Arts and entertainment tidbits from around the Portland area compiled by the Portland Tribune.

FILE PHOTO - Humboldt penguinSaving penguins

The Oregon Zoo is joining the Association of Zoos and Aquariums of Silver Springs, Maryland, in a $150,000 Kickstarter campaign to help endangered African penguin populations.

The zoo is part of the association's "Invest in the Nest" crowdfunding plan to help build and place 1,500 artificial nest boxes for African penguins in South Africa and Namibia. For decades, commercial interests have put African penguin populations in peril by gathering nearly all the guano deposits penguins need for nesting. Today, the birds are struggling to raise their young.

The Kickstarter campaign just launched and has 30 days to gather pledges.

Local people who donate to the campaign can get several rewards, including a behind-the-scenes peek at the Oregon Zoo penguinarium (for pledges between $400 and $750), artwork from the zoo's Humboldt penguin colony, T-shirts, totes and posters.

"The Oregon Zoo has been involved in Humboldt penguin conservation for years," says Don Moore, zoo director. "But African penguins need our help, too, and this campaign is a great way for the community to join us in helping save penguins in the wild."

Cultural gathering

The Oregon Historical Society is hosting PDX Culture Keepers Festival in June, in which five artists/performers from different backgrounds gather to share their wisdom, knowledge and cultural traditions.

The free open house is presented by the Oregon Folklife Network. It features: Francisco Bautista, a fourth-generation weaver from Mexico; Dennis Best, a retired U.S. Coast Guard chief officer and surfman, who travels the world by sailboat and makes natural rope mats; Wambui Machua, a Kenyan chef and business owner, who teaches African cooking classes and more; Tulehoidjad, Portland's Estonian folk dance troupe, which keeps Estonian and Baltic traditions alive in Oregon; Shirod Younker, from the Upper Coquille and Miluk Coos tribes, and a keeper of his tribe's cultural knowledge.

The details: 2-4 p.m. Sunday, June 11, Oregon Historical Society, 1200 S.W. Park Ave.,,

Top bands

The Regional Arts & Culture Council recently held its Battle of the Bands, which pitted employee bands from several companies in a fundraiser for Work for Art.

The Bears of Stoel Rives took top band honor, while Pencil Skirt Paul & The Straight Edge Rulers from ZGF Architects won for best showmanship and Petty Crimes of Hampton Lumber won audience favorite. For more:

Franken coming

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., also a comedian/writer, will be making an appearance at 5 p.m. Sunday, June 18, at Newmark Theatre, 1111 S.W. Broadway, presented by Powell's Books.

He's represented Minnesota since 2009 and has a memoir out, "Al Franken, Giant of the Senate."

For more, including tickets:

Big fundraiser

Thanks to more than 500 community leaders, the Dougy Center raised $860,000 at its recent Reflection Benefit & Auction to help grieving children and families. For more:

Converge 45 lineup

The artists and venues have been announced for the 2017 Converge 45, a gathering for contemporary arts and ideas.

It's the second year of Converge 45, under the direction of Kristy Edmunds, guest artistic director. "Converge 45: You in Mind" will bring artists, curators, collectors and the public to Portland with the goal of engaging in critical conversations, Aug. 9-12.

It takes place at Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Reed College and many other venues.

Complete information on participants and venues can be found at

Open Signal

The new media arts center has a couple things going on:

  • "Fresh Paint" is a temporary mural wall pilot program in partnership with the Regional Arts & Culture Council. Three artists have been selected to paint a temporary mural on an area of the exterior west wall of the Open Signal building at 2766 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. It starts in May, and each mural will remain for four months.

  • There'll be a community discussion, "Portland's Love/Hate Relationship with Hip-Hop," noon Saturday, June 10, as part of "The Happening 2017" music workshop. It's sponsored by RACC, Open Signal and XRAY.FM.

    For more:

    New curator

    Disjecta Contemporary Art Center has named Seattle-based curator Julia Greenway as its curator-in-residence for 2017-18.

    She'll curate four exhibitions at Disjecta, 8371 N. Interstate Ave. The season opens in September with artwork by contemporary female artists from Seattle, Portland, Virginia, Texas and New York.

    For more:

    New name

    Before its first event, the Organic Craft BrewFest already has changed its title in the name of rebranding — BrewFest in the Park.

    It'll be held June 23-25 at Overlook Park, 1599 N. Fremont St. It'll serve more than 60 organically brewed craft beverages, including beer, cider and mead. All products have been brewed using a minimum of 70 percent organic ingredients, per USDA guidelines. It coincides with the North Portland Sunday Parkways on June 25.

    For more:

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