March 22, 2016

Dear friends,

I want to update you on Converge 45 — a region-wide gathering for contemporary art and ideas launching July 29–31, 2016.

Kristy Edmunds, the Inaugural Artistic Director and Guest Curator for Converge 45, has agreed to oversee two years of programming from 2016 to 2017. As the Executive & Artistic Director for the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA and the former artistic director and founder of PICA, Kristy has exceptional vision and reach in the art world yet also knows and considers our region deeply.

In 2016, Kristy’s vision starts with an Artists Congress, which will bring together local and internationally recognized artists in Portland for focused and creative conversations about contemporary practice. These key players are invited to be the first commissioned artist projects for 2017’s Converge 45. The Congress takes place right before the 2016 Converge 45 launch weekend, so that artists may connect with potential sites and hosts. The artists are also invited to stay through the weekend, and will be involved in Converge 45 public events.

Kristy Edmunds

Kristy Edmunds

Our curatorial committee, headed by Meagan Atiyeh and Mack McFarland, is working with Kristy as well as our 2016 and 17 partners at the Portland Art Museum, PNCA, The Cooley Gallery, Reed College, Wieden + Kennedy, and Disjecta to realize a full weekend of contemporary art and ideas. The weekend includes time to explore Portland’s galleries and non-profits, as well as experience the beauty of Portland and our region.

To ensure a successful event, our Steering Committee has continued to expand and attract dynamic individuals. Joining the Development Committee are Margaret Hinshaw, Luisa Guyer, and Deneen King. We have had the good fortune to involve Robert Aughenbaugh, whose company ID Branding set high standards in this field. Robert joins the P.R. Committee which is led by Laura Buck, who has worked professionally in the arts here in Portland, as well as with The Broad Art Foundation in Los Angeles. See our website for the complete steering committee!

One last bit of exciting news to share with you! Converge 45 has been awarded a significant grant from The Ford Family Foundation to support Oregon artists’ participation and the production of a publication to document this regional experience. This vote of confidence in our effort to bolster the arts in the region is complemented by other foundation, corporate, and individual support as well as many individuals who are volunteering their time, expertise, and resources to Converge 45.

You will receive the evite for Converge 45’s inaugural weekend events soon!! Please share this evite with your friends! Encourage them to experience and appreciate the arts in our region as you do.

And by all means—mark your calendar for this exciting weekend!

Warm Regards,

Elizabeth Leach and the Converge 45 Steering Committee