Spring arts and entertainment events are busting out all over

Earthrise from the moon

May offers copious opportunities for celebration, from Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day and Memorial Day to the Associated Students of the UO’s annual spring Street Faire.

May is also National Bike Month, Mental Health Awareness Month and Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, for which a number of campus events are planned. Check the Division of Equity and Inclusion website for details.

Need a last-minute gift for mom? Drop in for a Freebie Friday workshop at the Erb Memorial Union and create some spin art or paper flowers. Like jazz? Then you won’t want to miss a special performance by talented jazz drummer, composer and bandleader Kendrick Scott, at the Jazz Spring Concert.


Kicking off the month is Influx: A Night of Performance Art presented by the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art Student Member Advocacy Council. Come out May 1 for the free refreshments, stick around for the fabulous live performances, art activities and giveaways at this annual event.

Don’t miss OUT/LOUD Queer and Trans Womxn’s Performance Fest on May 16, the UO’s queer and trans women’s community-building event that celebrates the music, culture and art of LGBTQIA-plus women, gender nonconforming, genderqueer and nonbinary individuals. Join a host of artists who, through their art, will tackle topics on the intersections of sexism, heterosexism, homophobia, transphobia, transmisogyny and other means of oppression.


Based on the first-ever aerial shots of Earth, taken by astronauts in 1969, “The Home Planet” explores the hope inspired by those first photos through stories, poems, storytelling and live music from Eugene composer Cullen Vance. Directed by theater arts professor Theresa May, the production is an original play created by UO students, faculty members and community members. It opens May 24 in Robinson Theatre and runs through June 8.


If it’s spring it must be fair time. Twice a year, in the spring and fall, the ASUO hosts its much-anticipated Street Faire. Students and the community flock to East 13th Avenue between Kincaid and University streets to sample a cornucopia of delicious dishes and peruse unique wares from local vendors. Don’t miss this always fun, three-day event, May 8-10.

Spin art

Drop in and create something fabulous at Freebie Friday workshops, quick crafts events open to any UO student with a student ID. Make some cool spin art for your dorm on May 3; on May 10, create beautiful paper flowers with decorated paper to present to your mom on Mother’s Day. May 17 is all about Shrinky Dinks and Sculpey Beads and making some nonallergenic flowers. You won’t want to miss the May 24 Freebie Friday, where you’ll learn about silk painting and create your own masterpiece to hang in a window. Finally, on May 31, get ready for the big day and make use of glitter glue, puffy paint, artificial flowers and more to decorate your graduation cap. There will also be a card station with rubber letter stamps and watercolors to make your own thank-you cards. All materials are provided.

Need a last-minute Mother’s Day gift or card? On May 9, stop by the EMU Craft Center for a pop-up craft session between noon and 3 p.m. and create a macramé basket or block-printed card.


Painting of birdsThe “Emergence: Art from Inside” exhibition continues through spring term in the Erb Memorial Union’s Adell McMillan Gallery. The exhibition features the artwork of 20 artists who are incarcerated at the Oregon State Penitentiary and the Oregon State Correctional Institution in Salem, and from youth artists from Serbu Youth Detention Center in Eugene. The exhibition is a collaboration between the Visual Arts Team and the UO Prison Education Program, which provides for-credit UO courses and other academic programming at five adult and youth facilities in Oregon.

Also, be sure to check out self-taught photographer and 2017 School of Journalism and Communication graduate Meerah Powell’s concert-inspired photography in the Aperture Gallery.


Dancers conduct the orchestra at the Composers of Oregon Chamber Orchestra's second annual concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 5, in Beall Concert Hall. The concert features new works by nine local composers. Performers include guest singer Sarah Brauer, who has sung at the Oregon Bach Festival and with orchestras around the country. Under the baton of Brian McWhorter, who conducts the Eugene Ballet and Orchestra NEXT, the orchestra will present an eclectic mix of pieces, from tender to wacky to mysterious. The orchestra will perform on such uncommon instruments as the iPad, the chalkboard and the vibrator. The Composers of Oregon Chamber Orchestra is a student-led ensemble at the School of Music and Dance.

Jazz drummer, composer and bandleader Kendrick Scott, who has toured and recorded with Terence Blanchard, Herbie Hancock, The Crusaders and others, will be performing at the Jazz Spring Concert on May 9 at Beall Concert Hall. Kendrick also performed with the Terence Blanchard Quintet on the album “A Tale of God’s Will (A Requiem for Katrina)”, which was nominated for two Grammy awards. He released his third album with Oracle, “We Are the Drum,” in 2015.

Musicking posterOn May 11, discover how technology melds with music at a Future Music Oregon performance at Thelma Schnitzer Hall.

Immerse yourself in five days of scholarly presentations, master classes and concerts during the fourth annual “Musicking Conference: Cultural Considerations” May 13-17. Participate in “Musicking and the Work of Diego Rivera,” an interactive workshop that references and engages the work of Rivera and other Mexican artwork currently on display at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art on May 15 or enjoy a concert May 17 showcasing Quirino Colombani’s oratorio “ill martirio di Santa Cecilia” at a local Eugene church. All events are free and open to the public.


Dance like everyone’s watching. The Oregon Ballroom Dance Club offers a variety of free beginning dance lessons in Room 123, Global Scholars Hall. Try the high-energy West Coast Swing on May 3, master the Cuban-inspired Cha Cha at the Living-Learning Center South on May 10 or learn the steps of the African-influenced Cumbia on May 17. Lessons are from 7 to 8:30 p.m. followed by social dancing until 10:30 p.m. Free to students and community members; no experience or partner is necessary.

Dema dance groupAssistant professor of dance and ethnomusicology Habib Iddrisu, a traditionally trained musician, dancer and historian from northern Ghana, directs the Dema Dance Ensemble, “a total African performance experience” featuring dancers, drummers, singers and storytelling from a variety of African cultures. “My goal with Dema is to advance cross-cultural understanding by providing an opening for UO students to move outside their comfort zones,” says Iddrisu. Don’t miss two performances at Dougherty Dance Theatre on May 17 and 18.


Get your movie fix at Ducks After Dark. First up on May 2, a screening of “The Upside.” This 2017 comedy-drama stars former “Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston as a wealthy quadriplegic who hires an unemployed man with a criminal record to assist him. On May 9, drop in for the rom-com “Isn’t It Romantic” starring Rebel Wilson. Ever wondered what the EMU fishbowl used to look like? On May 16, take an irreverent tour back through time with the comedy “Animal House.” Enjoy a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious evening on May 23 for a screening of “Mary Poppins Returns.” Free popcorn and soda for UO students with a valid UO ID.

On May 8, catch a selection of Richard Herskowitz’ favorite short films from this year’s Ashland Independent Film Festival from Schnitzer Cinema. Herskowitz is media art curator and artistic director of the festival.

Philip HaasThe Center for Environmental Futures presents the Emerald Film Festival screening of “Sleep Dealer,” a Sundance award-winning futuristic thriller about a young Mexican migrant who, unable to cross the U.S. border, connects his body to a robot in America.

On May 29 you won’t want to miss Art on Film by Philip Haas, introduced by the director. Best known for directing the 1995 film “Angels and Insects,” this screening includes Hass’ documentary “A day on the Grand Canal with the emperor of China, or, Surface is illusion but so is depth”; “The Singing Sculpture,” a film short about the sculpture made by Gilbert and George; and “The Butcher’s Shop,” a film depicting the scenes in Annibale Carracci’s late 16th-century painting.


On May 15, “Curator’s Talk: Distillation Technology and Drinking in Seventeenth-Century Europe” at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art coincides with the museum’s special exhibition “Saints and Spirits in Early Modern Europe,” works that include the “Drunken Silenus (The Tazza Farnese),” a print by Carracci and a masterwork on loan by Venetian painter Paris Bordone.

Transgender Representation in Media and Art,” a panel discussion in conjunction with the opera “As One,” will be held May 16 in the Knight Library Browsing Room. “As One,” which will be presented by the Eugene Opera May 17-19 at the Hult Center for the Performing Arts, traces a transgender woman’s journey to self-realization.

Michael Holloman, associate professor of fine arts and drawing coordinator at Washington State University, will be at the art museum May 18 to present “Resurrecting the Dead: Contemporary Critiques of Edward S. Curtis and Frank Matsura’s Photographic Legacies” for the David and Anne McCosh Memorial Visiting Lecture Series on Northwest Art.

Delve into the intriguing history of brothels in the doomed city of Pompeii with University of Washington assistant professor of classics Sarah Levin-Richardson, who will be in the Knight Library Browsing Room May 23 to present “Brothels and Prostitution at Pompeii.” Her research into ancient Roman history explores the physical, social and emotional environment within the city’s purpose-built brothel, the only verifiable brothel from Greco-Roman antiquity.

Join Joyce Cheng, associate professor and director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Philosophy, for an Oregon Humanities Center work-in-progress lecture,s “(Un)veiling the Everyday: Nabi Painting and Symbolist Theater in 1890s Paris.” 

Quack Chats

Learn everything you ever wanted to know about the teenage brain in a two-part sequence of Quack Chats Pub Talks. On May 1, UO neuroscientist Jennifer Pfeifer discusses “The Surprising Beauty of the Teenage Brain: Exploration, Identity, and Connections,” and on May 8, Atika Khurana, associate professor in the Department of Counseling Psychology and Human Services and research scientist at the College of Education’s Prevention Science Institute, will present “The Impulsive Risk-Taking Teenager: Myth or Reality?” On May 22 Emilie Hooft Toomey, associate professor in the Department of Earth Sciences, will speak on her research imaging the magma plumbing pathways in the earth’s crust beneath subduction zone volcanoes. All Quack Chats are free and begin at 6 p.m. in the Downtown Athletic Club’s Ax Billy Grill.

—By Sharleen Nelson, University Communications