Oregon Arts and Culture Go Online


Arts and culture organizations rally to serve homebound audiences

SALEM – Laser focused on their missions despite thousands of cancelled performances, events and activities, Oregon’s arts and cultural organizations are furiously working to continue serving Oregonians: Online.

“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.”

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.

Below is an alphabetical list of organizations with online offerings, which is updated biweekly. New submissions should be directed to carrie.kikel@oregon.gov.

All Classical Portland offers performances by some of the finest musicians of the Pacific Northwest, recorded from their own homes, on special episodes of their weekly free concert series Thursdays @ Three. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Sunday, on-air host Suzanne Nance shares featured recipes from the culinary artists of the Pacific Northwest during her weekly program Sunday Brunch. These special offerings complement 24 hours of 98% locally produced classical music programming, broadcasting on 89.9FM in Portland, and worldwide online at allclassical.org.

The Architectural Heritage Center built a virtual showcase of two decades of home tours their home tours and shares tons of ideas on how to get your tiny humans learning through project-based lessons as part of its Architects in Schools Design Challenge. They also posted a free stained glass coloring book.

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.

The Arts and Business Alliance of Eugene is taking its June 5 annual BRAVA Breakfast online.

The Arts Council of Lake Oswego will present a collaborative exhibition with the Columbia Basin Basketry Guild, “Gathering | Pattern,” that will be available online from June 5 through July 24.

Arts publisher Artslandia is cheering up the homebound withGood News and weekday 5 p.m.Happy Hoursfeaturing live performances and lively conversation on its Facebook page. Good News includes everything from tips about streaming options 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,” as well as other online resources.

BEAT Children’s Theatre is offering a variety of online workshops and classes for children.

BendFilm has many films available for streaming, including a collection of the best films about music and musicians that they screened in recent years in tribute to the late John Prine.

Blue Sky Gallery has posted three new on-line exhibitions: “From the Archive: Blue Sky at Home” (by Zemie Barr), “Isolation” (by Jennifer Rabin) and “Via Food (by Yuyang Zhang).

BodyVox Dance​ has debuted #StreamingVox with rotating shows. “Smoke Soup” launched May 5.

Blue Sky gallery has posted a virtual tour of Master of Appropriation: Found Photography in the Work of John Baldessari from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation.

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

Caldera elder and teaching artist Sister JRae has created and filmed an activity for youth to get to know the folks they’re living with while staying at home together. They also are sharing fun, quick and accessible virtual lessons every week,

Cappella Romana presented a live performance of Tchaikovsky’s “Divine Liturgy” on Facebook and also is posting playlists regularly.

The Cascadia Center for Arts and Crafts has announced a call for submissions to the ‘Isolation Art of 2020’ online contest, inspired by the WPA Era. The contest message is “Keep creating, even in the worst of times.” The deadline is June 30.

Central Oregon Community College is offering free creativity classes for individuals and teams/organizations through Aug. 31.

Chehalem Cultural Center has posted Art from Home arts education resources and two virtual tours of its exhibits, Shifting Tides and Known.

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 Circus Project has moved online with registration now open for classes in Conditioning, Flexibility, Handstands and more!

The Clackamas County Arts Alliance invites the public to virtually enjoy the 2020 AEP Artist Group Wy’East Artisans Guild’s latest exhibit “What I’ve Read,” where participating artists’ work is based on books they have read. They also offer virtual magic lessons for kids ages 7 to 107 with Professor DR Schreiber, The Historical Conjurer.

Confluence is posting stories, photo galleries and videos that share the history, living cultures and ecology of the Columbia River system through Indigenous voices. Included are The Story of Saddleback Mountain, as told by Ray Gardenerof, and Voices of Family in Land and Sky, a discussion with Emily Washines (Yakama Nation) and Josiah Pinkham (Nez Perce) about finding resilience, comfort, and strength in times of challenge.

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. The Center also is sponsoring a Yard Art Competition promoting kindness.

The Deschutes Public Library has uploaded story time videos to their website, in both English and Spanish, and literacy videos to their YouTube channel.

Design Museum Portland has launched a weekly podcast featuring stories of people and organizations using design to make impact and change the world.

Disjecta Contemporary Art Center has posted a virtual tour of its exhibition Dimensions of the Sacred. They’ve also added new content from artists Blair Saxon-Hill and Storm Tharp to their What Needs to Be Said – Hallie Ford Fellows in the Visual Arts online exhibition.

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 Ballet Company has posted a full-length performance of its production of Firebird.

Eugene Symphony has announced a three-week radio show at 1 p.m. Sundays beginning May 17 on KLCC (FM 89.7). The show features Executive Director Scott Freck interviewing artists and presenting excerpts of past Symphony performances. Listeners can connect online during and after the program with questions and reactions by following this Zoom link.

Fishtrap has announced that its Summer Fishtrap Gathering of Writers will be held online as a Virtual Weeklong Writing Conference.

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 has created a virtual tour and online slide show of its exhibition “Best of the Best,” an annual show that features student artwork from 14 Southern Oregon high schools.

The Hallie Ford Museum of Art has posted its first online exhibition, Within and Without, which features Willamette University’s senior art majors.

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.

Heidi Duckler Dance Northwest has launched a #SocialDisDancing challenge.

Hopewell Hub leaves free clay on their doorstep and has posted an instructional video for working with the clay.

Hoyt Arboretum is posting vir-trail tours including its accredited Magnolia collection and Dove Trees and Dogwoods.

The Imprint Gallery has created virtual tours of exhibitions by artists Lisa Bryson and John Westmark.

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 Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art has posted several “minute exhibit” virtual tours including Kwang Young Chung’s “Aggregations.” They also are offering online art lessons at #JSMAcreates featuring projects developed by museum educators for kids of all ages and skill levels.

Josephine Community Library has started a virtual book club. The book for May is “The Alice Network” by Kate Quinn. The e-book is free with a library card.

The Land Trust Alliance has created a thread in its Ask-an-Expert Discussion Forum  to share best practices and lessons learned.

Lan Su Chinese Garden is posting weekly Lan Su Lovely Moments.

Lane Arts Council and ArtSpark have created ArtSpark Online. They will be publishing free video tutorials walking viewers through accessible art-making experiences ranging from puppetry to natural dyes to observational drawing. Find the first tutorial here.

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. The Archive Project will host the Oregon Book Awards at 7 p.m. on Monday, June 22. They’ve also announced Virtualandia! inviting students to use the hashtag #virtualandia on social media to share their work or document their creative process

The Lincoln City Cultural Center’s Creative Quarantine Project is distributing 250+ children’s art kits every week (drive through) and offering online Creative Quarantine Studio visits with artists and musicians. Learn more on their Facebook page.

Maude Kerns Art Center has an online exhibit and fundraiser with upwards of 300 pieces of art, including painting, drawing, photography, printing, assemblage, sculpture, fiber and ceramics.

MetroEast Community Media is offering a free audio workshop, Intro to Adobe Audition, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 27. They also are hosting a video contest for quarantine stories and providing live stream services.

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.

Mittleman Jewish Community Center has created a robust At Home program, including activities for kids, arts and culture, fitness and live events.

The Museum of Natural and Cultural History has activities, games and online exhibits posted with regular updates and new offerings.

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 Dance Project has launched an At-Home Virtual Class Series.

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.

Northwest Children’s Theater has posted fun theater craft projects to do at home, from toothbrush puppets to penguin balloon animals.

The Oregon Arts Commission will host a 2020 Poetry Out Loud Oregon State Celebration as a live Facebook event at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 27. All of the students who qualified for the State Contest, cancelled by the COVID-19 health crisis, have been invited to perform their prepared poems. Featured will be performances by former Poet Laureate Kim Stafford and newly appointed Oregon Poet Laureate Anis Mojgani.

Oregon Children’s Theatre is sharing ideas for indoor fun on its Pinterest page, including activities from The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

The Oregon Coast Aquarium has three live cams for viewers to experience otters, sharks and seabirds with occasional visits from a scuba diver.

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.

Oregon Heritage is posting COVID-19 related webinars on their COVID-19 resources page. They also are posting links to the recordings of the webinars after they occur.

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, posted a virtual tour of their current exhibit “Flaxen: From Flax to Linen in the Willamette Valley, Oregon” and shared a roundup of Oregon Encyclopedia entries on the history of Oregon music.

Oregon Humanities is still committed to offering opportunities for people to talk, listen and learn. Join them each Tuesday for virtual conversations with communities around Oregon.

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.

While Oregon Shakespeare Festival has cancelled its entire 2020 season, they are sharing a new digital platform, O!, featuring a deep trove of OSF video and audio experiences to engage with, watch, listen to and learn from.

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.

Open Signal has posted audio from artists Emily Fitzgerald and Molly Sherman’s Hold the Phone submissions. Projects from Machado Mijiga and Sailor Winkleman will be available soon.

The School of Arts and Communication at Oregon State University will post an online version of its graduating students’ BFA Thesis Exhibition beginning May 26.

The Oregon Symphony is hosting a “minute for music” featuring Symphony musicians at 10 a.m. every Monday and Wednesday on Facebook, Instagram, or the Oregon Symphony website. Music Director Carlos Kalmar is hosting Mondays with the Maestro at 5 p.m. every Monday as part of Artslandia Happy Hour.

Outside the Frame continues their bi-weekly workshops virtually. On the last day of scheduled classes, students recorded this “Don’t Give Up” jam session with Black Panther elder Mama C.

The Pendleton Center for the Arts is posting online tours of its galleries and how-to craft projects for all ages. They also announced that the 2020 Open Regional Photography Exhibit will go online. Cash prizes are offered and the deadline to enter is Sunday, May 31.

PHAME has launched a nine-week term of online classes and posting free video tutorials.

Pickathon is posting a concert a day to its YouTube Channel.

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 and a video walk through of the exhibition Bury the Hatchet: Prayer for my P’ah Be, a multimedia installation in the Center for Contemporary Native Art by Kiowa and Comanche artist John Hitchcock.

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.

Portland Institute for Contemporary Art is hosting Beyond Now, a virtual party and fundraiser, May 14-16. Included will be presentations, performances and a dance party.

Portland Opera asked its Resident Artists to share a playlist of operatic gems that are keeping them inspired and energized during this challenging time. Soprano Emilie Faiella sent a moving video of her performing Handel’s “Se pietà di me non senti” from Giulio Cesare. Resident Artist Ricardo Garcia shared a window performance from his home in Hayward, California, including “Nunca olvida” from the song cycle, “Poema en forma de canciones” by Joaquín Turina.

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 established the Community Performance Space and Marketplace. The site includes performances from former Playhouse apprentices, classes with cast members and artwork for sale. They also created Listen Up!, an online audio archive of reviews, interviews and important news about Portland Playhouse’s productions and people from the past decade (give or take a few years).

Catch up on reviews, interviews and important news through podcasts and broadcasts about Portland Playhouse’s productions and people from the past decade (give or take a few years).

Portland Radio Project has created a new platform for local musician video sessions, live in-studio mini-concerts and welcomes musicians to submit their own.

Portland Youth Philharmonic wind ensemble conductor Giancarlo Castro D’Addona created “Compose it & Play it,” an activity for young musicians to explore composing their own piece and recording it. They also conducted a seven-day #HearPYP challenge and posted a fun compilation of the results.

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 live on its Facebook page, where they’re also posting fun videos of this year’s scheduled artists.

Southern Film will host a “virtual” film festival from May 22 to June 14 including a full program of shorts, animations, features and documentaries.

The Southern Oregon Repertory Singers continue to post performances, including this one of “Indodana,” featuring soloists Gracie Ewert and Kendra Taylor

Former Oregon Poet Laureate Kim Stafford has written a series of “Poems for the Pandemic” and been featured on My Oregon News. He also posted readings, a poetry film, poems accompanied on harp by Bethany Lee and a recent interview with the Oregon State Poetry Festival. His poems and photographs are posted on Instagram.

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 Tower Theatre has posted a performance video by Eponine Bell, the winner of its Homebound Broadway contest. Bell was awarded prizes including gift certificates to local businesses and the Theatre, plus a walk-on part in a production of “Titanic the Musical” in September.  

Travel Portland has posted a variety of ways to enjoy Portland from the comfort and safety of home.

Umpqua Valley Arts is collecting a virtual archive of images related to these quarantined times for a virtual exhibit called COVID-19 Diaries: the quarantine projects. Submissions are welcome.

The Vanport Mosaic 2020 Virtual Festival continues through May 30, including an online conversation with former Oregon Poet Laureate Elizabeth Woody on May 20 titled “Who Gets to be an American?”

The Yamhill County Historical Society has created a virtual Farmfest 2020 including a video from the 2017 Farmfest and a performance by Joe and Janet.

Young Audiences of Oregon and Southwest Washington is featuring online activities by many of its teaching artists, including Red Yarn’s live shows for kids and families Mondays and Wednesdays at 10 a.m. and Thursdays at 4 p.m.

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.

The Glenn & Viola Walters Cultural Arts Center in Hillsboro is sharing online activities and performances for families including yarn weaving on a cardboard loom and homemade instruments.

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.

The West Linn Historical Society will host “Field Goals & Touchdowns: Early Football in Oregon” from 7 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, May 17.

In lieu of live performances featuring Dance Theatre of Harlem, White Bird has posted a sample performance video. They also have created the White Bird Boutique.

World Muse has posted a variety of activities and resources to inspire mindfulness, creativity and service.

Write Around Portland is offering Online Creative Writing Workshops and encouraging people to #breakforjoy by sharing inspirational thoughts on Facebook or Twitter.


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 Author

Carrie Kikel is the Communications Manager for Oregon’s Arts Department, which includes the Oregon Arts Commission and the Oregon Cultural Trust. The Oregon Arts Commission provides statewide grant funding to artists, arts organizations and arts programs. The Cultural Trust raises public and private awareness and investment in arts, heritage, history, humanities and preservation.

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