Cheap & Easy

The Best Bang for Your Buck Events in Portland This Weekend: Feb 24-26, 2023

The Portland Mercury's Highball, Hungry Hungry Hip-Hop, and More Cheap & Easy Events Under $15
February 24, 2023
Meet local farmers and learn more about community supported agriculture at the CSA Share Fair. (Pacific NW CSA Coalition via Facebook)
Brave the winter weather and warm up with fun and frugal activities and events, from Hungry Hungry Hip-Hop to CSA Share Fair and from The Portland Mercury's Highball to Chili Con V: A Song of Spice and Fire.

Check venue/event websites directly for the latest information on event cancelations and venue closures due to severe winter weather.

Jump to: Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Multi-Day



Butter: The Comedy Show
Past Event List The silliness continues! This edition of Butter, a recurring comedy show that brings open-minded laughs to Funhouse Lounge all year long, features funny fiends Nate Hart, Johnny Taylor, Drew Grizzly, and Arlo Weierhauser. Brett "Breadstick" Sisun will turn up for some groovy tunes, too.
(Funhouse Lounge, Hosford-Abernethy, $10 at door)


Feel the Love Discount Days Past Event List
Moshu's furry ears are basically a visual hug, so feel the love at Oregon Zoo this weekend and take advantage of their half-off admission promotion ($12/person). Online reservations are required, so get your paws on tickets in advance—it's what baby Maple would want.
(Oregon Zoo, Washington Park, $12)


Divers with Wild Powwers and Cherry Cheeks
Past Event List Dreamy punk rock outfit Divers carry on the torch of Portland legends like Dead Moon and the Wipers with their anthemic, rousing tunes. They will be joined by grungey Seattle rockers Wild Powwers and power pop project Cherry Cheeks. 
(Doug Fir Lounge, Buckman, $14)

Julia Wolf Past Event List
Indie-pop singer-songwriter Julia Wolf (aka WOLF) recently made her TV debut on The Late Late Show with James Corden, showcasing her unique vocal tone and an effortless cool-girl style that combines pop, hip-hop, and punk. She’ll swing through Portland with songs from her new album, Good Thing We Stayed, which includes relatable, moody bops like "Goth Babe Tendencies" and "Sad Too Young." Arrive in time to catch an opening set from rising hyper-pop star Bronze Avery.
(Holocene, Buckman, $15)

Sovl Y Luna Present: Asilo Oscuro - February Past Event List
Dance into the dark side with DJs Sonido Dead Steady and Sticky Sound Waves as they serve up a spread of Spanish-language goth, darkwave, and industrial jams.
(The Midnight PDX + The Sïx, Sunnyside, $10 - $15)


SNAP!: Star-Crossed Lovers' Ball Past Event List
Live out your Leo DiCaprio/Claire Danes fantasy with Star-Crossed Lovers, a costume ball inspired by Baz Luhrmann's 1996 film Romeo + Juliet. Dance to a mix of '90s throwbacks and songs from the soundtrack while dressed as your favorite character. Plus, the evening promises a special drag interpretation of Mercurio's performance in the film.
(Holocene, Buckman, $10)


My Perfectly Valid Objections Past Event List
Mikki Gillette, whose play The Queers made waves last year as the first trans ensemble drama by a trans writer to premiere in Portland, returns with My Perfectly Valid Objections. The tart feminist comedy navigates the ups and downs of dating while trans, and Gillette has chosen the site of many first dates as its performance location: Oblique Coffee Roasters in SE Portland.
(Oblique Coffee Roasters, Kerns, Pay-what-you-can, minimum $15)


Jake Bittle in Conversation with Monica Samayoa
Past Event List Jake Bittle’s The Great Displacement takes a close look at an under-reported aspect of the climate crisis—climate migration, which is happening right now, within US borders. Tens of thousands of Americans are fleeing flood zones and regions rocked by natural disasters, and mortgage markets are shifting to push people out of high-risk homes. What happens next may be the nation's largest migration yet. Learn from those who are already on the move in Bittle's compassionate, human-centered book; he'll be joined in this conversation by Monica Samayoa, a climate and environmental journalist at OPB.
(Powell's City of Books, Pearl District, free)



India Cultural Event—International Festival of Art Past Event List
Celebrate Indian culture with cooking demos, storytelling, and more at the Lloyd Center over the next two Saturdays. The festival will include an artist interview and display by Indian trans mural group The Aravani Project and D.A.M. (Determined Art Movement) of India, plus dancing, an ancient architecture presentation, and youth performances.
(Lloyd Center, Lloyd District, $4-$12)


Ghost Dog in 35mm
Past Event List Equal parts bizarre and badass, Jim Jarmusch's 1999 cult classic Ghost Dog: Way of The Samurai combines ice-cold crime thrills with samurai mythology and...homing pigeons. The Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA provides a killer score for the quirky classic, which follows Forest Whitaker as a Zen contract killer for the mafia who adheres to the strict ideals of the Japanese warrior code. 
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $8-$10)


Chili Con V: A Song of Spice and Fire
Past Event List As they do each year, Uptown Beer Co. will celebrate its annual beer and chili competition, with hearty chilis and beer pairings from seven breweries:, Baerlic Brewing, Level Beer, Little Beast Brewing, Gigantic Brewing, Threshold Brewing, and Steeplejack Brewing. As the lucky ticket holder, you get to channel your inner Padma Lakshmi and act as a culinary judge while voting for your favorites, and three titles will be awarded for Best Chili, Best Beer, and Best Pairing. MidCity SmashBurger will also sling food during the event. A portion of proceeds will go to the Oregon Food Bank.
(Uptown Beer Co., Raleigh West)


Hungry Hungry Hip-Hop
Past Event List Hungry Hungry Hip-Hop is a monthly showcase dedicated to spotlighting the many flavors and styles in Portland's hip-hop community, including live music, spoken word, and audio/visual art. This month's installment will include performances from hip-hop beatmaker Luvjonez, rapper Third Eye Goonies, and producer Queezy. 
(Mississippi Pizza Pub & Atlantis Lounge, Boise, $10)

Music of Underrepresented Composers Past Event List
Portland-based organist Katie Webb will unveil a program of rarely performed organ music penned by BIPOC and women composers spanning a nearly 200-year period. Revel in the magic of the Rosales pipe organ with pieces from Jeanne Demessieux, Adolphus Hailstork, Ethel Smyth, Evelyn Simpson-Curenton, and plenty more. The concert is free, but donations to the Portland Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and Trinity Music’s Diversity Fund will be happily accepted.
(Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Northwest Portland, Donations welcome)

Smith & Yarn
Past Event List Grammy-nominated kid-centric reggae artist Aaron Nigel Smith, best known for his work on the Emmy Award-winning PBS show Between the Lions, will be joined by local producer Jubba White for their collaborative project Smith & Yarn
(Patricia Reser Center for the Arts, Beaverton, $10-$15)


Past Event List Blossoming out of the small Portland bar Killingsworth Dynasty (RIP), this periodic queer dance party is entering a new era at a new location with a techno-centric dance night featuring DJs Novail, SCS, Daiyah, and M5007. Drag performers Destiny Smokez, Diane Rott, and Witch Prince will add some extra sparkle.
(Holocene, Buckman, $15)


Future Prairie Listening Lounge
Past Event List If you dug Onry and Joni Whitworth's multimedia oral history and financial reparations project Flowers for Black Elders at Nationale, don't miss the Future Prairie Listening Lounge, which offers an "immersive experience that allows audience members to relax in an open, inviting space." Designed during Whitworth and Onry’s artist residency at the Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center in North Portland, the auditory exhibit invites visitors to tune in to oral history interviews with marginalized Portland artists and learn more about their unique perspectives in our historically racist and exclusionary city. 
(One Grand Gallery, Buckman, free)

I have done it again / One year in every ten / I manage it— Past Event List
Contemporary mainstay Adams and Ollman are celebrating their 10th anniversary with a special exhibition, which compiles works by self-taught and boundary-pushing artists, important influencers, and special friends from the gallery's roster. Buzz-building favorites like Mariel Capanna, Vaginal Davis, and Jessica Jackson Hutchins will have works on display alongside visionary 20th-century painters Katherine Bradford, Charles Burchfield, and others.
(Adams and Ollman, Northwest Portland, free; opening)



World's Hottest Goss: A Comedy Show Past Event List
Fans of local comedy and movie theater lobbies will be delighted by Portland's newest recurring laugh fest, which features a rotating fleet of the city's "mediumest comedians" with gags and wisecracks that'll help you beat the Sunday night blues.
(Studio One Theaters, Richmond)


James Hood's BEAUTIFICA360
Past Event List BEAUTIFICA360 is a bit difficult to pin down. Promotional materials describe the 360° immersive experience as a "euphoric journey" through "mind-blowing constellations [and] fantastical landscapes." It's pitched as both the perfect date night and a family-friendly affair. Also, it was designed by a guy who looks like this. Our advice? Pop an edible and enjoy the show, whatever it may be.
(OMSI, Central Eastside, $12)


Portland Black Film Festival: Greased Lightning in 35mm
Past Event List Starring Richard Pryor and Pam Grier, Greased Lightning tells the tale of Wendell Scott, America's first African American NASCAR driver. When Scott returns from serving in World War II to find his town fueled by racism and hatred, he hits the racetrack to try and fight the system. The Hollywood will screen a rare, dreamy 35mm print of the criminally overlooked '77 classic.
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $8-$10)


CSA Share Fair Past Event List
If you've ever aspired to be the type of virtuous person who receives a local CSA share, here's your chance: The Pacific Northwest CSA Coalition will host this free fair where you can learn about community-supported agriculture programs, sign up for one, and watch a series of cooking demonstrations by local chefs, including Three Sisters Nixtamal founder Wendy Downing, Umi Organic CEO Lola Mulholland, and more.
(The Redd on Salmon, Buckman, free)



Black History Festival NW Past Event List
With everything from inspiring drag shows to flash mobs and theater performances planned, Black History Festival NW will celebrate all things Black culture this month. Show up in support of regional Black artists this weekend at a play created by Portland native Shalanda Sims, or scope out the calendar for other happenings throughout the month.
(Pricing varies, Friday-Sunday)


A Long Road to Travel: The Service of Japanese American Soldiers During World War II Past Event List
This collaborative exhibition, created by the Japanese American Museum of Oregon and the History Museum of Hood River County, centers over 400 Japanese American (Nisei) soldiers from Oregon who served in the US military during World War II. While many of their relatives were incarcerated in internment camps, these soldiers served overseas and faced intense prejudices. Make time to learn more about them in observance of the Day of Remembrance.
(Japanese American Museum of Oregon, Old Town-Chinatown, $0-$8, Friday-Sunday)

This IS Kalapuyan Land
Past Event List Presented in collaboration with artist and curator Steph Littlebird (Grand Ronde, Kalapuya, Chinook), This IS Kalapuyan Land was first installed at Five Oaks Museum in 2019. The exhibition was adapted from a problematic 2008 show on the Kalapuyan people put forth by the Washington County Museum. Littlebird corrected the show's original explanatory panels, expanded them with historical input from Western Oregon tribe scholar David G. Lewis, Ph.D., and paired them with contemporary Indigenous artworks created by artists with connections to Kalapuyan land. Currently showing at Pittock Mansion, this fresh installment of the show includes a new collection of Native artworks.
(Pittock Mansion, Northwest Portland, Free with museum admission, Friday-Sunday)


Cascade Festival of African Films
Past Event List The "longest-running annual, non-profit, non-commercial, largely volunteer-run African film festival in the United States" features works by African directors, centering non-Western perspectives on African culture with films like Egyptian social drama Feathers. Live interviews with filmmakers and community conversations round out the exciting cultural event, with opportunities for virtual and in-person viewing. 
(PCC Cascade and Virtual, free, Friday-Saturday)

Cocaine Bear Past Event List
Lots of cocaine!!! One bear!!!!!! A movie about a bear who consumed a buttload of cocaine. It's based, if you do not know, on a real bear. But cocaine, which fell from the sky, killed the real bear—a black bear who is spending eternity in a Kentucky mall. The movie bear does not die from an overdose but becomes larger than life and death. He goes on a rampage. He destroys this and that. Humans scream and die. And this is a comedy! How can we miss this movie? It sounds like top-notch trash. I hope it doesn't suffer the fate of Snakes on a Plane. STRANGER SENIOR STAFF WRITER CHARLES MUDEDE
(Cinema 21, Nob Hill, $8-$11, Friday-Sunday)

Live Action Oscar Nominated Short Films
Past Event List These brief but spellbinding stories have made an impression on the Academy. Predict the winners at separate screenings of the nominated films in live action, animation, and documentary categories. Standouts include Ivalu, a meditative, icy tale based on a graphic novel set in Greenland's tundra, and Le Pupille, an inventive tale co-produced by Alfonso Cuarón and set in a Catholic boarding house during World War I.
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $7-$10, Friday-Sunday)


Empanadas Festival Past Event List
Taste a variety of dough-wrapped delights from across Latin America, from spots like Alecocina, La Carreta Pura Vida, Havana Station, Xocotl, Tita's Kitchen, and Tierra Del Sol.
(Portland Mercado, Mount Scott-Arleta, Friday-Sunday)

The Portland Mercury's Highball 2023 Past Event List
BEHOLD! It's the triumphant return of the Portland Mercury's HIGHBALL! That's correct: Get ready for an ENTIRE WEEK (February 20-26) of specially crafted, original cocktails mixed by the best bartenders in town… and get this, they're only $8 each! We've teamed up with the finest bars and restaurants in Portland—along with our cocktail-lovin' pals at Jim Beam—to bring you this one-of-a-kind booze-tacular! At each of Highball's locations, you'll find $8 specially crafted cocktails, and even better? They'll be available ALL DAY (not just during happy hour)!
(Various locations, Friday-Sunday)


Impossible Science LIVE
Past Event List Jason Latimer blends physics and chemistry with masterful illusions to make STEM fun and keep audiences guessing. The master magician will walk through solid matter, bend light, and create objects from water in this hour-long live performance, so bring your skepticism and you might learn a few new scientific concepts (or just have your mind blown).
(OMSI, Central Eastside, $12-$14, Saturday-Sunday)


Benjamin Mefford: Materia
Past Event List Emerging artist Benjamin Mefford's extensive material explorations make this solo exhibition a tactile treat. The multimedia works featured in Materia include a sculpture made of Scotch tape, pencils, pencil shavings, and Elmer's glue.
(Blackfish Gallery, Pearl District, free, Friday-Saturday; closing)

Diego Moreno: In My Mind There is Never Silence
Past Event List Staged within domestic spaces, Diego Moreno's work is often imbued with a slightly uneasy calm; the photographer looks closely at how monster protagonists, or panzudos mercedarios, might exist within everyday scenes. Moreno calls upon these characters (pulled from the folklore of La Merced, in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas) to wonder about a "different corporeality" and his own childhood fixation on anomalous figures.
(Blue Sky Gallery, Pearl District, free, Friday-Saturday; closing)

Flowers for Black Elders
Past Event List Organized by City of Portland artists-in-residence Onry and Joni Whitworth (founder of Future Prairie), Flowers for Black Elders is a multimedia oral history and financial reparations project that honors those who have mentored Onry, one of the only Black male professional opera singers in the region. The project is comprised of portraits and oral history interview recordings by Whitworth that "challenge the predominantly white and able-bodied art scene...[and] address gentrification in Portland." Participating musicians include Mel Brown, Alonzo Chadwick, Libretto Jackson, Derrick McDuffy, and Saeeda Wright.
(Nationale, Buckman, free, Friday-Saturday; closing)

John Vitale: What Has Gone Wrong Becomes an Opening Past Event List
John Vitale's first solo exhibition at Nationale documents the Illinois-born artist and skateboard brand founder's "ongoing search for new beginnings and moments of exploration," thoughtfully revealed through abstract compositions and intuitive meditations on sensory stimuli.
(Nationale, Buckman, free, Friday-Sunday; closing)

Josh Kermiet: Tea Gardens Past Event List
Josh Kermiet, editor-in-chief of longstanding local arts rag Free Spirit News, moves off the newsprint page in Tea Gardens, but maintains his playful, lo-fi aesthetic. The solo exhibition consists entirely of graphic black-and-white acrylic compositions on paper, reflecting  on "improvisation, isolation, and the invisible tendrils that continue to hold us gently in relationship to each other." Drop by cozy Sunnyside restaurant Old Pal to scope out the show over oysters and Oaxacan negronis.
(Old Pal, Sunnyside, free, Friday-Sunday)

Kevin Bennett Moore: George
Past Event List Inspired by his experience of queerness, Kevin Bennett Moore's George draws from mid-century masculine ideals, enigmatic Americana, and performative gender norms to question how culture has—and hasn't—changed over the decades. Aiming to "create a safe space for the narrative to unfold," the photographer's works in this solo exhibition create subtle subversions with a voyeuristic edge.
(Blue Sky Gallery, Pearl District, free, Friday-Saturday; closing)

Love Is Home: Justin “Scrappers” Morrison
Past Event List Inspired by the "do-it-yourselfers, the hairy fools, the hobo clowns, and the people of the Sunnyside neighborhood of Portland," Justin “Scrappers” Morrison's mini-monuments reflect on his personal history in the leafy area south of Laurelhurst Park. Made entirely with scrap wood and house paint, the sculptural pieces in Love Is Home are a warm hug to behold. Drop by Stumptown to spend some time with the small, sincere works.
(Stumptown Coffee 2 Annex, Sunnyside, free, Friday-Sunday)

Tad Savinar's M U S I N G S FROM THE FUTURE commemorates the Portland-based artist's 50-year studio practice with a curated selection of works in cast bronze, paper, and printed silk. Curator and arts writer Linda Tesner describes the solo exhibition—and Savinar's work in general—as "an uncanny way of anticipating the future...[Savinar's] work has a prescience that is simultaneously funny and sobering.”
(PDX CONTEMPORARY ART, Slabtown, free, Friday-Saturday; closing)

Myra Clark: Pictures of No Things
Past Event List Painter Myra Clark contemplates the idea of a "no thing" in her latest series of works, inviting viewers to resist notions of significance, meaning, and recognizable imagery in favor of more personal, intuitive responses. The artist's works on paper are created with layered watercolor, sumi ink, and acrylic, with varied surface textures created with Chinese calligraphy brushes and other tools.
(Blackfish Gallery, Pearl District, free, Friday-Saturday; closing)

Sara Siestreem (Hanis Coos): looking for the land///found the weather Past Event List
Hanis Coos artist Sara Siestreem, who was recently awarded the 2022 Forge Project Fellowship, presents a new body of work focused on her ongoing themes of ceremonial tradition, ecological justice, and Indigenous feminism in looking for the land///found the weather. The solo exhibition includes bundles of suspended sweetgrass braids, video artworks, painted diptychs, and other experiments in immersion, confrontation, and metaphor to create "act[s] of refusal and resistance."
(Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Pearl District, free, Friday-Saturday; closing)

Winter Group Exhibition
Past Event List Froelick's group exhibition of works by the gallery's represented artists starts 2023 on a colorful foot, with multimedia offerings by local faves like Emma Gerigscott, Holly Osborne, Rick Bartow, Laurie Danial, Benny Fountain, and others. 
(Froelick Gallery, Pearl District, free, Friday-Saturday)

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