2015 was a year when a lot of what we love about Portland was put under pressure by the years of success in tourism and certain types of job creation. Though we hate the word "creative" when used by politicians it is good to find out what some of the candidates for Mayor and City Council have to say about the future of our city.
Confirmed participants include: Ted Wheeler, Jules Bailey, Amanda Fritz, Steve Novick, Stuart Emmons and moderated by April Baer of OPB. *Note there is some controversy as several recently declared candidates did not make the cutoff for the forum.
In particular the savvy visual art community has an interest in; ways to keep rents affordable, support for alternative spaces (a crucial seedbed for talent development), why nearly all the major art awards seem to regressively go to hand craft oriented academics to the exclusion of new media and less traditional concepts? (I'm calling for balance.) Lastly, I'd like to see the candidates answer about the perpetual fetish of quirkhype regarding Portland's cultural community rather than a serious discussion? To clarify, Portland is full of artists doing important work nationally and internationally and it is the root of Portland's competitive advantage over most other cities... we have a great community of very serious peers who get very little formal civic support and this is a question of how versed candidates are on talking points regarding patronage and stewardship? Quite specifically, Portland's next Mayor and Commissioners need to be on point culturally, not mere photo op purveyors of quirk or culturally passive regarding Portland's identity. I covered the topic in my 2012 Op Ed in the Portland Tribune
but recent financial pressures have made the topic more pressing.
Candidates Forum for Art And Culture | January 26 (free)
Doors: 3:30 PM, begins at 4:00PM
Gerding Theater and Armory
128 NW 11th Ave
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