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Things begin to stir at the Coast

In Newport, films will be shown outdoors, and the Lincoln City Cultural Center has reopened to the public.


The Newport Performing Arts Center remains dark, but that doesn’t mean nothing is going on.

Friday, June 5, marks the start of the PAC Picture Show. Due to licensing restrictions that I don’t quite understand, the Performing Arts Center cannot reveal what the coming films are, beyond describing them as nostalgic, but you can find the titles by going to the website.

The films will be shown outdoors in socially distanced “Parking Lot Theatre style” at the Performing Arts Center on Friday and Saturday nights. The sound is broadcast via FM radio, so you’ll need a working FM radio if you want to hear the film. A $15 donation is requested for admission, which guarantees a parking spot. Space for SUVs, trucks, vans, and minivans is very limited, organizers say, so best if you can drive a smaller vehicle.

The picture show is sponsored by the Oregon Coast Council for the Arts, which is also sponsoring the ongoing online art show at the Visual Arts Center.  

The Newport Symphony Orchestra, a resident artist team at the center fondly known as PACRATs, is also getting in on the action with videos featuring member musicians. They include performances on clarinet and horn, violin, and flute.

“We’re doing all kinds of fun stuff,” said Akia Woods, president of the art council’s board of directors. “The Red Octopus Theatre Company recently sponsored a contest to write a play centered on an online meeting format environment. It’s fun looking to see what we can do.”


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The Performing Arts Center has been able to keep staff members on, thanks to a payroll protection grant that should keep people working through at least July 1. The center also is using the downtime to attend to much-needed building maintenance and repairs, such as painting and refinishing floors, deep-cleaning carpets, and upgrading training guides and manuals. But fundraising efforts are on a bit of hiatus.  

“I don’t know what the future holds,” Woods said. “But we do know the future holds an OCCA. Even if we do have to run it through volunteers, the OCCA will survive this. This is a really hard time for people. Everyone needs money to stay afloat, so we made a decision to put the capital campaign requests on hold. We will come back with vigor later on, and if anyone wants to make a donation now, we will happily accept it.”

Up the highway, the Lincoln City Cultural Center is again open for business. After a soft opening June 1, three spaces are open to the public daily.

"Crow on Birdbath" by Nancy Abens, is included in the "...a thing with feathers" show at the Lincoln City Cultural Center.
“Crow on Birdbath,” by Nancy Abens, is included in the “…a thing with feathers” show opening June 12 at the Lincoln City Cultural Center.

The Cause to Create show in the PJ Chessman Gallery will run through Monday. The annual bird-themed show, …a thing with feathers, is set to open in the gallery June 12. Pieces include 3-D sculpture and paintings by Robert Schlegel; clay work, art prints, and paintings by Marilyn Burkhardt; mixed media and fabric art by Cheri Aldrich; and fire paintings by Cynthia Longhat-Adams.

“The bird show is always one of our most popular,” said Nikki Price, executive director of the cultural center. “There is something about the subject matter that inspires both artists and collectors. It’s well attended and sells well. We’ll put all social distancing in place and hope people will come and see us safely starting June 12.”


This story is supported in part by a grant from the Oregon Cultural Trust, investing in Oregon’s arts, humanities and heritage, and the Lincoln County Cultural Coalition.


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Photo Joe Cantrell

Lori Tobias is a journalist of many years, and was a staff writer for The Oregonian for more than a decade, and a columnist and features writer for the Rocky Mountain News. Her memoir “Storm Beat – A Journalist Reports from the Oregon Coast” was published in 2020 by Oregon State University press. She is also the author of the novel Wander, winner of the 2017 Nancy Pearl Book Award for literary fiction and a finalist for the 2017 International Book Awards for new fiction. She lives on the Oregon Coast with her husband Chan and rescue pup Gus.


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