August 19th, 2009 5:33 pm | by Jenny Booth News | Posted In: CLEAN UP

Need a Niche?

We moan when it's hot, we moan when it's cold, we moan that the summer drags on and gets a bit boring. So, instead, here's five awesome things to get excited about and join in with this fall —it's almost like a real life social network.

1. Funk up your junk! Well, this could mean so many things, but here we're referring to emptying out your trash can and parading it down a runway in the Crystal Ballroom. The application process is now open for the 2009 edition of Junk To Funk, which has been getting bigger and better for the last few years. Aiming to “educate audiences about waste reduction, recycling issues, and sustainable living practices,” the main thing is the designs are awesome cool, and potentially attainable for those of us who flunked textiles in school (*cough*).
When: Deadline for submissions is October 14, the show's on November 14.

2. PARK(ing) Day! This may not have been Portland's invention, but it sure suits us, as artists, citizens and activists are called upon to make the most of our utilitarian concrete spaces. Having become a worldwide event since starting up in San Francisco four years ago, PARK(ing) Day is all about transforming parking lots into lush green havens. And then lying around in them. For inspiration see the pic below, with all the information on how to get involved here. Participants are encouraged to set up or join online groups, and there's a manifesto and manual available to download for more tips.
When: Friday, September 18th

3. Money for art?! PDX is well known for it's creative community, but that doesn't equate to good funding. So if you have a rad idea you're wanting to set up, get to know the folk at Stock's Community Dinner. They've taken it upon themselves to set up a grant scheme democratically, through soup. Applications for the next event are open now, or if you'd rather “join the board,” head over to Gallery Homeland for a modest soup dinner ($10 donation required), and vote for the proposal that most deserves the evening's profits.
When: Proposals due before August 23 (first 10 make it through). Dinner is on August 30.

4. Get your rocks off. If you've managed to miss out on this so far in life, apparently once you're in a deep hypnotic trance, “you'll be surprised how clearly you might be able to feel a crystal. Almost as clearly as listening to the radio. It's just there… and it is wonderful”. Who knew. For unintoxicated enlightenment sign up for the Healing Hour at 12555 SW First Street in Beaverton, where they'll discuss how and why crystals are useful tools for self development. An unusual evening, for the meager charge of $10 “voluntary donation.”
When: Tuesday August 25, 7 - 9pm.

5. Beautify schools. Schools ain't pretty, as a rule. But in a community effort to make them more appealing in time for the fall semester, you can sign up here to get your hands dirty. Every year Community Care Day enlists thousands of plebes volunteers to participate in a little light landscaping, last year completing work valued at $482,000. If spreading mulch and trimming bushes sound like a good way to avoid computer related boredom and breathe fresh air, you'll be please to know it's not even slave labor—there'll be payment in water and snacks. When: Saturday August 29, 9 am-noon (for the majority of schools, exceptions apply).

PARK(ing) Day 2008

Don't miss out this TrashFash:

Photos courtesy of Philip Morgan and Art Monaco Portland.
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