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Portlander helps develop first virtual reality application to incorporate 360-degree captioning and sign language.

COURTESY PHOTO: MYLES DE BASTION - Portland's Myles de Bastion has helped develop technology that helps deaf and hard of hearing (DHOH) people enjoy music.De Bastion's project

In "Virtual Worlds Made Accessible Beyond Sound," the local musician Myles de Bastion, a leading deaf visual sound artist, has made the first virtual reality application to incorporate 360-degree captioning and sign language.

There'll be a livestream, 3 p.m. March 19, for the debut of de Bastion's project, at www.opensignalpdx.org/live. It was made as part of de Bastion's New Media Fellowship residency at Open Signal, a local media center.

The technology for deaf and hard of hearing (DHOH) people will be released via Oculus Quest virtual reality, once development has been completed. It was designed by de Bastion and Genia Penksik, a U.K.-based software developer and engineer, with mentorship from Sonya Neunzert and collaboration with W3R XR Captioning Workgroup and CymaSpace.

Said Neunzert: "One of the most interesting things to me about immersive tech is seeing people who work in it actively define the norms and protocols in these new kinds of media that are still basically being invented. I feel like Miles is leading the way in defining accessibility as a norm, in a very practical way, by developing these tools to create more inclusive virtual worlds."

PAM opening

Portland Art Museum has announced that it'll do a "phase one" reopening on April 10 (access to galleries, except special exhibition and adjacent areas), and then a "phase two" reopening May 5 with the exhibit "Ansel Adams in Our Time" (when all galleries open).

Northwest Film Center activities will continue to be presented on a virtual basis.

For more: www.portlandartmuseum.org.

Burgerville's birthday

The popular hamburger shop founded in Vancouver, Washington, by George Propstra turns 60 years old March 10. The birthday will be celebrated at all 40 locations in Southwest Washington and Northwest Oregon. As a special anniversary, the seasonal Cherry Cheesecake shake will come topped with a dairy-based chocolate cheesecake bite, and customers also can enjoy a nondairy shake made with Coconut Bliss.

For more: www.burgerville.com.

'Seventeen'

The Hollywood Theatre and film curator Greg Hamilton, courtesy of filmmakers Joel DeMott and Jeff Kreines, has brought the rarely shown documentary "Seventeen" to the little screen — as in online — through March 15. "Seventeen" is a documentary about a year in the life of working-class teenagers in Muncie, Indiana, in about 1982. It won the grand prize for best documentary at the Sundance Film Festival in 1985.

"In my opinion, it's one of the best documentaries about teenagers ever made," Hamilton wrote in an email.

It's available at www.hollywoodtheatre.org.

Digital series

Portland Columbia Symphony, in collaboration with composer/puppeteer Nicole Buetti, is launching a new digital series for kids that addresses the lack of early music education.

The 16-part, web-based "Meet the Instruments" is meant to engage elementary-age students and employ local musicians during the COVID-19 pandemic and government restrictions, and it combines Buetti's puppets (The Nirks) and compositions (In A World Music) with symphony members. There'll be engaging songs, stories and personalities featured in the series, which debuts March 12 on YouTube; subsequent episodes will be released weekly through mid-June.

For more: www.inaworldmusic.net and www.pcsymphony.org.

Improvising opera

Christopher Mattaliano, the former general director of Portland Opera, recently directed a virtual production of Francesco Cavalli's "La Calisto" for Princeton University, using nothing but cell phones, laptops and lots of imagination. It debuted on Princeton's Department of Music YouTube site on March 6.

For more: www.music.princeton.edu.

PGMC anniversary

Portland Gay Men's Chorus had to cancel its 40th anniversary concert last year because of the pandemic. It was supposed to be the premiere concert for John Atorino, the new artistic director.

But, alas, the celebration event was rescheduled and will be held via livestream at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 13, and 3 p.m. Sunday, March 14. The "Reflections Revisited" concert will feature archival footage of performances, interviews, personal stories and more from founding members past and present, leadership and staff. It's free, but PGMC asks viewers to donate to help the company.

For more: www.pdxgmc.org.

St. Patrick's Day

Coming up: A pandemic and government restrictions cannot prevent people from wearing green and drinking green beer. While Kells and other establishment map out what they can do for visitors for St. Patrick's Day, March 17, given capacity limitations and such, some things have gone virtual.

"At Home St. Patrick's Day Irish Concert," March 17, will feature Irish dancers and bands, bagpipes, songs and more, and an Irish-themed puppet show, featuring all-local artists. All-Ireland Cultural Society, which usually hosts an in-person St. Patrick's Day event, puts it on.

For complete info: www.oregonirishsociety.org.

Drag drive-in

Also coming up: Darcelle, Portland's famous drag queen, will be featured in the upcoming three-day drive-in drag show coming to Zidell Yards, "Darcelle XV Drag Drive-In." It's put on by Treadway Events, and Darcelle, aka Walter Cole, and other performers take to the outdoor stage in a COVID-19 safe environment.

It'll be held 9 p.m. April 9-11, as well as with 11 a.m. performances scheduled April 10-11. Early tickets are available at www.darcellexvdrivein.com; it's $75 per vehicle for up to six passengers, and $95 when early tickets sell out.


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