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Water damage shuts down gallery at The Reser; All Classical Radio gets a boost

Storm damage shuts down the Beaverton arts center's galleries for repairs; The Judy reopens after its own storm damage; and All Classical's biggest-ever grant, from the Murdock Trust, helps its move to new downtown Portland headquarters.

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Detail from Katherine Curry’s “A Nuclear Family,” part of the exhibit “Dialogues: An Emerging Artist Showcase” at The Reser in Beaverton. Water damage has closed the gallery, and the show will be brought back in September. Photo: Friderike Heuer

The Great Storm of January 2024 is gone, but its damage remains. Hundreds of trees felled, dozens crashing into houses or onto cars; broken bones from slips on ice; mass power losses, for some people lasting a week; and more.

The damage hit arts institutions, too, with an inundation of canceled performances and more lasting property damage.

On Wednesday the Patricia Reser Center for the Arts announced that a broken sprinkler pipe on the ceiling of the Beaverton center’s second floor caused extensive damage to the ceilings in The Reser’s lobby and to its art galleries on both floors.

“The good news is that the damage to the building is cosmetic, not structural, and it was contained to the southeast side of the building,” Chris Ayzoukian, the center’s executive director, wrote an an email sent to the center’s followers. “The Mainstage Theater, the stage, seating areas, The Lab, Pavilion, and administrative offices were not affected. Plans for repair are underway. We are grateful that no one was injured.

“Sadly, some artwork was damaged in the lobby spaces on both floors. We regret to inform you that the Art Gallery will be temporarily closed while the damage is assessed, and repairs are completed. To honor our current exhibiting artists, we have rescheduled the exhibition, Dialogues: An Emerging Artist Showcase, to reopen in early September. This will allow us to present their work in the best possible way and celebrate their achievements.”

Friderike Heuer had reviewed the Dialogues exhibit for ArtsWatch; you can read her essay here.

Because performance spaces were not harmed, Ayzoukian added, all performances and events will go on as scheduled.

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The Reser wasn’t the only cultural space that suffered damage from the storm. As Marty Hughley reported in his DramaWatch column earlier this week, both The Judy, Northwest Children’s Theater and School‘s downtown home, and the East Side performance space The Steep and Thorny Way to Heaven suffered physical damage, also from burst sprinkler systems.

The Judy lost a couple of weeks of performances and classes, but has restored its spaces enough to reopen; repair work will continue for the next few weeks. “Sound the horns!” the company announced on Facebook. “The Stage and The Family Cinema at The Judy are FINALLY reopening this weekend! After being closed the last two weekends for icy weather and flooding, we are so excited to welcome Elephant & Piggie back to The Stage, January 27-February 4. Plus, Family Movie Night returns this Friday at 6 p.m. with Beauty and the Beast.”

The Steep and Thorny Way to Heaven’s damage was extensive, destroying sound and lighting equipment as well as flooding the performing space. The company has set up a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of $62,000.

Murdock Trust grants $750,000 to All Classical Radio

In a much more positive piece of news, All Classical Radio announced Thursday morning that the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust has awarded it $750,000 to support its move into downtown Portland’s KOIN Tower. It’s the biggest grant in All Classical’s 40-year history, and puts the station at almost 60 percent of its $10 million capital-campaign goal to make the move and renovate the KOIN space to its requirements.

The station’s board of directors has put forth a matching challenge of up to $500,000 “to continue the exciting forward momentum in the relocation campaign.”

“Our benefactor, Jack Murdock, believed strongly in the power and potential of radio to bring people together, and All Classical Radio has been doing just that for forty years,” Lorin Schmit Dunlop, the trust’s senior director of arts, culture, and education, said in a news release. “We are thrilled to support their move to a new broadcast studio in the heart of Portland so they can continue to engage and inspire for forty more years, and beyond.”

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“I am extremely grateful to the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust for this transformational investment,” Suzanne Nance, All Classical Radio’s president and CEO, said. “… The media arts center will expand opportunities for the entire arts community, and will help revitalize our city.”

All Classical Radio, which has an international reach, is moving downtown from its former home on the east bank of the Willamette River in Portland Opera‘s Hampton Opera Center building. As James Bash reported for ArtsWatch, the opera company plans to sell its almost 45,000-square-foot building and find a new space for its offices, shops, and rehearsal halls. Portland Opera will continue to perform in downtown’s Keller Auditorium, Newmark Theatre, and occasionally in smaller venues.

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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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