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A scene from Miss Bethany & Mr Pickles, a show about a children's librarian who keeps getting heckled by an orange tabby cat, create by David Koesters and set to broadcast on XRAY TV. 

Image: XRAY TV

Portland’s beloved indie radio station, XRAY.fm, turns three this weekend, celebrating with a birthday bash and the launch of a new television venture. XRAY TV kicks off on Saturday, March 11, in partnership with community media group Open Signal, promising original series, footage curated by Portland artists, filmed talk radio and music-related coverage.

Born from an existing XRAY film collective that was producing video in conjunction with the station’s radio content, the team was approached by Open Signal, and a brand-new collaboration came about. Last summer, they put a call out for pitches for original series, and the seven resulting selections will hit screens over the coming months, ranging in style and subject matter from a comedy about a never-ending party to a series about vinyl collectors.

The first four-hour block of XRAY television will stream on channels 29 and 329 this Saturday, with screenings of some of the original series promised as part of Sunday night’s birthday party and plans for online streaming on XRAY’s YouTube channel. XRAY TV’s first season will run to July 15. 

“It’s a work in progress,” says creative director Devin Febbroriello. “It’s something we really want to allow the community and energy of the people excited about using these tools to co-create with us. We have a certain vision and hope for it, but we’re also pretty flexible.”

Alongside the original series, XRAY TV promises Desert Island Television, a project led by Aaron Hall and Joseph Boden, who have reached out to Portland artists to create curated content from existing footage for the station. XRAY TV will also include video of sessions with bands and interviews.

XRAY hopes the new endeavor will eventually lead to a 24-hour channel. “We’re working our way slowly there,” says Febbrioriello, who adds that the station is also looking to live-stream its morning show to provide a visual platform for political talk radio and activism.

“It’s pretty difficult to create a film or TV show,” she says. “It takes a lot of resources, a lot of money, and that prohibits a lot of diversity. What’s so exciting to me about XRAY TV and Open Signal is that it’s really making it possible for people who have great ideas to learn how to do it and make it happen, and with a community that’s willing and excited to cultivate and support that.”

XRAY TV’s premiere party offers a screening and Q&A at Mississippi Studios on March 12 from 6–8 p.m. (RSVP here). A birthday bash follows (show at 9 p.m.), featuring performances by Karl Blau and Chanti Darling, and DJ sets by Women’s Beat League and XRAY DJs, and hosted by DJ Klyph and comedian Caitlin Weierhauser. Tickets here.

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