Marlowe Dobbe

I don’t know about you, but in November, my capacity to appreciate complex art and culture took a nosedive. I reread A Wrinkle in Time and Matilda and temporarily banned myself from my beloved Sunday New York Times. I watched A LOT of Parks and Recreation. I no longer felt inclined to see live theater or comedy or visual art—and going to see those things are a huge part of my job.

I can only imagine what it’s been like for you.

With that in mind, our spring arts guide is a little different this year. From the architecture of John Yeon to The Black Portlanders creator Intisar Abioto to an Airstream trailer in Northeast that’s making podcasting accessible and affordable, many of the subjects in this guide have an activist bent. That’s absolutely intentional. Forget your platitudes about punk coming back. This stuff has always been important.

And because we know you need it just as much, some subjects featured here are, quite literally, escapist entertainment—from a locally grown cat video festival (not a joke) to a conversation with the city’s leading escape room designer. Put down your dog-eared copy of The Handmaid’s Tale and get out into our city’s world of art and culture. The days are getting longer. Spring is on its way.