the Arts. While still unrealized, this dream remains vividly alive, and something tells us that Paul has this—and a few more “achievements”—left to add to his already impressive list of accomplishments, all benefiting the common good of Clark County.

“Over the past 20 years, we have worked to create and build the arts gathering and performance facility that Southwest Washington deserves, and our great work began with only one person- Paul Christensen.”

—Board and Exec Staff, Center for the Arts of Southwest Washington


Please come and celebrate with us the life of a good and generous man. Paul will be honored at the Clark County Council Meeting on Tuesday, February 21st, 2023 at The Clark County Public Service Center, Sixth Floor. The community is invited to show your support for Paul.


 “Paul is the epitome of the kind of person the lifetime achievement award should go to. We all need to thank him and give him a round of applause.”

— Karen Madsen, Chair,  Artstra

Written by Susan Knilans for ArtsBrief

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