Oregon Cultural Nights Offer Heritage and Summertime Entertainment

A series of summer nighttime events at the Museum of Natural and Cultural History showcases Oregon’s rich diversity of artists and cultural practices.

Oregon Cultural Nights are held Thursday nights at 6 p.m. outside in the museum courtyard and are free to those with valid UO ID. Participants are encouraged to bring a picnic to enjoy the shows and heritage demonstrations.

First launched as a safer program during the COVID 19 pandemic in 2021, Oregon Culture Nights features the work of master artists from the Traditional Arts and Learning Program, an initiative of the museum’s Oregon Folklife Network .

“The Traditional Arts Learning Program helps maintain cultural practices, ensuring that these traditions are passed down from generation to generation,” said Emily West Hartlerode, associate director of the Oregon Folklife Network. “Each of these culture keepers demonstrates artistic excellence and an in-depth knowledge of the historical context of these traditions. They know what stays consistent and what innovations have changed their traditions over the centuries.

August 11: The poetry of hip-hop with Mic Crenshaw

Mic Crenshaw is a world-class emcee and former member of the Portland-based band Hungry Mob; a 2001 Portland Poetry Slam Champion and National Finalist; and one of the North West’s most respected hip-hop artists. His albums topped the college radio hip-hop charts and he played with bands such as the Fugees, Outkast and Wu-Tang Clan.

August 18: Rajasthani and Hindu music with Nisha Joshi

Nisha Joshi is a master artist in Rajasthani and Hindustani folk music traditions. In India, she regularly performs both styles on Delhi radio and television. Her first apprenticeship award in Oregon was in 1997, but she also directs the Portland-based Swaranjali Academy of Indian Music and teaches voice, harmonium, sitar and tabla lessons from her home.

August 25: Persian calligraphy with Marjan Anvari

Marjan Anvari is a master artist and art restorer of tazhib, a traditional Persian form of gilt illumination dating from the 3rd century. Mathematically accurate and aesthetically ornate, tazhib, along with calligraphy and miniature, is the basis of Iranian architecture, crafts, carpets, silverware and manuscripts.

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