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State of Wonder

Mar. 19: Esperanza Spalding, Thao Nguyen, Sharon Olds, Artists Rep's Explosive Play & More

March 19, 2016 2:06 a.m.

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:

State of Wonder

Shannon Estabrook - Candidate For Council Pos. 4

April 9, 2016 6:29 p.m.

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.”

State of Wonder

May 7: Charles Bradley, Mohsin Hamid, QDoc Film Fest, Peter Pan Prequel And More

May 6, 2016 9:34 p.m.

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.

Business | local | News

Oregon Bottle Deposit Likely To Double In 2017

June 19, 2016 3:36 p.m.

A hike in bottle deposits is likely in 2017 as Oregon commissioners consider a House bill passed in 2011 that called for deposits to double if the redemption rate had dipped below 80 percent for two consecutive years.

Transportation | Environment | Oil Trains In The Northwest

Oil Train Tank Cars Are Getting Safer But What About The Tracks?

June 15, 2016 3 p.m.

Track problems are the leading cause of derailments and have caused the majority of oil train wrecks. But in all the calls for increased safety and federal action on crude by rail that have echoed in the days following the crash in Mosier, little of the focus has been on what can be done to improve track maintenance to prevent derailments.  

Animals | News | Environment

Rep. Peter DeFazio Criticizes Gov. Kate Brown Over Wolf Issue

June 16, 2016 4:54 p.m.

There's tension between two of Oregon's most powerful Democrats. Rep. Peter DeFazio wrote a letter to Gov. Kate Brown saying it appeared she misled him in regards to her actions on a bill dealing with wolves in the wild.

local | News

Portland Heads Toward Construction Tax To Fund More Housing

June 17, 2016 1:45 a.m.

The Portland City Council plans to vote next week on a 1 percent tax on new residential and commercial construction to fund affordable housing.

Environment | The Circuit: Tracking America's Electronic Waste

On The Trail Of America's Dangerous, Dead Electronics

May 9, 2016 7:15 a.m.

Despite pledges to responsibly recycle old TVs and other unwanted electronics with toxic materials inside, an investigation tracks e-waste from the U.S. to unregulated scrapyards in Hong Kong.

Health | NW Life | News | Lead In The Water

Portland Parks And Recreation Finds More Elevated Lead Levels

June 21, 2016 2:30 a.m.

The Portland Parks and Recreation Department conducted 180 tests and found elevated lead levels in 17 samples. Officials plan to replace fixtures with elevated levels. 

Economy | Business | local | News

Map: Where Can Adults Legally Buy Marijuana In Oregon? Almost Everywhere

April 19, 2016 11:15 p.m.

More than 300 of the state's licensed medical dispensaries have also opted to serve recreational consumers. Our map tracks all 418 of the state's licensed dispensaries currently in operation.

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Think Out Loud

What A New Oregon Arts Leader Will Mean

June 6, 2014 7:45 p.m.

We'll talk with State of Wonder's April Baer about Brian Rogers, who was chosen this week to head the Oregon Arts Commission and the Oregon Cultural Trust.

Oregon Art Beat

Beaverton Visual Arts Showcase and Sale

Nov. 9, 2012 3 a.m.

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

July 10, 2013 12:11 p.m.

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 for Oregon Art Beat's episode exploring some of Oregon's unique art! Follow innovative performance artists, Boaz Frankel and Phillip Ross who literally pedal to interview their next local celebrity. View Laura Heit's extraordinary installation work as an animator, filmmaker and puppeteer and see how, using only an x-acto knife, James Allen reveals the unexpected art in almost any book.  

Think Out Loud

Arts in Oregon Schools

June 26, 2012 4:25 p.m.

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."

About OPB

June 14, 2016 5:02 p.m.

News and information about Oregon Public Broadcasting.
Front Desk: 503.244.9900
Membership: 1.800.241.8123

Think Out Loud

The Capitol Art Collection

May 26, 2011 4:40 p.m.

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.")

Arts | State of Wonder

November 2 2013

Nov. 2, 2013 7 p.m.

Ann Hamilton, Ian Karmel, Carlos Kalmar, The Secret Language of Color, 3D printers, and much more.

State of Wonder

November 16 2013

Nov. 16, 2013 8:06 p.m.

Joe Sacco's The Great War, love and fate at the symphony, the latest from Fruit Bats, and more.

About OPB

Producing for OPB

June 22, 2016 7:23 p.m.

Producing for OPB

Think Out Loud

The Price of Art

Jan. 25, 2008 5 p.m.

It seems that everywhere you turn in certain parts of Cascadia you can't help but run into someone making a movie, or writing a novel, or starting a band. This is, we're told, an arts mecca and magnet: a place to come to, with or without a job, because it's both cheap enough to scrape together a living and dense enough with fellow artists that the "creative class" has a critical mass. At the same time we read that Oregon ranks 48th per capita for state funding of the arts (Washington isn't too much better at 46th; you can read the full PDF from the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies here) — and that this leads to plenty of funding headaches. Just this past Saturday, in fact, the Portland Arts Center announced it was closing its doors.

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