What to Do in Portland (May 17-23, 2023)

If you’re certain we’re not alone in this universe, join your fellow believers at McMenamins Hotel Oregon this weekend for the UFO Fest.

LISTEN: Shvvvr Featuring Gordon Lee

In the mood for some genre-bending, post-apocalyptic, progressive world jazz? There’s a place for you. Shvvvr, featuring Gordon Lee on keys, will take the stage at The Jack London Revue for a night of musical fusion, featuring more types of jazz than you ever realized existed: Afro-Cuban, Afrobeat, free and funk. How about that for a little midweek pick-me-up? The Jack London Revue, 529 SW 4th Ave., 866-777-8932, jacklondonrevue.com. 8 pm Wednesday, May 17. $15 in advance, $20 at the door. 21+.

DRINK & EAT: Wine & Dine for Hope & Joy

Ukandu, the nonprofit that helps kids diagnosed with cancer actually feel like a kid again by sending them to camp, is hosting its largest fundraiser of the year, promising the most prestigious lineup of chefs and wineries to date. Longtime event partners, like Jaco Smith of Lechon and Nick Sherbo from Rangoon Bistro, will be joined by chef Gabriel Rucker of Le Pigeon fame. In all, you can make multiple laps through 20 food and wine booths. Come with an empty stomach and leave with a full heart knowing your ticket proceeds went to a good cause. The Redd on Salmon, 831 SE Salmon St., 503-276-2178, ukandu.org. 5:30 pm Thursday, May 18. $150.

DANCE: Spend the Night 8 Year

Join Portland’s night owls at this dance party with music from DJ Ben UFO, who started in the U.K. rave scene, along with Kush Jones, known as New York City’s top turntable talent, as they headline in the Main Room. Founded eight years ago in The Liquor Store—the now-defunct bar and music venue located in the former Blue Monk space—Spend the Night is something of an endurance race, so prepare accordingly. The beats will play until 4 am, which means you can rave until almost dawn. The Den, 116 SE Yamhill St., 971-288-1982, thedenpdx.com. 10 pm Friday, May 19. $30 in advance, $40 at the door. 21+.

GO: McMenamins UFO Fest

“The truth is out there.” Is it in McMinnville? That’s for you to decide. Many longtime attendees of the UFO Fest would say yes, since this Yamhill County city was the site of a flying saucer sighting captured in a photo in 1950, which quickly made national headlines. If you’re certain we’re not alone in this universe, join your fellow believers at McMenamins Hotel Oregon, which founded this extraterrestrial-themed celebration more than two decades ago. Learn about our galactic friends (or foes?) at speaker panels, or embrace the goofiness of it all by watching the UFO parade, running in the Alien Abduction 5k or simply drinking a ton of Alienator IPA. McMenamins Hotel Oregon, 310 NE Evans St., McMinnville, 503-472-8427, mcmenamins.com/ufo-festival. All day Friday-Saturday, May 19-20.

SEE: Bue Kee: An Artist’s Life and Legacy

Portland Chinatown Museum’s latest exhibit celebrates the untold story of Bue Kee, a Portland-born artist and hops farmer. He faced multiple challenges—Kee was hard of hearing and didn’t finish grade school—yet went on to become a prolific painter, sculptor and ceramicist who chose to give away his works to family and friends rather than sell them for profit. Kee faded from the collective consciousness over time, but in 2021, his nephew brought his art to the attention of the museum, which will share his uniquely Oregon tale via a display of watercolors, paintings, lithographs and more. Portland Chinatown Museum, 127 NW 3rd Ave., 503-224-0008, portlandchinatownmuseum.org. 11 am-3 pm Friday-Sunday, May 19-Oct. 8.

SEE: Orcas: Our Shared Future

Oregon has a long history with orcas: The 1993 film Free Willy was shot here; its star, Keiko, lived at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport; and pods of the magnificent black-and-white mammals can be found in Yaquina Bay at times searching for their next meal. So it’s fitting that OMSI has opened an exhibit dedicated to the killer whale. Orcas: Our Shared Future features three life-sized replicas and more than 100 artifacts, including Indigenous art, a wooden skeleton, and interactive stations that will inspire a new appreciation for the connection between humans and this splendid apex predator. OMSI, 1945 SE Water Ave., 503-797-4000, omsi.edu. 9:30 am-5:30 pm Tuesday-Friday and Sunday, 9:30 am-7 pm Saturday, through Jan. 28, 2024. $13-$18.

GO: Follow Your Dream Gala Fundraiser

Though best known as Mayor Pete’s husband, Chasten Buttigieg has managed to step outside of the U.S. transportation secretary’s shadow. The teacher, author and LGBTQ+ rights activist uses his platform to bring attention to the need to improve public education as well as access to the arts and mental health care. That work led to his selection as the special guest of this year’s gala for the Bridgetown Conservatory, the Portland area’s premier training company for young performers. You can appreciate Buttigieg from afar with a general admission ticket or up close if you shell out big for the VIP cocktail party. Tiffany Center, 1410 SW Morrison St., 971-219-6452, bridgetownconservatory.org. VIP session 6 pm and general admission 7 pm Saturday, May 20. $150 general admission, $500 VIP.

DRINK: PDX Urban Wine Experience 2023

The whole goal of PDX Urban Winery is to get you to skip the drive to wine country and taste as much of its bounty as possible under one roof in town. So take a break from running around Yamhill and Hood counties during Oregon Wine Month by attending this event, which will feature at least 17 Portland vintners pouring more than 40 wines. Your ticket includes a snack cup from Forest Grove’s ABC Charcuterie to help soak up some of the alcohol. Easton Broad, 237 NE Broadway, Unit 300, pdxurbanwine.com. 2-5 pm Sunday, May 21. $60.

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