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Pacific Northwest College of Art  Online Magazine  Portland, OR

In The Media

“Probably the best leader of an arts organization the city has.”

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The Oregonian reflects on PNCA's pivotal role in developing Portland's performing arts scene.

In a recent article, Marty Hughley of The Oregonian looks back at the last twenty-five years to reflect on how Portland has grown into a nationally-attractive arts destination. He reveals that institutions like PNCA have played a significant role in that evolution.

Speaking directly to the role that PNCA has played, Jamey Hampton, co-founder of BodyVox, is quoted as calling Tom Manley, President of PNCA, “probably the best leader of an arts organization the city has.”

Hampton goes on to say, “PNCA has grown to be a leading creative and economic force in the Pearl District…and it’s in the process of remaking how that neighborhood looks. It’s not splashy, like when Pink Martini plays New Year’s Eve at the Schnitz. It’s quiet, but it’s really foundational.”

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PNCA’s new black-box theater and mediatheque in the future Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design. Rendering courtesy of Allied Works Architecture.

As Hughley writes, “There’s an argument to be made that in theater, in music — most definitely in food, if you want to extend the definition of the creative culture — and perhaps in other areas as well, this is Portland’s golden age. Sure, the city’s artsy eccentricities can grow ripe for lampooning, as the TV spoof “Portlandia” has proved. But such attention would be nonsensical (or at least much more embarrassing) if there wasn’t more going on here than adult kickball leagues and mustache-growing contests, if many of the eccentrics weren’t really artists. A certain shoestring flamboyance, as Mulligan’s [Stephanie Mulligan of Artists Repertory Theatre] recollections of leaner times suggest, is nothing new here. But the size, scope and solidity of the arts in Portland is something that’s grown over the past quarter century.”

Later in the article, Hughley quotes Regional Arts & Culture Council executive director Eloise Damrosch as saying, “I think the arts scene was like a young teenager then and has grown up a lot. Our reputation as a place to visit has really skyrocketed. I’m struck when I open up the A&E and see all the options. There’s a lot more happening, and such a range.”

Read the original article in The Oregonian.

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PNCA Student Takahiro Yamamoto, MFA ’13 with Leo Daedalus and Alex Reagan in “The Late Now,” performed in conjunction with “Happy Birthday: A Celebration of Chance and Listening,” in PNCA’s Philip Feldman Gallery + Project Space. Photo by Jim Clinefelter.

— Posted on 01/06 at 12:23 PM

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