THE ART OF BUSINESS
Desperate for a solution to the city's economic woes, last Monday the mayor's office gathered a motley collection of young artists to find out why they were in Portland and what would keep them here. It was the second informal focus meeting and part of the mayor's fledgling task force, the "Cultural Economy Initiative."
Attendees included individual designers and representatives from groups like 2 Gyrlz Performative Arts and the Charm Bracelet. For the most part, they agreed on their rants and raves. They like the cheap rents, accessible art culture, and good transportation. But they bemoan the lack of a fine arts grad school, the increasing scarcity of studio space, and the gap between indie and institutional monetary support. Rock and Roll Camp for Girls founder Misty McElroy illustrates a typical complaint among art non-profits: Unable to maintain both a home and a space for the camp, she sleeps beneath the stage. "It shouldn't be like that," she says.
The city hopes to complete a draft of the "cultural economy" plan by this summer. ANNA SIMON
It is easy to bang the pro-war drum from the safety of Portland, Oregon. It is quite another to face real combat, see a buddy killed, and still throw your weight behind "war." Some of Portland's most high-profile war supporters have never set foot on a battlefield. Here's a look at the Mercury's non-warrior, pro-war pundit of the week:
David Reinhard, Associate Editor, The Oregonian: No military experience, but with the swagger of General Patton he writes about the "admirable" military campaign in Iraq. In a recent column, he asks about Portland's traffic-stopping protesters, "Are these... the acts of Americans who really love their country?" Without acknowledging the largest antiwar demonstration in world history--6 million people--Reinhard goes on to explain that "Anti-warriors had months to make their case... and they failed." He also called Jimmy Carter's efforts at diplomacy "insufferable self-righteousness." PB