All Classical Radio James Depreist

News & Notes: Open house at The Reser

The Beaverton arts center is throwing a free party. Plus: Grants make the cultural world go 'round; new leadership in the Oregon Legislature's Arts and Culture Caucus.

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The group Ka Lei Haliʻa O Ka Lokelani + Teva Oriata performing at 2022's "Shine the Light" at The Reser. Photo: Jason Quigley
The group Ka Lei Haliʻa O Ka Lokelani + Teva Oriata performing at 2022’s “Shine the Light” at The Reser. Photo: Jason Quigley

Since opening a little more than two years ago in Beaverton, The Reser has become a busy cultural magnet on the West Side of the Portland metropolitan area, drawing a steady stream of regional and national performers to its theater space, plus visual arts shows and multiple activities for childen and adults.

Now it’s time to celebrate and throw the doors open to all comers for free. On Saturday, June 1, The Reser (full name the Patricia Reser Center for the Arts) will host its annual “Shine the Light” community celebration, inviting everyone in for a series of performances, art, and activities from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Check the “Shine the Light” link for the full lineup of performances, which begins with Warm Springs hip-hop artist Blue Flamez and wraps up with the salsa band Barrio Mestizo. Hands-on stations range from wood block printing to origami.

The center’s gallery spaces are still shut down, awaiting repairs after a burst sprinkler pipe during January’s cold weather caused water damage. Gallery events will be held in the lobby for Saturday’s open house, and the center’s current exhibit, Kanani Miyamoto’s “printstallation” Across Oceans, will wrap the east and south windows of The Reser and connect to the Beaverton Building at City Hall.

Grants make the world go ’round

Dietrich Peters, a member of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde who is Kalapuya, Rouge River, and Umpqua, takes his traditional culture to schools and libraries in Lane County through the Singing Creek Educational Center's Acorn Circle Program, which is supported by a grant from the Three Rivers Foundation. Photo: Karen Rainsong
Dietrich Peters, a member of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde who is Kalapuya, Rogue River, and Umpqua, takes his traditional culture to schools and libraries in Lane County through the Singing Creek Educational Center’s Acorn Circle Program, which is supported by a grant from the Three Rivers Foundation. Photo: Karen Rainsong

In nonprofit arts and culture (which includes most museums, performance groups, and media outlets such as Oregon ArtsWatch and All Classical radio) grants make the world go ’round. Coming from government, corporate, foundation, and other sources, they combine with individual donations and a few other sources to provide the financial foundation to keep things running. Grants can be big, medium, or small, for specific or general purposes.

The Three Rivers Foundation, established by the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians as the charitable arm of the Three Rivers Casino Resort in Florence, has announced a round of 95 grants to Oregon nonprofits, totaling more than $720,000 and ranging individually from $5,000 to $40,000.

The grants cover a broad range of social, cultural, and artistic causes, from education and health to environmental issues, historic preservation, and the arts. Among the artistic/cultural recipients: the Dolphin Players theater in Coos Bay, for a dolphin mural on their building; the Coos Bay Public Library, to support material on the cultural traditions of Latin American people; and the Singing Creek Educational Center, in Cottage Grove, to expand its Acorn Circle Program, which works with Native culture-bearers to bring Indigenous culture and children’s education to libraries in Lane County. 

Legislative arts leaders

Rep. Rob Nosse (D-Portland, left) and Sen. Dick Anderson (R-Lincoln City, right) share leadership of the Oregon Legislature’s Arts and Culture Caucus.

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All Classical Radio James Depreist

A big player in the health of Oregon’s arts & culture world is the Oregon Legislature, which passes laws and assigns budgets for all sorts of governmental priorities, including programs thar support artists and the arts.

To help push cultural measures through a Legislature that has many things on its mind, in 2023 a small group of legislators established for the first time an Arts and Culture Caucus. Rep. Rob Nosse (D-Portland) was coordinator, and now he’s being joined by Sen. Dick Anderson (R-Lincoln City), one of the original caucus members, as a co-leader.

“Senator Dick Anderson has been a wonderful partner in showing that arts funding truly is a bipartisan, bicameral priority,” Nosse said in a prepared statement. “We look forward to growing our coalition together in the 2025 long session, as the Arts and Culture Caucus seeks to further advocate for arts and cultural venues of all parts of Oregon.”

Anderson provides bipartisan leadership to the 23-member caucus, which is heavily Democratic, with just three Republican members. The caucus hopes to alter that. “Inside the Legislature, we can find strong bipartisan bonds across the aisle with the Arts and Culture Caucus,” Anderson said in the statement. “I have witnessed the value of having a thriving arts and cultural community within the cities I represent. Recognizing this value and assisting its growth throughout all of Oregon is needed; it is an endeavor I am excited to be part of.” 

In addition to Anderson and Nosse, the caucus includes:

Rep. Ben Bowman (D-Tigard/Metzger/South Beaverton); Rep. Janelle Bynum (D-Clackamas); Sen. Michael Dembrow (D-Portland); Rep. Maxine Dexter (D-Portland); Sen. Lew Frederick (D-North/Northeast Portland); Rep. David Gomberg (D-Otis); Rep. Dacia Grayber (D-Southwest Portland/East Beaverton); Sen. Bill Hansell (R-Athena); Rep. Annessa Hartman (D-Gladstone); Rep. Emerson Levy (D-Bend/South Redmond/Tumalo/Sisters); Rep. John Lively (D-Springfield); Sen. James Manning Jr.(D-North Eugene/West Eugene/Veneta); Rep. Kevin Mannix (R-Keizer/North Salem); Rep. Pam Marsh (D-Ashland); Sen. Mark Meek (D-Clackamas County); Rep. Daniel Nguyen (D-Lake Oswego/ Southwest Portland); Rep. Hoa Nguyen (D-East Portland/Damascus); Sen. Deb Patterson (D-Salem); Rep. Lisa Reynolds (D-Northeast Washington County); Rep. Ricki Ruiz, (D-Gresham); and Rep. Thuy Tran (D-Northeast Portland). 

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Photo Joe Cantrell

Bob Hicks has been covering arts and culture in the Pacific Northwest since 1978, including 25 years at The Oregonian. Among his art books are Kazuyuki Ohtsu; James B. Thompson: Fragments in Time; and Beth Van Hoesen: Fauna and Flora. His work has appeared in American Theatre, Biblio, Professional Artist, Northwest Passage, Art Scatter, and elsewhere. He also writes the daily art-history series "Today I Am."

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