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Diversity, International Flavor Highlight Art Beat 2002
Photos and Story by James Hill
PORTLAND, Ore. – International dance performer Minh Tran will be the showcased performer during Portland Community College’s Art Beat 2002 from May 6-10. Each PCC campus will feature a variety of performances every day of the weeklong art festival. The best part is that Art Beat 2002 is free to the public! This is the 16th consecutive year of Art Beat, which features local, regional and national artists and a wide collection of visual art, dance, music, theater and literary arts to help expose the community to artistic visions."Among its many values, Art Beat remains student-oriented,"said PCC speech instructor Doris Werkman, one of many organizers on the Art Beat committee. "We continue to choose performers and artists who want to give back to their audience as much as they receive. This year we have selected a different type of art to give to the college. Rather than a piece of sculpture or a painting, we have selected a dance performance. Minh Tran is an incredible dancer who has allowed us to buy a piece of his original choreography."Tran, a Portland resident, has trained as a Vietnamese opera performer at the National School of Fine and Performing Arts in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam, and works throughout the West Coast as a choreographer, performer, producer and educator. Tran’s work has brought him numerous awards, grants, and commissions, and his recent choreography and performance has focused on intercultural perspectives.A special presentation during Art Beat 2002 will feature veteran pianist, singer and composer Tom Grant, with Dave Captein on bass. They will perform acoustic piano jazz, including some original numbers from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Monday, May 6, in the Performing Arts Center at the Sylvania Campus.Grant, a Portland favorite, who has been playing professionally for nearly 30 years and has released 15 albums, will also give a workshop afterward in Room 123 of the HT Building.Performing at all three campuses will be Portland reggae ensemble Rhythm Culture. The group combines influences of Caribbean and the Americas, using a reggae foundation and infusing blues and jazz to form their own brand of sound. Representing different cultures from around the world, six core musicians perform songs written by band members and arranged by musical director Byron Mercurius of Guyana, South America.At Rock Creek Campus on Monday, May 6, Northwest painter and teacher Mark Andres will demonstrate the art of portraiture – blank canvas to finished work – from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the mall of Building 3. On Wednesday, May 8 at the Cascade Campus, Ona Siporin, a professional storyteller and writer whose essays have aired on National Public Radio, will read from her work from noon to 1 p.m. in Room 122 of Terrell Hall. Her collection of essays, "Stories to Gather All Those Lost,"brings her readers the miracles from places she has visited, from an Afghani bus to a hair salon in Portugal to a farm in Iowa."It is our hope we can present these artists and performances to the students and community in a way that allows each person to embrace this celebration,"Werkman added. For more information, consult the Art Beat schedule of events attached to this release for days, times, locations and descriptions of the activities planned for this year’s event. The events will be held at the Cascade Campus (705 N. Killingsworth), Rock Creek Campus (17705 N.W. Springville Road), and the Sylvania Campus (12000 S.W. 49th Ave.) You can view the Art Beat 2002 schedule on the Internet at: http://artbeat.pcc.edu. For schedule information, call 503-977-4270.