Welcome to the June-spoon-croon edition of the Oregon ArtsWatch newsletter: updates and links to arts journalism for the modern world.

Drammys, Janice Scroggins, dragon boats 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Dear ArtsWatch friends,
June is bustin' out all over. The Rose Festival. The Belmont Stakes and the last leg of the Triple Crown. A whole lot of weddings. The Heat and the Spurs in the NBA finals.

And, oh, yes: The Drammy Awards

Portland's annual celebration of the best of the season's work on the city's theater stages is one of the most eager anticipated big parties of the year. It's open to everyone, and fans and participants alike crowd the Crystal Ballroom for the  drama and festivities. This year's bash – on Monday, June 9, at the Crystal – adds to the drama by returning to a winner-take-all format, announced Tony and Oscar style from a list of previously announced nominees. This is a break from many years of naming several honorees in each category, without choosing an ultimate winner. The switch should add to both the fun and the controversy.

Doors open at 6 p.m., ceremony starts at 7, and popular actor Isaac Lamb will be master of ceremonies. ArtsWatch will be in the house. See you there!

Allen Nause (right, with Jacob Coleman) is a best-actor nominee in Imago Theatre's "The Caretaker," one of four nominations for best production of a play. Photo: Jerry Mouawad

Portland is mourning Janice Scroggins, the great jazz and blues pianist and keyboardist who died last Tuesday at age 58. She was beloved not only for her masterful musicianship, but also as a teacher, collaborator, and "glue" of the community. ArtsWatch, among many others, wrote about Janice after she died, trying to capture some of the essence of this remarkable artist and human being. A home-going memorial service will begin at 11 a.m. Wednesday, June 4, at Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church, 3138 North Vancouver Avenue. Viewing will begin at 9 a.m., and is open to all. And singer Mary Flower is organizing a benefit concert to be held at 7 p.m. Monday, June 9, at Alberta Rose Theatre.

Janice Scroggins: rest in peace. Photo: Slim Lively 2014

In Portland, June is also about Dragon Boats. You know: those glorious racing shells that zip around the Willamette, powered by teams of oarsmen and oarswomen. They're stirring to watch, and ArtsWatch knows several hale and hearty participants. Artist Alea Bone has even put together an exhibition of Dragon Boat art (including her own piece, Dragon-Racer, below). It's up through June at First Cup Coffee House, 4103 Southeast Woodstock Boulevard. Meanwhile, in the city's art galleries, this is the week for First Thursday and First Friday openings. Keep an eye on ArtsWatch's home page for our picks of the month's new shows.



ArtsWatch links

Talking with the candidates. Oregon's big cultural news this week has been appearances in public forums by the three finalists to become head of the Oregon Arts Commission and Oregon Cultural Trust. ArtsWatch's Barry Johnson looked, listened, and wrote about how candidates Greg Netzer, Joyce Bonomini, and Brian Rogers came across. 

Haunted by the moon. Bruce Browne took in the city's most recent excursion into Arnold Schönberg's groundbreaking Pierrot Lunaire (this time at Marylhurst University) and embraced the moonstruck challenges.
OBT serves a little dessert. The ballet company travels to the intimate BodyVox Dance Center for a post-season serving of short works created by the company's dancers. I sample the taste treats.

Sam Shepard's buried family. Profile Theatre ends its season of Shepard plays with the ferocious, raw Buried Child. ArtsWatch's A.L. Adams contemplates the huge, inevitable question: what happened? 

Tobias Andersen (left) and Garland Lyons in "Buried Child." Photo: David Kinder



And finally...

We end with a couple of requests. First, if you have friends or family members who you think would enjoy our newsletter and our cultural writing online, could you please forward this letter to them? The bigger our circle of friends, the more we can accomplish. Second, if you're not already a member of ArtsWatch, may we ask you to please take a moment and sign on? What you give (and your donation is tax-deductible) makes it possible for us to continue and expand our reporting and commenting on our shared culture in Oregon. Thanks, and welcome! Becoming a member is SO easy:

Become a member now!

Thank you!

Bob Hicks
Writer and editor,
Oregon ArtsWatch

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