The Latest in Portland Arts News—Benefits, Ballet, and Storm Large

Plus Modest Mouse, Beirut, the Oregon Symphony Gala, and arts in schools.

By Fiona McCann April 23, 2015

Modest Mouse to play MusicfestNW this year.

MusicfestNW announced its 2015 lineup this week, with Modest Mouse, Beirut, Twin Shadow and Belle and Sebastian all set to convene at TomMcCall Waterfront Park over the festival weekend alongside local acts like Lost Lander and Pure Bathing Culture. The festival, now in its 15th year, has added a Friday night and will run from August 21 to August 23, making more room for acts like Foster The People, who’ll headline the festival’s first night. See the full lineup at

Farm-to-table + dance = dance-to-table? With spring's tender shoots taking root, farm-to-table season is now upon us and contemporary dance company Polaris is among the first to make hay with "Abundance." This farm-to-table event offers a locally-grown feast on Sauvie Isand on Saturday (April 25). A $75 ticket will guarantee you food, libations, a raffle, a silent auction and music from “acoustic gypsy jazz band” The Djangophiles. More information at  

Storm Large torches up the Portland Waldorf benefit at Soter Vineyards.

Also fundraising alfresco this weekend is Pink Martini singer and queen of the Portland crooners Storm Large. Large is providing the entertainment at a Friday (April 23) night benefit for Portland Waldorf School, which takes place at Soter Vineyards.

There’ll be culinary tastings from chef Jonathan Lindenauer and tastings of the wine produced from Soter’s bio-dynamically farmed vinyeards, all at the somewhat higher price point of $500. More information at


Mayor Charlie Hales and Oregon Symphony President Scott Showalter at the Gala

Oregon Symphony’s gala last week set a new record, with donors contributing close to $700,000—the largest amount ever raised at the symphony’s annual event.

Over 400 symphony fans were in attendance, among them some recognizable faces, including Grimm’s Claire Coffee who was with her husband, Grammy Award-winning mandolinist Chris Thile. The ubiquitous Thomas Lauderdale was also there to lend his support, along with the Von Trapp siblings (August, Melanie, Sophia and Amanda), Mayor Charlie Hales with his wife Nancy, and State Senator Ginny Burdick.

Anne Mueller

The former principal dancer of Oregon Ballet Theatre Anne Mueller is making the leap to join The Portland Ballet as Co-Artistic Director.

Announced this week by the Portland Ballet, the position of Co-Artistic Director was created specifically for Mueller, who has been the Managing Director of theater company Bag&Baggage Prodcutions for the past two years. Mueller will be joining the current Artistic Director of The Portland Ballet Nancy Davis and Managing Director Jim Lane in leading the 14-year-old company, which focuses on ballet training and youth productions.  


Registration opens today for RACC’ssummer arts education symposium at the Portland Art Museum. Imagine This! A Creativity Symposium for Educators is designed to help teachers integrate the arts into the K-8 classroom setting, and offers workshops, studio sessions and facilitated lesson planning sessions. It runs from June 16 to 18. Early bird registration for three-day participation opens today, April 23, while general registration opens May 2. Find a full schedule of events here

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