We are (almost) a Bieber-free zone

News and notes on the Portland International Film Festival, William Stafford Centennial, Louis Bunce, theater grants

Louis Bunce, "Eclipse", 1962, gouache and conte on paper/Laura Russo Gallery

Louis Bunce, “Eclipse”, 1962, gouache and conte on paper/Laura Russo Gallery

No, we are not going to tsk-tsk over the latest Justin Bieber arrest in Miami. We just aren’t. And we’re not even going to link you to the tsk-tsking over at Huffington Post. OK, so I couldn’t help myself. Let’s just say I personally would not rent a Lamborghini to the kid, but that’s just on aesthetic grounds: Why put a piece of fine machinery at risk?

I shall link to other events in the universe, however, ones that I find more congenial!

For example, the Portland International Film Festival released this year’s schedule, available as a PDF, and it’s impressive. Tomorrow the microsite for the festival goes live and you can reach the same info via the Northwest Film Center’s website. The festival will run February 6-22.

We agree that this is choral music’s Golden Age in Portland, and Jeff Winslow reviewed Cappella Romana’s Arctic Light concert as a case in point. If you haven’t already, maybe it’s time to start enjoying the riches.

Add to the ongoing William Stafford centennial celebrations: Portland Peace Choir has commissioned Portland composer Beth Karp to set one of Stafford’s poems, “At The Un-National Monument Along The Canadian Border,” for chorus. The new piece will premiere at the PPC’s May 17 concert. “This is the field where the battle did not happen,/where the unknown soldier did not die.” I should also point out the Literary Arts/Lewis & Clark College William Stafford Centennial Celebration, 7:30 pm February 7, Newmark Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway. The poetry stars will be shining, hosted by Matthew Dickman. (OK, now I’m trying to imagine a meeting between Justin Bieber and William Stafford…)

Jamuna Chiarini’s review of the first half of the (a)merging dance festival at Northwest Dance Project, is a good preview of the second half, which starts Friday night.

Many of America’s historic post office buildings, including several in Oregon, constitute an important part of our public architectural heritage. Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer is trying to protect them.

Bonnie Hull blogged about Jack Portland’s artist’s talk on artist Louis Bunce at the Laura Russo Gallery on Saturday, and if you have any doubts about Bunce’s significance, you should check out Paul Sutinen’s blog. Right now!

When I first arrived in Portland, back before global warming, I thought the Portland theater was wonderful because it was so weird, and it was so weird because it was so isolated. I thought of it as the Galapagos Islands of theater, where strange organisms evolved. Storefront Theatre was a case in point, but there were many others. When those companies collapsed, mostly, we entered a period during which we resembled lots of other big theater towns, just a couple of years behind. And now? Well, I think we are doing some pioneering work that everyone else is going to mimic, just a few years later! My latest piece of evidence: both Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Portland Center Stage received TCG Audience (R)Evolution grants to build on their successes in reaching new audiences. Congratulations!

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