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Items include Voices Lecture Series, 'Dear Stranger,' new PCS literary manager and more.

Voices Virtual Lectures

The 28th season of the Voices Lecture Series is going virtual and four lectures are scheduled:

• Lisa Genova, Wednesday, Feb. 3; she's a neuroscientist and author with a new book, "Remember: The Science of Memory and the Art of Forgetting."

• Zainab Salbi, Wednesday, March 3; she's an Iraqi-American humanitarian, author and TV host and founder of Women for Women International.

• Liz Forkin Bohannon, Wednesday, April 7; she's founder of Sseko Designs, a footwear and accessory brand that employs young women seeking to finance their higher education.

• Cady Coleman, Wednesday, April 28; she's a veteran of two Space Shuttle missions and a six-month expedition on the International Space Station as lead robotics and science officer.

The lectures will be available by Zoom. Tickets are available at www.voicesinc.com.

'Dear Stranger'

Oregon Humanities' letter-exchange project, "Dear Stranger," seems more appropriate than ever, considering the social distancing going on because of COVID-19.

It offers a chance to connect with a fellow Oregonian you have never met through a letters.

"The need for human connection feels more urgent than ever," said Ben Waterhouse, Oregon Humanities communications manager and "Dear Stranger" creator.

The prompt for writers this year is food: "How has your relationship with food — what you eat and how you get it — changed over the past year? What is a favorite meal of yours, and when is your first memory of that meal?"

Prompts for writing and instructions for participation are available at the Oregon Humanities website, www.oregonhumanities.org.

BUSHPCS manager

Portland Center Stage has hired Kamilah Bush as its new literary manager.

In the position, Bush will work to deepen the literary and artistic core of Portland Center Stage, will bring a lens of equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility to script reading and season programming, will act as an intermediary with artistic, production and marketing teams, and will cultivate a diverse pool of voices and aesthetics to enrich the company's offerings.

Bush is a dramaturge, playwright and educator from North Carolina.

Arts relief

The Artist Relief Program created by the Oregon Arts Commission, in partnership with the Oregon Community Foundation and the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, will award 646 artists grants ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.

A total of 1,158 eligible applications, which reported more than $18 million in revenue loss, were received and evaluated by panelists on discipline-based panels.

"While the requests far exceeded available funds," said Brian Rogers, Oregon Arts Commission executive director, "we hope the awards will help artists sustain their practice until better times arrive."

Artistic disciplines awarded included literature, dance, music, theater and performance art, folk and traditional arts, visual arts, design and media arts.

For more: www.oregonartscommission.org.

OBT director

Thomas Bruner has been named Oregon Ballet Theatre executive director through December 2021. OBT will launch a search for a permanent executive director in late spring 2021.

Bruner has been serving as interim executive director since June 2020. He has helped sustain OBT following the cancellation of its 35th anniversary season and will support Artistic Director Kevin Irving on programming, including the "OBT Moves" season of site-based, digital and livestreamed performances.

Court candidates

The Portland Rose Festival is accepting applications for the 2021 Rose Festival Court. For details, see www.rosefesitval.org/rose-festival-court. The application deadline is Feb. 24.


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