You Can't Be What You Can't See: Welcome to the 2016 Fall Arts Guide

Every story in our annual preview highlights work by women or people of color.

In Portland, this was the year the arts got woke.

Way before Colin Kaepernick's jerseys started selling out, our arts communities were focused on justice—marching, painting and dancing for change. The summer's hottest theater ticket was a show about racial profiling written by black playwrights. The Portland Art Museum hosted an educational tour marking the day the first African slaves arrived in Virginia. Some of the city's most prominent art galleries, as well as our longest-running theater, regularly hold diversity dialogues, and Portland authors have banded together for a reading series focused on writers of color.

Consider this year's Fall Arts Guide our knee-down in solidarity.

Every story in our annual preview highlights work by women or people of color. Every writer who wrote one of the articles is also female-identifying, a person of color, or both.

As it turns out, there's a lot of incredible art that isn't made by white men.

So inside this package, you'll find scenes of 400 female motorcyclists descending on Mount Adams in photographer Lanakila MacNaughton's pop-up gallery show. This fall in Portland, you can watch ex-inmates describe solitary confinement at a church-turned-theater. You can also witness New York's pre-eminent black female choreographer translate her speaking patterns into dance, hear electronically looped opera at the Doug Fir Lounge or see geometric shapes shattered into neon slivers at Portland's newest all-female art gallery. To help you take full advantage of this arts-filled season, we've assembled a super calendar of performance, book readings, gallery shows and concerts covering every day from now until Thanksgiving.

For those who don't know, the phrase "You can't be what you can't see" refers to the need for role models from underrepresented groups to be visible in the media. The idea is, if you don't see someone like you succeeding, it's harder to believe you can succeed.

Well, this fall is a good time for audiences to see something different in order to be something different. Here's where to start.


Portland's Newest Gallery Is Only Representing Female Artists

This Portland Photographer Captures the New Wave of Women Motorcyclists

"Black Girl: Linguistic Play" Is Bringing Diversity to the Forefront of a Major Portland Dance Company

Portland Is Getting the Classical Latin It's Been Missing, Thanks to a Genre-Bending Piano Duo

Portland Classical Artist Holland Andrews Has Graduated from GarageBand to a Major Art Residency With Her Operatic Vocal Loops

A Local Playwright Wrote a Play That's Based on The Oregon Trail Computer Game

This All-Female Frankenstein Cabaret Ties in the Year's Most Controversial Rape Case

These Prisoners Were Once in Solitary Confinement. Now, They Find Freedom Through Theater

How Cheryl Strayed's Book of Advice Columns Made the Jump To Broadway—and Even HBO

Mitchell Jackson's Essays Recall Growing Up in Pre-Gentrified Northeast Portland

These Six Female Curators Might Save Portland's Art Scene

A Latina Construction Worker Takes Her Advocacy to the Big Screen

Something Artsy to Do Every Day From Today to Thanksgiving