Event Calendar

Things to Do in Portland This Week

Portland Fashion Week returns, Animal Collective comes to town, Portland's Funniest Person gets down to the wire, and more

By Conner Reed and Matthew Trueherz

Header image of Muna by Isaac Schneider


Jump to Your Genre:

Books & Talks | Comedy Film |  Music

Special Events Visual Art


From Fashion Week to Bruce Lee and the return of Portland's Adult Soapbox Derby, there's plenty to keep you busy in and around the Rose City this week. Here's what we've got our eyes on. (For more things to do around the state this month, check out our roundup of what to do in Oregon in August.) 


Books & Talks

Michelle Wilde Anderson

7 p.m. Mon, Aug 15 | Powell's City of Books, FREE

Stanford Urban Law professor Michelle Wilde Anderson's latest book, The Fight to Save the Town, makes case studies of four struggling communities, including Josephine County, Oregon. She assesses the damages, reports how local governments are responding, and paints a daily portrait of life in each place. She'll hit Powell's City of Books to discuss her findings on Monday, in a conversation with Grants Pass nonprofit executive Kate Dwyer.

Comedy

Honeypot Improv Jam

6 p.m. Fri, Aug 12 | Honey Latte Cafe, Pay What You Will

Local collective Kickstand Comedy returns to its sometimes-home, Honey Latte Cafe in Southeast Portland, for an open-to-all improv jam. Expect a variety of skill levels, an arms-wide-open vibe, and—ideally—a laugh or two along the way. 

Portland's Funniest Person

7 p.m. Sun & Tue–Wed, Aug 14 & 16–17 | Helium Comedy Club, $15–28 per show

Helium Comedy Club's annual search for the city's best comedian is slowly winding to a close. The quarterfinal round wraps on Sunday night, and semifinals begin on Tuesday— completists can catch these last heated moments before the final showdown takes place on August 21. 

Film 

Bad Education

7:30 p.m. Mon, Aug 15 | Hollywood Theatre, $8–10

The latest entry in the Hollywood Theatre's just-launched Thank God It's Queer (TGIQ) series, programmed by drag multi-hyphenate Anthony Hudson, is one of Spanish provocateur Pedro Almodóvar's finest hours. Gael García Bernal plays multiple roles in this steamy, reflexive, Hitchock-loving soap about movies, the church, and storytelling itself.

Bruce Lee Film Festival

Various dates and times through Aug 30 | Clinton Street Theater, $8–25

Throughout the rest of August, the Clinton Street Theater will highlight five hard-hitting classics from the martial arts legend-turned-Hong Kong and Hollywood film star. The festival kicks off on Monday with 1972's Fist of Fury, and continues with Enter the DragonThe Way of the Dragon, The Big Boss, and Game of Death.

McCabe & Mrs. Miller

11 a.m. Sat, Aug 13 | Cinema 21, $8

Robert Altman's classic anti-Western is set in Washington and shot in British Columbia, but its hardscrabble portrait of the post-settlement Northwest would slot snugly among our list of the 50 essential Oregon films. Warren Beatty and Julie Christie play unlikely and reluctant business partners who open a successful brothel in the town of Presbyterian Church, which works until it doesn't. Any chance to see this ruthless, snow-swept masterwork on the big screen is a win.

Music

Animal Collective

8:30 p.m. Thu, Aug 11 | Crystal Ballroom, SOLD OUT

The aughts-psychedelia heroes returned after a long hiatus this February with Time Skiffs, and after a few delays, they're finally on the road touring behind the record. Coincidentally, the group's Portland show coincides with a buzzy solo release from band member Panda Bear. Tickets are currently sold out, but anyone looking to stuff their pre-weekend with maximum Animal Collective trippiness can (carefully!) hit resellers to get their fix.

Muna

8 p.m. Sat, Aug 13 | Wonder Ballroom, $29

This out-and-proud pop trio has felt like they were on the verge of conquering the world for the last four years or so, and this tour might be the thing that finally pushes them over the edge. Their self-titled third album, which dropped in June, earned near-universal acclaim, and the light-as-air gay crush single "Silk Chiffon" continues to dominate on TikTok. If you're looking for canny, fist-in-the-air Saturday night anthems, look no further.

Special Events

PDX Adult Soapbox Derby

10 a.m.–4 p.m. Sat, Aug 20 | Mt Tabor Park, FREE

Whether it’s speed, style, or novelty that gets you down the mountain, the Adult Soapbox Derby has a prize for you. If you’ve been waiting for a chance at childhood redemption, have a “derby life” tattoo, or (like us) you just want to watch some of Portland’s finest cruise Mount Tabor in a hot dog car, race time’s at 10 a.m.  

Pedalpalooza

Various dates and times through August 31 | Various Locations, FREE

Portland's beloved summer-long bike fest is still in full swing. Highlights from this week's lineup include a secret roller disco, a ride that honors World Lizard Day, and a cargo-hauling competition called the "Carry Shit Olympics."

Portland Fashion Week

Various times Tue–Sun, Aug 16–21 | Moxy Hotel, Various Prices

Sustainability is the name of the game at this 21-year-old bonanza: it’s a plastic-free zone where experts and amateurs alike gather to gawk at gorgeous gowns. This year’s theme is “Keep Portland Pretty,” with 8 p.m. shows nightly in a variety of categories at downtown’s new(ish) Moxy Hotel.

Portland Flea

11 a.m.–4 p.m. Sundays through October | 240 SE Clay St, FREE

The now-weekly vintage shopping bonanza will hold down the lot at SE Second and Clay well into the fall. Expect food, clothes, plants, prints, music, and more, with some of the city's most exciting and well-curated vendors making a showing. 

Visual Art

Perspectives

10 a.m.–5 p.m. Wed–Sun through Nov 13 | Portland Art Museum, $22–25

Perspectives, the latest exhibition at the Portland Art Museum, showcases photographs taken during 2020's Black Lives Matter protests by six local BIPOC photographers. They offer a variety of—yes—perspectives on a moment whose legacy is still being settled, and help remind us what a vital, vibrant, important chapter in the city's recent history it was.

Seeking Discomfort: Artistic Strategies in a Dystopian World

10 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon–Sat through Sept 30 | Parallax Art Center, FREE

The unifying theme of this group show, as assembled by veteran curator Christie Mitchell, is unease: pieces by five high-profile artists digest the ambient terror of the 2020s and force some sort of reckoning from the observer. Brooklyn artist Qualeasha Wood’s stunning tapestries interrogate racism and internet culture; Iranian-American Sheida Solmani’s photo collages present surreal, damning portraits of America’s effects on contemporary Iran. Through it all, the works “act out the anxiety, fear, dread, and disconnect of this time, yet also create space for processing, healing, and perhaps even hope,” per Mitchell’s curatorial statement.

Stupid Little Life

Noon–5 p.m. Wed–Sat through Aug 27 | Blue Sky Gallery, FREE

Drawing on his nerve-shredding experience waiting to receive a US visa, multidisciplinary Portland artist Yuyang Zhang’s exhibition features sometimes-bright, pop-colored collages that poke irreverent fun at American/Chinese cultural exchange, beside melancholy photos of cars and everyday objects. The result is arresting, tongue-in-cheek, and all the more alluring for its occasional inscrutability. 

Under the Flag

11:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Tue–Fri, 11:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat through Aug 27 | Russo Lee Gallery, FREE

Increasingly buzzy local artist Julian Gaines, who has collaborated with Nike and whose work has appeared on the cover of New York magazine, has finally opened his first show in Oregon. Titled Under the Flag, it features fifteen paintings that deal with blackface, Oregon’s racist history, and Gaines’s own sense of our complicated relationship with American flags—viewers have to lift them up to see the work, and ideally grapple with some symbolism in the process. 

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