Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tip of the Hat and City Hall

The choir has been having some very exciting performances recently.

The first was at Sojourner Learning Community in Milwaukie, where we were helped out by awesome, poetry-memorizing students and even singers! We even received the NEA's Read Across America Certificate for Seussational Achievement!
I wish we had a video of this because it was also "dress like a rockstar" day so the outfits were amazing.

The second was our part of the City's State of the Art address in front of the Mayor and the city council on March 17. Together with folks from RACC and CAN, Kim Stafford, a really great teacher from Rigler Elementary and the dancer Kiera Brinkley.

Performances in Council - March 17 from Mayor Sam Adams on Vimeo.

Also, here's the poem Kim wrote for the day and read:

City of Art & Culture

for the Portland City Council, 17 March 2010

Beside the OMSI submarine, docked for good, the beaver
whittles a willow stick, while at Brooklyn School, a girl shapes
her poem, gnawing the pencil to think the words just right.

On Ross Island, the heron shouts a guttural cry
while outside City Hall, with his mandolin, Alonzo,
fingers cold, brimming with song, plucks his life tune for tips.

Mother coyote hops on the Red Line, sits tall, gazes far, leaps off
at the next stop, while a dancer at Jefferson seeks in his bones
the coyote gesture that turns pain to grace.

In the way water moves along the restless hem of Johnson Creek,
the painter finds a line thattransforms confusion into a map
of the possible. Without the poet's right word, the musician's

aching song, the dancer's feral reach, the painter's sure line, we lose
resilience at the downturn, we lack verve at the decision point,
we falter when our children beg for joy in spite of all.

It is for these reasons, friends-the way the creative heart
and mind can find a dancer's path through tough times-
that we are practical about our work in the City of Art.

- Kim Stafford

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