The 31 Best Things To Do from Home This Week: COVID-Safe Portland Events for October 12-18, 2020

Slay, Pugtoberfest, and More Top Picks
by Mercury EverOut Staff
October 12, 2020
The amateur horror short film festival Slay (presented by the same freaks who brought you HUMP! and SPLIFF) premieres online this week! Queue it up if you dare.

Once again, we've rounded up our top picks for the best things to do online through the weekend to help you keep your schedule full of ways to stay entertained without leaving your couch. Read on below for details on virtual events ranging from Berkeley Repertory Theatre's timely adaptation of It Can't Happen Here to Pugtoberfest, and from an evening with Portland Opera to the Portland Film Festival. For non-virtual things to do, peruse our complete in-person and streaming calendars. Plus, look out for a roundup of socially distanced things to do in the flesh this weekend.

Jump to: Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday


MONDAY

COMMUNITY

An Exclusive Tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg
As the Senate begins confirmation hearings to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat, this national event invites citizens to call their senators to honor the late justice's dying wish that there be no confirmation until the presidential inauguration (or "until a new president is installed," in her words). This virtual call to action will feature prominent voices in politics (like Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Stacey Abrams, and Elizabeth Warren), live music (including performances by Miley Cyrus and Phoebe Bridgers), and more appearances from cultural figures who share RBG's passion for equality (like Gloria Steinem).

Healing and Reconciliation: A Celebration of Culture
Get a brief education on Oregon's history of discrimination against local Native communities in this Zoom lecture.

Indigenous Peoples' Day Celebrations 2020
The Portland Indigenous Marketplace and the Great Spirit Native American Fellowship's Great Spirit Church will host a full day of online events—including speakers, live music, and local Native vendors—celebrating Indigenous Peoples' Day. 

What Makes Us Safe? - Rethinking Community Safety
Portland Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty will host an online panel discussion with Portland NAACP's Reverend E.D. Mondaine, Boston University's Dr. Jon Jay, Office of Community & Civic's Meg Juarez, and PSU's Greg Townley on protecting citizens without turning to law enforcement. 

FILM

Collide-O-Scope: Something Wild
The trippy found footage mashup Collide-O-Scope will celebrate its 10th year with a Monday night filled with campy delights. 

READINGS & TALKS

David Gessner presents: Leave It As It Is
Named after Theodore Roosevelt's famous statement upon seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time, nature writer David Gessner's Leave Is As It Is follows the writer as he embarks on an American road trip guided by Roosevelt’s crusading environmental legacy. Join him for a live presentation with Powell's. 

MONDAY-THURSDAY

FILM

Ashland Independent Film Festival, Varsity World Film Week
You know Ashland for its annual Shakespeare scene, but its annual film festival is another reason to visit (or, in this year's case, open your computer). The festival will kick off its 20th anniversary with the Varsity World Film Series, where you'll be able to stream new international films from Chile, China, France, Israel, and beyond.

MUSIC

Chamber Music @ Beall 2020/2021 Season
The University of Oregon's school of music and dance has partnered with Lincoln Center's Chamber Music Society to bring you four virtual concerts, each of which will be available to watch on-demand for two weeks. To start, pianist Gilbert Kalish will play Schubert's The Shepherd on the Rock D. 965 and Brahms's Quartet in C minor, Op. 60.

TUESDAY

COMMUNITY

Nature Night: Exploring the Mysteries of Coyotes in the City
Wild canine expert Stanley Gehrt (whose work has been featured on NPR and in National Geographic) will join the Portland Audubon Society for an online talk on how coyotes in Chicago have adapted to the city as their natural environment. 

READINGS & TALKS

Helen Macdonald
Literary Arts presents this evening with writer/poet/illustrator/historian Helen Macdonald, talking about her forthcoming essay collection Vesper Flights, which explores the link between humanity and nature.

THEATER & PERFORMANCE

Unpacking the Baggage: 'It Can't Happen Here'
Written in 1935 during the rise of fascism in Europe, Sinclair Lewis's novel It Can’t Happen Here follows the ascent of a demagogue who becomes president of the United States by promising to return the country to greatness (can you imagine?). In 2016, Berkeley Repertory Theatre unveiled their stage adaptation one week before Trump was elected. Now, the theater company will reprise it with the same director and much of the original cast, but this time as a radio play in four episodes, just in time for the 2020 presidential election. 

WEDNESDAY

GEEK

Science On Tap - Music & the Aging Brain
Science on Tap will team up with the Portland Music Stream for a live discussion on the effects of aging on the human brain and the benefits of music for healthy neuroactivity. Fittingly, the talk will be followed by a concert. 

READINGS & TALKS

Rebecca Roanhorse in conversation with Tochi Onyebuchi
Nebula-, Hugo-, and Locus Award-winning author Rebecca Roanhorse (Trail of Lightning) will join Powell's with Black Sun, the first book in her new Between Earth and Sky trilogy inspired by the civilizations of the Pre-Columbian Americas and woven into a tale of "celestial prophecies, political intrigue, and forbidden magic." She'll be joined in conversation by Nigerian American science-fiction writer Tochi Onyebuchi.

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?

THURSDAY

READINGS & TALKS

Carter Sickels and Megan Kruse: The Prettiest Star
Set in 1986, Carter Sickels's second book centers around gay men who returned to the rural communities and families who turned them away during the AIDS crisis. The author will discuss The Prettiest Star alongside fiction writer Megan Kruse. 

Merrill Markoe presents: 'We Saw Scenery'
Emmy-winning comedy writer Merrill Markoe's debut graphic memoir harks back to the author's preteen and teen years, when she first realized she wanted to tell jokes for a living. Join her for a virtual presentation with Powell's. 

THURSDAY-SATURDAY

FILM

Slay - Livestreamed!
From the freaks who brought you the HUMP! and SPLIFF Film Festivals comes something new, fun, and totally terrifying: SLAY! SLAY calls for filmmakers to send in homemade short horror films—eight minutes or less—capturing what scares them most. From classic ghost stories and slasher films to dystopian cults and political nightmares, SLAY dares you to show us your darkest fears. We know reality is scarier than fiction right now. Let’s purge our fears together. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY

THURSDAY-SUNDAY

FILM

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. The upcoming film (starting Thursday) is Pablo Larraín's Ema, about a reggaeton dancer who "sets out on an odyssey of personal liberation."

FRIDAY

MUSIC

Decadent ’80s Haunted House of Funk and Disco Livestream
The Lombard Pub's resident throwback dance night Decadent ’80s will get spooky in your very own living room, courtesy of DJ NoN and the internet. 

THEATER & PERFORMANCE

The Disappearance of Rosie Garcia's Family
The New Play Project presents a workshop production of Peter Preciado's The Disappearance of Rosie Garcia's Family, about a Mexican American teen who, on the precipice of graduating from college, sees each member of her small family disappear, and she takes it upon herself to save them. 

A Taste of Dance
Local choreographers will showcase new dance works every Friday in October, starting with TriptheDark Dance Company's three pieces reflecting some of the major events of the past few months (the COVID-19 crisis, the resurgence of Black Lives Matter, and the upcoming election, to name a few). Those who registered in September will enjoy wine tastings while they watch the performances, but those who missed that boat can and should still pour themselves the finest vino they have onhand. 

FRIDAY-SATURDAY

FILM

The Fungi Film Festival
As far as we know, this is the world's first short film festival dedicated to the mushrooms, lichens, and micro fungi of the Pacific Northwest. Premiering during the peak of mushroom-foraging season, the first night of the festival will also feature an event with mushroom growers, artists, and mycologists livestreamed from McCoy's Portland-based mushroom farm.

FRIDAY-SUNDAY

FILM

McMinnville Short Film Festival
This year, the McMinnville Short Film Festival will highlight winning films from previous years, including Jerry Eichten's "Walking Tour" from 2011, Austin Smagalski's "Wake" form 2014, Christian Bergmans's "The Plumber" from 2015, and Zach Putnam's "The Kenton Lead Blob" from 2017.

MUSIC

Save Our Stages Fest
The National Independent Venue Association will host this three-day concert on YouTube to garner awareness, advocacy, and donations for the NIVA Emergency Relief Fund, which supports vulnerable music venues affected by COVID-19 setbacks. Performers include Dave Matthews, Foo Fighters, Leon Bridges, the Lumineers, Macklemore, Miley Cyrus, Phoebe Bridgers, and other big names like that. 

SATURDAY

MUSIC

An Evening with Portland Opera
This virtual benefit concert will highlight Portland Opera artists whose shows were canceled or postponed due to the pandemic. Watch it live on Vimeo and YouTube.

SATURDAY-SUNDAY

VISUAL ARTS

Portland Open Studios 2020 Online Virtual Edition
Watch artists live at work by tuning into Instagram for this year's virtual Portland Open Studios.

SUNDAY

COMMUNITY

Pug Crawl 2020 | Pugtoberfest
Owners and enthusiasts of the cutest and most wrinkly dog breed are invited to dress their pugs in costumes or build floats for them and submit the photos to the Oregon Humane Society for a spot in this year's virtual Parade of Pugs. (Or to just watch.) Plus, visit the online "vendor village" for Oktoberfest beer, pint glasses, and other goodies.

SPORTS

Yoga with YOUR Cat
When you and your cat (or any other pet you have hanging around) need a good stretch, join Animal Aid, Inc. for this all-levels virtual yoga class. 

ALL WEEK

FILM

Portland Film Festival
The Portland Film Festival will bring a diverse array of independent voices together for a week of online screenings, which you can watch online, on the Comcast channel, or in-person in a reserved screening pod at the Hi-Lo Hotel.

PODCAST

THE MOORS by Jen Silverman: A Podcast
In place of their inaugural live season, the Theatre Company will present Jen Silverman’s twisted Victorian Gothic The Moors in classic audio-drama style. Sisters Agatha and Huldey reside on the bleak English Moors with their ennui-stricken Mastiff, an unstable maid, a crash-landed hen, and a young governess from London.

THEATER & PERFORMANCE

Daddy Long Legs
Based on Jean Webster's 1912 epistolary novel Daddy Long Legs, this Broadway Rose musical production is described in press materials as "a rags-to-riches tale of newfound love in the spirit of Jane Austen, the Brontë Sisters, and Downton Abbey." See it online.