As long as 2016 seemed hellbent on opening its great maw and taking so many beloved creatives——from David Bowie to Lois Duncan, from Prince to Edward Albee——we figured we might as well go ahead and feed it our 501c3 nonprofit organization, New Oregon Arts and Letters. After months of deliberation, we’ve decided to close our doors.
Originally conceived as 2 Gyrlz Performative Arts in 2002, we’ve been honored to present underground arts festivals, beautiful magazines, public conversations, multidisciplinary extravaganzas, and tiny acts of performance weirdness alike. We hope to archive documentation of these events at neworegon.org in the next year. Of special concern is the photography of our friend and Vice Chair of our Board, Steven Fritz, who was killed in a terrible accident. We are so grateful for his support and friendship over the years, and that of his wife, Amanda Fritz.
The Portland community has shown us beautiful support, too, which made this choice really tough. But our small inner core of unpaid artist-organizers could no longer devote the time and energy required to make even a small organization truly sing. Why? Oh, the usual. Death. Parenting. Freak accidents. Bizarre illnesses. Moving to new towns and states. And let’s not forget good old-fashioned burnout.
PLAZM magazine is our last active program; we’re working hard on a new issue featuring creative scene reports from South Africa, Chile, Iran, China, and, closer to home, Native American/indigenous communities. Plazm #31 will be published under the rubric of another nonprofit; I will be staying on as an editor of the magazine.
New Oregon’s remaining Board members——chair Clare Carpenter, Allison Dubinsky, and myself——are sending small donations to some lovely organizations on our way out. We encourage you to look into their work, and to support whoever makes your clock tick and your boat float. Cut a check, make a phone call, get out there and let 'em know you care. In these frightening times, we need art, literature, and culture more desperately than ever.
hugs & quiches,
Tiffany Lee Brown
This page: Photographs by Steven Fritz