SING FOR YOUR SUPPER: A venerable art form will collide with new technology at Portland Opera’s first Blogger Night at the Opera on Friday, May 8. Six bloggers—Julie Grauert of KPTV’s Good Day Oregon, Mike Russell of CulturePulp, Dieselboi of OurPDXNetwork, Brandon Hartley of another portland blog, Geoff Kleinman of On Portland and someone from BikePortland—will score a backstage tour and free tickets to the opening-night performance of Rigoletto. The catch? They have to blog and tweet the performance before, during and after the show. Portland Opera publicist Julia Sheridan says the company was looking for bloggers who could reach out to a wider audience that might not be familiar with opera. “I love that most of the bloggers are guys,” she says. “That’s a category I’d love to break into.”
A Q NEAR YOU: The Q Center, Portland’s LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning) community resource center, has upgraded from its puny 1,000-square-foot Southeast Portland digs to a roomy, 6,500-square-foot space at 4115 N Mississippi Ave. “We look forward to enhancing [the Mississippi ‘hood’s] already great diversity,” says Kendall Clawson, Q Center’s executive director, presumably by adding queer, skinny, white people to the street’s pre-existing glut of straight, skinny, white people. The new spot has several meeting rooms and will lease space to LGBTQ businesses. The center celebrates its grand opening at the Mississippi Street Fair on July 11.
BUDGET CRUNCH:William Temple House has been helping needy Portland-area folks (and well-loved vintage furniture and housewares hounds) since 1965. But even the good and established are feeling the economic crunch. A slight drop in donations and steep cuts to its credit lines forced the organization to reduce staff and operation hours April 16. “We are doing everything we can to maintain critical services to our clients,” says development director Diane Gonthier. “We have been around for 44 years and we don’t anticipate going anywhere, we just have to do things a little differently.” For details of all the reductions, including those at William Temple House’s popular thrift store and its Northwest Hoyt Street headquarters, go to williamtemple.org.
THAT’LL DO, PIGS: The cast-iron pigs outside Nob Hill Bar and Grill on Northwest 23rd Avenue have turned into quite the wags. They wore lipstick at the height of Palin fever, and now they’re providing silent commentary on the swine flu panic. “Yeah that was me,” laughs pig decorator Greg Hermenn, who has owned the Nob Hill bar for the past 23 years. “We try and change ’em up a bit with the seasons...or the disasters.”