Tag Archives: stories

Selfless Promotion, Part I

11 Oct

From the windows in our office on the 9th floor, I can see blue sky and those clouds that make their appearance on TV every Sunday night at 8PM.  In essence, a beautiful day.

Our artists are kind enough to let us know when they have public appearances and so, we’d like to pass that information on to you, the public, in hopes you might consider spending some time with them and witnessing how truly talented they are…


From Vagabond Opera:


Portland, OR — Vagabond Opera celebrates the dead like no other place in town for their fourth annual Halloween extravaganza! The event will offer two separate shows of music, voodoo ritual, art, dance and partying with the dead. The early family show will be kid-friendly and feature special guest Joe the Balloon guy, and a costume contest. The late night voodoo party will feature special Portland musical country zombie songstress Amanda Richards and the Hardly Hars as well as Groovy Wallpaper (Skip Vonkuske and Don Henson from Sneakin’ Out) opening up the show. Both shows will Feature belly dancing with Nagasita, Ancestor Divination Tarot readings by Destina Sinflair and a sacred interactive alter dedicated to honoring the dead. Both shows are all ages.


“An eclectic musical phenomenon.” — NBC

“A band of ceaseless charisma, boundless energy, impeccable musicianship and more than a little touch of both the naughty and exotic.”

–Washington Post


Vagabond Opera’s third annual Halloween bash: The Transylvanian Voodoo Ball

What: Live music, dance party, spiritual seance, and halloween celebration!

When: Saturday, October 30th.

TWO SHOWS:  Family friendly kid matinee doors at 2:30pm, show at 3pm

Featuring Joe the Balloon Guy


Late night show, doors at 9pm, show at 9:30pm

With musical guests Amanda Richards and the Hardly Hars, and Groovy Wallpaper.

Both shows featuring Belly dance by Nagasita, Ancestor Divination Tarot readings by Destina Sinflar, and an interactive sacred altar for honoring the dead.

Where: The Secret Society, 116 NE Russell, Portland, OR 97202

Tickets: EARLY SHOW: Adults $12, kids $7 (kids under 3 free), LATE SHOW: $15. Buy online at www.vagabondopera.com, or brownpapertickets.com or call 1-800-838-3006. Both shows all ages! (late show w/ ID). For more information go to www.vagabondopera.com/halloween

To listen to the band’s latest album, “The Zeitgeist Beckons” and get high-resolution images, click here: http://vagabondopera.com/


You can view live footage of Vagabond Opera through videos located here:



About Vagabond Opera

The six piece, Portland, OR based music ensemble Vagabond Opera is described by the Washington Post as “a band of ceaseless charisma, boundless energy, impeccable musicianship and more than a little touch of both the naughty and exotic.”  Featuring four singers (two operatically trained) two cellos, saxophone, clarinet, accordion, double bass and drums, the Bohemian neo-cabaret gypsy rock ensemble plays a combination of cabaret, burlesque, tango, Balkan beats, Klezmer, rock, Arab music, Parisian hot jazz, and, yes, opera that’ll leave your head spinning. The ensemble sings in 15 languages and mixes their genre-defying original tunes with covers made famous by such artists as Jacques Brel, Tom Waits, Raymond Scott, and Edith Piaf – all performed with theatrics, flair and an old world mood.

Vagabond Opera is at the vanguard of a growing popularity in the Neo-cabaret phenomenon, and through their theatrical performances and eclectic repertoire bring the eclectic artistic spirit of Portland, OR to the world. The May 2009 release of The Zeitgeist Beckons marks the third full-length release from the band to date. The ensemble recently premiered their first full length opera “Queen of Knives” in May 2010.   Vagabond Opera has performed across the USA and in Europe, is played regularly on NPR and has shared stages and players with Pink Martini, Devotchka, The Decembrists, and the Oregon Symphony, proving their easy crossover appeal.


About Amanda Richards

Practically a Portland native, Richards’ has been touring the northwest for the past seven years with many recent performances opening for burlesque troops under the alias “DeManda.”  Her content could be considered off color or risqué.  Sometimes naughty, sometimes aggressive but almost always delivered with a sugar sweet smile and bedroom eyes.

Richards’ 4th album and recent masterpiece is a rock opera about the zombie apocalypse written from the perspective of the soon-to-be last person on earth (who happens to be a country singer and a feminist).

The compositions span nearly the entire history of country music: from boot-stomping old-timey banjo tunes to classic he-done-me-wrong ballads.


About Groovy Wallpaper

Vagabond Opera’s own Skip vonKuske , AKA cellotronik, also of Portland Cello Project, and Don Henson percussionist of Sneakin’ Out ,proudly unveil their new project, a strings and percussion extravaganza they call Groovy Wallpaper.

To call it a cello and percussion duo falls far short of describing it.

This is a duo that sounds like an orchestra at a construction site with the foreman and conductor in collusion  Their music is often described as a soundtrack for a movie playing in the head of listeners. Fitting then, that at the Transylvanian  Voodoo Ball, they’ll be mixing in some of the most macabre scores in horror film history to their repetoire to welcome you to the frightful festivities!


For more information about Vagabond Opera, please contact Robin Jackson


971 227-0589



Website: http://www.vagabondopera.com

Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/vagabondopera

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/vagabondopera


Amanda Richards http://www.amandarichards.net/

Groovy Wallpaper www.groovywallpaper.net

Nagasita www.myspace.com/nagasitadance

Joe the Balloon Guy! www.joemishkin.com


See Vagabond Opera LIVE on NPR’s Mountain Stage, 2009

Click here:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8BVsZvXxF0




Oregon Days of Culture

3 Oct

October has arrived.  The days are still warm but everything cools off nicely in the evening; the leaves are starting to turn their vibrant fire colors; Halloween and all it’s chaos/excitement are just around the corner.  But in the meantime, we have the Oregon Days of Culture – a week’s worth of events and activities celebrating the vibrancy of Oregon heritage, humanities and arts.  Check out the schedule here, brought to you by the Oregon Cultural Trust, and indulge yourself though October 8th!

How are you celebrating Arts in Education Week?

10 Sep

The school year has just barely started and it’s looking like another challenging year for schools. Despite that, or perhaps even to counter that, we already have cause to celebrate. On July 26, the US House of Representatives declared next week, September 12-18, Arts in Education Week.

Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski has acknowledged the House’s resolution with a proclamation of our own. Locally, other activities of note (some of these are for information only, not necessarily open to public):

  • Several area schools are jumping into the new school year with Young Audiences artists such as Ralph Nelson, Fools in Paradise and Ann Penfound.
  • The Right Brain Initiative‘s cool Show + Tell traveling exhibit will be on view at Portland Public School’s Blanchard Education Center through September 13, then on to the Portland Children’s Museum September 14 through October 3. The exhibit is in one of those PODS storage units (clever!) and includes displays of work and stories of their arts education programs from last year. Also check out their wonderful blog for more on Arts in Education Week!
  • Fall.ART.Live – Oregon Ballet Theater’s FREE daylong festival celebrating Portland’s vibrant performing arts scene! Lots of arts from OBT and other arts groups on Sunday, September 12, 2010 at  Director Park in downtown Portland, all day from 11:00am – 6:00pm
  • Writers in the Schools (WITS, a program of Literary Arts) will publish its 2009-2010 WITS Report in the Literary Arts September e-newsletter. This will be WITS’ first widely distributed public report, educate the larger community about their work with over 2500 Portland public high school students.
  • For pre-schoolers and their parents, the Oregon Symphony will be at Beaverton Library for their Symphony Storytimes series.

Many arts education advocates around the country have come up with other splendid thoughts for celebrating Arts in Education Week. A lot of this can be initiated, declared, promised or discussed starting next week, building towards March which is Arts Education/Youth Arts Month. Here are a few of my thoughts and favorites from ideas posted around the web:

  • The obvious one: do or start an art project! Perhaps something as big as a rock musical or a recycled art installation. Or a smaller project like playing theater games or creating a multi-media self portrait. Just go and get your hands dirty and your body moving!
  • Check out the American for the Arts’ Arts Education Blog Salon, taking place the whole week, and The Inspired Classroom, which has dedicated the next two months to arts integration (I’ll actually be a guest blogger) . Read, comment, share ideas. These blogs are always chock full of great dialogues and ideas.
  • Make a pledge this week to support arts education this year and testify for arts education in your community in March. Lots of info and resources about this on Americans for the Arts’ Arts in Education Week page.
  • Introduce yourself at a local school and volunteer to in an arts education classroom.
  • Talk to teachers, parents and students  about their experiences with arts education. Find out what inspires them, keeps them engaged and learning.
  • Some folks who participate in the #artsed chat on Twitter had a great suggestion for next week. Make a pledge to share the process of arts education projects, not just the product. Think about sharing student and teacher reflections, photos, drawings, drafts, videos, interviews, writings about the process of creating your work. Share that along with your final creation.
  • If you like to tweet (connect with us @YAoutreach) consider participating in the lively weekly #artsed chat. 4pm PST/7pm EST every Thursday. Just show up to twitter and dedicate all your postings for the hour to #artsed. @creativityassoc posts archives of the chats here.

I think I’ve rattled on enough. Here are more resources about Arts in Education Week. Go forth and create!

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