COVID-19-related event cancellations have started stretching into next year.
White Bird, the Portland organization that brings top-tier contemporary dance companies and solo acts to town, has announced there will be no performances during its 2020-21 season.
Co-founders Walter Jaffe and Paul King cited Gov. Kate Brown's restrictions on gatherings of 50 or more as the reason for the cancellations. White Bird also noted it can't responsibly ask dance companies to travel, rehearse, and perform in front of live audiences during a global health crisis.
"The health of our audiences, performers, theater staff and stage crew is of paramount importance to us," Jaffe and King said in a statement.
The season, which would have run from October through May, will not be a total loss. Jaffe and King say they will scale down operations, but plan to keep patrons engaged by posting dance videos—particularly by artists of color—and engage in online conversations about how to address systemic racism through art.
The 23-year-old organization is one of many in the performing arts that faced staggering financial losses due to scrapped shows in the wake of the pandemic. White Bird recently exceeded its fundraising goal of $200,000 to help make up for the revenue that vanished along with the rest of the 2019-20 season.