“Portland is a restless, creative city that does things like put restaurants in pink houses and music studios and bars in old revival churches; where we pursue the religion of warm people, food, and drink, as well as refuge from rainy days, lest the water cleanse our imaginations too thoroughly.” ~ Chris Kruell
This past school term, Sunnyside Environmental School students in Heather Chaney’s third grade class wrote and collaged pages for their own version of Our Portland Story. OPS founder, Melissa Delzio and author, Steve Snell attended class to present about the project, conduct a reading and check in on student progress. They were so impressed by the creativity, passion, and excitement the students had for their city, stories and artwork.
I was honored to have been approached by Concordia University in Portland to speak about Our Portland Story at the upcoming TEDx Concordia Portland event. TEDx is an independently organized TED event, and is officially set for May 14, 2011. The event theme is “think.inspire.go”, highlighting the innovative thinking that makes Portland unique.
The event will showcase 18-20 other inspiring speakers of notable status within their respective fields, including sustainability, food cart culture, alternative models of education, voluntary simplicity, peace activism and much more.
Fellow speakers include Rep. Jefferson Smith, founder of the Oregon Bus Project, Neal Keny-Guyer, CEO of Mercy Corps, Kelley Roy, author of Cartopia: Portland’s Food Cart Revolution, Jeff Mapes, author of Pedaling Revolution and political writer for The Oregonian, Polly Bangs, founder of Impact Northwest Urban Opportunities and many more. The full line-up of speakers can be viewed at the event website www.TEDxConcordiaUPortland.com.
The all-day conference includes three sessions of talks, performances, breakfast, lunch and plenty of opportunities for dynamic conversation. Buy tickets now!
To find out more about the national TED conferences: www.TED.com
Earlier this year, I was approached by Geoff Norcross of Oregon Public Broadcasting to come on air and talk about Our Portland Story Volume One and how its perspective of the city differs from that of the image portrayed by the new show, Portlandia. Portlandia is the title of an IFC original television series written by and starring Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein. Portlandia episodes offer a series a short skits that allow the public glimpses into an exaggerated Portland wonderland where weird is celebrated. While Our Portland Story was created long before the arrival of this show, the two products together compliment each other. Our Portland Story offers non-fiction accounts of a wide variety of Portlander’s experiences, and Portlandia creates skits that spoof and exaggerate similar, selected accounts. Here is the Our Portland Story, OPB interview in its entirety. You can listen to Fred Armisen’s interview prior to mine online at OPB as well.
The Our Portland Story Volume 1 launch party was held September 23rd, at Mississippi Studios. It featured readings from Lois Leveen, Steve Snell, Natalie El-Jourbagy, Dan Haneckow, Katy Kavanaugh, Joy Cartier, Matt Wiater , Miriam Feder, Paul Sorenson, Richard Mavis, and Dan Peski. Thanks to Katy Kavanaugh of Catapult Productions for recording video of the evening!
This past Thursday, November 4th, Our Portland Story celebrated its second event, an art opening and reading at Backspace - 115 Northwest 5th Avenue. The gallery curator at that venue chose 17 pages from the book to display on the wall for the month of November. The show opened as part of the First Thursday Art Walk, and featured readings from the book by authors: Chris Kruell, Steve Snell, Amber Keyser, Miriam Feder, Ali McCart, Merrick Monroe, Molly Wolverton, Gerry Blakney on behalf of Vincent Green, and Alex Rauch.
If you missed the event, you still have the whole month of November to stop by, see the show, buy the book and a cup of coffee while you are at it!
We are happy to announce our second party, an art show and reading event at Backspace (115 NW 5th Ave Portland, OR 97209). The fine folks there have graciously offered their gallery space for the month of November. The curator for the gallery has chosen 17 pages from the book that have been enlarged, printed, framed and will be displayed in the gallery. If you designed or wrote a page that was chosen, I will be reaching out to you separately. The art show opens as part of a First Thursday evening party on November 4th. Books will also be available for sale there that night and for the month of November for $28. All authors and designers who contributed to the book will get a ticket for a free beer courtesy of New Belgium Brewing. The evening’s schedule looks something like this:
6:00 – 7:00 – Art opening
7:00 -7:45 – Readings
7:45- close – Music by DJ Ryan Scheel