Life update, Tuesday, April 7: Fighting the good fight
Catching up on news as we continue to battle the health and economic crisis due to the coronavirus/COVID-19:
• Chamber Music Northwest will (hopefully) celebrate its 50th Annual Summer Festival, June 22-July 26, and it has made a move to ensure that invited artists will be able to attend.
Providing relief for struggling artists who have endured sudden income loss, the Chamber Music Northwest board of directors has approved emergency measures to send all 88 of its Summer Festival musicians 50% of their pay to help them with their current financial situation.
Freelance musicians are not eligible for unemployment. There is competition for grants. Many musicians pay for health insurance out of their pocket.
""It's a challenging time for all performers right now — everything has come to a standstill. I've never seen anything like it," said David Shifrin, CMNW artistic director. "Musicians still need to pay for their health care, food, and rent. With their income in the near future decimated, Chamber Music Northwest decided to take the unprecedented action of paying artists a 50% advance now, while they are in crisis. This advance is theirs to keep regardless of what occurs this summer."
For more: www.CMNW.org.
• NW Dance Project has been one of Portland's strongest arts organizations, and even it is struggling, and admittedly could lose tens of thousands of dollars (and would like to continue to provide health insurance to staff).
Company artists are furloughed, as are most staff and contract artists and educators. Its spring gala has been postponed, and its "The Rite of Spring" show has been cancelled and "Summer Splendors" might suffer the same fate.
Youth and adult classes have been shelved, although dancers have rallied as the company has set up virtual dance lessons for $5 via Zoom.
Classes start Tuesday, April 6, and they take place at various times Mondays through Saturdays. Dance instructors are Franco Nieto, Colleen Loverde, Andrea Parson and Noelle Kayser.
For complete info: www.nwdanceproject.org.
• Pickathon is jumping into crisis mode by presenting "A Concert A Day," posting videos online of past Pickathon performances each day at 1 p.m., starting Wednesday, April 8.
It's an initiative to help musicians and artist communities through the Recording Academy's MusiCares organization.
There'll be one concert a day posted for 60 days, streaming for free on Facebook (The Recording Academy/Grammys page), Amazon Music's Twitch channel and YouTube. All donations go to the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund.
The first week's lineup: Drive by Truckers, 2017, April 8; Ex Hex, 2015, April 9; Tyler Childers, 2019, April 10; Charles Bradley, 2017, April 11; Tank & The Bangas, 2017, April 12; Damien Jurado, 2019, April 13; People Under the Stairs, 2014, April 14; DakhaBrakha, 2018, April 15.
For more: www.pickathon.com.
• Experience Theatre Project will live-stream the Jeffrey Hatcher play "The Turn of the Screw," 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 1. It has been creatively designed for a live-stream audience, and it's free (with donations encouraged).
It's a fully produced presentation of a classic ghost story — presented and performed from actors' homes, off script, with costumes and complete with lighting and sound designs that will be run by a home-based crew controlling lighting and sound cues through smart devices.
"Live theater is evolving as we speak," said Alisa Stewart, founding artistic director. "We are exploring new avenues of live theater storytelling. From creative use of webcams and audio capturing to controlling lights and sound remotely, we are confident that audiences will enjoy this evolutionary new 'live-stream theatre' being crafted right here in Oregon."
For more: www.experiencetheatreproject.org.
• Five Portland properties are among Oregon's latest entries in the National Register of Historic Places.
They are Portland (Oregon) Zoo Railway Historic District, Multnomah School, Elmer and Linnie Miller House, John A. and Hattie Mae Keating Residence and Wheeldon Annex.
For more: www.oregonheritage.org.
• Portland musician Jacob Miller has advanced on "The Voice." He went head-to-head with teammate Kevin Farris for Team Jonas, as they battled by singing "Lights Up" by Harry Styles. Coach Nick Jonas opted to keep Miller, who's originally from Eden, Wisconsin and currently is living in Portland.
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