Salem, Ore. – Laser focused on their missions despite thousands of cancelled performances, events and activities, Oregon’s arts and culture organizations are furiously working to continue serving Oregonians: Online.
A recent live-streamed performance by Cappella Romana, produced by Portland Baroque Orchestra, has now been viewed by more than 80,000 people. In a lightning speed response, Portland Baroque revised its mission temporarily to support other arts organizations and artists as a live-streaming operation.
“We never cease to be amazed by the creativity and resiliency of Oregon’s cultural community,” said Brian Rogers, executive director of the Oregon Arts Commission and the Oregon Cultural Trust. “Their financial losses due to the health crisis are staggering, yet they are actively finding ways to engage our citizens, providing inspiration and respite during these very challenging times.”
“Our goal is to keep as many artists working as possible, and to serve the greater community with extraordinary art,” said Abigail McKee, the executive director of Portland Baroque Orchestra. “The arts allow us all to transcend what is happening immediately around us, step outside of ourselves, and be a part of something bigger. PBO has the technology, and we believe it is our responsibility to share it.” More information, including how arts organizations can request a livestream, can be found at PBO.org.
Other examples of online experiences include daily “how to” video craft projects at the Pendleton Center for the Arts and a live weekly Music and Movement YouTube show hosted for young children by the One World Chorus. The Youth Music Project is encouraging youth to join its The Power of Music Virtual Concert Series by posting photos or videos of planned or spontaneous performances with hashtag #YMPPowerOfMusic.
In Central Oregon, a new website is dedicated to supporting online offerings and resources by local cultural groups. “The coronavirus pandemic is now touching every part of daily life, including our creative life, but we are a strong and caring community,” said René Mitchell, the founding director of Scalehouse, a member-supported non-profit arts organization located in Bend’s At Liberty Arts Collaborative. “This helps us stay connected during this trying time and supports the people who create so much beauty in each of our lives,” said Mitchell.
Below is an updated alphabetical list of organizations with online offerings, with many more to come:
The Architectural Heritage Center is creating a digital gallery to share more information about its collection, including onsite library resources. Keep an eye on their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for facts and fun links on our city’s built spaces.
Following the cancellation of its ART Gala 2020, Artists Repertory Theatre asked patrons to do a virtual paddle raise by making a tax-deductible donation online.
Arts publisher Artslandia is cheering up the homebound with Good News and weekday 5 p.m. Happy Hours featuring live performances and lively conversation on its Facebook page. Good News includes everything from tips about streaming options (BroadwayHD is free this week!) to live performances from local talent.
At Liberty in Bend has posted a virtual tour of its current exhibition, “Jim Riswold: Russians & Americans & One Italian.”
Bullseye Glass Co. has posted general knowledge information about glass as an art form, and artist interviews as well as exhibition catalogs including Act 2, which tells the story of people who have taken up a new artwork medium later in life. Artist talks, conference sessions and exhibition are posted on their Vimeo channel
Cappella Romana recently presented a live performance of Tchaikovsky’s “Divine Liturgy” on Facebook Live (produced by Portland Baroque); the performance is now available here and has reached more than 80,000 people. You can also access the program book.
The Children’s Repertory of Oregon Workshops (C.R.O.W) invites youth to share a message/picture on their Facebook page to show what they are doing that’s crafty, creative, artistic, musical, or movement oriented to keep spirits up during this difficult time. And because laughter is the best medicine they are posting “Tutu Dads Fan Club” daily memes with tips on how to survive the COVID-19 crisis.
The Clackamas County Arts Alliance offers virtual magic lessons for kids ages 7 to 107 with Professor DR Schreiber, The Historical Conjurer.
Crossroads Carnegie Art Center has posted a virtual tour of its current exhibit, “Black and White and Disconnected” by James Dumble of LaGrande, on its Facebook page. Rumor has it they also posted medical mask sewing instructions by a local artist!
The Deschutes Public Library has added many more ebooks and audiobooks. They also have posted many presentations they have livestreamed on Facebook. In addition, they have uploaded story time videos to their website, in both English and Spanish, and literacy videos to their YouTube channel.
The Drexel H. Foundation in Vale, Oregon, is launching a Yard Art Competition to encourage youth and families to embrace art and a positive message: “Kindness.” The winner will receive a $100 cash prize.
At Ethos, the Rural Outreach Project teachers are of course in their homes, but they are still serving their communities. They are currently working on building capacity and experimenting with creating online activities and video-call music lessons for rural students. This video features one of the Ethos AmeriCorps members in Illinois with her family during quarantine, creating content for her students.
Eugene Symphony Music Director & Conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong is hosting Watch Parties on his Facebook page. He will showcase the world’s best performances available online right now, for you to enjoy from the comfort of home. You can access the intro videos to Francesco’s Watch Parties on his YouTube channel, although they won’t be live events.
Flora School Education Center has created a list of ways people can get involved from home during the health crisis.
Grants Pass Museum of Art is creating a virtual tour and online slide show of its upcoming exhibition “Best of the Best,” an annual show that features student artwork from 14 Southern Oregon high schools. The show will is scheduled to posted on the Museum’s website beginning April 7.
The Hearth has introduced Home Bound Oregon, a podcast hosted by Mark Yaconelli to help us stay connected in a disconnected time. It features stories, songs and conversations to help us remember what matters most during the coronavirus. The first episode is titled “Loneliness vs Solitude” and includes a story and conversation with Kristy Laschober and music and reflections from Sage Meadows.
Hopewell Hub leaves free eggs and clay on their doorstep and has posted an instructional video for working with the clay.
The Independent Publishing Resource Center is transitioning some existing and new programs to Instagram, Zoom, Facebook, and its website in order to provide healing, communal opportunities to process, create, highlight teaching artists and share time together. All of this programming is FREE, though they will provide information so you can tip the artists if able.
The Land Trust Alliance has created a thread in its Ask-an-Expert Discussion Forum to share best practices and lessons learned.
Literary Arts’ The Archive Project, a partnership with OPB, features engaging talks, lectures, and readings from more than 35 years of Literary Arts programming in Portland.
Metropolitan Youth Symphony Music Director Raul Gomez is doing Virtual Hangouts with students during regularly scheduled Saturday rehearsal time. Gomez provides a view of the score, plays recordings and tells stories about the about the composer while taking live chat questions from students. Here is a link to the first session.
My Voice Music has created several ways for youth to receive musical support and mentorship during its closure. All activities will continue to be offered for ‘pay what you can afford’ tuition.
NW Film Center has posted several short films that were scheduled to screen at this year’s Portland International Film Festival on its Vimeo channel.
Oregon Film has made a number of Oregon-produced films available for streaming. They are also hosting a weekly Film and New Media Happy Hour at 4 p.m. on Fridays on their YouTube channel. The discussion includes the creative process and COVID-19’s impact on the Oregon film industry.
In addition to its Dear Oregon blog, and many digital content platforms, The Oregon Historical Society is inviting Oregonians to document this important moment in history by sharing their real-time thoughts. What stories of Oregonians from the past or present are giving you courage? How are you spending your days in this strange new “normal?” What have you learned about yourself, your friends and your family that is giving you strength amidst chaos? Mail entries to 1200 SW Park Avenue, Portland OR 97205.
As a reminder of the political process still under way, Oregon Humanities invites Oregonians to share the things they’re keeping in their hearts and minds for the upcoming elections in Oregon and across the nation through Dear Stranger, a letter-exchange project that connects Oregonians from different parts of the state through the mail.
The Oregon Humanities Center at the University of Oregon produces an interview show called UO Today. Distinguished scholars and UO professors and administrators sit down for a half-hour interview about their work. The shows are posted on their YouTube channel and recently as podcasts. The channel also features lectures given by guest speakers.
The Oregon Main Street Network organized a video conference call with each other to get inspiration, support and ideas on how best to support their business owners, downtowns, and community during this time. See some of the conversation in the most recent Oregon Heritage Exchange Blog post, Main Streets Coming Together.
The One World Chorus is launching an online Music & Movement program for pre-K through early elementary-aged youth. The program, to air live at 10:30 a.m. on Fridays on YouTube, is called The Big Up Show. Here is a preview episode.
The School of Arts and Communication at Oregon State University will showcase student work and virtual exhibitions for graduating BFA students in the coming weeks and months on its Instagram account. The goal is to have as many eyes on student work as possible.
Pittock Mansion has posted a virtual tour of the Mansion and would love to hear from viewers if they see something they’d like to learn more about. All the materials for the Mansion’s Discovery Program for students are available in the PDF gallery portion of the virtual tour. This program is designed for onsite school visits, grades 3-4.
The Portland Area Theatre Alliance set up a valentine fund for individual theatre artists.
Portland Art Museum has posted a virtual tour of its collections.
Portland Baroque Orchestra is temporarily changing its mission to offer free live-streaming services to other Portland-area arts organizations (with flexibility about other locations, too). They will provide a live-streaming kit. Viewership of their events (which included a Cappella Romana performance, has already exceeded 100,000 people.
Though Portland Opera cancelled a recital by Resident Artist Geoffrey Schellenberg, they posted a video of Geoffrey performing Schubert’s “Nacht und Träume” with Chorus Master & Assistant Conductor Nicholas Fox at the piano. The Opera staff also offers to to share a bit of joy by calling or emailing you (or the recipient of your choosing) a cheesy opera or music joke.
Portland Piano International offers pianist Inon Barnatan’s recording of Darknesse Visible; each of the works on the album, inspired by literature, transports the listener into a fantastical world of color and imagination that can be both ferocious and beautiful.
Portland Playhouse has posted a selection of videos, including some vintage behind-the-scenes gems, from some of their favorite shows and programs in recent years.
Clarinetist David Shifrin will join Portland Youth Philharmonic Musical Director David Hattner for a special conversation about historic clarinetists and rare recordings. Watch the livestream on YouTube and ask your questions about the music using the chat feature. Prior to tuning in, listen to the playlist on SoundCloud.
The Risk/Reward performance festival would normally be ramping up for its 2020 installment right now. Instead, the festival is leaning heavily on its YouTube channel, which features content from years past.
Sisters Folk Festival hosted its 2020 poster unveiling on its Facebook page, where they’re also posting fun videos of this year’s scheduled artists.
Oregon Poet Laureate Kim Stafford has posted readings, a poetry film, poems accompanied on harp by Bethany Lee and a recent interview with the Oregon State Poetry Festival. He also has poems and photographs posted on Instagram with interactive poetry activities to come.
The High Desert Museum has created a new resources webpage, High Desert Museum from Home. You’ll find Facebook Live Museum Moments, spring arts and crafts ideas, reading lists and more.
The Youth Music Project is encouraging young people to grab an instrument (or any rhythm-making object) and post a photo or video of their brilliant home performance with hashtag #YMPPowerOfMusic to join The Power of Music Virtual Concert Series.
Washed Ashore’s newest sculpture, a California Condor made from marine debris, will be placed in Portland’s Oregon Zoo in April. A full length movie about Washed Ashore is posted here. Their work was recently featured in The New York Times.
About the Oregon Cultural Trust
The Oregon Cultural Trust is an innovative, statewide private-public program raising significant new funds to support and protect Oregon’s arts, humanities and heritage. In addition to the creation of a permanent endowment, funds are distributed annually through three multifaceted, wide-ranging grant programs. No other state in the nation has a program like the Oregon Cultural Trust, which has been ranked with the bottle bill and the vote-by-mail bill as among Oregon’s most forward-thinking public policy measures. More information at culturaltrust.org.
About the Oregon Art Commission
The Oregon Arts Commission provides leadership, funding and arts programs through its grants, special initiatives and services. Nine commissioners, appointed by the Governor, determine arts needs and establish policies for public support of the arts. The Arts Commission became part of Business Oregon (formerly Oregon Economic and Community Development Department) in 1993, in recognition of the expanding role the arts play in the broader social, economic and educational arenas of Oregon communities. In 2003, the Oregon legislature moved the operations of the Oregon Cultural Trust to the Arts Commission, streamlining operations and making use of the Commission’s expertise in grantmaking, arts and cultural information and community cultural development.
The Arts Commission is supported by general funds appropriated by the Oregon legislature and with federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as funds from the Oregon Cultural Trust. More information about the Oregon Arts Commission is available online at: www.oregonartscommission.org.