What to Do in Portland (Nov. 15-21, 2023)

More than 50 outfits by some 40 labels will be on display in “Africa Fashion,” taking observers through African history as it could only be told through silk, raffia and beadwork.

Africa Fashion, Portland Art Musem (Fabrice Malard)

SEE: Africa Fashion

It’s about time we look beyond the runways of Paris, Milan and Manhattan for style inspiration; Africa Fashion puts the spotlight on designers from Nigeria, Ghana, Morocco, Mali and more. Coming off acclaimed runs at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and the Brooklyn Museum of Art, this new exhibit is now at the Portland Art Museum—the only West Coast stop on its global tour. More than 50 outfits by some 40 labels will be on display in town for the next three months, taking observers through African history as it could only be told through silk, raffia and beadwork. Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park Ave., 503-226-2811, portlandartmuseum.org. 10 am-5 pm Wednesday-Sunday, Nov. 18-Feb. 18. $22 students, seniors, group rate; $25 adult, members.

EAT: The Celebration of First Foods Dinner at The Allison

Before you travel home for Thanksgiving, take a seat at this feast and give thanks to the land’s original inhabitants and the foods they cultivated. Jory executive chef Jack Strong, a member of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, is using this dinner to focus on the seven foods that originated in America: corn, squash, chiles, beans, tomatoes, potatoes and cacao. Seasonal fish and game like sturgeon, salmon and elk are also on the menu. Expect wine pairings from Hope Well Wine, located in the Eola-Amity Hills American Viticultural Area, and Greywing Cellars, which is co-operated by the state’s first Native American winemaker. Jory at The Allison Inn & Spa, 2525 Allison Lane, Newberg, 503-554-2526, 6-9 pm Thursday, Nov. 16. $195 per person. Gratuity included.

WATCH: In the Grey Wild: Outside the Frame’s 2023 Annual Gala Screening

Homeless youth get to unleash their creativity through the art of film thanks to Outside the Frame, a nonprofit that teaches marginalized adolescents how to become directors—both behind the camera and in their own lives. This annual gala screens a collection of the latest participants’ works—the theme “Grey Wild” refers to the environments that were explored, from prisons to refugee camps to the streets. Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd., 503-477-8357, outsidetheframe.org/films. 7 pm Thursday, Nov. 16. $9.

WATCH: push/FOLD Celebrates Fifth Anniversary of Union PDX

If you shame-watch Dancing With the Stars because you simply enjoy the moves, not the D-list celebs trying to jump-start their careers, then get off the couch and head to Union PDX, push/FOLD’s annual festival devoted to contemporary choreography. There will be two world premiere performances as well as two Portland premieres and all sorts of artists from around the globe demonstrating street, Bharatanatyam, breaking and more. Stick around after the shows Nov. 17 and 18 for Q&A sessions, or mingle with the dancers at a closing soiree Nov. 19. The Hampton Opera Center, 211 SE Caruthers St., 503-946-6474, pushfold.org. 8 pm Thursday, 7:30 pm Friday-Saturday, 4 pm Sunday, Nov. 16-19. $5-$45.

GO: Lincoln City Cultural Center Activation

If you’ve been through Lincoln City in the past year, you may have noticed the lawn surrounding the Cultural Center looked as though it had been the scene of a monster truck rally. We’re happy to report that the mud pit is now mostly gone; in its place is a new plaza, which features pathways and art installations. Take a day trip to the coast for the ribbon cutting, live music and complimentary lunch. Set your kids loose on the plaza for a scavenger hunt—yes, there is a prize upon completion. Lincoln City Cultural Center, 540 NE Highway 101, Lincoln City, 541-994-9994, lincolncity-culturalcenter.org. 11 am-3 pm Saturday, Nov. 18. Free.

GO: Steelport Holiday Market

Whether you’re in the market for some knives to carve your Thanksgiving Day bird or you’re getting a jump on Christmas shopping, local cutlery maker Steelport should have something that meets your needs at this annual Holiday Market. And carbon-forged steel isn’t the only thing for sale; the pop-up will feature signed cookbooks by Portland chefs, cast-iron cookware, Kachka Lavka dumplings, Marshall’s Haute Sauce (of Hot Ones fame), Argyle wine and more. If you do end up buying some knives, be sure to take advantage of the free on-site sheath engraving service. Steelport Knife Co., 3602 NE Sandy Blvd., Suite B, 503-498-8132, steelportknife.com. Noon-4 pm Saturday, Nov. 18. Free.

WATCH: The Art of Burning Man

Most people who attended this year’s Burning Man want to forget they were ever there. Torrential rains turned the annual northern Nevada festival into a mud pit stranding thousands who were told to conserve their food and water supplies. Fortunately, this screening revisits the event during more successful years. Award-winning Portland director Joanna Priestley’s new work examines the quirky art installations made for Burning Man from 2002 to 2022. The event doubles as the local premiere of her animated short Jung & Restless. Empirical Theatre, 1945 SE Water Ave., 503-797-4000, omsi.edu. 7-9 pm Saturday, Nov. 18. $5-$15.

WATCH: The Nutcracker

It’s not the holiday season without dolls that come to life, dancing rodents and a semi-creepy uncle. The Nutcracker really is kind of a bizarre ballet when you think about it, but it’s become a time-honored tradition leading up to Christmas—one that the Oregon International Ballet Academy is participating in this year. The production features both local students and guest artists from Japan’s Casa d’arte. Bonus: If you’ve grown bored of the aging interior of Keller Auditorium, where the Oregon Ballet Theatre traditionally performs its rendition of the Balanchine classic, this show takes place inside the gorgeous new Reser Center just off the MAX line in Beaverton. Patricia Reser Center for the Arts, 12625 SW Crescent St., Beaverton, 971-501-7722, thresher.org. 7 pm Saturday, 2 pm Sunday, Nov. 18-19. $43.

Willamette Week’s reporting has concrete impacts that change laws, force action from civic leaders, and drive compromised politicians from public office. Support WW's journalism today.