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Thao & the Get Down Stay Down on opbmusic Thao & the Get Down Stay Down's latest release, A Man Alive, is a striking alliance with tUnE-yArDs' electropop virtuoso Merril Garbus, where the band stretches its sound in inventive ways. Host April Baer spoke with Thao about working with Garbus, the band's new direction and how her relationship with her father propelled the direction of the album. Margaret Malone Gets Nominated for a PEN/Hemingway - 9:00 This week, PEN New England revealed that Portland author Margaret Malone is a finalist for this year's PEN/Hemingway award, given to first books of fiction in honor of Ernest Hemingway. Malone's short story collection, People Like You, tells the stories of regular people (mostly women) who do petty, dark and often hysterical things. Oregon Libraries Check Out...3-D Printers? 15:26 A growing number of public libraries, including Multnomah County and Eugene, are trying something new: letting patrons use their library cards to access cutting-edge creative tools, including 3-D printers, robots, digital editing software, and more. Artists Rep Tackles Race and Genocide with an Explosive and Hilarious Show - 20:45 Artists Repertory Theater opened a work by Jackie Sibblies Drury with a mouthful of a name: "We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as Southwest Africa, From the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884-1915." Producer Aaron Scott invited Kimberly Howard, the program officer of the PGE Foundation who formerly headed up the Oregon Cultural Trust and the Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center, to check it out for the next installment in our series "What Are You Looking At?" The High-Concept Funk-Rock of Grammy-Winner Esperanza Spalding - 31:20 She may have left Portland, but we still like to claim the first jazz musician to take home a Best New Artist Grammy as our own. Esperanza Spalding's taking her neo-soul in a new direction with her first release in four years, "Emily's D+ Evolution." Bullseye & Uroboros Updates - 36:33 In February, heavy metal air pollution was dedicated near two Portland glass plants. The Oregon Environmental Quality Commission decided Tuesday to postpone a vote on new air pollution rules that would cover both Bullseye and Uroboros. Neighborhood advocates requested the postponement, claiming the proposed rules were written behind closed doors and released to the public less than a day before the scheduled vote. We also have an update from OPB's Kristian Foden-Vencil on the lawsuit filed by some of Bullseye's neighbors, as well as the results of some state tests. Poet Sharon Olds on Literary Arts' Archive Project - 41:54 This week, Literary Arts' Archive Project features an evening with Pulitzer Prize–winner Sharon Olds, whose work celebrates the body, explores the family and tackles global issues in her writing. We share one of our favorite pieces as well as a short audience Q&A. Pochas Radicales and the Revolutionary Art of Queer Latina Podcasting - 45:48 Elizabeth Leon, Blanca 'Stacey' Villalobos and Andrea Telles are a collective of queer-identified Latina artists called Pochas Radicales. Last month, the group launched a podcast called "echo/hecho," which at it's heart is a storytelling podcast. The trio, along with the occasional guest, explore concepts of identity, language and culture. Read the full story: http://www.opb.org/radio/article/esperanza-spalding-thao-margaret-malone-sharon-olds-artists-rep/
Our candidate interview series continues this week with Shannon Estabrook, a retired Portland Community College instructor and seasoned political campaigner who has volunteered with Democratic Party campaigns stretching back to Robert Kennedy’s in 1968. Estabrook is now focused on her own campaign for City Commissioner Position 4, and visited us to share her vision of how art and culture fits in to Portland’s future. 3:34 On what art can do for students “[Art] is what motivates us and it’s what young, 20s, and 30s, and older students can get exposed to and motivate a creativity that perhaps they didn’t even know they had.” 7:01 On what is working “I’m apprehensive that many of the programs for youth and adults are too costly in the private sector. It’s rare that a family of four can afford tickets to go see the symphony. So I applaud the efforts made by the private sector for concerts in the park in the summer, and bringing art to schools.” 9:36 On the 2015 budget surplus that was not spent on arts and culture “It’s shameful in any budget that education and arts and math and science are put on the bottom rung. I can’t imagine what they spent [the budget surplus] for…I’ve taught for over 30 years now. It never ceases to amaze me that they put education at the bottom.” 12:03 On the Arts Tax I support [the Arts Tax] 100%—I believe in my entire life since age 18 I have never voted down any bond or tax that funds education. I have some complaints that they have made it very complicated for people…it’s punitive to the working poor. However they do need to collect from those who can afford it.” 15:56 On the real estate market and its impact on affordable housing “I am adamant in the fact that this [housing] bubble will break. You can look back in the 80s, 90s, and 2010 and 2012. It won’t last forever and it’s funny money.” 16:44 On rent control “I am adamant about supporting [rent control]… I am all for that. The state is leading the way on that, and Portland needs to follow it. This bubble will drop, and we will get rent control.” 21:47 On how we can encourage access to the arts for a more diverse group of Portlanders “We need children, we need youth, we need the elderly…we need all voices. And in that regard we need to have the folks that can afford it help advertise it and help fund it, with no strings attached.” 22:27 On the section of SW 12th downtown, stretching from PSU to Burnside “I’ve lived in every part of the city, nearly…and I observe. I walk 6-8 miles a day. I love what they are doing on 12th street, I love it…it’s alive with the elderly, children, homeless folks…it keeps our heritage.”
In honor of Mothers everywhere, we have several stories about new projects being brought into the world this week: a film project that's all about learning from the past, the Eugene Symphony's three ambitious new compositions, and a play that takes us across the boarder. Plus, Charles Bradley sings tribute to his own mom. Into the Beautiful North An adaptation of Luis Alberto Urrea’s bestselling novel “Into the Beautiful North” premieres at Milagro Theatre this week. The story follows three women from a small town in Mexico—a town with a total male population of zero. Immigration to the US has lured their community's men away, but our heroines, spurred on by the classic western flick “The Magnificent Seven,” are determined to bring back at least half a dozen of the good ones. Rough Waters for Arts Central - 4:50 For twenty years, the Bend-based nonprofit Arts Central has brought arts education to central Oregon under the leadership of executive director Cate O’Hagan. Last month, though, O’Hagan quit after coming into conflict with the organization’s board over her role and the nonprofit's office space. We look at what this could mean for the region. Changes, from Charles Bradley - 8:47 NPR called Charles Bradley’s “the most unlikely soul career of the millennium,” and the singer’s new album, “Changes,” reflects this and more. Bradley talks with NPR's David Greene about the album's unlikely starting place in a Black Sabbath cover, before opening up about how deeply the album is influenced by the loss of his mother. Bradley plays the Crystal Ballroom on May 19. The Portland Queer Documentary Film Festival Is One of a Kind - 16:33 Every year, the Portland Queer Documentary Film Festival, or QDoc for short, brings films (and often their makers) from around the world to Portland, about subjects ranging from gay athletes to New Zealand's favorite yodeling lesbian twins. It's the only such festival in the world, and this year it celebrates its 10th year May 19–22 at the Hollywood Theater. The co-founder David Weissman, a filmmaker best known for his docs "The Cockettes" and "We Were Here," stops by to talk about the festival and his newest project, "Conversations with Gay Elders." Eugene Symphony's Big 5-0 - 23:30 The Eugene Symphony has a reputation for programming challenging works, but the symphony is pushing itself to a new level for its 50th anniversary with three new commissions by world class composers. Hear Oregon composer Robert Kyr's “Dawning of the World (Piano Concerto No. 1)” during the season finale on May 12. Return to Neverland with Peter and the Starcatcher - 30:45 What does it take to recapture the wonder of being a kid? Turns out, the Tony-winning musical "Peter and the Starcatcher," which bills itself as a grown-ups' prequel to Peter Pan. We ask Broadway veteran Rodney Hicks to see the Portland Playhouse's local premiere for the next stop in our “What Are You Looking At?” series, and are rewarded with a night of uproarious laughs and unbridled imagination, playing through May 29. Mohsin Hamed - 38:58 Pakistani and British author Mohsin Hamed reliably produces books with painfully clever titles and wisely-portioned doses of experimentation. His novels “The Reluctant Fundamentalist" and "How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia,” were short listed for the Man Booker Prize and made the New York Times Best Seller list, respectively. “Discontent and Its Civilizations,” a collection of essays, came out last year and his newest novel, “Exit West,” is slated for release in 2017. Hamed visited Portland recently and found time to sit down with Think Out Loud’s Dave Miller. It's always good to go out with a bang, so listen in for that conversation at the end of the show.
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Support for Oregon Art Beat's "Discovering Beverly Cleary" is provided by The Kinsman Foundation, Kay Kitagawa and Andy Johnson-Laird, Sharon and Keith Barnes, the Oregon Arts Commission, Ronni Lacroute and the Wyss Foundation. Additional support provided by Blaine Morley and Elizabeth Large, The Roundhouse Foundation, Jean and Ray Auel and The Jackson Foundation. Additional funders available on request. Contest rules available here.
Presented by the Beaverton Arts Commission, the exhibition, which is free and open to the public, runs from November 3-11 at the Beaverton City Library and will include sculpture, watercolor, oil and acrylic painting, photography and mixed media.
Oregon Art Beat is OPB's Emmy Award-winning local arts series, now in its 17th season. Art Beat profiles artists, musicians and artisans from around Oregon and the Northwest. Tune in Thursdays at 8 p.m.
Join us this week on Oregon Art Beat! Cuba Libre: An Oregon Art Beat Special, takes you through the evolution of a musical - from a dance workshop, to national auditions, through an intense seven-week rehearsal to the show's opening at Artist Repertory Theatre. This special, filmed over the span of a year, uncovers why it takes up to five years to develop a major musical.
Cuba Libre premiered in November 2015 with the three-time Grammy-nominated Afro-Caribbean band, Tiempo Libre and a company of 21 actors, dancers and musicians.
Audiences will have another opportunity to hear Tiempo Libre's Latin rhythms performed live at two venues this June:
Portland's Center for the Arts Newmark Theatre
Antoinette Hatfield Hall
1111 SW Broadway Portland, Oregon 97205
Friday, June 3, 2016 at 7:30 pm.
For ticket prices and information visit here. And for a free concert at the BMC Summer Sunday Concert Series in Bend:
Les Schwab Amphitheater
344 SW Shevlin Hixon Drive, Bend, OR 97702
Sunday, June 5, 2016 at 2:30 pm.
For more information on this event, visit here.
Parents and students will be pleased to know they can now use a new database from the Oregon Arts Comission (OAC) to search the range of arts classes offered in Oregon schools. The five search categories are visual, music, dance, theatre, and media arts. The database, which uses information from the No Child Left Behind reporting requirements for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years, sheds light on where the arts are taught in Oregon. But it also reveals the instability of arts education for many schools across the state. Key findings from the Oregon Arts Commission's 2010-2011 study, which will be published in July, revealed that 21 percent of Oregon public schools did not offer any regular, stand-alone arts courses. That was a one percent drop when compared to the Commission's 2009-2010 data (pdf). According to Deborah Vaughn, OAC Arts Education Coordinator, a closer look at the number "reveals a more volatile reality." She says:
"This one percent negative change is the result of over 150 arts classes being cut from schools and slightly fewer than that being added to other schools. This indicates a high degree of instability and inconsistency in classes available to an individual student from year to year."
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When the Oregon State Capitol started a major expansion back in 1975, lawmakers created a program that would have a lasting effect on their new digs. Known as Percent for Art, the basic idea was that at least one percent of total construction dollars for a given project had to go towards art. This was one of the first statewide programs of its kind in the country — it's pretty common now — and choosing art for Capitol was its first charge. A committee was set up, and a few years later 170 paintings and sculptures had been assembled, most of them contemporary works by living Oregonian artists. (A separate committee created a collection of photographs, called "Oregon in the 20th Century.")