Yesterday Gov. Ted Kulongoski announced 54 statewide grants being awarded through the Oregon Cultural Trust. Huzzah! Yay for culture and all that. But where is the support for the tennis-shoe wearing music community. Of all the recipients, shown below, only the Friends of Chamber Music, Portland Youth Philharmonic Association and Portland Taiko are wholly involved with music ... and those, I think I can safely say, involve the music of a very specific audience. Namely older and capital-C Cultured.
Part of the problem is likely that no organization representing more popular and accessible musical culture has applied for a grant, or even been formed. And some might say that that is because businesses based on more popular forms of music can survive without public assistance. Which is correct for many parts of popular music culture escept one: The all-ages music club.
Small and large clubs for kids to partake in a larger culture scrap to get by and die over and over again in this town. And by club, I mean a club, like what Todd Fadel was trying to create with Meow Meow before he handed it over to new ownership that transformed it from a hangout to the rental hall now called Loveland. It is becoming clear that we need some public help to create a place that parents can trust, bands can get paid at and parents can trust. Funding can come from grants like those listed below, through state legislation (which is how the Oregon Cultural Trust was created) or through appeals to municipal government.
We have a fantastic example of a youth center for music right to our north in Seattle where the Vera Project, an all-ages cultural mecca for kids, has changed the face of that city's musical culture. Check out the website, below, and somebody make a place for kids, like those that will crowd Loveland for this weekend's PDX Pop Now! Festical, to experience their own
culture in Portland. Seriously. Do this. There are links to the state leg and the vera project as well. First, look at whose getting the cash this year:
Body Vox, $5,000
To support "First Impressions," an ongoing performance series focused on developing new work.
Friends of Chamber Music, $4,000
For the launch of a new Vocal Arts Series with concerts master classes, workshops and vocal arts appreciation classes.
Do Jump Extremely Physical Theater, $7,000
To create a marketing plan as the company prepares to perform in a much larger venue, the Newmark Theatre in the Portland Center for the Performing Arts.
Film Action Oregon, $8,000
To replace stage and organ loft roofs in preparation for the restoration and installation of a 1925 Robert Morton pipe organ, used at the theater from 1926 through 1955.
Friends of Timberline, $10,000
For reconstruction of the amphitheatre at the WPA-era Timberline Lodge.
Friends of Tryon Creek State Park, $5,000
To fund "Natural Cycles: A Celebration of Art in the Forest," a public art project in a natural setting. The five installations along the Trillium Trail are meant to heighten awareness of the forest environment.
KBPS-FM Public Radio Foundation, $10,000
To support the installation of a translator station in the Lincoln City area to allow KBPS' programming to be heard throughout the north central coast.
Literary Arts Inc., $15,000
To support the 20th Annual Oregon Book Awards and companion author tour to Astoria, Baker City, Bend, Burns, Klamath Falls, La Grande, North Bend, Roseburg, and Salem.
Miracle Theatre Company, $5,000
To support of and educational outreach for Rosalba y los Llaveros by Emilio Carballido, considered the first modern Mexican comedy.
Oregon Children's Theatre Company, $10,000
To tour and create a residency program for The Red Badge of Courage in Jospeh, La Grande and Prineville.
Oregon Nikkei Endowment/Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center, $4,000
Funds for staff to research and develop "Nihonmachi: Portland's Japantown Remembered," an exhibit about a once-thriving commercial district.
Oregon Public Broadcasting, $25,000
Continuing support for "Oregon Experience," a personality-driven, half-hour weekly program that will engage viewers in Oregon history.
Pacific Railroad Preservation Association, $4,000
To restore a 17,000 gallon water tender, allowing the Association's historic Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway #700 steam locomotive to double its range to 200 miles and allow more people to see it.
Portland Center Stage, $9,000
To support PlayGroup, a play development workshop for local playwrights, as well the 2007 JAW/West Playwrights Festival featuring new works by local and national playwrights in staged readings.
Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA), $15,000
In support of PICA's 2006 Time-Based Art Festival featuring local, national and international artists in contemporary dance, theater, music, film, visual art and multimedia performance.
Portland Taiko, $5,000
To support "Bamboo Migrations," a series of new taiko drum music and choreography for performance in spring 2007 in the Portland metro area, and suitable for a statewide tour in 2007/2008.
Portland Youth Philharmonic Association, $5,000
To support community outreach Latino and rural audiences in Woodburn and Pendleton. The program includes performances by Gabriel Cabezas, a 13-year-old, award-winning cellist from Costa Rica.
Regional Arts & Culture Council, $6,000
To support Work for Art, a partnership with NW Business for Culture and the Arts, to stimulate workplace giving in the tri-county area. A key strategy is engaging employees in arts activities at work.
Sojourn Theater, $5,000
For the creation of Vision, a performance and dialogue series in collaboration with the Mayor's office. Vision will give Portland's citizens a voice in policy making through an interactive theatrical experience.
Third Angle New Music Ensemble Inc, $7,000
To develop an interactive website that will function both as a creative instrument and distribution source for new musical works to audiences using the internet as an entertainment venue.
Third Rail Repertory Theatre, $5,000
To support the creation and the world premiere production of Number Three by Portland playwright/actor/screenwriter Ebbe Roe Smith.
White Bird Dance, $4,000
To support White Bird's first week-long choreographic residency. The project will bring Vietnamese choreographer Le Vu Long and his company, Together Higher, to Portland to collaborate with Vietnamese-born, Portland-based choreographer Minh Tran on performances and workshops.
Write Around Portland, $4,000
To contribute to the hiring of a program coordinator allowing WRAP to increase its writing workshops for the at-risk and underserved.
Oregon Cultural Trust: culturaltrust.org
The Vera Project: theveraproject.org
Oregon State Legislature: leg.state.or.us