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Lyle Ritz RIP | Classical Music Feud | Wendy Red Star | Feminist Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon


This week, we are all about change. From feminist art Wikipedia editing parties to a young composer calling for a revitalization of classical music, Portland artists and musicians challenge the canon. 


March Sadness Update - 00:57

Last week we introduced you to March Sadness: the tournament of heartbreakers, grim reapers and other incredibly sad songs to get you through the end of winter. We asked you to vote on which tracks you found most gut-wrenching, and we are down to the final two: “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda” by the Pogues and Johnny Cash’s “Hurt.”

Cast your vote by clicking here for the ultimate champion of misery.


45th Parallel artistic director Greg Ewer and composer Tristan Bliss battle out their artistic differences with their collaborative show Classical Crossroads. 

45th Parallel artistic director Greg Ewer and composer Tristan Bliss battle out their artistic differences with their collaborative show Classical Crossroads. 

Courtesy of 45th Parallel

Musician Feud Transforms Into Classical Concert - 2:36

In 2015, composer Tristan Bliss wrote a scathing article about chamber group 45th Parallel’s “Forbidden Music” show, a classical concert that featured music that had been outlawed for religious and political reasons. Bliss tore apart the concert for its lack of risk, and director Greg Ewer fired back that Bliss compose something better. So he did (or at least he tried).

45th Parallel will perform their collaborative effort, “Requiem for a Tradition,” as part of its “Classical Crossroads” concert will be at Artists’ Repertory Theatre on March 29. 


Jayanthi Raman blends Modern and Bharatanatyam styles of dance to create visual wonder.

Jayanthi Raman blends Modern and Bharatanatyam styles of dance to create visual wonder.

Courtesy of Jayanthi Raman

Rasika Dance Overcomes Travel Ban - 12:50

Putting together a multi-layered international dance performance with international artists is never easy. There’s the travel, logistics and airfare, to say nothing of navigating the bureaucratic complexity of work visas. Hillsboro choreographer Jayanthi Raman has been an ace at this over the years, but as a result of President Trump’s visa restrictions, she had to reschedule her big spring show. Featuring a mixture of classical Indian ballet and contemporary dance, Raman’s “Duality: A Dance Ballet of India” tells the story of a woman who moved to Portland from India. 

After two years of planning and several weeks of visa-related delays, “Duality” is finally premiering at Newmark Theater on Apr. 1


Portland artist Taryn Tomasello and Roya Amirsoleymani, PICA's directory of community engagement, learn how to edit and create Wikipedia entries.

Portland artist Taryn Tomasello and Roya Amirsoleymani, PICA’s directory of community engagement, learn how to edit and create Wikipedia entries.

Molly Solomon/OPB

Feminist Art Historians Edit The Internet - 17:43

If you read up on women artists on Wikipedia, chances are that page was written by a man. Statistics show the percentage of women who edit Wikipedia, the popular open-source website, is fewer than 10 percent. But there are some art-minded folks trying to close that gender gap. At Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA) last week, a group of feminists and artists took part in a massive national editing session to create more diverse voices and content on Wikipedia.

Another edit-a-thon will be held at Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland on Apr. 29 at the Albert Solheim Library.


Jennifer Rabin is both an activist and a conceptual artist in Portland, dedicated to organizing ways to make the Portland art scene more inclusive and accessible. 

Jennifer Rabin is both an activist and a conceptual artist in Portland, dedicated to organizing ways to make the Portland art scene more inclusive and accessible. 

Courtesy of the artist

Jennifer Rabin’s New Projects Seek To Show Why Art Matters - 19:22

Of course, editing Wikipedia is far from the only way to engage art and politics. Jennifer Rabin is an artist, writer and activist. She’s used her post as Willamette Week’s visual arts writer to focus its spotlight on underrepresented artists, and she’s made her own politically minded work, but that wasn’t enough. Last week, she launched Art Passport PDX, a collaborative program to get more eyes into galleries by offering prizes (including $1,600 to spend on art) to those who visit eight local galleries. And this week, she launched Artists Resist, a project that responds to the proposed elimination of the NEA and NEH.


Wendy Red Star at Atelier 6000.

Wendy Red Star at Atelier 6000.

Amanda Peacher/OPB

Artist Wendy Red Star On The Rise - 30:02

Over the last few years, artist Wendy Red Star’s work has been featured around country, including at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and two shows at the Portland Art Museum. The hits don’t stop: Red Star is on the main stage next month at Portland Design Week, and her work is being featured in the governor’s office in Salem.  

This week, as part of a special on Native American artists, Oregon Art Beat is re-airing its profile of Red Star, alongside OPB’s new “Oregon Experience” documentary, “Broken Treaties.” 


Mark Saltveit

Mark Saltveit

Courtesy of Mark Saltveit

Palindrome Expert Mark Saltveit Dances With Words - 35:14

Oregonian Mark Saltveit is the reigning world palindrome champion, having taken home the prize in 2012 at the first ever competition, hosted by none other than NPR Puzzle Master Will Shorts. Saltveit is also a stand up comedian and writer. This weekend, Saltveit is defending his title in Stamford, Connecticut. Hear his full interview with “Think Out Loud” host Dave Miller on the art of writing forwards and backwards. 


RIP Jazz Ukulele Master Lyle Ritz - 43:42

Musician Lyle Ritz’s legacy stretches for miles. Thousands, in fact. From Honolulu to Los Angeles to Portland, Ritz’s innovative grasp of the ukulele earned him the reputation as the father of jazz ukulele, while his bass playing underscored some of the most famous pop songs of all time. Ritz spent his later years in Portland and died earlier this month.


A 35-foot tall totem pole gifted by Seattle to its sister city Kobe, Japan, in 1961 is now returning to the earth after it was cut down because of dry rot.

A 35-foot tall totem pole gifted by Seattle to its sister city Kobe, Japan, in 1961 is now returning to the earth after it was cut down because of dry rot.

Courtesy of the City of Kobe

The Final Resting Place Of An Old Totem Pole - 4824

Here’s a problem we don’t face very often, fortunately: How do you dispose of an old totem pole? The tall totem in question was a gift from Seattle to its sister city in Japan. The painted totem stood in a park next to Kobe’s city hall for more than fifty years, but then a few years ago, city workers detected dry rot inside the cedar pole. As a result, the totem was cut off at its base in March 2015 and is now laid down in the municipal arboretum. 

oregon art music wendy red star

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