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Arts and Culture Organizations work together to bring work to homebound audiences.

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By: Katie Thoresen

Despite thousands of canceled performances, events and activities, Oregon’s arts and culture organizations are furiously working to continue serving Oregonians online.

SALEM, Ore.- Thousands of plays, concerts, and performances have been canceled in an attempt to the slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. That’s not stopping artists from sharing their work. 

A recent live-streamed performance by Cappella Romana, produced by Portland Baroque Orchestra, has now been viewed by more than 80,000 people. In response, Portland Baroque is temporarily working 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.”

Below are links to organizations that offer online resources to stay entertained while stuck at home. 

The Architecture Foundation of Oregon has compiled a list of free at-home design lessons available for all who need them. Included are several of their Architects in Schools lessons and activities. They are also working to post several guided lesson videos hosted by dedicated members of the design community.

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

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.

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 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 on March 14.

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 our YouTube channel and recently as podcasts. The channel also features lectures given by guest speakers.

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.

The Pendleton Center for the Arts is posting online tours of its galleries and how-to craft projects for all ages. They hope to post one or two activities per day.

While Portland Piano International fans will wait until August for postponed Anderson & Roe concerts, they can view a video chat by the artists now.

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.

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.

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