Portland, OR. White Bird Co-Founders Paul King and Walter Jaffe posed with Emcee Poison Waters at the nonprofit’s annual gala. “S’Wing Ding” was the benefit’s theme and featured 1940s and 50s dance numbers. The fundraiser to support White Bird’s dance programming was held on May 4th at Vibrant Table’s Loft at 8th Avenue in Southeast Portland. The event featured Art Abrams Swing Machine Big Band, performances by the Jefferson Dancers and Swing dancers Austin Buchholtz and Phoenix Gray. White Bird raised $98,000 to continue its diverse dance programing that brings dance companies from around the country and around the world to Portland. (Photo credit, Michael Cary Photography)
The 22-year-old organization presented the 2019 White Bird Awards to esteemed members of the arts community: Michael Curry, Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award; Darci and Charlie Swindells, Angel Award; Subashini Ganesan (New Expressive Works), Community Engagement Award. White Bird also presented the Barney Commissioning Prize to emerging northwest choreographers Shaun Keylock, Beth Whelan and Trevor Wilde who will be using the prize to create new works for a future White Bird season. Other celebrated guests included Jacques Heim, Artistic Director of Diavolo in Los Angeles and local swing dancers Kali Henson and Austin Neverman. The gala brought 100 guests together to celebrate White Bird’s dedication to presenting world-class dance to the Portland community.