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Portland Center Stage Hosts "Power Of The Press" Letterpress Fair 11/7

Portland Center Stage and the Independent Publishing Resource Center invite Portland to explore the history of movable type and its relationship to the founding of our democracy with a FREE Family Friendly "Power of the Press" Letterpress Fair on November 7th from 10 am to 1 pm in the lobby of the Gerding Theater at the Armory. In conjunction with the fair, over a dozen local letterpress practioners will exhibit prints inspired by what is arguably America's first ‘zine, Benjamin Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanack in the Armory Lobby spaces throughout the run of Josh Kornbluth's Benjamin Franklin: Unplugged in the Ellyn Bye Studio. There will be a First Thursday Reception for the exhibit on November 5th at 6:00 pm.

The "Power of the Press" Fair (coordinated by Carye Bye of Red Bat Press) offers the public a chance to meet and mingle with local printers, book/zine artists, and other proponents of DIY print democracy, take part in educational print demos, and learn more about Portland's love affair with the power of the (letter)press.

Highlights of the fair will include Ben Franklin-themed interactive activities for families and children; a preview of The C.C. Stern Type Foundry -a working museum of metal type and casting equipment dedicated to preserving the heritage of America's typecasting industry; educating visitors of all ages in the history of metal type and typography; and a free screening of Farewell Etaoin Shrdlu, a 28-minute documentary from 1980 by the late David Loeb Weiss (a retired proofreader at the New York Times) chronicling "the last, clangorous night that the paper was put out using hot-metal type." Printers participating in the fair include The Dill Pickle Club, Bedouin Books, Red Bat Press, IPRC, Stumptown Printers and Collective of Geniuses.

The Letterpress Exhibition (coordinated by Rebecca Gilbert of Stumptown Printers) will be displayed in the Gerding Theater lobby and will feature letterpress prints by 15-20 local print-artists inspired by the character and spirit of Benjamin Franklin and the "Poor Richard's Almanac." The exhibit will open November 5th at 6:00 pm with a First Thursday reception that is open to the public. The exhibit will run throughout November and December.

Artists participating in the exhibit include Claire Carpenter of Tiger Food Press, Rory Sparks and Alisa Walton of Em Space, Keegan Wenkman of One Foot Press, Marty Brown of Letterary Press, Rebecca Gilbert of Stumptown Printers, Jean Sammis of Lark Press, Carye Bye of Red Bat Press, Pete McCracken of Crack Press, Shane deLeon of Starbage Hands Press, Jeff Shay & Connie Blauwkamp of Buzzworm and Joseph Green of Mind your Ps&Qs.

Portland Center Stage inspires our community by bringing stories to life in unexpected ways. Established in 1988 as an off shoot of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, PCS became an independent theater in 1994 and has been under the leadership of Artistic Director Chris Coleman since May 2000. The company presents a blend of classic, contemporary and original productions in a conscious effort to appeal to the eclectic palate of theatergoers in Portland. PCS also offers a variety of education and outreach programs for curious minds from six to 106, including discussions, classes, workshops and partnerships with organizations throughout the Portland metro area.

THE GERDING THEATER AT THE ARMORY houses a 599-seat Main Stage and the 200-seat black box Ellyn Bye Studio. It was the first building on the National Register of Historic Places, and the first performing arts venue, to achieve a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certification. The Gerding Theater at the Armory opened to the public on Oct. 1, 2006. The capital campaign to fund the renovation of this hub for community artistic activity continues.


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