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.
Our September Variety Show was held at Blanc Space, a queer art gallery and community gathering space that regularly hosts poetry readings, photo shoots, and art shows.
Musician Maiah Wynne was back for another rousing set; this time she played a mixture of covers and original songs, and she even tested out some new material with our audience.
Poet Joni Renee shared a poem from her new book "Self Defense".
Artist Jaleesa Johnston shared a new visual poem with elements of performance and dance, and everyone in the audience got to take home a copy of her work.
Artist Amy Subach shared some new music she's been working on, including hilarious songs about raising her children.
Musician Molly Kate shared songs from her new album, St. Rosie.
China scholar Frances Hanna shared her research on the modern cultural changes within queer and trans communities in Shanghai.
Travel Portland came to take pictures for an upcoming article about art in Portland.