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Items include Cleveland High School arts, Oregon Children's Theatre letter-writing campaign and Musical Benches

COURTESY PHOTO - Jud Turner's 'A Wishing Bench' is part of the Musical Benches Public Art Collection in Washington County.Cleveland excellence

It's a big honor for Cleveland High School: The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has chosen it as the 2020 NFHS Performing Arts School of Excellence.

It's the fifth annual presentation of the award and the first from an urban setting.

James Weaver, NFHS director of performing arts and sports, presented the award to Cleveland Principal Jo Ann Wadkins and Athletics/Activities Director Kellie Cook this week during a ceremony at the school.

"Cleveland High School has a long history of excelling at the top levels of performing arts in the state of Oregon and (NFHS) Section 8, and we are excited to celebrate its success," Weaver said.

Said Wadkins: "We know the arts enrich our lives and play a vital role in the culture of our school. We are proud of the dedication of our coaches who inspire and support our students. To watch our students perform is to get a glimpse of the spirit of Cleveland High School."

The school's performing arts tradition was established in the 1990s when its dance and choir programs rose to prominence in the Oregon School Activities Association.

It won state championships in dance in 1990, '91, '96 and '97 and had three runner-up finishes. The choir had championships in 1992 and '97 and then five titles in seven years (2006-12), while also placing second twice.

The school's speech and debate, band, jazz band and chamber music programs also have excelled in state competitions; speech and debate has won an OSAA championship or placed second in each of the past nine seasons.

Pugtoberfest

The Oregon Humane Society's Pug Crawl had to be canceled, but the annual parade of pugs goes on in the form of the online Pugtoberfest Parade of Pugs, Sunday, Oct. 18 on the humane society's Facebook page.

Portland Film Festival

The Portland Film Festival, featuring some 150 independent films, goes through Sunday, Oct. 18 with online access and screening pod viewing at the Hi Lo Hotel, 320 S.W. Harvey Milk St.

In addition, Comcast customers can say "Portland Film Festival" into their X1 voice remote and receive four programming tracks of independent films for free. They are "Black Voices," "The Female Gaze," "Voices of Ability" and short moves made by kids from the Portland Boys & Girls Clubs.

For more: www.portlandfilmfest.org.

Arts campaign

Oregon Children's Theatre and youth arts organization partners have started #ArtsAreMySuperpower, a national letter-writing campaign to galvanize the more than 6 million youth directly impacted by the coalition's work.

It seeks to educate and inspire young people to use their voices to compel government to aid the arts and culture sectors. Oregon Children's Theatre will supply families and educators with free letter-writing and art-creating templates to express their love of the arts. The companies want to lobby Congress to support the DAWN Act (Defend Arts Workers Now), an arts relief package.

"By having children and youth reach out directly, the collective impact across the country may be the thing that's needed to sway the majority in our direction," said Michael Hammerstrom, director of marketing and communication at Oregon Children's Theatre.

For more: www.octc.org, www.BeAnArtsHero.com.

Musical Benches

Four sculptors have been busy creating pieces for the Tualatin Valley Creates' new public art project, Musical Benches Public Art Collection. It's being funded by Washington County and community stakeholders such as Forest Grove Public Art Commission.

The Musical Benches artists are scheduled to finish their projects this fall. One of them is Jud Turner of Eugene, whose work, "The Wishing Bench," will be installed in Forest Grove. It's bright red and nearly 7 feet tall and incorporates a large cylindrical bell, which is rung by pulling or pushing an attached wishbone-shaped mechanism with rubber mallets attached at both ends. The mallets strike the bell, swaying back and forth while slowing, and the gradual reduction in the chiming sound creates a calming sense of peace and allows the visitor to "make a wish" on the bell.

Turner has been creating large-scale pieces for some 25 years.

"I want my work to be visually elegant, cognitively engaging and fun," he said.

The other artists are Matt Burney, Jill Torberson and Ben Dye. TVC Director Raziah Roushan said it's functional art and Turner's wishbone concept "is timeless for all ages from all walks of life."

For more: www.tvcreates.org/musical-benches.

Governor's Arts Awards

The rescheduled Governor's Arts Awards will be held at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, on the Oregon Arts Commission Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Recipients are Darrell Grant, H'Klumaiyat Roberta Joy Kirk, John Laursen, Toni Pimble and Portland Gay Men's Chorus.

Charity walk

The Light the Night Walk, which takes place virtually Saturday, Oct. 17, benefits the Oregon and Southwest Washington chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Organizers hope to raise $750,000.

The Honored Hero of the event is Lindsay Reece, a mother and cancer survivor who was first diagnosed with leukemia in 2017. That year, she watched the Light the Night Walk across the Tilikum Crossing bridge from her hospital bed at Oregon Health & Science University.

Attendees will enjoy the walk from the safety of their home. The Oct. 17 event also includes the Circle of Survivors, Remembrance Pavilion and the Words of Light. For more: www.lightthenight.org/events/portland-sw-washington.

Portland Opera

"An Evening With Portland" is a free and virtual benefit concert, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, on the opera's Vimeo and YouTube channels, spotlighting opera singers whose performances had to be canceled or postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It's hosted by General Director Sue Dixon, conducted by Music Director George Manahan ,and directed by Kristine McIntyre.

For more: www.portlandopera.org.

Open Studios

Reminder: Portland Open Studios has gone virtual. The second weekend of artists talks and studio visits takes place Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 17-18 at portlandopenstudios.com and on Instagram. Artists engage visitors on Instagram from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. each day. There'll also be links to artist websites for sales.

For complete info, see www.portlandopenstudios.com.

Rollers movies

The Rose City Rollers roller derby club has transformed its space at The Hangar Oaks Park, 7805 S.E. Oaks Park Way, into a 15-foot-tall outdoor movie screen and welcomes visitors.

Next up is "Shore," a film companion to the new album by Fleet Foxes, Sunday, Oct. 18. Movies begin at dusk.

The 16mm road movie by Kersti Jan Werdal showcases the landscapes of the Pacific Northwest set to the score of the album.

For more: www.rosecityrollers.com.

Film festival

Sunshine Mill Winery in The Dalles continues to host drive-in movies, and Oct. 21-25 it'll feature the Portland Comedy Film Festival. Tickets can be purchased at www.eventbrite.com.


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