Archive for the ‘Arts & Culture’ Category

Art Shmart

Portland Art MuseumEnjoy free art today! The Portland Art Museum offers free admission on the fourth Friday of every month from 5-8 p.m.

You can enjoy portraits galore, along with other permanent exhibits.

Even if you think you’re not an appreciator of the arts, just go, because it may make you smarter… and did I mention that it’s free?

Benjamin Franklin: Unplugged

Ben Franklin: Unplugged

Ben Franklin: Unplugged

Who exactly was Benjamin Franklin? Was he the randy old guy who jet set to Europe, flew kites and signed the declaration of Independence? Or was he an egotistical grump who feuded with his son and ultimately let him rot in jail? In his show now playing at Portland Center Stage, Benjamin Franklin: Unplugged, monologist Josh Kornbluth tries to discover the truth about one of America’s most recognizable historical figure.

Benjamin Franklin: Unplugged begins with the realization that Josh Kornbluth bears a striking resemblance to the guy on the $100, but unlike Hal Holbrook (and his Evening with Mark Twain) couldn’t imagine parading around stage in impersonation of the founding father. A curiosity to his likeness leads Josh on an adventure into the life Benjamin Franklin and those people who study him. Some surprising omissions from Franklin’s own autobiography set Josh Kornbluth on an adventure which leads him into the depth of Yale University, onto the streets of New York dressed in full Franklin garb and to an old storage facility that hold the keys to both Franklin’s life and Josh’s own relationships.

Josh Kornbluth has made a career out of autobiographical monologues, but in Benjamin Franklin: Unplugged he puts his focus clearly on Franklin. Throughout the ninety minute show (with one intermission) we learn a tremendous amount about the life of Benjamin Franklin, especially his complex and ultimately troubled relationship with his son William. Although it’s packed with history Benjamin Franklin: Unplugged is not just a history lesson, it’s a theatrical journey which humanizes one of the nations most iconic figures. Watching Benjamin Franklin: Unplugged I was reminded of Robert Wuhl’s HBO special “Assume The Position” where common perceptions of history are unspun and often debunked. Instead of Robert Wuhl’s blitzkrieg of historical facts and musings we get a very real story of a man’s search for the person behind history.

Many monologues are delivered from behind a desk or on a stool, but Benjamin Franklin: Unplugged breaks this mold with a full set, lighting props and costumes. Josh Kornbluth moves around the stage dramatically building the world of his story, often playing characters he encounters. Kornbluth’s energy fills the stage and it’s often easy to forget that it’s only a one man show.

My favorite part of Benjamin Franklin: Unplugged comes from the interaction between Josh Kornbluth and Benjamin Franklin scholar Claude-Anne Lopez. Lopez plays Yoda to Kornbluth’s Luke Skywalker and the interchange manages to be insightful, funny and highly entertaining. Something magical also happens in the second act of the show when Kornbluth dons full Ben Franklin regalia, it energizes and transforms the piece as if he were Clark Kent putting on the Superman cape.

Benjamin Franklin: Unplugged was given a full seven week run at Portland Center Stage a bold statement of support from that organization for the talent of Josh Kornbluth and extraordinary thing for a monologist. Josh Kornbluth is immensely talented and Benjamin Franklin: Unplugged is extremely entertaining absolutely worth seeing.

Oregon Cultural Trust Announces $1.45 Million in Grants

Nice to see the Oregon Cultural Trust Back in Action:

Oregon Cultural Trust Announces $1.45 Million in Grants

Cultural Grants Benefit 48 Heritage, Arts & Humanities Nonprofits,

39 County and Tribal Coalitions and Five Statewide Partners

Day of Culture 2009, a Statewide Celebration, Confirmed for Thursday, October 8, 2009

July 27, 2009. Salem, ORE The Oregon Cultural Trust announces $1.45 million in fiscal year 2010 (July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010) grants to humanities, heritage and arts nonprofits across Oregon.  This year’s granting represents a 12% reduction from the prior year’s $1.65 million due to a slight decrease in donations and a drop in interest earned by the Trust’s endowment.

Each year, the Trust distributes as grants 42% of the prior fiscal year’s revenues; 58% remains in the endowment.  In FY 2009, Trust revenues totaled $3,737,526:  $3,515,643 in contributions and $221,883 in interest.  The Trust’s permanent fund is invested conservatively in an interest bearing instruments and did not suffer the recent steep losses experienced by other endowments.  At $11.3 million on June 30, 2009, it remains strong to support Oregon culture in the future.

Norm Smith, Chairman of the Cultural Trust Board, commented, “The past 10 months have presented extraordinary challenges for Oregon’s cultural nonprofits and for the Oregon Cultural Trust.  But the Cultural Trust is working the way it was intended to – providing cultural funding in good times, and bad.”

Executive Director Christine D’Arcy added, “The Cultural Trust is the only fully integrated cultural funding mechanism in the country.  The grants announced today not only fund major efforts at OPB and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, which received the largest awards of $35,000, but increased grants to local coalitions for grassroots cultural activity in virtually every county and tribe in the state.”

Trust Manager Kimberly Howard observed, “The Trust received 144 eligible applications. The 48 funded projects represent important efforts, from preserving our history and celebrating our heritage, to bringing Oregon writers and artists to communities across the state, and fostering creative expression in towns large and small.  Donors to the Oregon Cultural Trust should take pride in this year’s grants; they are made possible by the generosity of thousands of Oregonians.”

D’Arcy also announced that Oregon’s second statewide Day of Culture would take place on October 8, 2009, marking the seventh anniversary of the effective date of Oregon’s unique cultural tax credit.  The annual event draws attention to the breadth and vitality of Oregon culture and invites Oregonians to celebrate, participate in and donate to Oregon culture.

By law, the Trust awards grants through three programs.  The FY 2010 awards comprise:

  • Competitive Cultural Development grants of $484,010 to 48 cultural non-profits in 17 counties
  • Cultural Participation grants totaling  $484,010 to 39 county and tribal coalitions
  • Cultural Partner grants of $484,010 to the Trust’s five statewide cultural partners:  Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Council for the Humanities, Oregon Heritage Commission, Oregon Historical Society, State Historic Preservation Office

The competitive Cultural Development grants provide state recognition and support to significant cultural programs and projects, preserving and enhancing Oregon’s diverse arts, heritage and humanities programs.  After a rigorous process that included five review panels before a decision by the Trust board, 48 of 144 eligible applicants received funding in the areas of Access, Capacity, Creativity or Preservation.

The projects unfolding over the next year in 17 counties include preserving historic buildings like the Whiteside Theatre (Corvallis), the Brown House (Stayton) and the Liberty Theater (Astoria); building community through White Bird’s Asian dance programming (Portland) and The Museum at Warm Springs’ regional “The Baskets Tell a Story” exhibition  and supporting creative enterprises such as Portland Opera’s Northwest premiere of Philip Glass’ Orphée and the world premiere of Craig Wright’s The Grey Sisters by Third Rail Repertory Company (Portland).  Twenty-one percent (10 of 48) of the awards are to first-time grant recipients.

Cultural Participation grants provide Trust funding to cultural coalitions in Oregon’s counties and  federally recognized tribes.  With the addition of carry-over funds, 39 cultural coalitions will receive a total of $618,029 to re-distribute to local projects according to cultural plans specific to their area’s assets and needs.  These grants, factored on a base of $6,000 plus a multiplier based on population, range from $6,095 to Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw to $78,641 in Multnomah County.

Darius Goes West Benefit Screening – Don’t Miss it!

dairusgoeswestSome films just need to be seen, and Dairus Goes West is one of those films.

Local filmmaker and former WWeek film editor David Walker is presenting two screenings of this incredibly moving film.

Here are the complete details:

The critically acclaimed documentary Dairus Goes West returns to Portland for two very special screenings to benefit Muscular Dystrophy research.

Fifteen-year-old Darius Weems and eleven of his best friends set off across America with the ultimate goal of getting his wheelchair customized on MTV’s Pimp My Ride. Not only does Darius Weems bravely face his own inevitable fate with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), but through his unflinching humor and his extraordinary laugh, he sparks a revolution in the lives of everyone who crosses–and then shares–his courageous path. The result is a rarely seen testament to the explosive idealism of today’s youth, as well as a vivid portrayal of adventure, of brotherhood, and of the character and strength it takes to shed light on an uncertain future. Part revolution, part revelation, this film proves to people of all ages how life, even when imperfect, is always worth the ride.

Having taken top awards at over twenty film festivals in 2007 and 2008, the cast and crew of Darius Goes West is back on the road as they work to sell one million DVDs in one year. Each DVD costs $20, $17 of which goes to funding research to find a cure for DMD, the number one genetic killer of young people in the world.

Join Darius Weems, director Logan Smalley and the rest of the Darius Goes West crew for two special screenings, followed by Q&A sessions. DVDs will be available for sale after both screenings.

6:30 pm, Thursday, Feb. 19th

Portland State University, Smith Memorial Student Union, Multicultural Center, 2nd Floor, Room 228

Free admission, donations gladly accepted.

Sponsored by Disability Advocacy & Cultural Association (DACA)

Co-sponsored by Disability Resource Center (DRC)

1 pm, Saturday, Feb 21st

Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy Boulevard; (503) 281-4215

$5 adults, $2 students w/ I.D. and children 12 and under

Here’s the trailer for the movie:


The Roseway Theater – Interview and Tour

Here’s a video tour of The Roseway Theater, an all digital, single screen theater in Portland which was amazingly restored to it’s 1924 glory:


Roseway Theater is located at 7229 NE Sandy Blvd Portland, OR 97213. Visit The Roseway Theater Website and see More photos of The Roseway Theater.

The Auteur Premieres Friday at Cinema 21

The Auteur at Cinema 21

The Auteur at Cinema 21

The Auteur, a new film by Portland filmmaker James Westby has its big Portland premiere this Friday at Cinema 21 (8:30pm).

The film is a mockumentary of Arturo Dominingo, an aging porn director trying to make sense of his life and career.  I saw the film in an early preview before it went of to the Tribecca Film Festival and it’s hilarious.

The Auteur stars Melik Malkasian (who won best actor at the Ft. Lauderdale Film Festival), John Breen (of the Liberators), Katherine Flynn, and Cara Seymour. It also features music from The Decemberists, The Shaky Hands, Viva Las Vegas, Ron Jeremy, Malice 666, Copy, Au, Laura Gibson, MarchForth Marching Band, Katie O’Grady, Ritah Parrish, Michael Fetters, Victor Morris, and many more!!

Friday’s premiere will be followed by a Q&A with director James Westby and an after party at Slabtown (sponsored by Amber Geiger and Porter Panther)

Be a Karaoke Super Star (in private)

Voice Box

Serenade Someone Special in a Private Room

There are many great Karaoke options in Portland and some of my most enjoyable evenings out have been spent with friends at places like The Alibi,  The Ambassador Restaurant and The Galaxy.

In Portland karaoke is a pretty big deal. That’s why it’s so exciting to have a new option on the Portland karaoke menu: Voicebox.

Officially opening this Friday, Voicebox takes karaoke to an entirely different scale. Instead of getting up in front of a huge (smokey) bar of strangers, you can get a group of people together and rent a private room.

Voicebox is designed around the traditional Asian karaoke clubs but with a decidedly Portland twist (meaning it’s clean, smoke free and has great food, beer, wine and sake options).  Prices average around $7 per person, per hour in groups of four or more.

It’s an ideal place for meetups and an excellent ice breaker for small groups. Given the fact that the rooms are private Voicebox is sure to open the door to karaoke in Portland for people who could never get up in front of a room full of people to sing, but would love to sing karaoke.

Voicebox is at 2112 NW Hoyt St. (503) 303-8220.

Dr. Ruth for Gen X Tristan Taormino Comes To Portland

Noted author, columnist and film director Tristan Taormino is coming to Portland for a number of sex positive educational events.

Taormino was recently named one of the Top 10 Women Directors in Adult Entertainment and just released her book Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships.

Here’s the run down of Taormino’s Portland Events:

November 13, 7:00 pm
Portland, OR
Hosted by Theresa “Darklady” Reed
Bestselling author and relationship expert Tristan Taormino will read from her new book, Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships and share what she learned from all the people she interviewed in open relationships around the country. Plus, she’ll take questions and facilitate a discussion on the benefits and challenges of venturing beyond monogamy. This event is sponsored by Astroglide.
Location: In Other Words Women’s Books and Resources, 8 NE Killingsworth St, Portland, OR
Admission: Free
Info: 503-232-6003
Email: colten (at)

November 14, 7:00 pm
Portland, OR
People who practice BDSM and those who are in Dominant/submissive relationships face unique challenges in both designing their open relationships and making them work. Relationship expert and bestselling author Tristan Taormino offers practical advice and strategies for dealing with specific issues related to being open and kinky. We’ll cover: common open relationship styles within BDSM communities and how they can work best; creative ways for giving everyone a voice in the negotiation process; dealing with jealousy and other intense feelings; and practical conflict resolution skills. In the interactive facilitated portion of this workshop, participants will be encouraged to share their stories, issues, and solutions.
Location: Spartacus, 300 SW 12th Ave, Portland, OR
Admission: Free
Info: (503) 224-2604

November 15, 6:00 pm
Portland, OR
In her most popular workshop, one she has taught around the world for over 9 years, Tristan introduces you to the world of anal pleasure. In this funny, education class, she covers a wide variety of topics, including: myths about anal sex; anal anatomy, the G-spot, and the prostate; basic preparation and hygiene; lubes, anal toys, and safer sex; anal penetration for beginners, and much more!
Location: Fascinations, 9515 SE. 82nd. Ave, Portland, OR
Admission: Free, pre-registrer to reserve your spot!
Register: call 503-774-4345 or in store

Why Portland Absolutely Rocks


Thanks to @bfinklea for the link

Spring Awakening – On Stage Tickets ON SALE NOW

Amazing opportunities don’t come around everyday, so this is one you shouldn’t miss:

Spring Awakening, the Tony Award winning musical, has just released a block of On Stage Tickets for its run at The Keller Auditorium (as part of the Broadway Across America Series).  These tickets sell for $26 + $5 service fee (if you purchase them via phone).

These seats are ON THE STAGE!!!

Call: 503.790.2787  RIGHT NOW!! You will absolutely thank me.  (They will sell out… So if you’ve waited too long…. Sorry)

Thanks to Byron Beck at WWeek for breaking this news.

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