Bits & Pieces: Let feelings known through Dear Stranger
Imagine writing to a stranger and sharing your thoughts on "climate," meaning weather, politics and culture.
Given the times we live in, it should be an interesting version of Oregon Humanities' Dear Stranger, a letter-exchange program that connects writers from around the state through the mail — yep, good old-fashioned letter writing.
People are asked to write, read and learn from others from different backgrounds, experiences and beliefs, and one would think folks out there won't hesitate to vent about the environment and our divisive politics and culture in the name of "climate." (It happens every day on social media, anyway).
"The need for human connection feels more urgent than ever," said Ben Waterhouse, communications manager for Oregon Humanities and creator of the Dear Stranger project. "It feels like we're in a constant state of crisis, with fires and the pandemic and partisan conflict, and that makes it really hard to reach out and learn from other people. Dear Stranger is an opportunity to hear from other Oregonians and to be heard — and hopefully learn something new."
You write a letter and get a letter, which address such questions as, "What's your climate like? Has the climate changed during the time you've lived where you do now? What worries you about climate? How do you think people could make it better?"
Instructions are available at www.oregonhumanities.org. Letters should be addressed to: Dear Stranger, 921 S.W. Washington St., Suite 150, Portland, OR, 97205. Oregon Humanities will exchange letters mailed by Oct. 4.
Venice VR Expanded
After the success of its 2020 edition, the Venice VR Expanded Satellite Programme of La Biennale di Venezia returns to Portland, Sept. 1-19 at Portland Art Museum, courtesy of the museum and Northwest Film Center.
The Venice VR program allows visitors to experience art and museums from around the world — through a virtual reality headset. The program is the official VR competition within the Venice International Film Festival.
For tickets and more, see www.portlandartmuseum.org.
Once again, Portland Art Museum is the only U.S. partner in the program.
The Tribune wrote about death doula Crystal Meneses and the Last Words Legacy Project's Cemetery Concert Series, which she hopes helps people feel more comfortable with death and dying.
The Cemetery Concert Series will be held at four Portland-area, Metro-managed cemeteries, and they'll include concerts by Meneses and her Last Words band, a singing group and support act, as well as a discussion about Metro's cemeteries, death and dying resources, a version of Meneses' Death Cafe that allows people to ask questions and a casket photo booth.
"This is not your typical concert series," said Meneses, who's a death doula, hospice chaplain and arts activist. It's been a project three years in the making.
The schedule: Multnomah Park Cemetery, Southeast 82nd Avenue/Holgate Boulevard, Aug. 26; Jones Cemetery, Sylvan neighborhood, Aug 27; Lone Fir Cemetery, Buckman neighborhood, Aug. 28; Douglass Cemetery, Troutdale, Aug. 29. They are free to attend and people can brings snacks, drinks, a lawn chair, etc.
For complete info, see www.Facebook.com/LastWordsLegacyProject.
Portland's TidalWave Comics have produced a new graphic novel in its "Female Force' series, which focuses on women who make an impact around the world. It's "Female Force: Selena," written by Michael Frizell with art by Ramon Salas.
Selena Quintanilla-Perez was the victim of a senseless murder at age 23. Often called the "Mexican Madonna" or the "Queen of Tejano," Selena is arguably one of the brightest performers of the 1980s and 1990s, certainly in Latin American countries.
Digital and hard copy books are available. There'll be a Spanish version of the book released.
For more: www.tidalwavecomics.com.
There's an open call for interested participants for the 2021 PDX Pop Up Shop Program, put on by Downtown Portland Clean & Safe, Portland Business Alliance and Downtown Retail Council.
It matches local talent and emerging small businesses with temporary retail storefront opportunities in the Central Downtown and Old Town area. They'll be open for about seven weeks during the holiday season.
The "Vanport: A Surge of Social Change" exhibit has been extended through Nov. 15 at Pittock Mansion, 3229 N.W. Pittock Drive.
Vanport was a multiracial and multicultural community of 40,000 residents who settled there to work and live during World War II. It was destroyed by a flood on May 30, 1948.
The Mt. Hood Center in Boring, primarily an equestrian facility, will host the Mt. Hood Center Concert Series, featuring tribute acts associated with J-Fell Presents. The concerts will be staged in the center's "Grassy Meadow," each starting at 6 p.m. The lineup: Appetite For Deception (Guns N' Roses), Aug. 29; Stone In Love (Journey), Sept. 12; Eagle Eyes (The Eagles), Sept. 19.
For more: www.mthoodcenter.com/concerts.
Wizard World Portland
Perhaps you missed the news: Wizard World Portland, an annual comic con, has been reinvented as part of Fan Expo HQ's plans for the fan convention industry. It'll now be called Fan Expo Portland and will return in 2022.
Portland and five other old Wizard World shows will be part of Fan Expo HQ's portfolio, which includes 17 shows in all of North America.
A few notable concerts in the next week:
McMenamins Edgefield, Troutdale: Aug. 27-28, Modest Mouse; Aug. 31, Counting Crows.
RV Inn Style Resorts Amphitheater, Ridgefield, Washington: Aug. 25, The Black Crowes; Sept. 1, The Jonas Brothers.
Powell's Books has switched its upcoming author events to Zoom, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Included is an appearance by singer Rickie Lee Jones, who gave us "Chuck-E's in Love" and who has a new book out ("Last Chance Texaco"), at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 1 (a day before her show at Aladdin Theater).
For more: www.powells.com/eventsupdate.
Heads up: Toby Keith and Alabama headline a virtual concert at Newberg's 99W Drive-In on Thursday, Sept. 2. Tickets to the event are $76-plus per car, depending on which package one chooses. For more: www.tixr.com/groups/encore-kickoff/events/country-kickoff-to-ldw-newberg-or-28315.
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