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April Newsletter
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May Day Benefit for Oregon Folklife Network Brings
Fisher Poets to Eugene
 
Oregon Folklife Network presents an interactive arts workshop followed by an evening of entertainment with Fisher Poets, Jon Broderick and Jay Speakman, at Cozmic Pizza on Thursday, May 1, at 4 and 7pm.
 
Come learn more about one of Oregon’s unique occupations on May 1, and celebrate May Day – a traditional labor holiday! A 4pm workshop on poetry writing and recitation is appropriate for both young and adult writers of all experience levels.  The 7pm performance brings the poetry to life with readings, music, jokes, and spoken word.
 
Fisher Poetry is part of Oregon’s cultural and occupational folklife. An art form unique to commercial fishermen (and women - who incidentally prefer the same name), Fisher Poets express and share their exciting, dangerous, and sublime experiences on the sea through poems and songs.
Broderick and Speakman, organizers of the annual FisherPoets Gathering in Astoria each year, recite and sing about the dangers of their work, the beauty of a livelihood embedded in nature, and the values they share by growing up amidst small family businesses.  While enjoying their lyrical stories, you’ll learn about their unique skills and laugh at the humor they bring to bizarre challenges that come with enduring impossibly long hours, like sleeping in full rubber attire.

Tickets for each event will be available at the door for sliding scale fee ($3-$20), and will help sustain folklife programming in our state. 

Save the Dates:

Thursday, May 1st at Cozmic Pizza:
Music and Poetry Performance: 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Writing Workshop: 4:00 - 5:30 pm

Friday, May 2nd at the U. of O. Longhouse:
Performances, conversations, and oral history of the FisherPoets Gathering: 12:00 - 2:00 pm
University of Oregon and OFN Mourn the Loss of Coquille Anthropologist, Storyteller, Counselor, and Friend,
George Wasson

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends, students and mentees of George Wasson. More on his life and work:

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/registerguard/obituary.aspx?n=george-bundy-wasson&pid=170305600
Japan Nite Obon Festival in Ontario, Oregon

by Douglas Manger, contracted folklorist

More results from our ongoing Survey of Oregon's Southern counties!

Ontario, Oregon has an unusually high concentration of Japanese-Americans. During WWII, some of the Japanese and Japanese Americans placed in the internment camps were released to work the agricultural harvests. That’s how many came to the Ontario area. Key Ontario leaders welcomed them, and many elected to stay. 
 
Ontario is home to the Idaho-Oregon Buddhist Temple, at one time the second largest Buddhist temple in the Northwest. On June 29th of 2013, the temple held its 67th annual Japan Nite Obon Festival, a celebration of culture, sharing, and understanding. The event features traditional Japanese food, (Obari) folk dance, music, and dress. Madame Kanriye Fujima, now retired, taught traditional Japanese art forms in Ontario for many years. She has been an integral part of the Obon Festival since its beginnings. Sangha Taiko, a Japanese American drum ensemble sponsored by the temple, performs each year at the festival. Resident minister Reverend Joshin Dennis Fujimoto and Michelle Sadamori are lead members of the group. Janet Komoto heads Kawa Taiko, Ontario’s other Japanese drum ensemble. Komoto is of Chinese descent. She has been active with the Kawa Taiko group for over a decade.
Kawa Taiko
"Conversations with Funders" Set to Continue April 9-16
 
The Oregon Cultural Trust and its partners the Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Heritage and Oregon Humanities will continue “Conversations with Funders: Arts, Heritage and Humanities” from noon - 2 p.m., April 9, at the Des Chutes Historical Museum, 129 NW Idaho, Bend.
 
Conversations sessions will provide information about grants, resources and services that could be of value to your organization. The sessions encourage sharing ideas, needs and initiatives and provide the opportunity to connect with other cultural organizations and efforts in your area.
 
Additional Conversations sessions will take place throughout the state through April 16. Sites include:
  • Harney County Community Center, 484 N. Broadway, Burns (9 – 11 a.m., April 10)
  • The Dalles Civic Auditorium Fireside Room, 323 E. Fourth St. The Dalles (10 a.m. – noon, April 15)
  • Historic Downtown City Hall, 20 S. Bonanza St., Echo (3 – 5 p.m., April 15)
  • F. Maxine and Thomas W. Cook Memorial Library Community Room, 2006 4th St., La Grande (11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., April 16).
 
For further information, and to register, visit the Conversation with Funders page on the Oregon Cultural Trust's web site.
OFN Staff Out and About
 
Check here to see where OFN staff will be each month. If we will be in or near your town, contact us. We would be delighted to meet you.
 
Riki Saltzman:
  • 4/3-4/6: Bowling Green, KY, Western Kentucky University. Public Folklore Programs at Universities Symposium
  • 4/23-4/25: Albany, Oregon. The Oregon Heritage Conference
  • 4/28: Portland, Oregon. Meetings with Oregon Historical Society and Chinese Garden staff
Emily Afanador:
  • 4/10-4/12: Logan, Utah. The Association of Western States Folklorists annual conference
  • 4/23-4/25: Albany, Oregon. The Oregon Heritage Conference
Bruno Seraphin:
  • 4/10-4/12: Logan, Utah. Bruno will present a paper on Appalachian clog dancing at the Western States Folklore Society conference.
Folklife Project Receives the Oregon Heritage Excellence Award

Oregon Heritage Commission has bestowed an Oregon Heritage Excellence Award to a collaborative project between Oregon Folklife Network (OFN), Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs (CTWS), and University of Oregon Libraries (UO). 

The CTWS Culture & Heritage Language Department initiated the audio preservation project by asking James Fox, Head of UO Libraries Special Collection and University Archives, for assistance in preserving and improving access to its audio archives. With funding from an Oregon Heritage Commission grant, CTWS Culture and Heritage Language Dept. director, Valerie Switzler and archivist Dallas Winishut prioritized the open reel sound recordings materials as most in danger of degradation, and also most valuable to the tribe’s current cultural programming. UO Librarian Nathan Georgitis chose and installed the equipment needed for the preservation workstation, and trained Switzler, Winishut, and tribal volunteer Greg Arquette in best practices for sound preservation. OFN program manager, Emily West Afanador, performed video documentation of the project with interviews provided by both Switzler and Winishut, for a forthcoming documentary short to educate the broader Oregon public about the importance of preserving cultural sound recordings, and the challenges and rewards of partnerships.
 
The Oregon Heritage Excellence Awards recognize individuals, organizations, and projects for outstanding efforts in heritage preservation. The award honors those that make the most of available resources and develop innovative approaches. The collaborators will receive this honor during the Oregon Heritage Conference, April 23-25, in Albany, Oregon.
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