Salem, OR. “We often hear that operating support is the most important type of award,” said Arts Commission Chair Jenny Green. “Especially now, as arts organizations struggle to recover from losses caused by the pandemic, these awards help relieve a bit of the economic pressure.”
Grants totaling $1,265,166 will be distributed to 154 Oregon arts organizations through the Oregon Arts Commission’s fiscal year 2022 Operating Support Program. Including Artists Repertory Theatre (A.R.T), which received $10,490. Seen above is a photo by Owen Carey of A.R.T’s production of The Miracle Worker. There are six more recipients than in the fiscal year 2021 due to a growing number of eligible organizations. Ranging from $2,000 to $ 25,000, the grant awards are available to nonprofit organizations with arts at the core of their mission and budgets over $150,000.
One of the largest grants was one made to Oregon Symphony for $25,000.
In 2019 organizations receiving Operating Support from the Arts Commission expended $213 million, employed 11,681 FTE and produced events and activities that were attended by close to 3.7 million people. *Organizations with budgets under $150,000 are eligible to apply to the Small Operating Program. This program funds an additional 109 arts organizations.
The fiscal year 2022 Operating Support Grants, in the Portland Metro area were awarded to the following nonprofits:
45th Parallel, Portland: $4,899,
Alberta Abbey Foundation, Portland: $6,147,
All Classical Public Media, Inc., Portland: $11,900,
Artichoke Community Music, Portland: $5,934,
Art In The Pearl, Portland: $4,899’
Artists Repertory Theatre, Portland: $10,490,
A-WOL Dance Collective, Inc., Clackamas: $4,899,
Bag & Baggage Productions, Inc., Hillsboro: $7,531,
BodyVox Inc., Portland: $13,521,
Bosco-Milligan Foundation, Portland: $5,435,
Broadway Rose Theatre Company, Tigard: $11,265,
Caldera, Portland: $13,091,
Camp45 Contemporary, Portland: $5,506,
Cappella Romana Inc., Portland: $7,997,
Chamber Music Northwest, Portland: $13,226,
Children’s Healing Art Project, Portland: $4,899,
Clackamas County Arts Alliance, Oregon City: $8,360,
Clackamas Repertory Theatre, Oregon City: $4,899,
CoHo Productions Ltd, Portland: $4,899,
Corrib Theatre, Portland: $4,899,
Curious Comedy Productions, Portland: $6,657,
Echo Theater Company, Portland: $5,620,
Ethos Inc., Portland: $8,230,
Film Action Oregon dba Hollywood Theatre, Portland: $8,794,
Friends of Chamber Music, Portland: $9,200,
Hand2Mouth, Portland: $4,899,
Imago the Theatre Mask Ensemble, Portland: $4,899,
In a Landscape, Portland: $4,899
Independent Publishing Resource Center Inc., Portland: $7,330
Lakewood Theatre Company, Lake Oswego: $11,535
Literary Arts Inc., Portland: $14,004
Live Wire Radio, Portland: $8,705,
MetroEast Community Media, Gresham: $11,970,
Metropolitan Youth Symphony, Portland: $10,421,
Miracle Theatre Group, Portland: $20,854,
Music Workshop, Portland: $4,899,
My Voice Music, Portland: $6,511 Northwest Children’s Theater & School Inc., Portland: $11,162,
Northwest Professional Dance Project, Portland: $11,245,
Old Church Society, Inc., Portland: $7,353,
Open Signal, Portland: $15,965,
Oregon Ballet Theatre, Portland: $11,114,
Oregon BRAVO Youth Orchestras, Portland: $9,670,
Oregon Center for Contemporary Art, Portland: $11,010,
Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts, Portland: $6,116,
Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Portland: $13,489,
Portland Jazz Festival, Inc. dba PDX Jazz, Portland: $9,072,
Portland Opera Association, Portland: $22,309,
Portland Piano International, Portland: $6,442,
Portland Playhouse, Portland: $11,431,
Portland Street Art Alliance, Portland: $5,131,
Portland Symphonic Choir, Portland: $4,899,
Portland Youth Philharmonic, Portland: $7,642,
Profile Theatre Project, Portland: $7,477,
Regional Arts & Culture Council, Portland: $25,000,
Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls, Portland: $4,899,
Shaking the Tree Theatre, Portland: $4,899,
Stumptown Stages, Lake Oswego: $4,899,
The Circus Project, Portland: $8,966,
The Portland Ballet, Portland: $8,667,
The Red Door Project, Portland: $7,939,
Third Angle New Music Ensemble, Portland: $5,217,
Third Rail Repertory Theatre, Portland: $8,611,
triangle productions, Portland: $6,178,
Vibe of Portland, Portland: $4,899,
Western Alliance of Arts Administrators, Portland: $6,972,
White Bird, Portland: $11,124,
Write Around Portland, Portland: $9,822,
Young Audiences of Oregon, Portland: $8,192,
Young Musicians & Artists, Portland: $4,899,
Youth Music Project, West Linn: $6,390,
From The Oregon Arts Commission:
The Oregon Arts Commission provides leadership, funding and arts programs through its grants, special initiatives and services. Nine commissioners, appointed by the Governor, determine arts needs and establish policies for public support of the arts. The Arts Commission became part of Business Oregon (formerly Oregon Economic and Community Development Department) in 1993, in recognition of the expanding role the arts play in the broader social, economic and educational arenas of Oregon communities. In 2003, the Oregon legislature moved the operations of the Oregon Cultural Trust to the Arts Commission, streamlining operations and making use of the Commission’s expertise in grantmaking, arts and cultural information and community cultural development. The Arts Commission is supported with general funds appropriated by the Oregon legislature and with federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as funds from the Oregon Cultural Trust. More information about the Oregon Arts Commission is available online at: www.oregonartscommission.org.
Portland, OR. Oregon Ballet Theater (OBT) has returned to in-person performances. Above is a photo of Jessica Lind in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker by James McGrew. In October, OBT took the stage at the Keller Auditorium with a program called Face to Face. “After 18 months away from our home, we are thrilled to be coming face-to-face with our audience again,” says Interim Artistic Director Peter Franc.
FACE TO FACE featured three powerful ballets for OBT’s return to the stage.
Xuan Cheng as ‘Coffee’ in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.
From Oregon Ballet Theatre:
Oregon Ballet Theatre seeks to inspire beauty and excellence in the hearts and minds of Oregonians through the creation and preservation of the highest quality classical and contemporary ballet performances. In addition to our 5-show main stage season, they train dancers from 4 years old to 80 years old through the professional and recreational classes at the Oregon Ballet Theatre School. Many of their students go on to successful professional careers at companies including the Joffrey, the Dutch National Ballet, and within our own organization.
With the understanding that this will be an ongoing process, staff, artists, and trustees of OBT wholeheartedly commit to the advancement of diversity, equity, and inclusion at OBT. They commit to the hard work of introspection, and to becoming more representative of our entire community at all levels of the organization. OBT commits to creating a positive workplace culture that respects differences. And to continue outreach programming that bridges gaps in access and understanding and engages diverse and marginalized populations. By considering all we do through the lens of equity, OBT aims to be a leader in the field and to ensure the vibrancy and relevance of ballet for years to come.
OBT is the largest professional ballet company in Oregon, employing nearly 200 people and attracting artists from around the globe with a reputation for excellence. The company is rooted in the traditions of classical ballet, with a repertoire that ranges from the great classics to premieres from some of the most exciting choreographic voices in the field today. Its mission is dedicated to the vitality of, and access to, world-class ballet performance and training in the region.
For more information about performances, tickets, and all other information, visit; obt.org
Portland, OR. Portland Opera is celebrating a return to in-person performances with three performances of Puccini’s grand opera Tosca at the Keller Auditorium. The performances of Tosca are on October 29th, 31st, and November 6th. “We are over the moon to be returning to the Keller Auditorium this Friday for the first time in 727 days,” says General Director Sue Dixon. “Tosca is the perfect opera for our return to the theater after all of this time — it’s grand, traditional, passionate, and beloved. It’s really a classic for a reason.” This production will feature a number of company debuts, including tenor Noah Stewart as Cavaradossi, seen above, and Soprano Alexandra LoBianco will make her Portland Opera debut in the title role.
The piece tells the story of Tosca, a renowned diva, in Rome in 1800. An artist-activist has won her heart, and his revolutionary sympathies provoke the wrath of Scarpia, the corrupt chief of police. Her devotion and moral resistance are challenged by abuses of power, attempted rape, and tragedy—as this high drama builds to its haunting finale.
Gordon Hawkins as Scarpia and Alexandra LoBianco in the title role of Puccini’s Tosca. Photo by Cory Weaver/Portland Opera.
Dixon continues; “We’ve spent the last 18 months following the most up-to-date guidance, shifting our policies, and keeping health and well-being at the forefront of our decision-making. We are committed to keeping everyone involved safe. For this reason, all audience members must show proof of vaccination or negative PCR test to attend a show at Portland Opera this season, and everyone is required to wear a mask inside the theater (except when consuming food or beverages). Audience members will be asked to present this proof of full vaccine or negative COVID-19 test result, as well as verify their ID, prior to entering the theater to have their tickets scanned. At this point, children under the age of 12 (for whom there is not currently an available vaccine) will not be admitted to performances. We’ve also worked with our unions to create a COVID action plan for our cast, crew, and staff working on Tosca.” Detailed information about Portland Opera’s COVID-19 policies can be found here. If postponed, alternate COVID-19 dates for this production are May 13 – 21, 2022.
“We recognize that some people may not be ready to come back to the theater in person – and that is okay! We launched a digital channel, Portland Opera Onscreen, as a way to connect with our audience and perform throughout the pandemic, and we will continue to stream our performances here into the future. For Tosca, audience members can stream the opera on demand November 16th-December 31st.”
With the launch of the 21/22 season, Portland Opera welcomes Artistic Director Priti Gandhi, who joined the staff in early September. “I am delighted to be here in Portland for my first production as Artistic Director, and to welcome this incredible cast and creative team to Portland” shares Gandhi. “Tosca is full of passion, romance, tragedy, and politics. It is the perfect grand opera for a return to the theater.”
Noah Stewart as Cavaradossi and Damien Geter as Angelotti in Puccini’s Tosca. Photo by Cory Weaver/Portland Opera.
Soprano Alexandra LoBianco, whose performance as Tosca has been described as “thrilling” by Opera News, will make her Portland Opera debut in the title role. This production will feature a number of company debuts, including tenor Noah Stewart as Cavaradossi, baritone Gordon Hawkins as Scarpia, and tenor Katherine Goforth as Spoletta. Baritone Deac Guidi returns to Portland Opera as Sacristan, bass-baritone Damien Geter (Portland Opera’s co-artistic advisor) returns as Angelotti and the Jailer, and baritone Zachary Lenox returns as Sciarrone.
Conductor Tiffany Chang will conduct Puccini’s lush score, which features the beloved arias “Vissi d’arte,” “E lucevan le stelle,” and “Recondita armonia.” Chang, who makes her debut at Portland Opera as well as Opera Columbus this season, serves as artist-faculty at Oberlin Conservatory and Berklee College of Music, and was a recipient of a 2020 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award as well as a recent OPERA America Grant for Women Stage Directors and Conductors.
Stage director Linda Brovsky will make her Portland Opera debut directing this grand, traditional production. Performances will also feature the talented local and regional musicians who make up Portland Opera’s orchestra and chorus.
From Portland Opera:
Portland Opera appreciates the ongoing support of funders including the National Endowment for the Arts, Oregon Arts Commission, James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, Multnomah County Cultural Coalition, Oregon Community Foundation, and the Regional Arts & Culture Council, including support from the City of Portland, Multnomah County, and the Arts Education & Access Fund.
You can find more information about Tosca here, and for more information, and to purchase tickets visit portlandopera.org or call Patron Services at 503-241-1802. For more information, patrons may also contact the Opera Concierge at [email protected], Monday through Friday from 10 PM–5 PM.
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’:
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.
Lake Oswego, OR. The Lake Oswego Art Council‘s public gallery is reopening to the public on February 23rd. There’s a new exhibition features photographs from four photographers called “Visions of 4.” The photo seen above is in the exhibit. It’s called Cape Kiwanda by John Lesch. The work of Reagan Ramsey, Richard Blakeslee, Kevin Felts are also featured. Organizers have are following precautions to keep the staff, volunteers, and the public safe. Face masks will be required, hand sanitizer will be available, social distancing will be enforced, and all areas will be cleaned and sanitized between visits.
This exhibit is on view through April 2nd. Each artist’s work represents their varied and multifaceted cultural background with their personal ethos, immersion, and passion driving their art. The gallery will kick off the exhibit with a “Virtual Opening Reception & Artist Talk” on February 26 (5-6 PM). Here’s the zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83687099581?pwd=OHhsRGJRdE5aSUM5Vys5OXYveG9EZz09
The exhibit is at the ARTspace Gallery (41 B Avenue, Lake Oswego) with visiting hours from 10 AM to 5 PM.
Old Barn Hurricane, NE Oregon (Kevin Felts)
Graffiti a la Pollock, Portland, OR (Richard Blakeslee)
About the Arts Council of Lake Oswego:
Works to ensure the arts are an integral part of life in our community now and into the future with the purpose of placement and preservation of public art in Lake Oswego, providing access to art exhibitions for residents and visitors, and advance the lifelong learning about the arts through educational programs and docent tours.
Portland, OR. Friends of Noise is a Portland-based non-profit that provides young artists with a well-rounded introduction to the music industry. (Wavy Josef, is shown playing an outdoor show above.) With professional workshops in everything from designing fliers and merchandise, to lighting and sound engineering, to networking and performing, the organization invests in its community to better prepare artists for the business side of music. Non-profits have not had an easy year, and this organization has shown that it is resourceful in keeping on track to serve local youth. With ongoing projects heading into 2021, and a long-term goal of opening an art-focused youth center in North East Portland, Friends of Noise is committed to coming out of 2020 stronger than ever.
Many local businesses were forced to halt all activities in March 2020 to slow the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic, and Friends of Noise was one of them. The young community that the non-profit serves, however, was highly active in social justice causes as the Black Lives Matter movement gained momentum all over the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death. Andre Middleton, Executive Director of Friends of Noise, delivered amplification equipment and other sound assistance to marches and protests around the city. Andre felt compelled to provide the non-profit’s sound equipment to a noble cause, “I wanted to make sure that the community’s cries for justice and change would be heard.” Friends of Noise continued to be an ally for these social justice events, which also validated the idea that outdoor spaces would become a viable option for their artists.
Members of the community stand in solidarity for a common cause.
The non-profit went on to hold numerous shows in NE Portland parks throughout the summer and even hosted a social-distanced Black Lives Matter rally in Cathedral Park on Labor Day that drew a crowd of 2000. These live music events were welcomed by these neighborhoods and provided much-needed revenue for the artists and showrunners that had relied on concerts in the past. Friends of Noise makes it a point to compensate performers and showrunners, and believes it is incredibly important to show the community of artists that their time and work is valued. By showing the young artists this now by paying them for their work, Andre hopes they will take that sense of value into their futures: “We’re all about teaching and giving kids opportunities to practice what they learn, and then working to get them paid opportunities to develop this as a career. We work to make sure that young people are seen as valued members of our local music ecosystem.”
In 2021, Friends of Noise will be launching live-stream programming as an ongoing way to feature their growing youth artist directory. This programming will be a collaboration with local music venues that have been closed due to Covid-19 restrictions, creating a connection between the artists and the theaters. They have partnered with theaters like Mississippi Studios, the Star Theater, and the Roseland Theater. The shows will also be multi-generational, pairing young artists with older artists, and will eventually incorporate a local dance group as well. The programming will be consistent, and the non-profit hopes this will represent the Portland music scene as a diverse and harmonious entity. This project is set to launch in January, and Friends of Noise hopes it will help sustain the local music industry through these uncertain times.
The band Out of Luck plays an indoor show before the pandemic.
Engagement in the Friends of Noise community has not slowed down with this pandemic. As a non-profit that serves Portland youth, its artists are looking for more ways to connect and be inspired by their peers. Friends of Noise knows that it cannot be a replacement for school, or other social activities that are no longer safe, but hopes that by building a strong community it can provide comradery through work and expression. This new live-stream project will support this ideal harmonious and collaborative music scene. When speaking about the future of the music industry in Portland, Andre is optimistic, “I have every confidence that young people will be pushing the envelope and be as innovative as they always have been. If we can create an ambience of collaboration over competition, this next cohort of musicians are going to be in an even better position in the future.” Friends of Noise is participating in Willamette Weekly’s GiveGuide, and you can also donate or volunteer on its website.
From Friends of Noise: Friends of Noise is a non-profit, educational, all-ages organization. Our mission is to provide safer and productive spaces for all-ages concerts, focused arts education, and leadership opportunities for youth with a focus on providing marginalized youth and youth of color access to performative creative expression. Our long-term goals are to contribute to the development of a region-wide network of young people and adults that are learned and ready to pursue a career in the music industry on stage or backstage and to grow into a youth-centered arts center that resides in a music-focused arts hub in an underserved community within our city.
We seek to create a non-profit, all-ages arts venue that is youth-oriented and youth-driven. We envision a safe, inclusive community meeting place for arts events, with a strong educational and mentorship component. We intend to engage young people in all aspects of event planning and production within this space, in order to encourage real-world skill-building. We believe these skills will serve students well in their future endeavors and help them become cultural leaders and engaged citizens in their communities.
Portland, OR. You could find your next Christmas gift at the Arts Council of Lake Oswego Holiday Marketplace. It showcases work from over 30 local artists including fine art, wood, ceramics, jewelry, handmade gifts, ornaments, textiles, confections, accessories, and more. The Holiday Marketplace is open for in-person, online, and curbside pickup shopping from Nov 28 to Dec 30.
During the two-week freeze that started on Nov 18th by order of Oregon Gov Kate Brown, the Holiday Marketplace is able to still offer in-person shopping with a lowered capacity that is limited to ten people including employees.
“I think what’s great about it is that we still are able to offer some sort of in-person shopping experience and from artists who are local,” Executive Director, Nicole Nathan, said. “So, while it may look a little bit different, we’re still able to offer the same core [values] at the heart of what we do and support our artists while also supporting the artistic community in Lake Oswego.”
The 2019 Holiday Marketplace.
In its fourth year, the Holiday Marketplace is one of the only in-person local gatherings of artists for the Portland and Lake Oswego area. Purchases directly benefit the artists and community-enriching programming of the Arts Council and this year the Holiday Marketplace can be found at the ARTspace Gallery.
For those who would like to stay local and stay safe while shopping, an online option will be available for the first time due to COVID-19 coinciding with the opening day of the Holiday Marketplace on Nov 28. The online shopping platform won’t feature everything from the gallery, instead, a few pieces of work from this years’ artists will be available to browse.
Nathan believes that this will be a good option for those who either live far away or might be sheltering place, because of travel restrictions, since they might not be able to come by in person. The online Holiday Marketplace will be able to reach those from further afield and still be able to enjoy some work, by local artists, or artists who they love and have seen before.
Some of the artwork offered at the Holiday Marketplace last year.
With restrictions in place, the Holiday Marketplace will look different this year with fewer wearables such as clothing and textiles. Vendors will also be further spread out to adhere to the six-foot guidelines. With the few pieces of clothing that are offered those will be disinfected between each visitor among other extra precautions.
ARTspace Gallery is taking all the safety precautions for a safe visit including:
Face masks are required to visit
Hand sanitizing stations are available throughout the gallery
Safe distance decals and public capacity are enforced
Sanitizing and cleaning after visitors
Contact-tracing – provide information where the public can check-in
Requesting people to stay home if not feeling well
According to Nathan, “We have an incredible number of artists who’ve been with us in past years and some new work as well. There’s some beautiful work, that you can get for yourself or your loved ones; It’s really in great support of not only our artists but helps support the arts council throughout the year.”
From the Arts Council of Lake Oswego website: The Arts Council of Lake Oswego works to ensure that arts are an integral part of life in our community, now and into the future.
Portland, OR. Airlie Press provides a creative refuge for poetry lovers and writers throughout Oregon and Washington. Public readings, like the pre-covid event with Jessica Mehta pictured above, feel like a distant memory this fall, but literary works are still being produced by the nonprofit publishing house. Founded in 2007, Airlie Press is run by writers who are determined to amplify the voices of our community and use local resources to give writers a positive publishing experience. The organization also offers an annual national prize. As Covid-19 spikes in a second wave, Airlie is hard at work to publish two new poetry collections by PNW writers in 2021 while keeping up with virtual poetry readings and other online literary events.
A sample of Airlie Press publications offerings.
Like the music industry, poetry benefits from live events. Readings create hype around the work by gathering like-minded creative spirits who share food and laughter and engage with the readers by providing a vocal presentation of their work. The press has been hit hard by the pandemic. Organizers held their 2020 book launch via an online event hosted by Annie Bloom’s Books– a Portland-based independent bookstore. While it was successful, something felt off for some of the artists. Brittney Corrigan, first-year editor of the press, explained, “Not only can you not see the audience, but you can’t hear them. I appreciate that auditory feedback, especially the little sighs or the little finger snaps. It’s really a part of that poetry experience.” It may not feel exactly the same, the publisher is moving ahead with frequent readings and other online gatherings in November, and hope to continue. Airlie Press also has a growing Youtube channel, featuring the authors, as well as poets from around the world.
Before Covid, Airlie Press editors met once a month, in a Salem, Oregon cafe, to touch base and work together on publications and events in progress. The press is highly collaborative, and local winners make a three-year commitment to the press. They are involved firsthand with the publication of their own book, while also reading submitted manuscripts and contributing to other tasks along the way. Now, these monthly meetings take place over Zoom, but members admit to talking daily. Editor and author of Learning to Love the Western Sky, Amelia Diaz Ettinger, misses the in-person gatherings in Salem. “Getting to know each other and being in the same room is missed,” Amelia says as she speaks of the screen-fatigue that comes with online meetings. Not only do the editors miss that human connection, but the poetry community does as well. “Then you have a lot of people that love to go to poetry readings, that are not technologically capable. There is a published poet here in town that has wanted to be a part of Zoom, even to discuss his own poetry, but he is almost 80.”
Despite the challenges, Airlie Press is staying on track for the new year. Brittney Corrigan is heading into her second year with the press, which means her poetry book, Daughters, is heading into production. If there’s one thing these diverse poetry books have in common, it’s that they are all thoughtfully produced. Every aspect of the books is locally sourced. Publishers used local designers for the covers and a small print shop in Portland for printing.
Leaders are excited for 2021’s book production, even if Covid continues to negatively impact our artistic communities. With local bookstore giants struggling and libraries functioning under strict regulation, the road ahead may be bumpy. But may make the 2021 releases even more special. Corrigan recognizes the silver lining in the possibility of another book launch during a pandemic. “There’s a small advantage in that you can potentially get audience members from across the country, or the world, in zoom meetings that wouldn’t be there in person. I did a reading recently and my parents were able to come, and they would never get to hear me read! I am thankful for the technology; this would be a lot worse without it.”
From Airlie Press:
Airlie Press is a nonprofit publisher run by writers, dedicated to cultivating and sustaining fine contemporary poetry and to promoting poets from the Pacific Northwest.
Our process involves the submission of a full-length manuscript of poetry during an annual open submission period and an interview for our finalists with current press members. Of the submissions we receive, we evaluate manuscripts thoroughly and select the promising work by authors willing to collaborate with our consensus-based group. As a press, we commit to participate in the ongoing conversation and practice regarding inclusion and equity. To this end, we encourage submissions from underrepresented voices and poets from marginalized communities.
Airlie Press produces one or two full-length volumes a year. All funds earned through book sales, subscription orders, and contributions are returned to Airlie Press for the creation of new books of poetry.
Portland, OR. Northwest Film Center is launching a platform called Co:Laboratory. It offers both online and in-person opportunities for people who want to keep their connection to the art world. With Co:Laboratory, art lovers can engage with others by exchanging ideas with an eye toward innovation, and creativity. Co:Laboratory offers a range of opportunities, from free classes and workshops to high-level programming for professionals. The goal is to give everyone an opportunity to expand their skill set.
Another workshop offered is called Inclusivity and Your Script, offered November 18-21, which will explore approaches to creating diverse characters in film and TV.
Portland Art Museum and NW Film Center have also made a space to access tons of different types of art–from writing to film to paintings and much more– at PAM + NWFC at home. Many nonprofits around Portland have been working hard to transition to online so that the Portland community can continue to access the arts, which is a gift for many during this time.
Expansive in genre, mediums, and ideas, the NWFC’s Co:Laboratory is one grand experiment. Continuously offering online and IRL connection to people, ideas, and innovations in the media arts that help artists and art lovers sustain their curiosity and what is creatively possible, the Co:Laboratory exists to uniquely inspire new projects, new skills, and new ways of seeing. In the spirit of all creative endeavors, it will be designed to be an ever-evolving, community-driven, ongoing work-in-progress.
Portland, OR. For the past 35 years, Literary Arts has built a community around literature, books, and storytelling. A yearly highlight was the Portland Book Festival, pictured above. This year due to COVID-19 the nonprofit is moving its annual Portland Book Festival online where people can attend for free.
Up until this year, Portland Book Festival was a one-day event that drew about 9,000 attendees. Now participants will have access to the event over the course of two weeks from Nov. 5 to Nov. 21. There will be more than 100 authors, writing classes, and book events of all genres for kids, teens, and adults to explore.
The festival will also feature an exhibitor fair and writing classes for adults/youth that will be accessible online. Pop-up readings have also been filmed at the Portland Art Museum and are being offered digitally as well.
Holman Wang, a writer of children’s books, sits with a fan from the 2019 Portland Book Festival.
Festival Director, Amanda Bullock speaks on the Portland Book Festival going virtual, “The festival strives to offer something for every kind of reader and offers a diverse lineup of authors from exciting new voices to literary superstars. I really hope that the virtual festival throws the doors open even wider and that more folks get a chance to be a part of the festival.”
According to Andrew Proctor, Executive Director of Literary Arts, before going virtual there would be roughly 200-300 volunteers to help with the festival; however, the new digital format this year is not conducive to volunteer opportunities.
Although the Portland Book Festival is different this year, according to Bullock, she hopes the event will be a chance to discover parts of the festival they otherwise might not have before.
Attendees walk around the 2019 Portland Book Festival looking at the different vendors.
Volunteer opportunities may not be available for the 2020 Portland Book Festival, but there are other volunteer positions available on the Literary Arts website. One virtual opportunity is to become a college essay mentor to junior and senior high school students where a majority are first-generation applicants to college. Check out more about the volunteer opportunities here.
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