Last night was by far the best variety show we've hosted thus far. We had a packed lineup of artists who were excited to showcase new work on our theme of "New Year, Old You". Our inspiration was dancing into the new year, drawing from our histories, calling on our past, dredging up what we want to carry forward and honoring what we are ready and wiling to leave behind.
We enjoyed an opening invocation by Reema Zaman, musical performances from Joni Renee Whitworth, Maiah Wynne, Layla Laubach, and Whisper Hiss, live oil painting by Jasmine Co, spoken word by Julia Laxer, Nastashia Minto, Tucker Garcia, Kalong Wong, and Meron Medhanie, an inspirational lecture by Natalie Rose Baldwin, and a beautiful burlesque dance by Evelyn R-w.
This was the first show we've held that was sold out. That meant that we were able to compensate our artists much more than we usually can. In our industry it is rare to be fairly paid, perhaps rarest of all for poets. We are pleased to be paying emerging and under-represented artists because we believe art is important to the health and happiness of a community. Thank you for your support as we continue to learn and grow.
For the latest episode of Future Prairie Radio, we interviewed artist, illustrator, and GIF queen Courtney Brendle. Courtney discusses GIFs, the future of visual communication, using art to make tech more human, and of course, how to make a GIF.
Check out the whole thing on iTunes and SoundCloud: Future Prairie Radio Season 1 Episode 9: A Thousand Words with Courtney Brendle.
See more of Courtney’s work here.
This past Wednesday, Future Prairie and Questions About Everything trivia hosted a benefit for the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization, and it was a packed house! Several Future Prairie artists donated their art to the raffle. The talented Maiah Wynne performed while everyone scoped out the amazing prizes and assembled their teams to see who knew the most about current events, history, and pop culture. It was a tough competition, but in the end, Pier’s team won by one point!
We raised over $800, all of which will go directly to help the important work that IRCO does to provide immigrants and refugees with the cultural and linguistic social services they need to become self-sufficient and empowered members of our community. If you missed out on this particular event but are interested in donating/helping a fantastic organization, click here to be whisked away to the IRCO’s site.
Big shout out to Portland Mercado for being the perfect spot for such an event. La Arepa made delicious food and gave it out for free to all of our event attendees, which was so kind of them.
Thank you to our sponsors: Risa Lichtman, Mali Fischer, Heart Roasters, Little Bird, Kathleen Boudwin, Best Friend Juice + Espresso, Airbnb, Never Coffee, B-Movie Bingo, Infinite Companion, Katie Mudd Mugs, Xocotl, and Mob Cycle.
Thank you as well to our all-volunteer team: Jake Dockter, Rachael Elston, Rachel Reid, and Brittany Galvan.
Hope to see you all at the next event.
A short film made by Future Prairie artists was featured today on Film Pulse Selects!
Film Pulse is a film news site that brings a fresh and unique voice to film reporting and filmmaking commentary, exposing its readers and listeners to new and innovative films and filmmaking from around the world.
See the whole feature here.
Amber Case is an artist and designer who studies the interaction between humans and computers.
Amber looks at how our relationship with information is changing the way cultures think and act, and how they understand their worlds. Amber's work in the field of cyborg anthropology and user experience design led to a two-year fellowship at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society and the MIT Center for Civic Media. Amber is the author of two books: “Designing with Sound” and “Calm Technology: Design for the Next Generation of Devices”. Amber’s TED talk, “We are all cyborgs now,” has been viewed over one million times. Amber was featured among Fast Company’s Most Influential Women in Technology in 2010, was the co-founder of a location-based software company acquired in 2012, was named one of National Geographic’s Emerging Explorers and was listed among Inc. Magazine’s 30 under 30.
Along this journey, just for fun, Amber founded CyborgCamp, a conference on the future of humans and computers. I caught up with Amber there, at the tenth anniversary of CyborgCamp, where we stole some moments away in a sunny corner of a little classroom. We enjoyed a wide-ranging discussion on career, creativity, class, the theory of time, and time management.
Listen to the whole episode here.
Find out more about Amber here.
We have been accepted into an arts mentorship program with Northwest Oregon’s Regional Arts & Culture Council, and I’ve begun the lengthy process of establishing Future Prairie, not as an LLC, but as a formal non-profit with the mission of developing emerging and under-represented artists. We’re going to need a lot of help from our community as we strategize development and finalize our 501c3 documentation. If you or someone you know is interested in helping out, either as a volunteer or as a board member, please get in touch!
This month’s Future Prairie Radio episode features interviews conducted out and about in the streets of Portland, Oregon.
The artists of Future Prairie spent a day interviewing the public in celebration of International PARK(ing) Day, an annual global event that occurs on the third Friday in September and has been taking place in Portland since 2006. PARK(ing) Day supports creative placemaking by allowing people to temporarily convert on-street parking spaces into interactive public spaces. This year, eighteen parking spots around Portland were turned into unique spaces such as a bubble park, a miniature salmon stream, an art studio, a putt-putt golf course, a letter-writing lounge, a bike-fixing station, and more.
We set up a mobile podcasting studio on NW 11th Ave between Couch and Davis right outside the largest independent used and new bookstore in the world, Powell’s Books, and we asked people, “What do you envision for the future of our city?” Produced in collaboration with the City of Portland and the Bureau of Transportation.
Listen to the whole episode here.
Find out more about PARK(ing) Day here.
Our music for this episode is by Maiah Wynne.
This short film is a collaboration between writer Joni Renee, producer Sean Cumming, and director/editor Anna Weltner. Each of the three artists contributed ideas to the filming and post-production process.
The poem in the film, written, read, and sung by Joni Renee is an elegy for her deceased father. The poem and film interpret grief and loss through the lens of the autistic experience, highlighting the sensory and tangible details of memory. The green chair of the poem becomes a green screen onto which memory is projected. This lush account of neurodivergence in loss honors nature, family, and the body.
Author’s Note: My use of the word “Mexicans” seemed an essential contextual choice; the word was used disparagingly by farmer neighbors to dehumanize migrant workers of many different backgrounds and justify unreported employment in the vineyards. To use any other politically-correct term would have been a falsity. In the late ‘90’s, Pacific Northwest vintners demanded long hours into the night for many weeks on end with minimal pay. The practice has declined but still exists. If you are interested in helping, please contact The Campaign for Migrant Worker Justice.