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Bits & Pieces: League of skaters ready to grind it out

by: COURTESY OF JOEY SHIGEO/SLS   - Paul Rodriguez Jr. is one of the many stars on the new Street League Skateboarding Nike SB World Tour, which stops in Portland July 14.The X Games generation continues to evolve, and Portland gets to see some of the world’s best skateboarders up close and personal.

Street League Skateboarding stops in Portland, an event starting at 10 a.m. Sunday, July 14, at the Rose Quarter. The league, formed by famed skateboarder Rob Dyrdek, expanded to seven international stops this year — some associated with X Games, and three in North America, including Portland. The pros just performed in Munich last weekend. All events are broadcast on ESPN or ESPN2, and Street League has partnered with Nike SB.

“By launching a fully connected world tour, our pros now have six events to qualify into the (X Games) championship,” Dyrdek says. “This partnership (with X Games) not only gives more to our fans but also adds undeniable media support from

ESPN to give the league a true global impact.”

About 20 pro skateboarders are part of the tour, chasing $2 million in prize money. The biggest names: Paul Rodriguez Jr., Sean Malto, Ishod Wair, Luan Oliveira and Eric Koston. The pros perform on concrete skate plazas, with an easy-to-follow instant scoring format.

Tickets are $25 and $45, as well as VIP packages for $75 and $100. For info: www.rosequarter.com.

Mueller hired

After seven months as interim artistic director at Oregon Ballet Theatre, Anne Mueller has been hired as the first managing director at Hillsboro’s Bag&Baggage theater company.

Her position has been fully funded by grants from The Collins Foundation and The Miller Foundation. She starts in August.

“This is a huge step for us,” says Scott Palmer, B&B’s founding artistic director. “Not only will we now have year-round, full-time leadership but we will have that in the form of Anne Mueller, one of Portland’s best-known and most respected cultural leaders. To say we are thrilled would be a painful, embarrassing understatement.”

Mueller performed as a ballerina for 18 years, retiring in 2011 before assuming the position of director of artistic operations at OBT. She also co-founded the Trey McIntyre Project and served as the organization’s managing director from 2004 to 2006.

She made her post-ballet debut as Lavinia in B&B’s acclaimed “Kabuki-Titus” in summer 2012.

“It will be a challenge for me, personally and professionally,” she says, of her new position at Bag&Baggage. “But I am excited to bring my experience and training to Bag&Baggage to support their innovative work.”

Bag&Baggage puts on productions at The Venetian Theatre in Hillsboro. For info: www.bagnbaggage.org.

JAW: A Playwrights Festival

Portland Center Stage has selected four new plays, drawn from a national search, for the upcoming free festival of cutting-edge work. It runs July 25 through 27 at Gerding Theater, 128 N.W. 11th Ave. (info: pcs.org). The festival kicks off with “Ready. Set. Write.,” a gathering of homegrown playwrights and performers, 7 p.m. Thursday, July 25. The JAW lineup: “complex,” Dominic Finocchiaro, 4 p.m. Friday, July 26; “The Ocean All Around Us,” David Lavine, 8 p.m. Friday, July 26; “Threesome,” Yussef El Guindi, 4 p.m. Saturday, July 27; “Mai Dang Lao,” David Jacobi, 8 p.m. Saturday, July 27.

PDX Pop Now!

The lineup has been announced for the free, all-ages event, and it features 45 bands, a food court, an activity area, Rigsketball, street fair and more. (See pdxpopnow.com for complete list of bands).

It’s the 10th anniversary of the music-advocacy festival, and it’ll be showcased on two outdoor stages for the first time, July 19 through 21 at Eastbank Lot, Southeast Water Avenue and Salmon Street.

RACC proposals

The Regional Arts & Culture Council invites nonprofit organizations and individual artists in Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties to submit proposals for artistic projects and cultural events planned for the 2014 calendar year. The applications for project grants must be submitted by 5 p.m. Aug. 7. Info: www.racc.org/GrantsOnline.