Fill your time with wonder, please!

Note: for a full PDF version of our end of the year news, click HERE.

“I consider valuable and timeless as ‘worth spending time in the present with,’ as time is our one truly finite resource; art does not necessarily exist to entertain us, it should fill our time with wonder. “

Dear friends of PWNW|Linda Austin Dance,

Recently reading an essay by Dave Allen (Gang of Four, Pampelmoose, Fight Digital Strategy), I was struck by the passage above (part of Allen’s exhortation to musicians to “Please be brilliant or get out of the way!”).  To me, his language embodies an open-ended approach to experiencing art that makes room for both seriousness and pleasure, offers a way to rethink the timely and the timeless, and also provokes us to consider how we use the finite and precious resource of time.

One of our themes for 2009 here at Performance Works NorthWest was opening ourselves up as a space and a performance generator to a wider group of artists and audience. We wanted more avenues to “fill our time with wonder.” Thus, the retooled Alembic Series:  guest artists program events whose tactics have included installation, dance, performance, video, live and recorded music, an international live internet feed, autobiographical stories, and audience participation, Artists have been from Portland, Seattle and New York.

Producing this series, into which the artists pour their hearts and PWNW’s all-volunteer staff work like mad, has required a leap of faith on our part¾we believe that we will find the support from our community to ensure that the modest artist stipends will be paid.  Small grants from PGE and from the Multnomah County Cultural Coalition have helped. But most of the funds needed to finish the current 10-part series (5 more to go!) come from our stakeholders in the form of ticket sales and donations. Please dig as deep as you can to support this and all our efforts to fill your time with experiences you can’t get elsewhere. Also, the most pleasurable way to support the series is to come to the shows—including our Jan. 9 fundraiser, “Distilled.”

Other ways in which my 2009 was filled with wonder—and hard work!

  • Creating and performing Bandage a Knife, a collaboration with artist/composer Seth Nehil plus dancers Anne Furfey, Bonnie Green, Rebecca Harrison, Kaj-anne Pepper, and Lucy Yim.
  • Collaborating with NY-based artist Caroline Woolard for a residency at Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center on Long Island,
  • Performing in a piece by artist Brody Condon in the TBA Festival in Portland and at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC for Performa 09
  • Performing a work-in-progress at the New Dance Alliance Performance Mix Festival in New York, with dancers Kaj-anne Pepper and Stephanie Lanckton
  • Working with Ean Eldred and Richard Garfield of rhiza A+D, in a pre-planning process funded by the Portland Development Commission, to come up with a dream for the future! Stay tuned for further developments.

Speaking of the past—and the future—2010 is PWNW’s 10th Anniversary Year! We formed our organization in 1999, moved into our space in June 2000 and have been rocking your world ever since. To honor us in our anniversary year why not add $10, $100 or even $1000 to your previous years’ already generous gift? If you haven’t given in the past, 2010 seems a good year to start.

Donate online at



or simply send us a check: PWNW  4625 SE 67th  Portland, OR  97206

Don’t forget to make a matching gift to the Oregon Cultural Trust for your Oregon Tax credit!

Finally, a huge Thank You for your past and future support in all its manifold forms. May we all in 2010 make the most wondrous use of our time.

Rebecca & Lucy in Bandage a Knife

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