Woman Up!

This Weekend Brings Portland Monthly's Stories about Awesome, Change-Driving Women to Life

A chance to bask in Oregon's female future.

By Zach Dundas May 3, 2018

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Prepare for amp jumping: on Sunday, Fabi Reyna of She Shreds curates a local music showcase.


It’s a little self-promotional, sure, but we're excited: next Saturday and Sunday, Portland Monthly’s second annual Woman Up! festival takes over the campus of Marylhurst University for two days of hands-on learning, megawatt inspiration, and heart-starting races (a 5k and a 10k, in fact). It’s a big event: lots of facets, lots of angles, from a roster of cutting-edge fitness and arts workshops to Sunday's runday/funday festival. As a magazine editor, though, the most interesting aspect (and challenge) is the degree to which Woman Up! attempts to bring our editorial coverage to life, starting with our annual Oregon Woman feature and extending into our reporting on health, wellness, business, personal finance...

An inexact science, this live-magazine gambit. (Yes, some outfits, like the California Sunday-aligned Pop Up Magazine and the annual festival staged by some outfit called the New Yorker, have it down. We’re getting there.) We don't necessarily choose stories for print or our website thinking oh, and she’ll be a great panelist at Woman Up! Stories come along when they come along, compel us for all kinds of journalistic reasons, and take the form that we think delivers them best to readers. And for four years, we’ve devoted an annual feature, Oregon Woman, to a snapshot of transformative female leadership and the complex, often-troubling issues that confront women in the state—but those are great stories, not necessarily intended to become stage shows. So when it came time to put together a day of engaging live content, some editorial reverse-engineering was required.

Where do our coverage and our event aspirations overlap? Fortunately, we cover an amazing city, notable for many things, but certainly for its growing and diverse cadre of women leaders in just about every field. We found no shortage of stories to plunder.

Woman Up!’s Saturday programming is all about feeling better, making connections, stirring up change, and living great. For a morning panel on the definition (and redefinition) of the oft-loaded term "healthy," we rounded up thought leaders like Erin 'Kiki' Teal Littlestar, Lacy Davis, and Jenny Bruso—all of whom we’ve covered—and installed our own Molly Woodstock, slayer of vegan treats and investigator of gender, as moderator. For our lunchtime keynote, we united Adrienne Nelson, subject of one of our most popular interviews of the last year or so, and Peggy Maguire, recipient of one of our 2017 Light a Fire awards. The afternoon panel on social, business, and cultural change brings in Ana del Rocio, profiled in this year’s Oregon Woman feature, alongside other leaders from disparate Portland worlds. The afternoon ends (except for cocktails, which we won’t forget) with some words on financial health (if you will) from Georgia Lee Hussey, who happens to make a dazzling cameo elsewhere in the May issue.

Our roster of fitness, wellness, arts, and crafts workshops for Saturday draws heavily on our January feature on new ways to get fit and feel great. And on Sunday, after the 5k and 10k races wind through a particularly lovely part of the metro area, Oregon Woman cover woman Fabi Reyna, of the pathbreaking music magazine She Shreds, will help curate local music for our Mother’s Day festival of community and fun.

As the event evolve, it naturally acquired plenty of talent who we haven’t written about. But it will be fascinating (for me, at least, a words and pictures person) to see how these two days realize and expand the work we do month after month. We think it’s coming together pretty well! Join us to find out. 

In conjunction with Portland Monthly’s Oregon Woman issue, our second annual Woman Up event (May 12–13) will bring together experts from across the city—and state—for a weekend of wellness and a celebration of the bold women shaping Oregon’s future and those who’ve paved the way. Get tickets!

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