Laura Ivancie has performed at the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland, Oregon, on the Backwater Blues Cruise along-side revered saxophonist Reggie Houston and Grammy nominated pianist, Janice Scroggins, for three consecutive years (2011 thru 2013). Laura’s original song, “Candy,” (Dance/ Electronica) earned semi-finalist recognition among 18K song submissions in the International Songwriting Competition (2014). She has shared the stage with blues legend Norman Sylvester; world-renowned musicians: Jay “Bird” Koder, Eddie Martinez, Gerald and Thaddeus Turner, Gary Fountain, Darrius Willrich, Ramsey Embick, Tyrone Hendrix and Michael Braun. Laura has opened for the iconic Portland band NU SHOOZ at the Portland Rose Festival and kicked off the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival with her band on Miller South Main Stage (2015). Other notable national acts that Laura has opened for include: An Horse (Late Show with David Letterman, 2009), Ladi6 (Best Female Solo Artist in New Zealand, 2011), Vicci Martinez (NBC Finalist for The Voice, Season 8), David Ryan Harris (Former guitarist for John Mayer), Grammy Award-winning folk rock group, The Indigo Girls, and for Grammy Award-winning Neo soul superstar Bilal (2017). Laura Ivancie was most recently a featured solo acoustic artist at the infamous House of Blues Las Vegas (2018).
I grew up in Baltimore as one of ten children; my father was a longshoreman and my mother stayed at home with us. I was a pretty nerdy kid. By the time I graduated high school I had read pretty much anything that I wanted to read in our library. I always wanted to learn more and see more. So right out of high school, I joined the Navy, and I loved it. I was stationed in the Philippines, working in the personnel office, and then had the opportunity to be on board ship. In fact, I was one of the first women to go on board ships. I went to so many different places, from Hong Kong to Kenya and everywhere in between. That time really informed my opinion that most people are naturally good people. No matter where in the world I went I would find people who were very good, very helpful, especially to a young woman who thought she knew everything.
After the Navy, I spent a few years in the Bay Area but decided ultimately that I wanted to find somewhere else to settle down as my permanent home. I finally decided on Oregon because it had things I was looking for— the ability to be close to the water and mountains, and a place where I felt like I could really make a difference. I was fortunate that my first job in Oregon was with the Black United Fund. That gave me an opportunity to travel all over the state meeting with little nonprofits who were doing wonderful work. I found a can-do spirit. There were so many people that I worked with who didn’t necessarily have formal training but they saw an ill that was taking place or something that needed to be changed, and they were willing to come together and improve it. That job made me feel like it was a place where I could be with people who were committed to making it better, not just for their family but for everybody’s family.
Later I was able to work for Bev Stein, who was a County Commissioner in Multnomah County. Before Bev, I did not like politicians. I was so fortunate to work for an elected official like her because she was true and consistent to what she said she would do. No matter what part of town she was in or who she was talking to, she cared deeply about what they had to say. She is still the only person that I know who when they bring a group of people together, they’re intentionally of diverse backgrounds and experiences because she wants to hear from everyone. From her, I learned that elected officials didn’t have to know everything. They just had to listen to good people who were interested in making the city better for EVERYONE and use that to make public policy. Working for Bev was directly related to why I ran and served in the Oregon legislature and why I now want to be a member of the Portland City Council.
The day that I decided to run for City Council was a day that many will remember: it was the day that the police contract was renegotiated. I testified at the hearing but was very aware that outside of City Hall–we were surrounded by law enforcement from nearly every branch possible keeping the voices of so many Portlanders outside. I started thinking that the wrong people were in City Hall if the new normal was completely removing discourse other than what the council wanted to hear. I’ve been an advocate for years now and have felt so many times Iike I’m just banging my head against the doors of City Hall, hoping that somehow things will change. I’m running because I want every Portlander to feel like they can be heard at City Hall. We need to take into account voices from every walk of life. We need to find commonality. There’s an opportunity to not be divided by where one lives in the city, by economics, gender, race, sexual orientation or any other way that we can find division, but to be one Portland. That time is now.
Nathan Hart is a stand-up comedian from St. Petersburg, Florida. Formerly a rhythm guitar player in an amateur punk band, and owner of a now-bankrupt bong store, Nathan has bizarrely ambitious ideas to a fault. Now he shares those ideas on stages across America with a confrontational presence & ruthless precision.
As of 2016 Nathan's home base has been Portland, Oregon. He performed in Seattle's Highlarious Comedy Festival in 2018, and has opened for established acts like Danny Bevins, Matt Donaher, & Mo Mandel.
Nathan is a writer for Hard Drive, the video game focused section of a popular satire publication, The Hard Times.
Follow him on Twitter & Instagram, @StarvingHartist.
Born on the Southside of Chicago, and raised both there and in Minneapolis, Michael Crenshaw is a world class MC and poet who has emerged on the national - and international stage. As a teen in the late 80's, Mic was embroiled in the violent streets of Minneapolis, leading groups to physically confront white supremacist gangs that were enforcing their will at local parks and social scenes. After beating back the neo-nazis, the violence remained, both in the streets and from authorities. Crenshaw decided it was time to escape it all and moved west to Portland, OR. Crenshaw says, "I wanted something new. [At the time] my ties with the streets were still pretty strong, and my social life involved drinking and fighting. I was ready for a change."
In Portland, he quickly became one of the most respected artists in the Northwest. Beginning in '94, Crenshaw was the front man for the beloved Portland live Hip Hop band, Hungry Mob. In 2001, Crenshaw won The Portland Poetry Slam Championship and went on to finish as a national finalist.
In Portland, Mic's community efforts expanded from the local - to the global. At the close of a Human Rights conference he attended in Rwanda, Crenshaw was confronted by local activists. They said that in America there are computers and they need his help to get them computers. As a result, upon returning to Portland, he enlisted help from an educational colleague, Morgan Delaney. As a result, Globalfam was born.
Globalfam is now a full entertainment company, record label and lifestyle company in one. It houses and produces Crenshaw's music. As well as, partners with the non-profit Education WithOut Borders (EWOB) to manage the community projects that Crensahw and Globalfam are involved in. Crenshaw now serves as EWOB's President. Seven years later, the request for computers has blossomed into a full computer education center in Burundi, Central Africa. Over 800 people have received training, and the center is now expanding, generating revenue and creating jobs by adding a computer repair shop. It is 100% locally managed and staffed. EWOB and Globalfam, along with its supporters, have been the sole outside sponsor
EWOB helps education, music and art initiatives in Portland and their work in Africa, as well serving as an umbrella for the Portland Books For Prisoners Chapter. Crenshaw is currently the Political Director of Hip Hop Congress and the Lead U.S. Organizer for the Afrikan Hip Hop Caravan. The Caravan toured six African cities in 2012 and will tour 10 cities between Cape Town and Cairo in 2014. The Caravan engages each city with a show in the city center, a Hip Hop Symposium and a free show for the youth in a township or ghetto. Crenshaw was invited to be part of the Caravan after playing the Shoko International Festival in Harare Zimbabwe in 2012.
Since 2012, Mic has released 3 EP’s expanding his musical presentation into metal and other rock inspired sound. The EP " Superheros"(2014), which features Dead Prez on its title track solidified Mic's place in Hip Hop worldwide and as an activist/educator. Bionic Metal” (2014) features signature wordplay in line with motivating sonic backdrops . Hope and Danger (2016) heightens the introspection and critical analysis of race, class and culture in modern society. Mic recently released a new project entitled "EarthBound", which explores out modern social condition through the lens of ecological responsibility, economic violence and the sociopathic tendencies of our political landscape.
Mic will be on the March 10th episode of My Real Portland.
Barbara Dudley received her BA in Political Science with honors in Social Thought from Stanford University in 1967, and her JD from the University of California at Berkeley in 1971. Ms. Dudley was a Lecturer in the UC Berkeley School of Criminology in 1973 and 1974. She practiced law in California with California Rural Legal Assistance and with the Agricultural Labor Relations Board.
In 1983, she became the President and Executive Director of the National Lawyers Guild headquartered in New York City; from 1987 to 1992 served as Executive Director of a New York based Unitarian Universalist charitable foundation; from 1992 to 1997 was Executive Director of Greenpeace USA; and in 1998 was appointed Assistant Director for Strategic Campaigns of the national AFL‑CIO.
In 1999, Ms. Dudley moved to Oregon where she has been a partner in a family business, Bethel Heights Vineyard, since 1978. She is also a founder of and Senior Policy Advisor to the Oregon Working Families Party. She currently serves on the Portland Workers Rights Board as well as the boards of the Oregon Center for Public Policy, Family Forward Oregon, the National Lawyers Guild Foundation.
Ms. Dudley has been an adjunct assistant professor at Portland State since 2000. Ms. Dudley is a Senior Fellow at the Hatfield School’s Center for Public Service.
Barbara will appear on the March 10th My Real Portland.
Shrista Tyree is a Comedian, host, rapper and also a Part time Petco employee. Currently chasing the dream of being a stand-up comedian, rapper and whatever else She so happens to fall in love with.
People always ask me what has inspired me to chase my dreams, who do I look up to? But in all honesty, I am my own inspiration. I was raised by a Single mother who suffered with drug addiction. Everyday as a kid i aspired to do and be everything people told me i couldn’t. I graduated high school, because they told me i couldn’t. I got a Bachelor's Degree because they told me i couldn’t. Now i’m chasing a dream people are telling me is a waste of time. Everyones a rapper, you won’t make it. Everyones a comedian, you wont make it. Comedy is my main goal but I’d rather give stand up comedy a chance then to be sitting in front of TV watching Kevin Hart and wishing i tried that “Comedy thing”. Nothing inspires me more than my own story.
Shrista will appear at the March 10th, 2019 My Real Portland.
Caryn Brooks (just “Brooks” to many who know her...except for her family, because that would be weird) is a Portlander by way of Philadelphia and still has the attitude to prove it. Her career has spanned both journalism and politics. Her writing has been published in Rolling Stone, Time Magazine, New York Magazine, and many other financially unstable bastions of the fourth estate. These days she’s a civil servant with a stand up comedy habit as a member of the feminist killjoy comedy collective That's What She Said.
She is on the board of the Pride Foundation, an lgbtq community org that funds the movement in the Northwest.
Free time activities include playing softball, bicycle riding, driving around town in her Lezbaru, walking her rascally mutt Duchess, and wondering how she got to be such a stereotype.
Nov 9: That’s What She Said “Get Stuffed” show benefitting Equi at Siren Theater.
December 6 Back Fence PDX: RUSSIAN ROULETTE
Jonah Willbach is the co-founder of Portland’s Lents Chicken Beauty Contest with his wife Maggie. He’s an accomplished Mandolin player and plays with band Postwar Radio. Jonah and I cowrote a musical in 1991 with 30 other young actors and performed at Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center.
Jonah Willbach will appear on the October 9th My Real Portland.
Charmian Creagle is a theater director and producer with The Reformers along with her husband, actor Sean Doran. Originally from Los Angeles, she studied theater in Ashland then spent a decade in New York before returning to Portland. She is CoChair of the Buckman School PTA. Charmian has been a dear friend of mine for over 25 years.
Charmian will appear on the October 9th My Real Portland.
Stacey Rice has made an important and lasting impact on Portland in 6 years in the city. Stacey is a speaker and trainer on trans policies for businesses, government organizations. In 5 years with the Q Center, the largest LGBTQ2SIA+ community center in the Pacific Northwest, Stacey made the organization more inclusive and equitable, while shoring up the financial aspects to ensure a solid foundation for the center. She was recognized by the Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest as a Queer Hero in 2016 for her work at Q Center and in the greater Portland community. She now works for the City Club of Portland and organization dedicated to community service, public affairs and leadership development.
And this quote of hers could have been said by myself: "In her spare time, you will find Stacey out wandering the backroads of the Pacific NW, hiking to her favorite spots in the Gorge and on the Coast, maybe sitting under a big Ponderosa Pine tree somewhere in the high desert, or heading out to Willamette Valley wine country."