Allison Kerek

A CITY'S artistic landscape often reflects larger, systemic changes afoot, and this is perhaps true of Portland now more than ever, as rising rents threaten the city's creatives, and local art-makers build concerns of identity and social justice into their work. In crafting this year's fall arts guide, the Mercury's crack team of arts writers sought out some of the shifts in Portland's art world. And so, while we devoted column inches to out-of-town comedians too good to ignore, we also sat down with the recent transplant who's revamping local bookfest Wordstock. We talked identity politics, performance art, and the increasing difficulty of finding nontraditional arts spaces with the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art's artistic director (and offer up our picks for this year's Time-Based Art Festival). In a town where you can go to an author event most nights of the week, we've crafted a handy guide to the best places to see live readings, with an eye towards writers and venues both emerging and universally beloved. And, in one case, old and new Portland come together in an illustrated history glimpsed through the city's under-the-radar museums and collections (dentistry horrors and police records among them). As Portland's art-makers slough off the summer to launch into autumn's season of high (art) traffic, here are the writers, arts administrators, performance artists, expert shade-throwers, and morbid curiosity-collectors making this fall a prime time to jump into Portland's art scene. It won't look like this ever again.

More Fall Arts & Entertainment Articles:

What You Make It

Conceptual Comic


This is Everything

Brave New Wordstock

The Time Has Come

Literary Portland: A Brief Tour

It Belongs in a Museum!

Shade Game Strong