January 2012

Coming to Portland Soon?
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Through March 31
Free Makes Everything Taste Better
Portland Passport
 
With its hundreds of food carts, demented doughnuts and more breweries than any other city on Earth, Portland can sometimes feel like its own country. To help you find your way (and fill your belly), Travel Portland is offering a special Portland Passport good for free treats at favorite spots around town.

Just book your hotel stay through www.travelportland.com and visit by March 31, 2013, and we’ll help you explore the city through a hand-picked selection of eight free goodies from Voodoo Doughnuts, Salt & Straw ice cream and more. Learn about all of the freebies and book your trip today!

— Kate Loftesness

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Through May 31
Eyes on the Skies
Fireworks at Mt. Hood Ski Bowl, courtesy of MtHoodTerritory.com
Orion Nebula; credit: NASA, ESA, M. Robberto (Space Telescope Science Institute/ESA) and the Hubble Space Telescope Orion Treasury Project Team
Escaping the city’s bright lights can reveal more about the universe than you’d ever imagine, especially if you make the short drive from Portland to Hillsboro — where you’ll be starstruck by “Hubble Space Telescope: New Views of the Universe” (through May 31).

Curated by NASA, this exhibit explains the science behind the out-of-this world eyepiece that orbits Earth, beaming down photos that have helped us better understand the cosmos and our place in it. Read more >>

— John Patrick Pullen

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Jan. 24-Feb. 3
Fertile Ground Festival
Fertile Ground Festival
 
Theater and performance arts groups, established and ad hoc, mainstream and fringe, premiere new work all over the city during the Fertile Ground festival. Some of it is ready for a full production and some of it is in the workshop phase, but all of it is getting its first chance in front of the public.

Check out the Fertile Ground website for a full schedule. Some of our tips include “R3” by the Portland Experimental Theatre Collective, “(...)” by the Fuse Theatre Ensemble, and Third Eye’s “Grand Guignol 5: Possessions,” but we’ll be wandering into lots of these shows, just to get a sense of the performance ferment of the city. Read more >>

— Oregon Arts Watch

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Feb. 15-24
Jazz Festival Celebrates 10 Years
Esperanza Spalding, photo by Johann Sauty
Esperanza Spalding, photo by Johann Sauty
The 10th anniversary of one of Portland’s most valuable music institutions features an ideal balance between national jazz stars and local legends who boast equal or superior musicality, if not the former’s wider celebrity.

This year’s festival has a strong female vibe, thanks to the West Coast debut of an all-star band featuring three of jazz’s top women performer/bandleaders: pianist Geri Allen, drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, and Portland-native bassist/singer/composer and jazz’s newest star Esperanza Spalding, plus appearances by singer Patricia Barber’s foursome, and, best of all, two chances to hear the greatest living jazz singer, Portland’s own Nancy King. Read more >>

— Oregon Arts Watch

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Feb. 10-24
New Year, Take Two at Lan Su
Chinese New Year at Lan Su Chinese Garden
They say there’s no such thing as a second chance to make a first impression, but you can experience a do-over of sorts by celebrating the Chinese New Year at Lan Su Chinese Garden (Feb. 10-24).

According to the Chinese zodiac, this is the year of the snake, a time when wise and intuitive people will flourish. And what better way to get off on the right foot than taking in some of the martial arts demonstrations, feng shui talks, or music and dance performances in the garden?

— John Patrick Pullen