The 30 Best Things to Do in Portland This Week: September 14-17, 2020

The Portland Latin American Film Festival, the Virtual Swift Watch, and More Top Picks
by Mercury EverOut Staff
September 14, 2020
The Portland Latin American Film Festival kicks off online this Thursday with César Díaz's 2019 Cannes Film Festival Camera d'Or-winning debut Our Mothers, set in the aftermath of Guatemala's civil war.

It's still hazy out there, folks. Stay inside if you can and give yourself a break from *gestures everywhere* by checking out the Portland Latin American Film Festival, the annual Swift Watch streamed live from Chapman, Jaamil Olawale Kosoko's contemporary dance performance American Chameleon: The Living Installments, and more of our top picks for this week's virtual events. For even more options, check out our complete streaming events calendar.

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Joe Biden Grassroots Fundraiser
Join Hillary Clinton, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, and vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris for a virtual Biden-Harris campaign fundraiser. 


Collide-O-Scope: Entertainment for Your Home
The psychedelic video series Collide-o-Scope and its "mind-melting, often hilarious" mashups of video oddities will bring you a brand-new edition.

HBO’s Coastal Elites Talk
The star-studded cast of HBO's new socially distanced comedy Coastal Elites (Bette Midler! Issa Rae! Dan Levy! Kaitlyn Dever! Sarah Paulson!) will join playwright Paul Rudnick and director Jay Roach to dish about the show—including what it was like filming in quarantine—with CNN's Alisyn Camerota. 


Rosh Hashanah Virtual Cooking Class with Michael Solomonov
The award-winning Israeli chef and restaurateur Michael Solomonov, known for his renowned Philadelphia restaurant Zahav, will lead a cooking demo of a Rosh Hashanah menu, including a kale, apple, walnut, and sumac-onion tabbouleh, honey-glazed chicken, and apple cake. Food journalist Gabriella Gershenson will moderate.


Blitzen Trapper
"Blitzen Trapper have leveraged their sumptuous vocal arrangements and brazen song dynamics into elaborate tapestries of sound, like some unlikely Crosby Stills & Nash/Queen collaboration," wrote former Stranger music critic Dave Segal about the Portland experimental rock band's 2010 album Destroyer of the Void. Catch them in a livestreamed in-studio performance at Music Millennium. 

PCU livestream from the LT
Portland Country Underground (or "those rowdy country-rock layabouts," as some call them) will livestream a Monday-night happy hour set from the Laurelthirst Public House.


Claudia Rankine: Just Us
Following her award-winning book-length poem Citizen, Claudia Rankine is out with a new collection of poetry, essays, and images that explore race in America. She'll be joined virtually in conversation with Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility). 

Gina Williams, Dan Raphael, Christopher Luna
Local poets Gina Williams, Dan Raphael, and Christopher Luna will read from their latest collections live online. 

Jessica Garrison, Sarah Weinman
Journalist Jessica Garrison’s The Devil's Harvest reveals how the criminal justice system fails our most vulnerable immigrant communities through the true story of a drug cartel hitman who got away with countless murders in California's Central Valley for three decades. She'll read alongside Sarah Weinman, the author of the collection of true-crime tales The Real Lolita

The Pacific GrandSLAM - A Multi-City Showdown
The Moth's first-ever multi-city slam will feature storytellers from eight StorySLAM cities, including Portland and Seattle. See whose candid tales will earn the crown. 



Virtual Film Screening of Shared Legacies and Discussion
See an online screening of the documentary Shared Legacies (a collaboration between United in Spirit, a collaboration between the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, the Portland Chapter of NAACP, the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, and Project Dialogue) and tune in to a discussion with filmmaker Dr. Shari Rogers and local members of Portland's Black and Jewish communities on Wednesday.



Art & Conversation: Volcano!
The Portland Art Museum's current exhibition Volcano! Mount St. Helens in Art commemorates the 40th anniversary of that great big eruption of 1980. For this talk, curator Dr. Dawson Carr will discuss the works of art depicting the volcano from the mid-1840s to today.

Biden Harris Phone Bank with Will Ferrell
To celebrate the Biden-Harris campaign's endorsement of One Fair Wage, a nonprofit led by advocates for restaurant workers to end the sub-minimum wage for tip workers who make less than the minimum wage, join a remote phone-banking event with none other than professional elf/Swedish pop star/NASCAR superstar Will Ferrell. 

Virtual Swift Watch
Portland Audubon's fall ritual of watching the swifts (whose collective noun is, to our delight, a "screaming frenzy") take flight from Chapman with their long fin-like wings will happen again this year, but you're encouraged to watch virtually (or maybe from your car?) to prevent crowding in the park.


The People of Climbing: A Screening and Storytelling Session
Join the Mazama Advanced Rock Committee for a Zoom screening of John Greenwood's documentary The People of Climbing, which looks at race and equity in the outdoor sporting industry from the perspective of BIPOC climbers attending the 2018 Color the Crag Festival in Alabama. After the screening, BIPOC viewers are invited to share their own experiences in the outdoors, be they challenging or empowering. 


Decadent '80s Tuesday Night Livestream
Zazz up your Tuesday with an audio-only '80s dance party on the interwebs with DJ NoN.

Pandora Live featuring The Killers
If you've been experiencing a resurgence of middle-school angst and/or nostalgia during quarantine, let it thrive during this livestreamed concert, Q&A, and interactive hangout with pop-punk band the Killers.


Jordan Ifueko, Bethany C. Morrow
Jordan Ifueko will read from his YA fantasy debut, Raybearer, alongside Bethany C. Morrow, author of A Song Below Water.


Building Bridges Racial Justice Series
Diversity, equity and inclusion consultant Alexis Braly James will lead an online workshop meant to "encourage an understanding of racism, racial identity, and how race impacts society." 



2020 DePreist Award For Excellence TV Event
The Volunteers of America Oregon DePreist Award for Excellence honors outstanding individuals who have shown dedication to bettering the community. This year's 20th anniversary event will air on KGW-TV and online, featuring a special performance by Portland favorites Pink Martini, who former Stranger staffer Leilani Polk has described as "slinky yet robust, fluffy and flamboyant while also exotic and classily tasteful."

The Surprising Movement for Woman Suffrage by Ellen Dubois
The women's suffrage movement was no swift feat, nor did those who fought for it come from a single demographic (no matter what traditional history books' overwhelming representation of white women may lead you to believe). This lecture with acclaimed history and gender studies professor Ellen Carol DuBois will provide a detailed account of the battle for women's right to vote.


55th ACM Awards
Watch chart-topping stars perform live at the 55th Academy of Country Music Awards, including the debut of a new Keith Urban/P!nk collaboration and Taylor Swift's first country music awards performance in seven years. 


Workshops for Democracy
I’ve been a professional writer for nearly twenty years, and one of the best writing experiences I’ve ever had in that time was a class taught by award-winning author Steve Almond, whose upcoming Workshops for Democracy you would be an absolute lunatic not to attend. Steve has taught at Harvard and Wesleyan, and his work’s appeared in the New York Times and GQ, among many many others. Now, working with Hugo House, Grub Street, and Lighthouse, Steve has arranged for his upcoming writing workshops to be steeply discounted, with the expectation that attendees will donate to a political cause of their choosing. MATT BAUME


Joanna Rose, Susan Leslie Moore
Press materials describe Joanna Rose's second novel A Small Crowd of Strangers as "part love story, part slightly sideways spiritual journey." The author will be joined in conversation by Susan Leslie Moore (That Place Where You Opened Your Hands) at this virtual Powell's event.

The Stranger Presents: Silent Reading Party
A lot of people are taking the opportunity to turn the online version of The Stranger's super-successful words 'n' vibes experience into a weekly online destination, a respite from (waves hands exasperatedly at basically everything) and an opportunity to simply... slow up, sit down, and just listen to live piano music while sinking into a good book. If you haven't tried it out yet, tonight's the night, and we'll see you at 6pm. If you have tried it out before? Welcome back. It's a damn nice oasis of low-key bliss, isn't it?



NAACP National Convention
The 111th NAACP National Convention will take place online, promising nearly two weeks of virtual events addressing issues of police brutality, racism, economic empowerment, and health and wellness in the Black community.


Portland Latin American Film Festival XIV
The Hollywood Theater is moving the Portland Latin American Film Festival online, which is bittersweet. Bitter: Everyone loves a big screen, especially at this historic gem. Sweet: You'll have a full 48 hours to watch a film once you hit play. From September to November, the festival will present six movies from Argentina, Chile, Guatemala, Mexico, Switzerland, and Belgium that celebrate and honor the cultural diversity of Latin America. This week's film is César Díaz's debut Our Mothers, the winner of the Cannes Film Festival Camera d'Or in 2019, set in the aftermath of Guatemala's bloody 20-year civil war. 


Daughtry: Live From Home
Former American Idol finalist Daughtry will come at you live from Nashville on his virtual tour. He promises a "unique setlist," a Q&A, and some special surprises at his Portland "stop," a portion of sales from which will benefit the Crystal Ballroom. 


Author Reading: rough house by tina ontiveros / Remote by DJ Lee
Authors J D Lee and tina ontiveros explore the lasting effects of parent/child relationships in their books Remote: Finding Home in the Bitterroots and rough house. They'll link up for a virtual discussion. 



Portland Institute for Contemporary Art: TBA Festival 2020
"One of the reasons I love the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s Time-Based Art Festival is that, year after year, they always strive to mix academic, fine conceptual art with fun, challenging performances that deserve to be included in our considerations of 'art,'" wrote former Mercury art editor Suzette Smith of last year's festival. Don't miss the "audiovisual journey" Against the Current on Monday, the contemporary dance performance American Chameleon: The Living Installments this Wednesday, and Complete Works: Tabletop Shakespeare on Thursday.