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2015 Think & Drink Series

Tickets for all four Portland events available now.

Barry LopezTickets are now available for Oregon Humanities’ 2015 Think & Drink series at Portland’s Alberta Rose Theatre. This year’s guests include Barry Lopez, Walidah Imarisha, and Eula Biss. General admission tickets are $10 each or $35 for all four events, and are available online at albertarosetheatre.com. Preferred seating tickets, which include guaranteed seats in the first five rows and admission to pre-show receptions, are also available, for $25 per event or $100 for all four.

Think & Drink is a happy-hour series that sparks provocative conversations about big ideas. Think & Drink events take place from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta St. in Portland. Doors open at 6:00 p.m., and minors are welcome when accompanied by a parent or guardian. The 2015 Think & Drink series will feature the following guests:

  • February 5: Barry Lopez, author, essayist and fiction-writer. Lopez is the author of Arctic Dreams, for which he received the National Book Award, Of Wolves and Men, a National Book Award finalist, and eight works of fiction, including Light Action in the Caribbean, Field Notes, and Resistance. His most recent books are Home Ground: Language for an American Landscape, a reader’s dictionary of regional landscape terms, which he edited with Debra Gwartney, and Outside, a collection of six stories with engravings by Barry Moser. He lives on the McKenzie River near Finn Rock, Oregon.

  • May 21: Walidah Imarisha, educator, writer, organizer, and spoken word artist. For the past five years, Imarisha has led Oregon Humanities Conversation Project programs on Oregon black history, alternatives to incarceration, and the history of hip hop. She has taught in Portland State University’s black studies department, Oregon State University’s women’s studies department, and Southern New Hampshire University’s English department, and is the author of the poetry collection Scars/Stars and the forthcoming book Angels with Dirty Faces, which focuses on criminal justice. She is also coeditor with adrienne maree brown of the forthcoming Octavia’s Brood, an anthology of radical science & speculative fiction written by organizers & activists. She lives in Portland.

  • July 30: Eula Biss, author of On Immunity: An Inoculation, a book that explores cultural myths about immunity, vaccination, filth, and purity. Her other books are Notes from No Man’s Land: American Essays and The Balloonists, a collection of poems. Her essays have recently appeared in The Best American Nonrequired Reading and the Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Nonfiction as well as in The Believer, Gulf Coast, Denver Quarterly, Third Coast, and Harper’s. She lives in Chicago.

  • September 24: Guest to be announced.

Photo of Barry Lopez by David Liittschwager

On Coming Home: A Discussion Program for Portland-Area Veterans

Veterans of all eras living in the Portland area are invited to register for a free weekly reading and discussion program at the Portland Veterans Center January 10 through February 7, 2015. This is an opportunity to reflect on military service in a veteran-centered setting, connect with other veterans, and talk about the challenges and opportunities of transitioning from active duty to civilian life.

A small group (fifteen people or fewer) will meet once a week for five weeks. Lunch will be provided at each session. We will discuss articles, stories of military service throughout history, and popular films. The discussions will be led by a trained facilitator who is also a veteran. Space is limited and spots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. To register, complete the form available at the Vet Center or contact Ryan McNabb at (503) 688-5361.

The program will take place Saturdays, January 10 through February 7, 2015, from noon to 2:00 p.m. at Portland Veterans Center, 1505 NE 122nd Ave., Portland, 97230.

To learn more about the program, contact Jennifer Allen, Oregon Humanities director of programs, at (800) 735-0543, ext. 118, or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

This program is offered by Oregon Humanities in partnership with the Maine Humanities Council and eleven other state humanities councils across the country. The program has received major support from the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Standing Together initiative, created to promote understanding of the military experience and to support returning veterans.

Oregon Humanities is actively seeking experienced facilitators, preferably veterans, to lead future programs for veterans and their families around Oregon. Please see our job openings page to learn more.

Stream Our Think & Drink with Cheryl Strayed

On October 23, 2014, author Cheryl Strayed joined Adam Davis, executive director of Oregon Humanities, at the Alberta Rose Theatre in Portland for a conversation about the experience of having her private life become public through a best-selling book and major motion picture. Click here to watch a video of the event.

Cheryl Strayed is the author of the memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, the novel Torch, and the essay collection Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar. Wild has stayed on The New York Times Best Seller List for more than a year, and a film adaptation starring Reese Witherspoon will be released in December. Strayed will discuss the experience of having her private life become public through a best-selling book and major motion picture.

The 2014 Think & Drink series is supported by our media sponsors, Oregon Public Broadcasting and Willamette Week, and funding from Columbia Bank and the Oregon Cultural Trust: Oregonians investing in Oregon’s arts, heritage, and humanities.

2015 Public Program Grant Guidelines Available

Letters of interest postmark deadline October 31, 2014

In 2014, Oregon Humanities Public Program Grants funded programs that examined the effects of tribal termination, investigated the history of the Oregon railways, and explored the experience of black tradeswomen, among others.

Grantees include libraries, community colleges, historical societies, civic groups, and other nonprofits working not only in humanities fields like history, philosophy, or literature, but also in the areas of the arts, public policy, and natural resources. While the formats and topics of the public programs we fund may vary, all share a goal of connecting Oregonians to ideas and providing them with opportunities to learn about and discuss historical, cultural, and political issues.

Oregon Humanities is pleased to announce the guidelines for 2015 Public Program Grants. Oregon Humanities’ vision is of an Oregon that invites diverse perspectives, explores challenging questions, and strives for just communities. We fund public programs that help us move toward our vision.

Once a year, Oregon Humanities’ volunteer board of directors awards Public Program Grants between $1,000 and $10,000 to nonprofit organizations across Oregon’s thirty-six counties to support programs that make use of the humanities as tools that help us make meaning in our world, connect us to each other, and strive for just communities. We are particularly interested in public programs that bring together diverse groups of Oregonians and reflect collaboration between organizations within a community, including public/private partnerships.

Programs must begin after April 1, 2015. Letters of Interest must be submitted by October 31, 2014. Sample successful proposals are available for download below.

Please download and review Oregon Humanities Grants Guidelines for more information. To apply, please complete our online letter of interest form.

Oregon Humanities presented a webinar on writing strong letters of interest for Public Program Grants October 2. Click here to view a recording of the webinar.

If you have questions, please contact Director of Programs Jennifer Allen at (503) 241-0543 or (800) 735-0543, ext. 118, or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Ways to Work with Oregon Humanities

In addition to our program offerings, Oregon Humanities offers other resources and customizable program formats for organizations looking to explore challenging questions and foster connections between people in their organization or community. 

Here are some of the ways we can work together. If you want to learn more, fill out the form below and we’ll get in touch with you.

Workplace Programs
Our staff leads workplace programs on a fee-for-service basis. Designed both for nonprofit and for-profit environments, these programs often happen during the work day and can involve full organizations or smaller teams. They can be continuing education opportunities or help with team building by sparking new ways of thinking and working together.

Facilitation Training
Our staff has many years of experience training people to plan, convene, and lead a wide range of public discussion programs, and can help your organization, educational institution, or community develop skills in these areas.

Communications Partnerships
We work with organizations whose programming supports our mission and connects us to new audiences. We offer these communications partnerships, which include marketing, outreach, and public relations support, to organizations that do not have a pending or current Public Program Grant from Oregon Humanities.

Collaborative Programs
We offer public programs in collaboration with partner organizations in order to explore new topics and serve new and shared audiences. For these programs, each partner organization contributes specific planning and marketing resources.

Facilitated Roundtable Discussions
Our staff leads roundtable discussions primarily on a fee-for-service basis and on a variety of topics for public audiences or specific groups. We are happy to design customized single programs or series based on your interests and community.

If any of these options are of interest to you, please take a couple of minutes to complete our online inquiry form.


Oregon Humanities connects Oregonians with ideas that change lives and transform communities. Oregon Humanities programs, events, grants, and publications encourage Oregonians to learn about and discuss social, cultural, and public issues.

    Conversation Project offers Oregon nonprofits free programs that engage community members in thoughtful, challenging conversations about ideas critical to our daily lives and our state’s future.
    Humanity in Perspective (HIP) is a college-level humanities course offered in Portland. HIP provides economically and educationally disadvantaged individuals the opportunity to study the humanities with the guidance of Reed College professors.
    Idea Lab is a summer institute for Oregon teens and teachers who use the humanities to consider the pursuit of happiness and how it shapes our culture.

    Oregon Humanities magazine is a triannual publication devoted to exploring important and timely topics from a variety of perspectives and to stimulating reflection and public conversation.
    Public Program Grants provide financial support for nonprofit organizations across Oregon to conceive and implement public humanities programs.

    Think & Drink is a happy-hour conversation series that brings Portlanders together to discuss provocative ideas.

Oregon Humanities also convenes reading and discussion groups, hosts panel presentations on topics of public relevance and concern, and partners with community organizations on special projects.