A five-part epic theatrical event adapted from Mellon Playwright-in-Residence and Steinberg Award winning playwright, E.M. Lewis’ epic play Magellanica that Artists Rep premiered in 2018.
Pictured Vin Shambry and Allen Nause.
ART’s work is world-class.
As Portland’s oldest professional theatre, Artists Rep’s work is of local and national significance, with a legacy of producing acclaimed regional and world premieres. Recent examples include: E.M. Lewis’ Magellanica, a five-part epic theatrical event, which was covered by The New Yorker and centers around a community of climate scientists wintering in Antarctica. During the COVID pandemic, ART adapted this 2018 world premiere into a four-hour narrative podcast featuring the original cast and a cinematic soundscape; The Thanksgiving Play by 2020 MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Larissa FastHorse, a comedy that was commissioned and premiered at ART before being produced Off-Broadway, and becoming one of the most produced plays in the country; and Wolf Play by Hansol Jung, another work commissioned and produced by ART that became a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere before its Off-Broadway premiere in 2020.
There is significant impact beyond ART.
We are creating a modern multi-use performing arts center with two theatres, four rehearsal halls, and collaborative workspaces. Through the creation of the innovative ArtsHub Program, ART has risen to meet the challenge of Portland’s lack of affordable performance and rehearsal space by providing programs and services that help smaller arts and community organizations survive and thrive. In 2019, almost 50 nonprofits (11 of which are resident companies) produced more than 1,000 events in our spaces. This is a pioneering national model for collaboration and will be part of the post-pandemic reawakening of downtown Portland.
ART is committed to becoming an anti-racist theatre.
Clearly, Portland and our nation are confronted by the long overdue response to racial inequity. The arts will be part of the transformation needed to heal our community and ART will be a catalyst. Dámaso Rodríguez was the first Latinx artistic director of a professional/LORT (League of Resident Theatres) in the US. He prioritized plays by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), women, and LGBTQIA+ playwrights. In 2020, in response to a proposal by nine Black artists who had a history collaborating at ART, the company founded DNA: Oxygen (named in honor of the many Black people whose final words were “I can’t breathe”). This newly established initiative has inspired three years of funding restricted to the development and production of new work generated by, led by, and featuring BIPOC artists, as well as the creation of a formal mentorship program. ART currently has 16 DNA: Oxygen artistic projects underway for development or release to the public. For a further example of ART’s commitment to self-examination and action toward building an anti-racist, equitable home for artists, read the inaugural issue of ART Quarterly. The 72-page digital magazine is entirely devoted to BIPOC artists and features several writers sharing their experiences working in white spaces. In addition to artistic initiatives, ART’s administrative policies and board bylaws are being evaluated and revised to foster a multi-racial, anti-biased, anti-racist ART.
Your investment will be leveraged.
The project is a bargain at $32 million (land and construction). We have approximately 65% of funds in hand. A $7.1 million gift in 2018 completed the purchase of our downtown block catalyzing the sale of a portion of our property in 2019. The $9 million received in the sale is the lead investment for the reimagining of the remaining building with a phased construction plan. Phase 1 is complete – $4.2 million has been invested in moving the utilities, making initial seismic upgrades, demolition, and abatement of hazardous materials. The building is now a clean slate.
The time is NOW … we are ready to begin Phase 2 construction to complete the core and shell.
The Phase 2 investment is $8.2 million. ART has $5.8 million in hand – $2.4 million is needed to fully fund and begin construction on Phase 2. Phase 3 will complete the interior of the building and is estimated at $10 million. ART has $6 million identified towards Phase 3.