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February 28, 2020

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Just a quick note to let you all know I am alive and kicking. As much as I love communicating with you and letting you know what we're doing at the Clinton, I am taking a hiatus from writing my newsletters because I need a mental health break. 

Why? Day after day after day, our government evolves into a perverted parody of itself. The world I thought I knew unravels into a pool of useless fibers at my feet. Though, perhaps, dismemberment might be a better term to describe what is happening. We--as a community, a nation, a species--are being torn apart, ripped asunder. Instead of viewing each other with compassion, empathy and kindness, injustice and cruelty are the norms of the day. As a white person with tons of privilege, I know that I, myself, am not threatened, but I no longer feel sane and safe. In fact, the needless suffering here and around the world is vast and ever growing, and I feel small and powerless.

Although I don't believe in "God," my many long years of Sunday School and Sword Drills can often bring words of comfort to mind. (Don't know what a Sword Drill is? Look it up: Today I thought of a passage from 1 Corinthians, Chapter 12 about us all being members of one body: "The eye can never say to the hand, 'I don’t need you.' The head can’t say to the feet, 'I don’t need you.' In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary...(understanding this) makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other."

Poetry helps, too.


Pushing Through

-- Ranier Maria Rilke
It’s possible I am pushing through solid rock
in flintlike layers, as the ore lies, alone;
I am such a long way in I see no way through,
and no space: everything is close to my face,
and everything close to my face is stone.

I don’t have much knowledge yet in grief—
so this massive darkness makes me small.
You be the master: make yourself fierce, break in:
then your great transforming will happen to me,
and my great grief cry will happen to you.

This is where I am now--pushing through solid rock, stuck and trapped without a clear way out. It is a dark and terrible place to be, yet reading this poem brings me hope. For me, "master" is not a god that I reach for in the pitch black night, it is the light created when we come together in community, intent on making this world a better place. In the midst of despair and heartache, grace persists. Together we can choose to give ourselves up to the painful work of the "great transforming," and may it continue within our own hearts and minds, and carry forward beyond the borders of our own unique selves.

Thanks for bearing with me while I heal. I soon hope to be back ranting about the ills of the world and discussing some concrete steps that we can take to make a difference.



Friday, Feb 28 @ 7:00pm
Tickets $5

Hidden Colors 5: The Art of Black Warfare
Presented by Melanated Sisterhood PDX 
Saturday, Feb 29 @ 2:00pm
FREE!! Donations accepted to be shared by the CST and Melanated Sisterhood

BowWow Film Festival
Saturday, Feb 29 @ 7:00pm
Tickets: $15 at the door

Interstitium: Stories of Illness, Wellness, & Beyond
Presented by Northwest Narrative Medicine Collaborative 
Monday, Mar 2 @ 7:00pm
Tickets: $10; free at door with valid student ID

Presented by Church of Film
Wednesday, Mar 4 @ 8:00pm
Tickets: $5-8 suggested donation; no one turned away for lack of funds

Presented by KBOO Community Radio
Thursday, Mar 5 @ 7:00pm
Tickets: $5-15 suggested donation; no one turned away for lack of funds




HELP!! HELP!!! The Clinton Street Resistance Series is taking a break because we need to find more sponsors and gifters of raffle-prizes in order to continue. We also need a few good volunteers. If you're interested in how you can help, email

Mark your calendars for THIS YEAR'S EVENT on Sunday, March 1, 2020! Portland is marching! It is a permitted, family-friendly, intersectional event welcoming womxn and their allies. Rally at Noon, March at 1:00. ADA accessible. Rally location is PSU / South Park Blocks in downtown Portland. Remember, rise!

SafeOregon provides a reliable, anonymous method to report unsafe situations. Funded by the Oregon Legislature as part of a statewide effort to improve safety, SafeOregon offers a way to report concerns such as threats of violence, fights, drugs and alcohol, weapons, bullying, harassment, intimidation and self-harm. Find out MORE.

I have a new staff person focused on our social media, so look for us on instagram: cst_pdx. Every day, we'll be posting what's happening. We're also posting up a weekly calendar, if you need to plan ahead, and of course, I will still keep the website and Facebook page up to date.

If you're interested in buying a copy of my book, you can pick one up at the theater for $15. If you aren't in the Portland area, you can order one from Powell's Online Book StoreAmazon or Barnes & Noble. Not sure if you want a copy? You can read an excerpt in Hip Mama Magazine.


The keyword here is BLACKWHITE. Like so many Newspeak words, this word has two mutually contradictory meanings. Applied to an opponent, it means the habit of impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts. Applied to a Party member, it means a loyal willingness to say that black is white when Party discipline demands this. But it means also the ability to BELIEVE that black is white, and more, to KNOW that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary.
— George Orwell

Don't be a stranger. Come see us soon.

Kind regards,

Lani Jo

Every Saturday night since April 1978, the historic Clinton Street Theater has played host to The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

On the first, third and fifth Saturdays of the month, members of our very own shadowcast, the Clinton Street Cabaret, perform live while the movie plays on the screen behind them. On the second and fourth Saturdays of each month, the Rocky Horror Picture Show is "Be It Yourself," turning the attention on YOU the audience. You bring the costumes! You bring the dance numbers! You bring the fun!

So unpack that French Maid's dress from that box behind the kids' old toys and dust off your tap shoes. Bring your rice, the toast, and some friends and come on down to the longest running RHPS in the WORLD! No matter when you decide to come, whether you are are a virgin or a veteran you'll delight in this cinematic right of passage and cherished Portland tradition.

Doors open at 11:30pm
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Clinton Street Theater · 2522 SE Clinton Street · Portland, OR 97202 · USA