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Ben Kubany, Board Member, PDX Pop Now!
Originally from San Antonio, Texas, Ben Kubany is living the Portland dream, working at Left Bank design studio FashionBuddha, commuting by bike, tending his garden beds, and serving on the Board of PDX Pop Now!
PDX Pop Now! is an innovative Oregon Cultural Trust grant recipient that connects Portland musicians of all genres, nurturing their creative exploration and allowing fans of all ages to hear them.
Hatched in 2004 in a grassroots, DIY incubator so typical of P-Town, PDX Pop Now! originally sought to connect musicians with each other and their audiences. The organization went on to advocate for all-ages appreciation of contemporary music by negotiating with the OLCC to create alcohol-free venues, and hosting a free, three-day, all-ages summer festival featuring over 50 local bands.
In addition to the Summer Festival, PDX Pop Now! releases an annual 40-track CD compiled of area bands in multiple genres.
The all-volunteer non-profit also engages in interactive educational outreach to children in schools that do not have music programs. Their school sessions include tactile, experiential sessions using musical instruments and student assemblies featuring multi-genre musical performances.
Kubany calls his involvement with PDX Pop Now! "life changing." A former ballet dancer and talent booking agent, he feels a great sense of purpose with his volunteer work. As for his new lifestyle, he says, "I used to have a car. It was hit and totaled while parked and I didn't buy a new one. I'd always wanted to commute by bike." He bought a set of fenders and waterproof gear, but he admits that, "it was a tough adjustment that first winter."