Portland, OR. More than 100 guests turned out to dance the Charleston, and toast twenty years of Cast Iron Studios at its roaring twenties gala. The February 8th anniversary gala at Classic Foods in Northeast Portland was also a benefit for Stone Soup, which is a non-profit foodservice training enterprise providing life skills and hands-on culinary expertise to people who are at risk of homelessness. 

Cast Iron Studios has found actors for projects including Timmy FailureWild, and Twilight, and over 300 hours of episodic television, including TrinketsAmerican VandalPretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists, and Grimm. At the event, Josh Fuhrer, Cast Iron Studios’ Founder Lana Veenker and Brian Van Flandern posed for a photo. (Photo Credit, Flo Barth)

Cholee Thompson, Taylor Harris and Jennifer Arndt. Photo credit: Deneb Catalan

Jordi Barnes and Ted Douglass. Photo credit: Deneb Catalan

Ronit and Craig Gerard of Stone Soup. Photo credit: Deneb Catalan

Katie O’Grady. Photo Credit: Flo Barth

“It was heartwarming to be surrounded by so many friends, family and longtime colleagues, many of whom flew in from distant locations to attend,” said Cast Iron Studios’ Founder Lana Veenker. “We have such a wonderful community, and we know we wouldn’t be where we are without them.”

Sammuel Murry-Hawkins and the Ne Plus Ultra Jass Orchestra. Photo Credit: Flo Barth

Brian Van Flandern and Sean Dodder mix up “The Last Word”. Photo Credit: Flo Barth

Elegant hors d’oeuvres, cheese and charcuterie platters were prepared by the staff and students of Stone Soup, with the guidance of Chef Scott Dolich, multiple James Beard Award Nominee and former owner of Park Kitchen and The Bent Brick. A silent auction was held, with packages including everything from Blazers tickets, spa and restaurant gift cards, acting classes and hotel stays, to a private screening room at Living Room Theaters, a coffee date with Grimm star Sasha Roiz, and audition coaching with Grimm star Claire Coffee. In total, the event raised close to $10,000 for Stone Soup.

Staff and students of Stone Soup commandeered the kitchen at Classic Foods to dish out elegant hors d’oeuvres and platters. Photo credit: Lana Veenker

Dolich sourced the ingredients directly from Classic Foods, a locally-owned handmade pasta factory and purveyor of artisan specialty products located in Portland’s Dekum district.

Auction donors included the Ace Hotel, Acting for Kids & Teens, Artists Repertory Theatre, Aviation Gin, Broder Nord, Claire Coffee, Classic Foods, Gado Gado Restaurant, Hi-Lo Hotel, Hotel Eastlund, Hoxton Hotel, Kimpton Hotels, Kristen Arnett Celebrity Make-Up Artist, Levy Moroshan Photography, Living Room Theatres, My Path Wellness, Portland Center Stage at the Armory, Portland Film Festival, Portland Trail Blazers, Rejuvenation Day Spa, Sasha Roiz, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, Stone Soup and The Studio NW.

Check out more photos below, and at the following link, courtesy of our generous photographers, Flo Barth of Flo Barth Photography and Deneb Catalan of NebCat Photography.

From Cast Iron Studios: 

As the Northwest’s leading casting company, we’ve been forging relationships with actors, directors, and producers for two decades.

We’re proud that we’ve helped develop the impressive pool of talent in the Northwest, which now rivals those in much bigger markets. What can we say? We’ve got an eye for actors who can deliver, and more than 20 years of experience creatively casting every kind of role. Consider us the foundation for solid performances, every time.

We’re here because we love living and working in the Northwest, but that doesn’t mean we operate in a bubble. We’ve traveled the world and chose Portland as our home. Our relationships have allowed us to branch out locally, nationally and internationally. Need a casting director in Paris? A nationwide search for a specific role? A keen eye at the Berlin Film Festival? We’ve got you covered.

We set the bar high, and deliver bang for your buck. Let our expertise alleviate your worries, save you money, and get you the best cast for your project.

From Stone Soup:

After finishing our 12-week program, all graduates enter the job placement network, an informal cooperative of Portland area caterers and restaurants. This network ensures our program participants will have ample opportunities for job interviews and job placements. Our staff continues to be in touch with all the graduates, bringing them back to speak with current classes. This alumni network then ensures participants all have active mentors to help them through any challenges. 

We also network with local restaurant groups and catering operations to identify employment opportunities with the potential for more sustainable employment than corporate foodservice might initially offer.