Feral Cat Coalition Holds Showcase of Kitty-Friendly Outdoor Play Enclosures

Feral Cat Coalition Holds Showcase of Kitty-Friendly Outdoor Play Enclosures

Portland, OR. The Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon (FCCO) is holding its ninth-annual “Catio” Tour in September. “Catio” is a portmanteau of “cat” and “patio,” which describes outdoor enclosures for pet cats to climb and play in safely, without risk of the animal escaping. To adjust to pandemic restrictions, FCCO has converted the tour to include both in-person observation and virtual self-guided tours of this year’s selections around the Portland metro area.

Catios come in all shapes and sizes, often containing ramps to climb, perches to rest on, and toys to play with. Following a year when many spent extensive time at home working on DIY projects, the trend of creating safe outdoor spaces for cat recreation has increased in popularity.

After many submissions, the nonprofit has selected all Portland-based catios to showcase. Registration for the event is now open here, for all interested in watching cats explore innovative constructions designed for their leisure. The 2021 Catio Tour event will take place on September 11th, 2021. The in-person self-guided tour is $10 and virtual tour access is $15.

The Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon has already announced that the event will be happening in 2022, and invites all catio creators to prepare for application. The FCCO has posted additional information online detailing what catios are and can be, as well as a list of resources for Portland residents interested in having their own catio. The list includes Portland-area construction businesses that design and build catios, as well as information and instructions for those who wish to build their catios independently, from scratch.

The 2021 Catio Tour event comes as part of a partnership with Portland Audobon society, as part of their Cats Safe At Home campaign, which aims to “reduce the number of cats living outdoors in the Portland metropolitan area in a humane and environmentally responsible manner.” Catios can assist with this initiative by providing outdoor time to pet cats, while ensuring safety from outdoor hazards, protecting wildlife from cat predation, and preventing cats from running away from their owners.

From The Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon:

The Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon is a Portland-based nonprofit that offers spay and neuter services to Oregon and SW Washington. Their services are free for feral, stray, and barn cats, but unfortunately due to the pandemic, The FCCO is unable to offer cheap services to pet cats as they usually would. In addition to spay/neuter services, the organization also coordinates a “kitten caboose” program which has successfully relocated over 1,300 feral kittens into adopted homes. You can support the Feral Cat Coalition in its mission of housing cats, and keeping them safely off the streets on its website.


Portland Center Stage Gets Back Into the Swing of Things

Portland Center Stage Gets Back Into the Swing of Things

Portland, OR. After a pandemic-induced shift to virtual and filmed performances, Portland Center Stage (PCS) aims for a major comeback to live theater with the new 2021-2022 season and JAW New Play Festival. One of the city’s most prominent theater groups, Portland Center Stage (PCS) has officially announced its first live theater events since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo credit, Joan Marcus) With the state reopening following a full lift on state pandemic restrictions by Gov. Kate Brown on June 30th, the doors to the historic theater, The Armory, will finally reopen to the public for the 2021 JAW New Play Festival. The festival is free to attend and takes place from July 23-25th, with both in-person and virtual attendance options being offered.

The 2021-2022 season is a seven-show lineup that will kick off in October. It features four plays that had been previously scheduled, including the return of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, which was canceled a week after it opened because of the pandemic, along with the celebrated production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch and August Wilson’s iconic story of freedom, justice, and salvation, Gem of the Ocean.

Three newly announced titles will provide audiences with the opportunity to revel together including Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Freestyle Love Supreme and Rent.

This year’s JAW features Inda Craig-Galván’s A Hit Dog Will Holler, Ty Defoe’s Trans World, Rinne Groff’s The Red Beads (based on The Singer of His Sorrows by Osip Dymov), and Kate Hamill’s Ms. Holmes & Ms. Watson – Apt. 2B. Five local teen playwrights have also been commissioned to develop short scripts that will be read as part of the festival: Natalia Bermudez, Moss Johnson, Aaron Leonard-Graham, Becca McCormick, and Nevaeh Warren.

A 2016 JAW Workshop

Directors say PCS 2021-2022 season is designed to lift and nourish spirits with energetic, imaginative worlds on stage. “This powerhouse lineup of plays and musicals resonates deeply for me as we create a space on stage to examine resilience within the framework of bright theatricality, sharp humor, and full-hearted connection,” Artistic Director Marissa Wolf said.

Freestyle Love Supreme
Anthony Veneziale, Aneesa Folds, Arthur Lewis, James Monroe Iglehart, and Chris Sullivan in “Freestyle Love Supreme” at The Booth Theatre. Photo by Joan Marcus.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Select cast members in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time from Portland Center Stage’s 2020 production.
Photo by Owen Carey/Courtesy of Portland Center Stage at The Armory

Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Maria Del Castillo, Jasmine Linée Wood, Nsayi Matingou, Delphon “DJ” Curtis Jr. and Ithica Tell in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” from Portland Center Stage’s 2019-2020 season.
Photo by Owen Carey/Courtesy of Portland Center Stage at The Armory

From PCS:

TICKETS AND INFORMATION The JAW New Play Festival events are FREE and can be attended in person at The Armory, or online. Audiences are encouraged to reserve their general admission tickets in advance for the JAW Play Readings; in-person walk-ups will be welcome based on availability. The Press Play performances surrounding the readings don’t require a ticket. Community Artist Labs are in-person only. Masks will be required in all areas, except for those at seated tables, enjoying a beer in the mezzanine bar.

Portland Center Stage is among the top 20 regional theaters in the country. Established in 1988 as a branch of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the company became independent in 1994. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Marissa Wolf and Managing Director Cynthia Fuhrman, the company produces a mix of classic, contemporary, and world premiere productions, along with a variety of high-quality education and community programs. As part of its dedication to new play development, the company has produced 28 world premieres, many of which were developed at its new works festival, JAW.

Portland Center Stage’s home is at The Armory, a historic building originally constructed in 1891. After a major renovation, The Armory opened in 2006 as the first building on the National Register of Historic Places, and the first performing arts venue in the country, to achieve a LEED Platinum rating. Portland Center Stage is committed to identifying and interrupting instances of racism and all forms of oppression, through the principles of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA).

Learn more at pcs.org/idea. Portland Center Stage’s 2021-2022 season is funded in part by Season Superstars the Regional Arts and Culture Council and the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation; Supporting Sponsors the Oregon Arts Commission, a state agency funded by the state of Oregon and the National Endowment for the Arts, and US Bank; and Producing Sponsors Ellyn Bye, Ray and Bobbi Davis, and Ronni LaCroute

The Green Light for In-Person Concerts is Music to the Ears of Local Nonprofit

The Green Light for In-Person Concerts is Music to the Ears of Local Nonprofit

Portland, OR. As Oregon reopens, one activity Oregonians are eagerly anticipating is the return of concerts and live music. The Portland nonprofit, Friends of Noise is a local organization making a  return of live music possible, and accessible for anybody who wants to get involved. It provides sound equipment to performers, hosting free age-inclusive shows, and helping creative youth navigate the local music scene. Now starting its summer 2021 season, the nonprofit has a fresh slate of performances and events to bring the joy of communal music experiences back to Portland youth, including a dance battle, hip hop cypher performance, and multiple outdoor concert events for youth artists.

Friends of Noise provides programs, workshops, and other professional development opportunities for teens and young adults to gain experience with sound equipment, and performing so they are more prepared to navigate the music industry.

An integral core foundation to Friends of Noise is the belief that getting young performers and audience members involved in music is essential to the growth of the local and global music community. 

The nonprofit offers a variety of services to support Portland’s musically-oriented youth, including professional development workshops providing skills for involvement in the music industry, paid opportunities for youth musicians to perform, and offering sound equipment services for independent, youth-organized concerts, teaching those interested how to operate such equipment and offering youth paid opportunities for work with sound technology. According to Friends of Noise executive director André Middleton, the nonprofit’s mission is to “facilitate healing and growth in the community” for Portland youth artists, with a focus on BIPOC individuals.

Middleton admits that the COVID-19 pandemic was difficult for Friends Of Noise, with the nonprofit completely halting operations like most other businesses at its start. However, the organization still found ways to utilize its services mid-pandemic to further its commitment to justice by providing sound equipment to local Black Lives Matter protests and marches to “lift up the voices of the unheard.” Friends of Noise even helped host a BLM protest event on labor day 2020 in Portland’s Cathedral Park, providing and setting up sound equipment for speakers.

Middleton says that his organization’s greatest challenge of the pandemic has been the recruitment of new youth performers and sound technicians to work with, stating that reconnecting with the musical youth of Portland is the current “highest priority” for Friends of Noise. Thankfully, they were still able to support independent young musicians of Portland through the pandemic by recording isolated performances in various Portland music venues from a wide range of talented youth, editing them, and uploading these performances to the Friends of Noise Youtube channel as part of their “Friends of Noise TV” series.

Here’s a video from ‘Friends of Noise TV’:

A woman of color performs music on a stage outlined in orange lights and backdropped by blue curtains in a small music venue with red curtains hanging from the walls. She stands next to a banner with the "Friends of Noise" logo on it, and in front of her there is a camera mounted on a tripod filming her performance. in the foreground of the image, we see the back of a male sound technician wearing headphones to the left, and a computer screen showing the different camera angles recording her performance to his right.

Behind the scenes photo depicting the filming of a live performance by Arietta Ward/”Mz. Etta” at Jack London Revue for the Friends of Noise TV YouTube concert series.

Middleton says what he was most excited for about the return of live music, but for Friends of Noise, concerts have been back for a while as they have done sound equipment for and hosted a series of concerts for youth artists in parks around Portland, following COVID safety procedures such that youth could still gather, connecting to both music and one another, safely. He is most eagerly anticipating the Friends of Noise Summer Jam being held for free at Oregon Contemporary on July 11th from 6-10pm, where the organization will be hosting a variety of talented young performers. Middleton also noted that he is currently working with a youth graphic designer in a paid opportunity to create a poster for the event, highlighting his organization’s commitment to uplifting creative youth and getting them involved in as many ways as possible.

Middleton hopes support for Friends of Noise will take off this summer in comparison to last year, as the organization has its eyes set on a large, yet important project— the creation of a free, youth-led, all-ages, all-inclusive space for performances, music, workshops. and creativity as part of public housing in Northeast Portland. He expressed disappointment in the fact that Portland currently has no all-ages, youth-inclusive concert spaces, and hopes to change that by saving the organization’s funds and donations to establish the community center.

More information about Friends of Noise can be found at the nonprofit’s website, friendsofnoise.org. Here, supporters of FON’s mission can find times and locations for all of the organization’s upcoming events mentioned in this article and many more. Further, readers can donate funds through the website via posted PayPal, Venmo, and Cashapp to help make André Middleton’s dream of an youth led and focused, all-inclusive community concert center a reality— one which places the importance of creative expression above alcohol sales.

Residents Flock to Cooling Centers During Record Breaking Heat

Residents Flock to Cooling Centers During Record Breaking Heat

Portland, OR. Portland had its hottest day ever recorded – reaching 108F (42.2C) on Saturday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service. (The previous record was 107F, a mark hit in 1965 and 1981.

Leading up to the weekend of 6/25-6/27 and Monday 6/28, Multnomah County announced an “excessive heat warning,” anticipating temperatures reaching above 110 degrees.

Sun brightly shining through green tree leaves and branches.

Multnomah County opened three cooling centers in the Portland metropolitan area, which will be open for 24 hours throughout the duration of the heat warning period and will accept anyone inside who needs to cool off and escape the scorching temperatures.

The three cooling centers are:

Oregon Convention Center 
Address:  960 NE 1st Ave.

Arbor Lodge Shelter
Address: 1952 N Lombard St.

Sunrise Center
Address: 18901 E Burnside St.

The Arbor Lodge Shelter was purchased in 2020 to be used as shelter during extreme weather events, offering community, services, and safety to homeless Portlanders. More information about the shelter can be located here.

Exterior of Arbor Lodge Shelter

The Sunrise Center is a community center located in the Rockwood neighborhood of Gresham that— outside of use as an extreme weather shelter— offers rental event space, a community kitchen, and workspaces. More information about the Sunrise Center can be found here, or by contacting them at (503) 847-9163.

In addition to 24-hour cooling centers, Multnomah county library branches will be open for those seeking air-conditioned respite from noon to 8 PM. Their locations can be found below:

According to A Home For Everyone, a Portland nonprofit dedicated to supporting and housing solutions for the city’s homeless population, their JOHS supply center located at  501 SE Hawthorne Blvd #600, Portland, OR 97214 will be open on Saturday and Sunday between 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM to distribute water and protective equipment to those in need. 

Further, resources on the Multnomah County website offer a number of strategies for staying cool during the intense heatwave. Several recommendations include staying far more hydrated than one usually would be, avoiding alcoholic beverages, using fans for air circulation, and taking a cool shower or bath. For outdoor activity, high SPF sunscreen, hats, and staying in shade are advised, as well as a general notice to keep outdoor activity to morning and evening hours if possible.

County officials are particularly concerned for residents of high-rise apartment buildings lacking air conditioning, encouraging those in such circumstances to make a plan. During such weather events, it is important that Portland residents take care of each themselves and each other, whether that be checking in on the health of elderly neighbors, or inviting friends who may be at risk to air-conditioned indoor activities or swimming spots (a map of which can be found here.)

Just as it is crucial to look out for other humans, it is essential to watch over pets and animal friends. Multnomah County has released a guide to keeping pets safe during the heatwave here, including tips to keep them in cool indoor places, constantly hydrated with cold water, signs of heatstroke, and more.

two small dogs, one brown and one white, lay on mats on the floor.

Two dogs rest in shelter from extreme weather and wildfire smoke at an Oregon Red Cross shelter during September 2020.

Data from Meteorologist Ryan Maue that he posted to twitter indicates that the climate phenomenon Oregon is undergoing to experience such unseasonably high temperatures is that of a “heat dome.” The National Ocean Service (NOAA) characterizes a “heat dome” as a bubble of hot oceanic air trapped under the atmosphere like a lid, causing temperatures of the air to rise towards dangerous temperatures over the region it is trapped above. Thankfully, it is currently estimated that temperatures in the Portland area will decrease from the triple digits after Monday June 28th.