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The Best Things To Do from Home This Week: COVID-Safe Portland Events for January 25–31, 2021

The Fertile Ground Festival, HUMP!, the Mercury Music Series, and More Virtual Events
January 25, 2021
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Got your tickets for Dan Savage's HUMP! yet? This year's virtual edition of the sexy festival starts Saturday!

If your quarantine routine is getting stale, see below for our picks for virtual events this week, from the kickoff of the Fertile Ground Festival to a conversation with Circe author Madeline Miller, and from HUMP! to the first edition of the Mercury Music Series. Plus, check out our StreamLocal events hub, and stay tuned for a roundup of the best socially distanced things to do this weekend. 


Jump to: Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Multi-Day


MONDAY

FILM

Collide-O-Scope: Morning in America
The trippy video series Collide-O-Scope will provide a much-needed jolt to your Monday routine with their "deliriously free-wheelin' phantasia of ephemeral footage fun."


TUESDAY

FILM

Roger Corman Master Class
Every Tuesday in January, Movie Madness University and the Hollywood Theatre is bringing you online screenings and in-depth analysis of low-budget sci-fi and horror gems by trailblazing filmmaker Roger Corman, capping off with 1978's Piranha.

READINGS & TALKS

In Conversation: Time Traveling Through Portland's Black Life
Portland State University's series of virtual events honoring Martin Luther King continues with a panel between Black Studies professors Walidah Imarisha, Julius McGee, and Darrell Millner.

Delve Readers Seminar: Ursula K. Le Guin and Octavia Butler
Starting tonight, this six-week Literary Arts course with Benjamin McPherson Ficklin (a Literary Arts resident and the author of the chapbook A Cynical View of Dystopian America) will center Ursula K. Le Guin's The Dispossessed and Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower. "In these two science fiction novels we might find hope—not as naive optimism in the face of such horrors, but a hope that comes from humans surviving in all their beauty despite some of the worst conditions imaginable," reads the course description.  


WEDNESDAY

GEEK & GAMING

Schitt's Creek Trivia
Prove you know the most about Dan and Eugene Levy's Canadian sitcom in this online quiz night with Stumptown Trivia. 

MUSIC

The Year in Music
Despite the melange of horrible things 2020 will be remembered for, it was filled with some pretty good tunes. Rolling Stone will move their annual Year in Music event online to reflect on this past year with resident music editor Simon Vozick-Levinson and Katie Crutchfield of Waxahatchee.

READINGS & TALKS

Virtual Silent Reading Party
After years of prompting out-the-door lines at Seattle's Hotel Sorrento, the simple pleasure Christopher Frizzelle's Silent Reading Party, which invites people to read a book in a comfy chair while pianist Paul Matthew Moore plays soothing lounge music, endures on the internet, at least until the global pandemic subsides. 

VISUAL ART

Refocusing: a Free Salon-From-Anywhere
In conjunction with the Blue Sky Gallery exhibit Women of the African Diaspora: Identity, Place, Migration, Immigration, artist Lois Leveen will lead a discussion of some of the photographs in the show, paired with African Diaspora poetry. The salon will aim to answer the questions, "Does Diaspora — the dispersal of people from their original homeland — always distance people from their culture and their identity, or does it provide them a precious chance to create culture and identity anew? What is the difference between photographs that document culture and identity, and photographs that celebrate culture and identity? "

See Also: Multi-day events


THURSDAY

MUSIC

20/21 Resident Artist Series
Instead of the Portland Art Museum, this annual Portland Opera event will come to your nearest screen live from the Hampton Opera Center. Each performance will feature two or more Portland Opera Resident Artists sharing solo pieces, duets, and ensembles alongside new Resident Artist Coach and collaborative pianist Joseph Williams. 

iHeartRadio ALTer EGO 2021
iHeartRadio's fifth annual ALTer EGO concert returns with headlining sets from alt-rock superstars like Billie Eilish and Foo Fighters, plus old favorites like Weezer and the Killers. In other words, clear your throat for an angsty pop-punk sing-along. 

Mercury Music Series presents: BLOSSOM
This week, we're kicking off the Mercury Music Series—a new virtual streaming showcase featuring local artists that also happens to be a Mercury fundraiser. At the first edition, you'll hear from soul/jazz/R&B singer Blossom (aka Keisha Chiddick), who will perform a 30-minute set, accompanied by Charlie 3rown on keys. As Jenni Moore wrote, "In addition to being one of Portland’s favorite singers within the soul/jazz/R&B arena, Chiddick is also a farmer, photographer, creative director, visual producer, and activist. Known for her chill, soulful delivery, gregarious personality, and malleable career path, Blossom has put out a couple of super solid albums in recent years: her excellent 2017 debut LP Tease, and its 2019 follow-up Maybe." We also interviewed Blossom for our new "Tell Us Something Good" artist series, where we ask local celebrities about how they've been staying entertained during quarantine.

READINGS & TALKS

Gabrielle Glaser in Conversation With Anna Griffin
Grounding itself in the pre-Roe v. Wade 1960s, Gabrielle Glaser's American Baby lays out how an exploitative industry removed children from their birth mothers and placed them with other families, fabricating stories about the infants' origins. Join the author for a deep-dive talk with Oregon Public Broadcasting's Anna Griffin and Powell's. 

Madeline Miller
Literary Arts presents this evening of discussion with the bestselling author of The Song of Achilles and Circe.

See Also: Multi-day events


FRIDAY

PERFORMANCE

Allies & Accomplices
Watch a series of performances that explore social justice and intersectionality, then stay on for an online chat with Echo Theatre artists. 

See Also: Multi-day events


SUNDAY

COMMUNITY

Mochitsuki 2021 – Live 25th Anniversary
Cap off the 25th edition of this monthlong Japanese New Year celebration with a grand finale on YouTube emceed by Alton Takiyama-Chung. There will be a panel with performer Elena Moon Park, spoken-word artist Sachi Kaneko, violinist Joe Kye, and visual artist/activist Ameya Okamoto. 

See Also: Multi-day events


MULTI-DAY

FILM

2021 HUMP! Film Festival
Every year, The Mercury puts out the call to sex-havers everywhere to submit a homegrown amateur porn film depicting whatever they're into (barring poop, kids, and animals, of course). The result is an incredibly diverse representation of human sexuality in all its straight, gay, trans, queer, kinky, funny, pissy, painful, and pretty forms. Let's see what wild spins people put on their submissions that were created during the lockdown, shall we?
(Saturday–Sunday)

2021 Sundance Film Festival
For the first time since it began in 1978, the Sundance Film Festival will partner with Seattle's Northwest Film Forum. The seven days of programming will be available digitally due to COVID scuttling any in-person festival plans. The shift to an online festival will bring 70 plus features, 50 short films, and various Q&As right into audiences' homes. The festival will offer live showings of films that can also be viewed anytime within a three-hour window and for a second time two days after the premiere. Sure to be one of the more talked-about films is Passing. The directorial debut from longtime actor Rebecca Hall, it stars Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga in a thriller about two women living in 1920s New York City where one "passes" as white while the other does not. It is based on the 1929 novel of the same name by the late author Nella Larsen. What may be the film that caught my attention the most is On the Count of Three. It stars Jerrod Carmichael, more known for his incisive stand-up comedy, in what is also his directorial debut. Carmichael is Val, a depressed man who forms a suicide pact with his best friend Kevin, played by actor Christopher Abbott who looks starkly different from his most recent Possessor performance. Always a utopia for great documentaries, one selection to watch for this year is in many ways about just that: making a better world. Rebel Hearts follows a group of nuns who started the Immaculate Heart College to ensure women could access degrees previously out of reach. CHASE HUTCHINSON
(Thursday–Sunday)

MUSIC

Alisa Weilerstein & Inon Barnatan: The Singing Cello
Deemed "technically flawless and deeply expressive" by the New York Times, cellist Alisa Weilerstein will join pianist Inon Barnatan for a Chamber Music Northwest program featuring Manuel De Falla’s Spanish folk-inspired Suite Populaire Espagnole and Rachmaninoff’s dramatic Cello Sonata.
(Saturday–Sunday)

Music Feeds Charity Festival
More than 40 big-name artists (including Liam Gallagher, Sam Smith, Blossoms, and Fontaines DC) will pitch in their time at food poverty relief fund FareShare's online fundraiser. 
(Thursday–Friday)

READINGS & TALKS

One Book, One Beaverton: Just Mercy
Selected as one of 2014's 10 best nonfiction books by TIME, Bryan Stevenson's memoir Just Mercy: a Story of Justice and Redemption (which was later adapted into a film starring Michael B. Jordan) follows the civil rights lawyer's Alabama case defending Walter McMillian, a Black man wrongfully convicted of murder. For this year's edition of One Book, One Beaverton, everyone in town is encouraged to read the book. This week in particular, there's also a closing keynote conversation on Saturday with Oregon Justice Resource Center Executive Director Bobbin Singh, who will discuss the themes of the book, as well as a conversation on white allyship on Wednesday evening.
(Wednesday & Saturday)

PERFORMANCE

The Creepy Campfire Society
If your interests align with Are You Afraid of the Dark, MTV, Weird Al Yankovic, and the supernatural, don't miss out on this night of storytelling about myths and urban legends.
(Saturday–Sunday)

Fertile Ground Festival
"Fertile Ground is delightfully uncurated, which means it can be insane. More importantly, it’s one of Portland’s most accessible and affordable arts festivals," wrote Megan Burbank last year. This year's online program promises 11 days of world premieres from dozens of Portland artists streaming on Facebook and YouTube. 
(Thursday–Sunday)

Hot Docs Podcast Festival
All of your favorite podcasts in one place: Tune in to this globally streaming Canadian festival for events with Radiolab, Nice White Parents, 99% Invisible, Pod Save America, Roxane Gay, and more.
(Wednesday–Friday)