We’ve gotten a taste of some sunny weather in the last couple of weeks, which means summer is just around the corner — and a new season brings more arts and culture events to add to our calendars. OPB producer Donald Orr sat down with “All Things Considered” co-host Crystal Ligori to preview a few things to look forward to in June.
You can listen to their full conversation using the audio player at the top of this story.
Crystal Ligori: So what’s on your radar for June?
Donald Orr: Throughout the summer, the Portland Art Museum is celebrating “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio.” For those that missed it last year, it’s a stop-motion animated adaptation of the classic Italian fairytale:
It won a slew of awards in the last year, including the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. And it has a local connection: The movie was developed and filmed at Portland animation studio ShadowMachine with Portland co-director and stop motion veteran Mark Gustafson.
Hundreds of ShadowMachine’s artists worked on the film. That includes Portland-based puppet maker Georgina Hayns, ShadowMachine’s director of character fabrication for stop-motion. She’s worked on a number of stop motion films, including “Corpse Bride” and Laika’s “Coraline.”
Orr: Starting in June, the Portland Art Museum will have classes, programs and a screening series celebrating the art of stop motion, and the works of Guillermo del Toro. He’ll be in Portland later in June to chat about the film and working with Portland’s ShadowMachine.
Folks can check out the exhibit starting June 10 and through the summer. For a full schedule, tickets and more details, you can head to the Portland Art Museum’s website.
Ligori: Juneteenth is coming up, and there are a handful of celebrations throughout Oregon and the Pacific Northwest this year, right?
Orr: Yes. I had the chance recently to chat with Kenny Adams. He’s the executive director of The Father’s Group, a local Black-led nonprofit. He’s organizing a Juneteenth event in Bend this year. Juneteenth is a time of jubilee, and folks will be commemorating the final liberation of enslaved Black people in America. He told me that along with sharing that history, he wants the celebration to give Black residents in Central Oregon a safe space to just be themselves:
Kenny Adams: Bend has a very, very small Black community. So there’s not a lot of exposure to who we are, what we do, our lived experience. And we wanted to make sure that when we put this festival on, that we created a place for people to actually feel at home.
There’s a lot of transplants in this area. There’s not a lot of people that were born and raised in Central Oregon. They come from other areas and when they’re here, there’s a lot of disconnect. Just being able to be themselves, out loud. Not have to code switch, not have to “tune it down.”
We’ve helped to create this space that is comfortable and joyous.
Bend’s Juneteenth Celebration will be held at Drake Park on the weekend of June 17.
There’s more information at juneteenthcentralor.com. And that’s one of many events happening in our region. You can find one near you online.
Ligori: And what’s this I hear about an old school gaming event?
Orr: One last thing I want to plug is 64 Bits or Less. It’s a retro gaming festival and swap meet. Folks can play classic console games on original hardware, from classic Atari and Famicom systems, to the Nintendo 64. Folks can browse through vintage games, toys, records, collectibles and more.
That’ll be at the Benton County Fairgrounds in Corvallis, the weekend of June 3.