Life update, Monday, March 23: Carnage (and hope) reigns during health/economic crisis
Keeping score on the evolving health and economic crisis and its impact on the arts, entertainment and activity industry:
• Portland Children's Museum has laid off 48 staff members and significantly reduced the hours of 22 additional employees in an attempt to keep the organization afloat through lost attendance and revenue. It'll seek to rehire staff upon being able to reopen. Doors will be closed through April 28, at least.
"Like other nonprofit institutions that are heavily dependent on attendance revenue, the impact of the coronavirus on the viability of Portland Children's Museum has been sudden and severe," said David Peterson, chair of the board of directors. "We as a board love this organization and are committed to its mission. Having to lay off dedicated employees is painful, but we are hopeful that this drastic action will best position Portland Children's Museum to survive this crisis and reopen in the not too distant future."
For more: www.portlandcm.org.
• After Gov. Kate Brown's stay-home order, outdoor activity options will be drying up. It doesn't mean people can't go outside, it means people can't gather in Portland.
All Portland Parks & Recreation (and all public) playgrounds, outdoor sports courts and fields — basketball courts, skateparks, tennis courts, soccer fields, etc. — will be closed and should be avoided, PP&R said.
Natural areas, trails, community gardens and golf courses will remain open for walking, hiking, biking, and running, allowing for social distancing. Golfers are instructed not to play in large groups.
For more: www.portlandoregon/gov/parks.
• Based on Brown's order, and the feeling that people haven't heeded social distancing guidelines, the Oregon State Parks system will close for camping and day-use activities at end of day Monday. That will likely apply to Whale Watching Week on the Oregon Coast. For more: www.oregonstateparks.org.
• Vancouver Parks and Recreation is closing all active recreation areas in city parks, including sports courts, playgrounds, picnic shelters and other areas. Gatherings of more than 10 people are not permitted.
Parks, trails and beaches are open with social distancing instructions.
For more: www.cityofvancouver.us/coronavirus.
• Portland Farmers Market markets vowed to stay open, even serving patrons last weekend. We'll see if that continues. For more: www.portlandfarmersmarket.org.
• McMenamins and Powell's Books are two Portland institutions that have had to close and lay off thousands of employees.
McMenamins will still be offering curbside pickup of beer, wine, cider and spirits at McMenamins Edgefield in Troutdale, from 2-6 p.m. daily. Orders must be placed through Edgefield Winery website, www.edgefieldwinery.com/curbside-pick-up.
McMenamins 23rd Avenue Bottle Shop remains open daily from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. (open till 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday) for to-go sales of beer, wine, cider and spirits as well.
• Some event changes:
The Portland appearance of Shen Yun, a group that stages a show about China's 5,000 years of civilization, set for April 9-12, has been postponed. For more: www.shenyun.com.
Famed ventriloquist/comedian Jeff Dunham has postponed his April 24 show at Veterans Memorial Coliseum to Dec. 4. For more: www.jeffdunham.com.
Michael Allen Harrison's Ten Grands concert, which features 10 piano stars playing grand pianos on stage, has been moved from April 11 to Nov. 15 at Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. For more: www.michaelallenharrison.com. Harrison has been posting music daily on his website.
• Here's a way to put a smile on your face: A Live Puppy Cam debuts today, National Puppy Day, thanks to Canine Companions for Independence. It features five-week-old puppies who are future assistance dogs.
For more: www.cci.org.
• The Grotto has closed, but it'll share a piece of itself each day until Mass resumes and gardens open. It's called "A Place of Sanctuary: Bringing The Grotto to You," and it's available at www.thegrotto.org.
• The Wonder Ballroom, one of many Portland music venues hurt by the health/economic crisis, put out some comments on Twitter — comments that likely are shared by others in the entertainment business:
"It has been an honor and a privilege to host so much amazing live music and events in Portland all these years. ...
"The power of music and community is what brings us all together at the Wonder. ...
"Those gatherings are now impossible due to the widespread ramifications of COVID-19. ...
"We will be back to business as usual soon, but to ensure the health and safety of our amazing staff, fans and musicians alike, the Wonder Ballroom's doors are closed for the foreseeable future. ...
"The impact on the live music/touring industry, and specifically independent promoters and venues, is massive. This includes the 80-plus part-time Wonder staffers that were recently laid off. ...
"Our collective efforts to stay home in solidarity, for the health and safety of all Oregonians, means it will take a Herculean effort to start back up when we have the clearance from local government and feel comfortable to do so. ...
"We welcome the privilege to continue bringing live music and events to you as soon as we can and now must humbly ask for your help in staying on our feet through these trying times."
Like other venues, Wonder Ballroom seeks funds to support staff and be able to start up, eventually. For more: www.wonderballroom.
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