Dmae continues coverage of Portland arts groups who are creatively pivoting during the pandemic. First she talks with  45th Parallel Universe about their Friday night virtual concerts called the Portland Social Distance Ensemble.  She talks with executive director Ron Blessinger and tech volunteer Danny Rosenberg who created a sound app to make it work.

Then Dmae features an excerpt of a film by World Stage Theatre founded and run by Shalanda Sims. She also directed the film titled “Growing Up Black in Oregon: A Conversation.” We’ll hear four Black youth describe in personal detail about their experiences.

(Aired 10am  6/2/2020 on KBOO 90.7 FM or always on and iTunes.)

More about 45th Parallel Universe: Founded by Greg Ewer, a violinist of insatiable curiosity, 45th Parallel is a collective of musicians who come together to celebrate great chamber music with intimate artistic experiences.  Teaching the next generation of musicians is also critical to the group’s mission. An experiment to give music lessons to students who couldn’t afford them has blossomed into an urban success story, fostering confidence, community and an appreciation of beauty from both teachers and students.

More about Ron Blessinger: For seventeen years, Ron was artistic director for Third Angle New Music, producing 12 critically acclaimed recordings, creating a commissioning fund and recording label, and producing residencies with leading composers, including Pulitzer Prize and Grammy winners Steve Reich, Jennifer Higdon, David Lang, Julia Wolfe and Zhou Long, among many others.

Hear Portland Social Distance Ensemble on Facebook at:

Or YouTube at:


Growing Up Black in Oregon: A Conversation” was written and directed by Shalanda Sims, artistic director and founder of World Stage Theatre. Edited by Syhairah Sims. Audio production by Zaysims.

Featured voices in the excerpted audio are: Nya Brown, Zahira Desphy, Livellah Johnson, Lyric Lowe, Isaiah Sims and Jayshawn Young.

World Stage Theatre, a multidisciplinary arts organization, created a film and a conversation with local youth and young adults on their experience growing up Black in Oregon. They explore the joys of being human as well as the trauma of being judged by the color of their skin. This film and conversation debuted on the Virtual Vanport Mosaic Festival.  This film is part of an on-going conversation so stay tuned!

See the entire film: “Growing Up Black in Oregon: A Conversation.”  on YouTube at:

Or see the entire film and the public conversation  led by Shalanda Sims on World Stage Theatre’s Facebook page.