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Mark Rothko | Sera Cahoone | Women In Tech | Coleman Exits Portland Center Stage

Had enough of the status quo? This week’s wonders are shaking it up: the greatest modern artist who ever called Portland home, a director who set the bar higher, two friends turning fan-favorite songs upside down and ladies calling “time’s up” on tech.

Kasey Jones (left), Megan Bigelow (second from right), and Amanda Brooks (right) at OPB in 2016.

Kasey Jones (left), Megan Bigelow (second from right), and Amanda Brooks (right) at OPB in 2016.


Painfully Honest Job Descriptions for Women in Tech — 1:15

Backfence PDX is about to welcome some storytellers from the tech world to the MainStage for an evening of home truths on May 12. #MeToo isn’t just limited to Silicon Valley. We heard about this in 2016 when we welcomed one of the Backfence storytellers, Megan Bigelow, to our studio. Along with friends Kasey Jones and Amanda Brooks, they helped us rewrite job descriptions for women in the industry. All three say they’re in good places with their current employers, but some of their past experiences at other firms, from start-ups to big players, were truly hair-raising.

Mark Rothko, in his college years.

Mark Rothko, in his college years.

Courtesy of the Rothko Foundation

Rothko in Portland — 10:08

This week, “Oregon Art Beat” premieres a new documentary about a painter who was, arguably, the greatest modern artist ever to call Oregon home. Mark Rothko flew in the face of convention and ultimately helped create a new American vanguard, but his early years as an immigrant kid in Portland were a hard education. We talk with producer Eric Slade about Rothko’s Portland roots and the experiences that influenced his visual vocabulary.

Watch the full “Oregon Art Beat” documentary here.

Sera Cahoone performs with strings at The Old Church

Sera Cahoone performs with strings at The Old Church


Sera Cahoone Flora String Sessions — 16:43

There’s a simple honesty to the music of Seattle singer-songwriter Sera Cahoone. Her songs tell intimate stories about love and loss, where acoustic guitar and Cahoone’s voice are complemented by the steady percussion that is a holdover from her days as the drummer for Seattle’s Band of Horses and the occasional cello, piano or country-tinged slide guitar. It’s hard to imagine that her twist on Americana needs any embellishment, but while she was touring with the multi-instrumentalist Alex Guy, they had an idea: Guy would arrange full strings for a number of Cahoone’s songs for a big upcoming concert. What started as a one-off show has grown into the new album, “The Flora String Sessions.”

opbmusic caught up with the two and their band for a soundcheck before their recent concert at the Old Church in Portland. Watch the videos here.

Coleman says he did not seek out his new position at Denver's Center for the Performing Arts theater company, but he's ready for new challenges. "I don't know that it was time to go, I just had ... the right opportunity."

Coleman says he did not seek out his new position at Denver’s Center for the Performing Arts theater company, but he’s ready for new challenges. “I don’t know that it was time to go, I just had … the right opportunity.”

Courtesy of Portland Center Stage

Chris Coleman Says Goodbye to Portland Center Stage — 26:48

After 19 seasons, the artistic director of Portland Center Stage is leaving for a new job in Denver. Chris Coleman brought the city’s largest company to new heights, carving out programming space for original works as well as new interpretations of classics, while midwifing the renovation of the Armory into a new multi-stage venue. He also had a busy side hustle advocating with state and local governments for arts funding. Coleman stopped in to talk to “Think Out Loud” host Dave Miller about his time in Portland.

You can watch the last play he is directing for PCS, “Major Barbara,” through May 13.

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