Pomo PIcks

Top Things to Do in Portland This Week: June 23–30

A performance from PETE, the Vanport Mosaic Festival winds down, and Brown Calculus hits Zidell Yards.

By Conner Reed and Nick Campigli June 24, 2021

Bean Gilsdorf warps Jackie Kennedy's likeness for a piece in Oregon Contemporary's Time Being exhibition.

Image: Conner Reed

The weekend's almost here, and it brings the looming threat of Portland's hottest-ever temperatures. There's still plenty going on (lots of it air-conditioned, praise be), but a word of warning: some of these events may make day-of calls to cancel because of the heat, so be sure to check event links before firming up your plans.

Books & Talks

Brandon Taylor

5 p.m. Wed, June 30, powells.com, FREE

Brandon Taylor, author of last year's acclaimed queer coming-of-age novel Real Life, just published a follow-up novel-in-stories this week titled Filthy Animals. The buzz is already strong, with the New York Times saying they're "not sure Taylor is capable of 'bad' writing." For a virtual Powell's author event, he'll join National Book Award winner Phil Klay.


Y Tu Mamá También

7 p.m. Mon, June 28, Clinton Street Theater, FREE–$6

Alfonso Cuarón's beloved 2001 road movie about a pair of rambunctious teenagers (Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna) who learn about love, loss, and sex on a beach trip with an older woman (Maribel Verdú) is screening as part of the Clinton's Resistance series. Admission is free, with a suggested donation of $6—all donations will go to Black & Pink, an abolitionist org that focuses on LGBTQ people and people living with HIV who are affected by the carceral system.  


Brown Calculus

7:30 p.m. Thu, June 24, The Lot at Zidell Yards, $35–50 per person

The thrilling post-jazz duo will perform at Portland's new go-to event space, the Lot at Zidell Yards, on Thursday night, just before the worst of the heat wave hits. In your cozy pod of 2, 4, or 6, enjoy spacey, vibey, left-field goodness from band members Andre Burgos and Vaughn Kimmons.

Polka Dot Downtown

Noon daily (plus additional times, see here) through August, Pioneer Courthouse Square, FREE  

Portland artist Bill Will has unleashed a set of more than 100 colorful 12-foot vinyl dots throughout downtown, setting a wide variety of stages for local musicians and artists. The dots were created last summer, and designed to provide a safe entertainment space for Portlanders to enjoy local music during the pandemic. 

Special Events

Double Dipped Brunch

Sun through June 27, Local Lounge, $10 plus food

Who doesn’t love a little entertainment with brunch? To that end, MLK queer bar Local Lounge presents Double Dipped, a weekly brunch drag showPrevious Double Dipped performers include the former amateur winner of Local Lounge’s Lavish Pucker Pageant Anne J. Tifah and renowned local drag performer, Blondie. The Local invites anyone and everyone to sit down and enjoy a mimosa or two while local drag performers do their thing.

Vanport Mosaic Festival

Through June 30, various locations & prices

The Vanport Mosaic Festival, a mix of in-person and virtual events this year centered around the theme "We the People," comes to a close next Wednesday. Highlights this weekend include a closing celebration at the North Park Blocks and a virtual screening of Ofelio: A Borderline Story, a play about a former Border Patrol guard.



7:30 p.m. Fri–Sun, June 25–27, Portland Playhouse, $20–25

The Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble brings a live(!) in-person(!!) performance(!!!) to Portland Playhouse this weekend: a meditation on borders, featuring song, movement, and puppetry. It's led by company member Cristi Miles, who hosts a podcast as part of the project. Preceding Sunday's show, from noon to 6, PETE will host a Festival de Fronterizas at Portland Playhouse, a day-long event featuring Latinx artists, food, and other vendors.

Visual Art

Ansel Adams in Our Time

10 a.m.–5 p.m. Wed–Sun through August 1, Portland Art Museum, $17–20

Clearing Winter Storm by Ansel Adams

This exhibition (originally from the Museum of Fine Arts Boston) revitalizes the work of legendary landscape photographer Ansel Adams, successfully reminding us that his legacy spans far beyond postcards. Putting Adams’ photographs—particularly shots of the Bay Area and the Southwest—in conversation with contemporary images of the same landscapes, the show underlines his considerable influence on our collective understanding of the West. And crucially, it treats the contemporary work as more than just a foil, with enough variety per room to hold down several individual shows. 

I Am My Story: Voices of Hope

Noon–5 p.m. Wed–Fri & Sun, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat, through August 22, Oregon Historical Society, FREE–$10

A photo of the shirt Olive Bukuru wore when she immigrated to Oregon, accompanied by handwritten recollections


The latest collaboration between The Immigrant Story and Oregon Historical Society focuses on six women who’ve come to Oregon from Burundi, Congo, and Eritrea. Featuring their portraits, words, and photographs of the objects they brought with them from Africa to Oregon, the exhibition is an extension of Jim Lommasson’s What We Carried series.

Time Being

Noon–5 p.m. Fri–Sun, through August 8, Oregon Contemporary, FREE

This group show—the first to open at North Portland’s newly renamed Oregon Contemporary (formerly Disjecta)—features works by Lisa JarretBean Gilsdorf, and several others that distort the figure to tease out questions about our physical relationship with time.