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City News

Posted on: April 16, 2020

Virtual Events in the Portland Arts Community

Congress Square First Friday Art Walk Spring

Creative Portland announces a virtual events calendar to foster arts community bonds and to stay socially connected while physically apart. The calendar can be accessed on the First Friday Art Walk landing page of the Creative Portland website. Arts organizations, artists of all genres, and music venues promoting virtual happenings are encouraged to self-upload their listings on the Creative Portland website. A newly updated resource page has also been designed to highlight relief grant links for artists impacted by Covid-19

“The novelty of bustling crowds and buskers performing their First Friday best may be postponed while our monthly art walk is on hold during the pandemic,” concedes Dinah Minot, Executive Director of the Office of Creative Portland, “but we’re still proud to promote the creative talents of our bold and resilient arts community by pivoting our focus to the ‘new normal’ of virtual exhibitions, online classes, podcasts, experiential shares, author readings, taped productions, and local musician’s live streams and album release launches. In addition, to our artist relief fund efforts, we have also culled together other relief sources and opportunities for local artists during this challenging time.”

In a winter publication of the Survey of Public Participation in the Arts conducted by the National Endowment of the Arts and the U.S. Census Bureau, Portland surpassed most cities in the U.S. in public arts participation. The data reveals that three out of four of Portland’s population (73%) attends arts events during the year compared to the national average of 48.5%. Further, residents are 84% likely to use an electronic device (vs 73% nationwide) to access or experience art. That’s why Creative Portland is also developing a cultural app, a digital marketing tool to increase access to the arts, when the arts community returns to the new “normal” and is able to engage in-person public participation.

In the meantime, the FREE virtual event listings, supported by First Friday Art Walk sponsors Greater Portland Metro, The Crewe Foundation, Coffee by Design, the Dorothea & Leo Rabkin Foundation, the Portland Museum of Art, Portland Ovations, Maine College of Art, Mechanics Hall, and the Portland Phoenix will focus on local cultural listings and will compliment Portland Press Herald’s “Do This” calendar and Maine Public’s extensive Community Calendar.

Creative Portland continues to plan our signature public programs, including a Fall juried arts exhibition, 2020 Vision: Past, Present, and Future, the Portland Arts & Culture Summit postponed until Tuesday, September 22, and Hear Here 2021, the third edition of the local performing arts showcase, scheduled for Sunday, February 7, 2021 at Merrill Auditorium.

Meanwhile, all hands are on deck as we establish and build the Portland Artist Relief Fund, powered by the people for the people, to help local artists make ends meet during the current shelter in place order, due to Covid-19.

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