hey campers! special edition post dedicated to pgmc

ah finally. the day has arrived for the portland grassroots media camp (pgmc). it’s a weekend of hands on media workshops and special events aimed at immigrant, activist and community groups. so many great organizations are involved! check out the website for a look at a great list of collaborators. festivities begin tonight and run through the weekend. everything’s free, but of course we could sure use donations. there’s still room in some of the classes so email bolivarianmedia [at] gmail.com or call pcasc at 503 236 7916 to reserve your spot!

friday, august 24: tonight we’ll have a bunch of activities. a few of us who are participating in the camp will appear on portland community media‘s “a growing concern” at 7pm on cable channel 11. at 8pm the opening night party for pgmc at the musicians union hall at 325 ne 20th street (at sandy). and then late night at kboo the first of many many workshops will happen at kboo, set and training to broadcast live music. the culmination of the training will be the randemonium from 11pm- midnight featuring the girl’s rock ‘n roll camp‘s revenants.

saturday, august 25: workshops all day at various locations around town. highlights include blogging, audio production using garage band (this class is in spanish), public records (did you ever wonder how to access government data, legislative records etc?) and write around language from the write around portland folks. then the evening includes a community dinner and discussion at musicians hall catered by las mujeres del brazalete (a group of women who were detained in the del monte ice raids). we’ll eat some yummy food and talk media.

sunday, august 26: workshops all day at various locations around town. highlights include video art for women and queers, setting up a press conference, writing a press release and how to make a portable audio sound system.

come check it out!!

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the real dirt on the real dirt

went to see the real dirt on farmer john at the hollywood theatre last weekend. it’s a wonderful coming of age documentary, not only of farmer john, but of society and our country as we grapple with issues around sustainability, community and healthy living. the filmmaker taggart siegel and farmer john have known each other for over 20 years and that closeness reveals intimate moments in john’s journey from failed family farmer in the 80s/90s to cutting edge eco-conscious farmer/artist/community builder in present times. included are clips from john’s old 16mm art films shot on the farm which add a nostalgic, dreamy, quirky tone. the film brought tears to my eyes at several points, not from saccharine, sappy manipulations, but from visceral emotional connection to farmer john’s odyssey. from an activist perspective, the film leaves you hopeful and encourages individuals to make pro-active choices in their own lives. as for me, it reminded me of the joy of being a csa subscriber when i lived in cali and now i’m looking for a farm to join in the portland area. highly recommend the film. i think it’s at the hollywood for a few more days, then should be available on dvd soon at farmer john’s website for angelic organics.

early august happenings

had a surprise family visit this weekend. matt’s brother christopher, his partner rob and their son oscar came back through portland on their way home from a 2 week road trip. we decided to hit oaks park, first because we know 4 year old oscar is pretty obsessed with rides and also because we’ve been wanting to check it out after cycling by it on the awesome springwater corridor trail. it was a bit trashy, but old school amusement fun. we even rode the “lewis and clark adventure ride” where you get in this rickety old car that’s on a track and it takes you through these cheesy murals mimicking lewis and clark’s journey through the old missouri. my brother in law rob observed “lewis and clark look like a couple of homos” depicted in smiley cartoony style in the ride. next time we’ll probably hit the roller skating and maybe even the roller coaster.

next it’s all about the hollywood theatre this week!

we caught the very tail end of the home movie day on sunday. it’s a cool event where they invite the public to bring in their old super 8, 8mm and 16mm home movies to be cleaned and screened on the big screen. they’ll be doing more screenings in upcoming months so i hope to bring in some of my own old films and watch others. actually one of matt and my earliest dates was at the home movie day in sf a few years back and was a good sign that my guy was adventurous and arty.

we’re also planning to check out another film at the hollywood, the real dirt on farmer john playing this week. the filmmaker taggart siegel (who lives and works out of his se pdx home) and farmer john have been in attendance at some of the screenings this weekend. the film has gotten great feedback and follows a 25 yr long friendship between taggart and john – “Along the way, Siegel charts Farmer John’s astonishing journey from farm boy to counter-culture rebel to the son who almost lost the family farm to a beacon of today’s booming organic farming movement.”

one more thing i’m planning to check out this week – 48 hour film project screenings. the films are being completed as i write this and will include a ballon as a prop and “do you smell what i smell” as a line of dialogue. the screenings are wednesday and thursday the week, yes at the hollywood.

long time no see…

it’s been forever since i’ve posted. guess i just got overwhelmed with life, weddings, projects. my brother mark married his sweetie kimmi in chicago last weekend. it was a fun, exhausting, hot weekend. of note were the neo-futurists’ too much light makes the baby go blind a fun dada-ish show in which they attempt to perform 30 plays in 60 minutes. always an interesting range of things from comedy to political to satirical. and every week they roll dice to see how many new plays they’ll write/pull for the following week’s show. (the particular show we saw was fun, not the best of theirs, but always worth a look). i also loved the cloud gate at millenium park (better know as the “bean” because it looks much more like a bean than a cloud). a simply designed yet, wonderfully engaging and compelling scultpure that somehow pulls you in.

i also started working part time at kboo community radio as outreach coordinator. it’s fun and hectic for sure. i’m also part of the apa compass collective and we’re currently looking for new members who are interested in helping produce our monthly asian pacific american public affairs program.

more locally some great stuff happening… i’m helping to organize the portland grassroots media camp a weekend-long event of skills trainings and workshops designed to make media creation more accessible taking place august 24-26 at various locations around portland. matt and i are teaching a workshop at scarlet star studio called generate, create, communicate: using improvisation to unleash the story inside. also, matt and i are trying to organize an improvisation share/playgroup which will probably come to fruition sometime in september.