Binky blankets help to comfort youth from newborns to 18-year-olds, and they are distributed at locations such as clinics, foster-care agencies, and shelters for victims of domestic violence, as well as to those experiencing homelessness. Though Binky Patrol receives fabric donations from several sources, the organization is in need of rolls of batting to fill its blankets to make them soft and plush.
Portland Opera has always set its collective eyes on the horizon. Since filling the gaps left by touring troupes and sporadically performing local companies in 1964, it has endeavored to expand the art form on the stage and beyond. Twenty years after its inception, it became just the second company in the US to project English translations of foreign lyrics above the stage, enabling audiences to leave their Italian dictionaries at home. The company also pushes the boundaries of the shows themselves, staging world premiers of classic stories such as Wuthering Heights, commissioning the work Lucy's Lapses, and producing the West Coast premiere of Philip Glass's Orphée. Not to be contained within one performance space, it also established Portland Opera To Go, a touring division that performs works such as Cinderella and La Bohème at schools and community centers.
For the past decade, Brett and Natalie Vinsant have been immortalizing their exhales as elegant, blown-glass artwork. The duo envisioned Live Laugh Love Glass as a shared studio, where glass-blowing professionals and students alike could breathe life into bright glass bowls and vases. Small groups of students join enthusiastic instructors during glass-blowing and fusing classes, in which they learn to manipulate molten glass into various forms, and after which students take home their piece of art to display on mantels, desktops, and climbable highway billboards. The gallery inspires students with a collection of professionally blown vases and bowls whose weightless glass curves reflect the twinkle of natural light. After classes on the glass-blowing workshop area, aesthetes can view works in the gallery. Live Laugh Love Glass also hosts private events and parties in their event space.
Ecdysiast, a modern pole-dancing studio that derives its name from ancient Rome, comingles the sleek techniques of modern fitness with the atavistic impulses of dance, resulting in a fun, social, and physical exhibition of the body’s beauty. A staff that includes certified personal trainers instructs a schedule of classes to accommodate most skill and fitness levels. During a one-hour class of fewer than seven, pupils position themselves before the studio’s floor-to-ceiling mirrors—cut at intervals with white, flowing drapery—to gaze at their reflection staring back at them as it sidles next to their own, individual, 16-foot golden-hued pole. The introductory Taster class dips newbie toes into the rippling waters of pole dancing with beginner moves, choreography, and floor work. At the instructor’s behest, students in the eight-week course will spin, climb, invert, and plane their bodies parallel to the ground in an act of self-levitation unattainable without the use of hundreds of helium balloons. The 90-minute party class packs similar routines and equal energy, but caters to the custom needs of the group, be they bachelorette, birthday, or a girls' night out.