Press Play Salem 15 | Feb/Mar 2023

Page 2

A Concert for Arts & Culture

Things to do...

14 'First' Dates

Fork Forty Food Hall

Something for Everyone

...And More!

The Spring Album

ISSUE 15  FEB/MAR 2023 arts + entertainment + culture


5 | TURNTABLE // Bite A Proper Breakfast Sandwich

Bite into "A Proper Breakfast Sandwich” from Valiant the Sandwich and see why it makes us swoon

20 | A-SIDE 14 'First' Dates

Next time you consider asking a special someone to “grab a drink” why not try something a little…different? Here are 14 ideas to get you started

7 |


Fork Forty Food Hall

Fork Forty is a one-stop shop for food, drink and entertainment, including six food court-style restaurants plus a bar

25 | B-SIDE A Concert for Arts & Culture

Two of Salem’s most notable cultural organizations—World Beat and Salem Art Association—are teaming up to present a unique evening of entertainment on March 11

15 | B-Side The Jam is On...

Get your mini skateboard ready! The Fingerboard Jam returns Saturday, February 11, to The Bad Space, and we've got the scoop


Are Smiling...

all things Irish

PLAY February 17 March 19 Salem Reads ................................................. 13 Deepwood Plant Salem ............................. 18 Get Your Skate On...................................... 35 MUSIC Celebrating Women's History 29 PICTURE DISC Salem Art Scene .......................................... 31 Kathryn Cellerini Moore @ SAA .............. 27 Take a Peek: Open Studios at the Mill .. 32 FRONT ROW The Scene on Stages 29 Pentacle's Shrek the Musical 12 From Page to Stage 19 FAST FORWARD Save theses upcoming events ......... 30, 37
Céili of the Valley Society is here to help you celebrate

Carlee Wright

Tracy Torres

Erin Zysett

Ben Mah



 Things to do for Valentine's Day? We've got a story for that.  Photos, photos and more photos Watch our website for more photos and story extras.


Share your Salem moments with us by tagging your photos with #PressPlaySalem on social media. We want to know what Salem looks like to you! (You may even get featured in an upcoming issue.)

The Playlist

Released weekly and delivered directly to your inbox, The Playlist focuses on what’s happening in Salem for the coming weekend. From theater and live music to local hot spots and touring events, it aims to help people get out, explore, learn, experience… and play!

Sign up at: the-playlist

Submit Your Events

Send us your events. Community calendar listings are free (and we often pull from our calendar for feature stories.) To be considered for inclusion, email event title, 2-3 sentence summary, date, time, location, cost and where to contact for more information to

| | | |

Publisher/Editor Assistant Editor

Copy Editor Photographer


Anne Lapour, Ben Mah, Aoife Murphy, Jason Pluemke, Tracy Torres, Erin Zysett

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronically or mechanically, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without the express written permission of Press Play Salem.

The views and opinions expressed in these articles and ads are not necessarily those of Press Play Salem or its contributors, employees, staff or management.

Please Note: While we make every effort to ensure accuracy with calendar and event listings, dates and details are subject to change without notice.

Connect with Press Play Salem

instagram: @PressPlaySalem

twitter: @PressPlaySalem

On the cover...

Meet Aaron Nadan of Bearded Oregon, Capitol Menswear and more. More than just an entrepreneur, Aaron is active in helping make downtown a center for shopping, arts and entertainment. Read more about him and what he's up to on page 36.

Photos by Ben Mah.

Printed in Salem

4 | | feb/mar 2023
THIS ISSUE ON @pressplaysalem

Proper (adjective): right, appropriate or correct; according to the rules

I eat a fair amount of breakfast sandwiches—not my go-to in the morning, because it’s hard to balance all those components. So many sandwiches end up an inedible contradiction of soggy rubber. The cook has so much to consider - what style of egg? What kind of bread? Cheese or no cheese? What kind of cheese? The list goes on.

The folks at Valiant the Sandwich have somehow mastered their ingredients, and execute a perfect, “Proper,” breakfast sandwich. At first glance, the word “proper” seems a bold choice, but they can back it up, and I respect that. This sandwich is certainly worthy of the title “proper.”

Note: it’s “a” proper breakfast sandwich, not “the” proper breakfast

sandwich. “The Proper” sounds like a sandwich that towers above all other breakfast sandwiches. “A Proper” just indicates this is an ideal example, not the only perfect specimen.

“A Proper Breakfast Sandwich” is just one of a select few breakfast sandwiches that Valiant has on offer, and it can stand as something other breakfast sandwiches should aspire to.

feb/mar 2023 | | 5
TURNTABLE / BITE A BreakfastProper Sandwich Valiant the Sandwich 477 Court St NE Downtown Salem 503-689-1821,


This isn’t some ramshackle sandwich thrown together in a hurry. Its creator clearly thought about it. This sandwich is constructed with intent. But all that aside, does it taste good?

Sure I could skip to the part about the house-made sausage patty being cooked perfectly. I could also build up the fact that they opted for two cheese layers instead of one. I can’t speculate on why other than because they clearly “get it.” And, let’s not forget about the egg. The egg is the brilliance here. This isn’t just scrambled egg poured onto a grill and slapped around into a shapeless, rubbery, mass. They didn’t take the easy route and crack an egg into a ring mold (I’m looking at you McMuffin). It’s a thin layer of egg, delicately folded over itself several times to form a proportionally shaped patty that is then artfully placed atop the previously mentioned sausage. All this (plus the cheese) is sandwiched between a glorious biscuit or English muffin—your call. The end product is crisp without being dry, and juicy without being soggy. It’s truly proper.

Pair it with your choice of potatoes or soup, and (when offered) gravy (a lovely pairing). This is the sort of thing you plan for then count down the days to a glorious communion. Valiant, I’d like to offer a “proper” thank you for creating such a noteworthy version of something that rarely gets the attention and care it deserves.

6 | | feb/mar 2023


Fork Forty is Salem's first food hall, a one-stop shop for food, drink and (often) entertainment. Located downtown in the historic Gray-Belle building, it is home to six food court-style restaurants plus a bar.

The Grey-Belle building started as a Chinese laundry in the late 1800s that burned down and was rebuilt in 1907. It has housed a variety of eateries, but truly came back to life after an extensive renovation then reopened in 2020. Now, the revitalized locale includes the food hall plus five apartments on the second floor and two basement-level entertainment experiences: Exitus Escape Rooms and Wreckingballers. It’s also an award-winning building recognized for its historic restoration and diverse use.


440 State Street

11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday

11 to 3 p.m. Sunday (select spots)

Visit online at


Chubby Bao House is one of Fork Forty’s original stalls and a firm favorite. Joe and Sara Ngo started offering their Asian fusion cuisine at Beehive station in 2019 and moved their digs to Fork Forty when it opened in 2020. The expanded space has served them well, giving Salemites the opportunity to sample their unlikely flavor pairings, and of course…their bao, a fluffy bun eaten tacostyle, and filled with a unique blend of both Asian and Mexican goodness.

For Joe, who was raised amidst Chinese culinary culture in Tuscon, Arizona, fusion has been a natural direction. He takes traditional Chinese dishes (like the signature bao) and infuses them with Mexican flavors, like chorizo and carne asada, which he picked up near the Sonoran desert. The result is unique comfort food with plenty of crowdpleasers on the menu.

Though the menu has stayed mostly the same since the beginning, additions like the wings and the rotating bao keep customers coming back to try new flavor combinations. The special bao changes six times a year. So hurry back to Fork Forty to try whatever might be next. Or stick with a classic like the fried chicken bao, coated in a sweet and spicy sauce….one of the many sauces they make in-house. And if you think Jojo fries aren’t an obvious pairing for the bao, think again. They’re seriously flavorful, surprisingly crispy and perfect when dunked in the poblano sauce served alongside.

If you want to branch out from the bao, there are plenty of options to sample—both meat and veggie-driven, such as rice bowls and Japanese coleslaw. So come for the bao, stay for the rest, and you’ll be craving the combos in the weeks to come. —

feb/mar 2023 | | 7 TURNTABLE /TASTE


Who doesn’t like pizza? (You? Ok, well, that’s why there are five other food vendors at Fork Forty). For those who, like us, feel pizza is a perfect food—you know, the kind you can eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a late-night snack—you definitely want to stop in at La Lucciola.

Tender and light, La Lucciola handshaped pizza is made in classic Neapolitan style with dough made from double-zero imported Italian flour that is fermented for two days. This creates a unique flavor and chewy texture that compliments their refreshing, bright Alta Cucina “Naturale” tomato sauce. The high quality ingredients allow for a deceptively simple creation with a perfect outer edge that you can watch toast in a 900 degree brick oven while you wait.

These perfect, balanced pies come in all the classic combinations. From minimalist margherita—starring fresh mozzarella, drizzled with olive oil and topped with basil—to cup and char pepperoni that curls as it toasts, creating a flavor-filled, crispy pocket.

Oh, and if you feel you need additional greens, you can always get a salad on the side. They’ve got those, too. —


Ojisan’s Ramen is the newest addition to Fork Forty’s offerings and is likely to become a fast favorite.

While Ojisan’s may be new to Salem, they originally opened in Eugene’s Whitaker district in 2020. The menu is a perfect fit for ForkForty, offering delicious bowls of

steaming-hot goodness when you want something fast and wholesome during your lunch break. There’s something for all palettes, and a mix of main-course bowls and a la carte sides.

The ramen is obviously the hero of the menu, with plenty of options—both meatbased and vegan—to choose from. My family opted for a bit of everything, including a bowl of their vegetarian ramen, with yam noodles and topped with plenty of veggies and tofu. (There’s a fully vegan bowl as well.) But, we also went for the meat, and loved the tender, braised pork belly in the miso bowl. I can’t say enough for the super crispy pork cutlet, which I ordered atop a rice bowl and enjoyed for dinner one night and lunch the next day.

8 | | feb/mar 2023

Ordering from Ojisan’s is an easy process, which can be done through their online platform. By the time you reached Fork Forty, your order will be packed up and ready to go. Hot and inviting when you arrive back home to dig in.

Of course, you may prefer to eat right there at ForkForty, and tuck into your ramen alongside a drink from The Best Goose, or dessert from Slick Licks. And maybe a bao on the side. — anne Lapour


It’s hard not to smile when you walk up to Rex’s Prehistoric Patties. Cheerful colors and a giant T-Rex greet you. And the happy feels extend straight onto the menu, where comfort food is king, ready to satisfy both carnivores and herbivores.

Owner Buerge, one of the "biggest dinosaur nerds you'll ever meet," conceptualized the restaurant, and

ultimately handed over the management and menu reins to Parker Black. Buerge said Parker gets "all the menu credit in the world." Parker was eager to take over, said Buerge. "Literally could not tell him no...he's worth his weight in gold and has truly made it his own." The resulting menu is classic and crowd-pleasing. Though burger-centric, they offer plenty of options to switch things up. The basic burger patty is super wellseasoned; I’m still thinking about it a few weeks after my first bite. Should you have a heartier appetite, there’s always the “tyrant lizard king” burger, a double-cheeseburger that piles on the extras—egg, jalapeno, mushrooms and bacon. And the slightly more adventurous can dig into the “Peanut Butter and Dino,” Rex’s signature 6-oz patty sandwiched in a brioche bun, along with bacon coated in liquid smoke, American cheese, and…peanut butter.

If this all sounds highly crave-able, it’s no accident. According to Buerge, “Most of Rex's specials were tinkered on via hungry bartenders.” —



Another original to the Fork Forty lineup, Slick Lick’s is a genuine taste of childhood. Serving up soft serve ice cream (not frozen yogurt!), they use natural, quality ingredients in their rotating, seasonal flavors. The downtown favorite was purchased by Travis Noble in 2021, who states his goal was to keep, “this little funky soft serve ice cream shop alive and slinging out fun flavors and products to our community.”

The menu is endlessly adaptable. There are options to swirl, make a milkshake, freeze, or even create a “stacker”—a threetiered treat of customizable flavor combos. They also carry quirky dessert tacos or nachos—sweet riffs on a familiar concept.

Flavors rotate monthly, with four vegan options and two dairy. Experimentation is important to Slick Licks, and Travis notes a keen interest in exposing Salem to diverse flavors; they’ve tried black sesame, Ube,

Lilikoi, Horchata and Mangoneada, to name a few. But if the classics are your favorite, you’re not alone. Travis said Salem likes its vanilla and chocolate, flavors they always keep on the menu. And we’re apparently fans of pretty much anything with Oreos, which I can confirm, having tried (and loved) the “strawberry cookies and cream,” which has been “killing it” with the community.

Topping options and sauces are a happy addition, introducing even more decisions to an already tempting menu. My kids took full advantage, thoroughly enjoying their mini marshmallows and rainbow sprinkles, gleefully snatching the tiny toppings from their cups before I could snap a picture.

The Fork Forty community is an essential part of Slick Lick’s mission, providing a community of vendors who “lean on each other for advice, knowledge and creative ideas,” according to Travis, who said their fellow vendors happen to be great taste testers as well. “Community-wise, there’s not much like it downtown.” — anne Lapour


If you’ve visited the Salem Saturday Market in the past few years, you’ve probably passed by (or purchased from) the Syrian Kitchen. Noted for their delicious pistachio and almond baklava, they were a consistently popular culinary delight that joined Fork Forty in January 2022.

Joining Fork Forty gave the Syrian Kitchen a home where they could expand their menu to include savory bites of Middle Eastern comfort classics along-side their well-loved baklava.

Their creamy, smooth hummus pairs perfectly with the unique Syrian-style falafel that has a center hole, and is crispy, light and fluffy; or with their tender shawarma that is seasoned with such an aromatic spice blend it will warm you up the minute you smell it.

But it was the stuffed grape leaves that stole the show. So unsuspecting from the outside, those small grape-leaf wrapped packages of basmati rice pack quite the punch of flavor. A tangy, peppery mouthful.

10 | | feb/mar 2023 TURNTABLE / TASTE

Dip them in the Syrian-style tzatziki and you’ve created a whole new experience. No matter what you order, The Syrian Kitchen is a culinary journey with significant portions, fair prices and ample variety. —


A great collection of food needs a great bar, and The Best Goose provides a hub for all the flavor-makers out front. Stationed in the back of Fork Forty with generous space and a welcoming vibe, this bar is a great place to land.

Just as the food vendors carry something for everyone, The Best Goose caters to beer/ wine drinkers and cocktail lovers alike. An extensive tap list covers all the classic beer profiles to complement Fork Forty’s food lineup, and the cocktail list includes mainstay favorites like “Goose Juice,” a mix of house-infused raspberry vodka, peach

schnapps and lemon juice the bartender describes as akin to “a raspberry lemon drop.” There’s also a rotating list of seasonal cocktails.

When they aren’t slinging amazing drinks, the bartenders at The Best Goose happily act as guinea pigs for things the Fork-Forty chefs are working on. “We've ended up developing various secret menus at a lot of the spots. Cooler still are those things that occasionally end up as specials or mainstays offered to the public,” Buerge said.

Choices abound at Fork Forty, including where you choose to sip your beverage. You can sidle up to the bar of course, but you can also take your drink anywhere within Fork Forty; on a pretty day it’s common to see folks sitting outside with a beer, happily enjoying their bao or pizza with a pint. Note

Fork Forty Favorites?

We wanna hear about 'em! Let us know @PressPlaySalem on social media — #PressPlaySalem

to parents: this means you can enjoy your drink outside the bar area while your kids munch their dino-nuggets. Or, if you’d rather enjoy one of the low-top tables in the bar’s seating area with your kiddos, they’re welcome there too.

The Best Goose also plays host to many of the gatherings and parties that make Fork Forty more than just a collection of restaurants. Buerge said, “We host a ton of large groups (again, choice is our main weapon and groups love that), salsa dancing on Sundays and throw parties every other month.” If your trivia prowess is better than your dance moves, there’s trivia on Thursdays, often themed.

Ultimately, The Best Goose feels like a microcosm of the whole Fork Forty experience. Buerge says it’s more than simply a collection of restaurants. “Fork Forty feels like its own identity. You're coming here to enjoy us, not just a specific kitchen.” — anne Lapour

feb/mar 2023 | | 11

Pentacle Theatre presents

Most people are familiar with Shrek, if not from William Steig’s picture book, then from the blockbuster animated trilogy…but now, it’s time to see the story in a different light—up-close, live and in person when Pentacle Theatre brings the beloved musical comedy to life on stage.

Shrek the Musical is a mythical adventure saga about a hulking green ogre, homeless fairytale characters, an obnoxious lord and a pretty princess, who is more than she seems.

The play is the right combination of story and humor wrapped in a classic, relatable tale.

“Shrek is an antihero. He’s not super likeale but you can see he’s just misunderstood living in a world where he doesn’t look how he expected to,” said Director Robert Salberg. “The story of feeling like you’re a loner or like you don’t belong or are being judged—all the things Shrek feels, Fiona feels, Donkey feels—are relatable to most people on any level.”

Plus, all the things people expect from the movie exist in the stage version supplemented with even better songs and music—music that drives the story forward

and serves the show like music should, said Robert. “The music is fun and super witty. Witty enough to where adults may be chuckling to themselves.”

Robert, who has been directing at Pentacle since 2009, and a musical every year, said “This, hands down, is probably one of the most talented groups I have worked with.”

Eighty-five people answered the musical’s casting call.

“I had so many people audition, I could have cast the show five different ways,” Robert said. “It took me a good week to cast the show, and alot of that was figuring out ‘is there a way I can use more of these people?’"

Robert attributes the immense interest to a few things—the time of year, wellknown title and “people just really like Shrek.” Plus, he said, there are a lot of opportunities due to how many roles are involved in the show. The greater opportunity makes it more likely that people will take a chance.

Even with 36 cast members, many play multiple parts and in order to help facilitate quick costume change there is a dynamic

use of prosthetics involved to help easily transition from one character to another. And despite being from fairy tales, creatures are not necessarily literal, but rather interpretations with a modern twist. “But the essence of who they are is captured.”

Robert is fortunate to have a Hollywood make-up artist working on the show.

“We’re going to have, based on what I have seen, some of the most detailed and professional make up that we have ever had on Pentacle’s stage”

From a directorial standpoint, Robert is confident with both cast and crew. He has right people with the right expertise helping bring his vision of Shrek alive. And most of all, they are having fun. “Rehearsals in general have been lively and full of laughter. That’s been really nice.”

Don’t miss your opportunity to enjoy that laughter yourself.

on stage March 3
to 25
Shrek the Musical March 3 to 25 Pentacle Theatre, 324 52nd Ave NW Get tix at

SALEM READS...Born a Crime

Read the Book. Discuss the Topics. Enjoy the Programs.

A community-wide project, Salem Reads invites all to read the same book, take part in discussions and enjoy related programs every February. This year’s selection is Born a Crime, a memoir by South African comedian, television and radio host, and actor Trevor Noah which shares the story of his early life as the child of a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother, born in South Africa during the waning days of apartheid.


THROUGH FEB 26 Salem Reads Art Exhibit

View work inspired by Born a Crime created by local professional artists.

FEBRUARY 2 Fully Booked! Book Club — Meet with other adults to discuss Born a Crime. 5:30-6:30 p.m. in the Collaboration Studio.

Comedy Open Mic Night — A familyfriendly comedy event hosted by The Infinity Room. Adult and teen comics who wish to perform should sign up in advance. 7-8:30 p.m. in Loucks Auditorium.

FEBRUARY 4 South African History Lecture

— Learn about the intricate history of South Africa from PSU professor Safia Farole, from colonialism to present time. 2-3 p.m. in Loucks Auditorium.

FEBRUARY 5-18 Pathways to Citizenship

Display — Learn about what goes into the naturalization process in the United States.

FEBRUARY 7 Deadline — The People Who

Shaped Me Writing Contest: Enter online or at Salem Public Library. 5 p.m.

Brown Bag Book Club — Meet with other adults to discuss Born a Crime. 12-1 p.m. in the Collaboration Studio.

A Look at Restorative Justice — Learn how reconciliation can improve and bond communities through effective, equitable, and transformative approaches. 6:30-7:30 p.m. in Loucks Auditorium.

FEBRUARY 15 Page Turners: Teen Book Discussions — Middle and high schoolaged youth meet to discuss Born a Crime and It’s Trevor Noah. Advanced sign-up is encouraged. Drop-ins are also welcome. 4:30-5:30 p.m. in the Teen Scene Room.

Working on Our Whiteness: An Oregon Humanities Conversation Project Event — This conversation is for white people to reflect together on what it means to “do our work” as white people, which includes taking responsibility for one another, educating ourselves, and coming to view other white people as our partners—not competition—in developing antiracist identity. 6-8 p.m. in Anderson Rooms A&B.

FEBRUARY 16 Music as a Tool for Justice

An Oregon Humanities Conversation Project Event for Teens: Middle and high school-aged youth are invited to dive into a discussion of the role of music in shaping memories, communities, and justice, led by facilitator Donovan Scribes. Advanced sign-up is encouraged. Drop-ins are also welcome. 6-7 p.m. in Anderson Rooms A&B.

Events are free and take place at the Salem Public Library. Some require advance sign-up at https://cityofsalemlibrary.

Continued on next page

feb/mar 2023 | | 13

FEBRUARY 18 & 19


John Williams: Theme from Jurassic Park

Samuel Barber: Adagio for Strings

Samuel Barber: Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with Jocelyn Claire Thomas, Soprano

Aaron Copland: Four Dance Episodes from ‘Rodeo’ and A Letter From Home

APRIL 15 & 16

East European Romanticism

Bedřich Smeta na: Sárka

Franz Liszt: Concerto No. 2 with Crystal Zimmerman, piano

Antonín Dvořák: Symphony No. 6

JUNE 3 & 4

Romantic Impressionists

Debussy: Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun

Antonín Dvořák: Romance in F minor and Maurice Ravel: Tzigane with Tomas Cotik, Violin

Felix Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3

FEBRUARY 18 Adult Writing Workshop: Childhood Memoir — Author Emilly Prado leads free writing workshop that focuses on recreating your childhood memories. Seating is limited. Advance sign-up is required. 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in Anderson Rooms A&B.

Teen Writing Workshop: Childhood Memoir

— Middle and high school-aged writers are invited to tap into their childhood memories to build dynamic stories in this free workshop taught by author Emilly Prado. Seating is limited. Advance sign-up is required. 2-4 p.m. in Anderson Rooms A&B.

FEBRUARY 21 Effective Activism and Resistance — Local activists discuss how to channel your passion for change into action in this discussion of local social justice efforts and their impacts. 6:30-7:30 p.m. in Loucks Auditorium.

FEBRUARY 23 The People Who Shaped Me Writing Contest: Reading and Awards — Hear the winning and honorable mention entries from our People Who Shaped Me 2023 Salem Reads Contest read aloud and celebrate our writers. 5:30-6:30 p.m. in Anderson Rooms A&B.

For more information about Salem Reads, call 503-588-6183 or visit


Born a Crime is available to read (or listen to) in English and Spanish from the Salem Public Library. Additionally, multiple copies of the eBook and eAudiobook are available to download and enjoy on the cloudLibrary and Libby apps.

14 | | feb/mar 2023
SATURDAY | 3 PM SUNDAY Pre-Concert Talk
to each show East Salem Community Center, 1850 45th Ave. NE Purchase tickets at
45 minutes prior

The Jam Is On! The Jam Is On!

It might sound like an epic music competition and while fingerboarding very well could help your musical prowess (and vice versa - more on that later), what we are actually talking about is a retro-revival where all hands—or rather, fingers—are on deck.

Just ask Andrew Norman, former keyboard player of The (now retired) Ferenjis and organizer of The Fingerboard Jam, a family, friendly, all-ages welcome competition happening in February at The Bad Space.

“Fingerboarding was invented by a couple members of the infamous Bones Brigade in the mid-80s. Lance Mountain is widely credited with building the first fingerboard out of popsicle sticks and the wheels and axles off a die-cast car. The Bones Brigade riders would hang out and ride these fingerboards in sinks and tubs, using the miniature board to figure out the physics of tricks they were attempting in bowls and halfpipes,” Andrew said.

Children of the 80s and teens of the 90s may recognize the name Tech Deck, which dominated the fingerboard toy market for many years.

“‘Professional’ fingerboarding has existed since 1999 with the advent of German company Blackriver, followed soon after by FlatFace Fingerboards in the U.S. in 2003. It remained a quiet hobby/sport, particularly in the U.S., until the COVID-19 pandemic struck,” Andrew said. “With more time to spend indoors, and the opportunity to pick up new hobbies, fingerboarding is seeing a massive resurgence in popularity worldwide.”

Long story short? Fingerboarding is skateboarding with your fingers.

“A Tech Deck is like the base-level starter board. Most hobbyists enjoy collecting Tech Decks, but not skating them,” Andrew said. “Today, there are hundreds of fingerboard makers in the U.S. alone. "Professional" quality decks differ from Tech Decks in their

design and construction: where a Tech Deck is thermo-molded plastic, professional fingerboards are made from (typically) 5 plies of wood veneer and glue pressed in a mold, much the way full-sized skateboards are produced.”

Professional fingerboards feature further advanced construction.

“Professional fingerboard trucks are made from tougher alloys than Tech Deck trucks, ranging from aluminum to steel. Fingerboard wheels come in a variety of durometers (the measure of a wheel's hardness or softness), and include small ball bearings, whereas Tech Deck wheels lack bearings (with the exception of Tech Deck's most recent professional product release).”

Andrew was one of those kids that played with Tech Decks in middle school, yet put it away almost 20 years ago. 

Story by Carlee Wright | Photos by Jason Pluemke Photo above: Chris Daniels rolls away from a kickflip back tail at the end of his Best Run heat

He got back into it last summer while recovering from a skate-injury-related surgery (He tore his Achilles and had a plate and a couple pins put in his ankle). “I was laid up on the couch for a couple of months… Being unable to walk or skate for a couple months had me depressed and restless, and I picked up fingerboarding as an outlet for that frustration.”

And it has helped his musicianship, too.

“I have noticed an edge in my ability to learn tricks fairly quickly, especially when it comes to really fine motor control and precision. Having played piano for 25 plus years, and having professionally taught piano, guitar, bass, drums and woodwinds in the Willamette Valley for the last 12 years, I've noticed I have a bit of an edge on true 'rookie' fingerboarders."

But more than anything, Andrew will attest to the humility and dedication fingerboarding requires.

“Learning a trick means not landing it hundreds of times, and making small adjustments until it clicks. You really have to be okay with failing, a lot,” he said.

Ready to check it out?

The Pacific Northwest Fingerskate Collective is hosting The Return of the Fingerboard Jam (the first one was held in November 2022) on February 11. There will be multiple skateparks and competition brackets for professional and amateur fingerboarders. Everyone is welcome to watch and/or participate. The family-friendly event takes place at The Bad Space, which is an extension of Santiam Brewing that features a full bar and restaurant menu, stage and more.

“Our last event drew attendees and competitors from across the Pacific Northwest,” Andrew said.

Looking to participate?

Competition registration opens on the day of event at 12 p.m. and closes 30 minutes before the competition starts. There is a $5 entry free, which covers all three events in your bracket (Best Run, S.K.A.T.E. Tournament, Best Trick). And there will be awards for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in each competition.

The rules?

You can find the at

Want to get more involved?

Andrew recommends two Facebook groups: Fingerboarding Unlimited and Worldwide Fingerboarding. He also manages the Pacific Northwest Fingerskate Collective page.

Return of the Fingerboard Jam

When: 12 to 9 p.m. Saturday, February 11

Where: The BAD Space at Santiam Brewing

Cost: $5; $10 to participate

Organizer Andrew Norman with a fakie godzilla flip Mallory Curtis performs a textbook kickflip 5-0 during the Best Trick contest
Enoch Alder performs a boneless back noseslide during his Best Run heat

February Fun

February 11

Highlights of what's happening in music, arts and more

COMEDY. Dirty Angel presents NW Black Comedy Festival Showcase, a precursor to the 2023 NW Black Comedy Festival (which takes place Feb 16-19 in Portland) featuring Jaren George, Mx. Dahlia Belle, AC Oneal and more. Hosted by The Real Hyjinx with music provided by DJ Wildchild. 8 p.m. Infinity Room. 21 and older. $15-$20.

February 15

MUSIC. It’s 80s Night at the Elsinore — Take in a night of live music with Grammy-winning A Flock of Seagulls, one of the staples of the new wave era. Opening the show is internationally-touring, Grammynominated phenom Strangelove: The Depeche Mode Experience. 7:30 p.m. Elsinore Theatre. $39-$69.

February 18 & 19

MUSIC. Salem Philharmonia presents Americana! with guest conductor Dr. Joshua Bavaro and soprano Jocelyn Claire Thomas, and music by John Williams, Samuel Barber and Aaron Copland. There will be a pre-concert talk 45 mins before each show. 7 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. East Salem Community Center. $18-$20. Free for youth.

February 25 & 26

MUSIC. Willamette Master Chorus hosts a Winter Concert with the Severin Sisters. Hear the Bluegrass Mass by Carol Barnett accompanied Salem bluegrass band The Severin Sisters. The sisters will also play a separate set of music and combine with the WMC for some original bluegrass tunes. 3 p.m. Hudson Concert Hall at Willamette University. $22-$33.

February 26

PERFORMING ARTS. The World Ballet Series presents Cinderella, an enchanting story for all ages featuring a wonderful dose of humor, majesty of classical ballet and the promise of “happily ever after” as performed by a multinational cast of 40 professional dancers. 6 p.m. Elsinore Theatre. $38-$97.

Paintings by Jon Colburn

feb/mar 2023 | | 17 Level 2 Gallery is inside Salem Convention Center 200 Commercial Street SE Hours: M o n – Fri 10am–5pm An extension of this exhibition can be seen at Salem Public Library. NEW EXHIBITION Dreams
Starting February
For more events...see the monthly calendar at

Deepwood Plant Sale

Ready your garden for spring blooms. It's time for the Deepwood Plant Sale. This annual event is an opportunity to shop for hard-to-find Oregon native and companion plants and support a good cause while you’re at it. A portion of all proceeds benefits Deepwood’s preservation and programs.

There will also be free guided tours of the Nature Trails—a great opportunity to see the Erythronium (Fawn Lilies) throughout the trails—at 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. and of the Formal Gardens at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. both days.

Deepwood Museum & Gardens is located at 1116 Mission St SE. The sale will happen rain or shine 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, March 17 and Saturday, March 18, in a large tent space located in the museum’s parking lot at 12th & Lee streets.

Learn more about the museum and its gardens at

Art Makes Life Better!

18 | | feb/mar 2023 FRONTPLAYROW PLAY
156 Liberty St NE |


March On!

March 4

Highlights of what's happening in music, arts and more

From Page to Stage...

COMMUNITY. Salem Saturday Market opens for the season on March 4. With more than 150 rotating vendors, the market is the ultimate spot for shopping locally, from fresh produce to artisan products. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday, March through October at 865 Marion St NE.

March 4

MUSIC. Delgani III: Transatlantic Journey — Tomas Svoboda’s Tenth Quartet opens the program before German pianist Frank-Immo Zichner joins Delgani for quintets from both sides of the Atlantic. 3 p.m. Unitarian Universalist Congregation. $28.

March 8

MUSIC. Fête des Femmes is a musical celebration of International Women’s Day presented by Willamette faculty and friends. Celebrate the compositions of the notable female composers and musicians whose unique voices have paved the path for future women artists. 7:30 p.m. Hudson Hall at Willamette University. $9-$14.

March 18

COMMUNITY. Cherry Blossom Day celebrates the beginning of spring with its show of pink color splashed across the 151 Akebono cherry trees in the Capitol Mall, and the recognition of the impact and influence of the Japanese culture on our state. Monmouth Taiko will open the festivities. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. State Capitol State Park.

March 30

MUSIC. Small-town Girl Named Tom seeks to create harmony in a world divided. With their distinctive harmonies and heartfelt performances, the sibling trio won the hearts of America while becoming the only group to ever win NBC’s “The Voice.” 7:30 p.m. Elsinore Theatre. $29-$59.

Enlightened Theatrics will open its 10th anniversary season with Sarah Ruhl's Dear Elizabeth...

The play is a stage adaptation of letters between poets Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell, a correspondence that is considered one of the greatest in American literature.

Setting the stage, Enlightened Theatrics will transform Salem's Historic Grand theater into a black box, creating an intimate space highlighting the world of letter writing for an audience of only 78 members per performance.

To create further connection, community members are invited to share in the visual representation of the story by writing Enlightened Theatrics a letter answering one or both of the questions: “Who is your favorite poet/author and why?” and/or “Is there a letter you received that changed your life?”

Received letters will be displayed throughout the run of our show in the lobby. To participate, send your letter to Enlightened Theatrics, 643 Union St. NE, Suite 200, Salem, OR 97301.

Dear Elizabeth...

When: 7:30 p.m. March 10-11, 17-18 and 2 p.m. March 12 and 19.

Where: Salem's Historic Grand Cost: $25

Age: 16 and older

Tickets & Info: 503-585-3427,


FRONT ROW summer 2022 | | 19
For more events...see the monthly calendar at

Next time you consider asking a special someone to “grab a drink” why not

Eat Around.

Take a DIY food tour in downtown Salem: Appetizers at one location, dinner at the next then wrap things up with dessert at a third. Visit our website for a list of downtown eateries and some recommended itineraries.

Climb a Rock.

1 2 3

The Rock Boxx, 3895 Cascadia Canyon Ave SE, is an indoor bouldering gym offering 5,400 square feet of climbing walls for all experience levels. Each climber needs to complete a safety orientation and waiver so make sure to leave yourself enough time. Get the details at

Take a cooking class.

Willamette Valley Kitchen offers small, intimate classes where you can learn to make a variety of delicious meals with Chef Amy. See what’s cooking at

Kelley’s also offers Cooking Classes, both hands-on and demonstration. Check what’s on the menu at kellyshomecenter. com/cooking-school/

20 | | feb/mar 2023 A-SIDE
Pictured: Chocolate Caramel Bundt Cake from Sewell Sweets, 155 Liberty St NE#160

'First' Dates A-SIDE

See what's on stage.

A night of live music, comedy or theater might seem like a given, but where would we be if we didn’t put it in writing? For large-scale local events as well as nationally touring acts, check out the Elsinore Theatre. For more local experiences, try Infinity Room, Christo's Pizzeria & Lounge, Venti's Cafe and The Bad Space, to name a few. For the theatrical side of things, see what’s happening at Pentacle Theatre or Enlightened Theatrics

Throw an Axe.

not try something a little…different? Here are 14 ideas to get you started. 4 5 6

Check your aim at Oregon Axe Salem. To be guaranteed a spot, reserve your 90-minute session online at oregonaxethrowing. com/book-salem. It’s $30-$35 per person.

Play Bingo.

There are a few places you can play bingo in Salem, but by far the more exciting is at the Southside Speakeasy where they host 1st and 3rd Thursday Bingo 7 to 9 p.m. Admission is free, just pay for however many cards you want to play. Don’t forget your daubber.

What's your favorite Date Night activity in Salem? Let us know @PressPlaySalem on social media — #PressPlaySalem

feb/mar 2023 | | 21

Explore Art.

Art is a subjective, conversationinspiring topic, and that’s perfect for getting to know someone…especially when Salem has so many fun options for viewing, such as:

ART HALL @ Salem Public Library

585 Liberty St SE

Bush Bart Art Center & Annex

600 Mission St. SE

Elsinore Framing & Fine Art Gallery

444 Ferry St. SE

Ernie & Gray

329 State St

Hallie Ford Museum of Art

700 State St

Level 2 Gallery at Salem Convention Center

200 Commercial St SE

Salem on the Edge

156 Liberty St. NE

You can also take a self-guided tour of Salem’s public art collection. Find a reference at things-to-do/explore-public-art-in-salem

For more places to see art, check out the Picture Disc column on page 31.

Try Yoga… and beer?

Yep, it’s a thing…and you don’t need any experience (with yoga or drinking beer) to participate. Yoga & Beer offers non-intimidating, all-levels yoga for everybody and every body at breweries and wineries in Salem and beyond. See the schedule at and make it a happy hour.

Sing your heart out. Belt it out during karaoke at Venti’s Cafe + Beer Vault in downtown Salem 8 to 11 p.m. every Thursday with host Robert Huston.

Infinity Room has added karaoke to its weekly line-up 9 p.m. on Thursdays. It follows their music and poetry open mic (8-9 p.m.) so you could always make it a two-fer. Get all the details at

Looking for karaoke on another night?

Holland’s Bar & Grill, 2155 Silverton Rd NE, has it Wednesday through Saturday.

Play a game.

Try billiards. The Cue Ball, 1262 State St, is a family-oriented (and alcohol-free) pool hall providing hourly table rental. Learn more at You can also play at Shack N Cue, 1970 Lancaster Dr NE, and Phil’s Bar & Grill, 1686 12th St SE.

Or darts. A handful of area bars have dart boards so it just depends on what vibe you’re looking for. British-style pub? Santiam Brewing, 2544 19th St SE, is a must. Dive Bar? That would be Magoo’s Sports Bar, 275 Commercial St SE. A locals place? Try Free-Loader, 501 Lancaster Dr S, plus it’s home of the Salem Dart league.

Get crafty.

Design and create your own wearable art (aka t-shirt) at CreativiTEE + rofe designs. Walk-in or book a creation time to have a reserved spot waiting for you. 110 Commercial St. NE.

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8 9


There are ample opportunities for social dancing in Salem including salsa, ballroom, swing, club and ceili (that’s Irish). And Note: If you don’t have a date, these events welcome singles, too. No partner is needed at any.

Salem Rueda de Casino hosts Bachata Night 7 p.m. every Sunday at Fork Forty Food Hall. Need instruction? Get there at 6:15 p.m. for a lesson. $5 per person.

RJ Dance Studio hosts Social Dance on the first and third Saturday of the month 7:30 to 10 p.m. The evening starts with an intro lesson to one of the many dances and music is a mix of Latin, ballroom, club and swings. $5 per person.

Ceili of the Valley Society hosts the 2nd Friday Ceili on, you guessed it, the second Friday of every month at the VFW Hall, 630 Hood St NE. No experience is needed basic dance steps are taught and then dances are called. The evening also includes live music, so if you don’t go for the dancing, go for the tunes. Doors open at 7 p.m., instruction begins at 7:15 and live music starts at 8. Cost is $10 per person.

Silver Spur, 1821 Silverton Road NE, is a 21 and older dance club featuring Latin on Tuesday, lessons at 7:30 p.m., and country on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, lessons at 7 p.m. Stay in the loop with their happenings at facebook. com/silver.spur.3

Got Trivia?

A handful venues host weekly trivia so you can test your knowledge and maybe win a prize, too.


 Epilogue Kitchen, 6 p.m.

 The Campus, 6 p.m.

 The Yard, 6:30 p.m.


 Sparky’s, 6 p.m.


 Alleycat, 6 p.m.

 The Bad Space, 7 p.m.

 The Woods, 7 p.m.

 Westside Taphouse, 6:30 p.m.


 The Best Goose, 7 p.m.

Brunch It.

Forget dinner, go for brunch with added entertainment à la drag queens.

At Infinity Room, 210 Liberty St SE, you’ll find Makeup and Mimosas Drag Brunch hosted by Nicole Onoscopi on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of every month. The show begins at 1 p.m. Get all the details and reserve your spot ($10) at showpass. com/o/infinity-room

And The Night Deposit Whiskey Library, hosts Brunch N' Babes Drag Brunch featuring Miss Ivanaha Fusionn and friends on the first Sunday of every month. The show starts at 11 a.m. Table reservations ($20) are a must and you can make those at eventbrite. com/e/brunch-n-babes-drag-brunchtickets-332445542567

feb/mar 2023 | | 23
13 14

salem convention center



Arts &Culture Concert for

Encore! a concert for arts and culture brings an eclectic line-up of performers to the Elsinore stage to support World Beat and Salem Art Association.

“We are thrilled to partner with World Beat,” Mathew Boulay, Executive Director of Salem Art Association, said. “There is a natural affinity between our organizations.”

“Our missions are complimentary,” Kathleen Fish, Executive Director of World Beat, said. “We are really excited to collaborate. It will bring some fresh air into both organizations and a great concert for Salem.”

“This is an opportunity for us to do something really special,” Matthew said. “It’s a new event with a big lineup and by doing it with a partner, we can do more than if we did it on our own.”

The idea for the collaboration, said Matthew, came out of the pandemic. “Like so many organizations, we struggled during the pandemic and emerged realizing that we are better off when we are together. That means joint programming and mutual support and that we need to have different types of fundraising events.” 

Two of Salem’s most notable cultural organizations are teaming up to present a unique evening of entertainment
feb/mar 2023 | | 25
Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Amythyst Kiah

Between the World Beat Festival and the Salem Art Fair, two of Salem’s largest cultural events, there is a shared connection.

“We are working together as a way to strengthen our ability to bring this concert to the Salem community.

“So many of the people who come to enjoy World Beat come to enjoy the Art Fair and so much of the spirit of one event is shared in the other,” Matthew said.

The concert is a fundraiser but it aims to be different, Matthew said. “It’s about music, culture and art, and the power they have to bring us together, to heal, to help, to be entertained. It’s meant to be pure joy.”

Headlining the show is Grammy-nominated Amythyst Kiah, a Tennessee-bred singer/ songwriter bridging alt-rock with roots/oldtime music. She was recognized by Rolling Stone as “one of Americana’s great up-andcoming secrets.”

“Amythyst Kiah is amazing,” Kathleen said.

“She’s got this original sound,” Matthew said.

7 p.m. Saturday, March 11 at Elsinore Theatre, 170 High St SE Tickets & Info:

In addition to Amythyst, the concert also features Latin beats from Pachanga, an opera song performance from Ellie Niver and a musical land acknowledgment from Jan Michael Looking Wolf and Robin Gentlewolf plus Bend artist/musician MOsley WOtta will emcee.

“It’s what the people have told us they want, new music, a younger crowd and high energy, but with social context and response to contemporary issues and events,” Matthew said.

“Salem’s demographics have changed so much over the past five to 10 years. This programming reflects that,” Kathleen said.

“And the Elsinore, if you haven't been to the Elsinore, it’s a special place, a beautiful historic venue and it helps build community. Share experiences in public spaces brings the community together,” Matthew said.

Buy early to get the best seat in the house. All tickets are $52. Funds raised go directly to championing arts and culture in Salem by supporting the educational activities and cultural programs of World Beat and the Salem Art Association.

26 | | feb/mar 2023
Arts & Culture
MOsley WOtta Ellie Niver Pachanga Robin Gentlewolf & Michael Looking Wolf


A Yozakura, nighttime viewing of the cherry blossom trees, will take place 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, March 25 in the State Capitol State Park. Illuminated Japanese lanterns will dot the trees. Pack and picnic to enjoy the park, the trees and the evening’s ambiance. Focal Point Photography will be onhand sharing information on how to use a macro lens to capture photos of the blooms and Masumi Timson will be performing Koto music. The Yozakura will continue through spring break week, illuminated nightly until Saturday, April 1.


Artist Kathryn Cellerini Moore is planning an immersive, multimedia experience for her upcoming installation at Salem Art Association’s Bush Barn Art Center.

Aptly titled Stellular, Kathryn’s work brings together 700 pieces of glass with projection mapping to make a galaxy-like, kaleidoscopic encounter. Every element taken into consideration, the installation even has a soundtrack based on the sonification of nebulas, the birthplace of stars, from NASA.

Working with light as a drawing medium, Kathryn creates “connection between what’s around us and what’s out there,” she said. It’s her next step from Galactic Ping Pong, another multimedia installation using light that was on exhibit at Chemeketa Community College last year.

Through her art, Kathryn aims to create a space to ask questions about what is possible. “I love being curious and being surprised,” she said. Kathryn hopes her work can spark that curiosity and wonder in its viewers, too.

The installation will encompass the entire A.N. Bush Gallery. Experience it yourself March 10 to April 29. There will be an opening reception 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 10.

feb/mar 2023 | | 27 »
Crime: Stories from a
African Childhood Read. Discuss. Join. Salem Public Library February 2023 summer
Born a


Céili of the Valley Society has been actively celebrating all things Irish (and then some) for more than 15 years… and they do it all year-round. Of course, March is an extra special time to connect and here’s what they have in store —

Kick up your heels at the Second Friday Ceili (kay-lee). This monthly social dance featuring live music is offered, you guessed it, on the second Friday of every month. No experience, partner or special shoes are needed and all ages are welcome. The fun takes place at the VFW Hall, 630 Hood St NE. Doors open at 7 p.m. with instruction at 7:15 and live tunes from 8 p.m. on. Cost is $10.

If you want to get some practice before jumping into a Ceili, the society offers a weekly dance class every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. and at the VFW Hall. Taught

by the kind and patient Elisa Chandler, the dances are walked first so you can learn the steps, then called so you don’t have to worry about remembering everything right from the start. Wear comfortable shoes and bring water. No partner needed. $5 and the first class is free for newbies.

But Ceili of the Valley does more than dance, they also organize the annual St. Patrick’s Walk-About. On Saturday, March 18, the group will gather at 11:30 a.m. at Salem’s Riverfront Carousel, 101 Front St NE, then parade through the park with live music provided by the Willamette Valley Pipes & Drums beginning at 12 p.m. Everyone is welcome including wee folks and well-behaved pets. Learn more at

And if you want to hear more, you’ll find Willamette Valley Pipes and Drums playing on March 17 and 18 at Half Penny Public House, 3743 Commercial St SE. Find out more at

Finally, if you enjoyed the music, be sure to tune in to the Celtic Music Hour 10 to 11 a.m. Tuesdays on KMUZ 100.7 and 88.5 FM. The show, hosted live by Beth and Ann, features music from the seven Celtic nations and from musicians throughout the world. The show rebroadcasts Friday evenings at 7 p.m. For more info, visit


Keep in the loop of all things Celtic in the valley at and watch for more ways to celebrate your Irish side at

28 | | feb/mar 2023



Explore theater in Salem with these shows


An Inspector Calls

The unsuspecting Birling family is visited by the mysterious Inspector Goole, arriving just as they are celebrating the engagement of Sheila Birling to Gerald Croft. The Inspector reveals that a girl called Eva Smith, has taken her own life by drinking disinfectant. The family is horrified yet confused as to why the Inspector has called to see them. What follows is a tense and uncomfortable investigation by an all-knowing Inspector through which the family discovers they are all in fact caught up in this poor girl's death.

ON STAGE: February 2-4 at Pentacle Theatre |

Terra Nova

Drawn from the journals and letters found on the frozen body of Captain Scott, this play is a dramatic apogee, capturing with chilling intensity the awesome bravery of men who must accept the bitter knowledge that suffering and death will be the only reward for their heroism.

ON STAGE: February 9 & 11 at Pentacle Theatre |

Shrek the Musical

A mythical adventure tale about a hulking green ogre, homeless fairytale characters, an obnoxious lord and a pretty, pretty princess, who is more than she seems.

ON STAGE: March 3-25 at Pentacle Theatre |


Dear Elizabeth

A moving and innovative play by Sarah Ruhl based on one of the greatest correspondences in American literature. Between 1947 and 1977, Robert Lowell (played by Ronan Baker) and Elizabeth Bishop (played by Diane Slamp) exchanged more than four hundred letters. Describing the writing of their poems, their travel and daily illnesses, the pyrotechnics of their romantic relationships, and the profound affection they had for each other, these missives are the most intimate record available of both poets.

ON STAGE: March 10-19 at Salem's Grand Theatre |


The Secretaries

There is a special kind of cattiness that rules the secretaries at Cooney Lumber Mill in Big Bone, Oregon. But could they also be luring people into a cult behind recent “accidental” lumberjack deaths? Oil up the chainsaws and buckle in for this hilarious, outrageous feminist satire of admins over the edge.

Written by The Five Lesbian Brothers. Directed by Stephanie Mulligan.

ON STAGE: February 17-26 at M. Lee Pelton Theatre at Willamette University | wutheatre. com

Celebrating Women's History

She’s Speaking-LIVE hits the road for Women’s History Month and you’re invited.

Eight Oregon artists will perform songs about women, by women, for everyone. Participating artists include “Rip City Soul Funk Diva” Arietta Ward; Red Bird’s soulful vocalist Bre Greg; Award-winning Salem singer Kristen Grainger of the Americana string band Kristen Grainger & True North; “The First Lady of Portland Blues” LaRhonda Steele; modern-day troubadour Beth Wood; soulful, bluesy vocalist and guitar player Liz Chibucos; Naomi LaViolette, whose style is pianodriven folk-pop with elements of classical and jazz; and Lisa Mann combining clever blues and Americana balladry—all backed by an incredible band.

She’s Speaking is dedicated to elevating women’s songwriting, promoting “songs written by women, about women, for everyone.”

She's Speaking—LIVE

When: 2 p.m. Sunday, March 19

Where: Loucks Auditorium at Salem Public Library

Cost: $20 suggested donation


feb/mar 2023 | | 29
FRONT ROW summer

Joanne Shaw Taylor

Prepare yourself for an unforgettable night of soul and blues music with artist Joanne Shaw Taylor and her amazing band. She has become one of the hottest live acts on the modern Blues scene, and soon you’ll see why.

April 7 | Elsinore Theatre

Chapel Hart: Glory Days Tour

Chapel Hart has found a way to gift wrap their Mississippi roots & Louisiana spice and share it with listeners around the world. Featuring special guest Rosevelt.

May 12 | Elsinore Theatre

Trey Kennedy: Grow Up

Through his popularity on the mobile app Vine, Trey discovered a passion for entertainment. His relatable content helps people find some common ground through comedy.

May 18 | Elsinore Theatre

30 | | feb/mar 2023



Oregon's third-largest art museum, Hallie Ford Museum of Art features works by Pacific Northwest and Native American artists, a diverse collection of traditional European, American and Asian art, as well as antique artifacts. The museum is located at 700 State St and is open 12 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. 503-370-6855, willamette. edu/arts/hfma

Through March 25

Rita Robillard: Time and Place — Rita Robillard (American, born 1944) is a highly regarded Portland, Oregon mixed media artist who explores themes of history, nature, ecology and place in her work. Born and raised in New York City, Robillard attended Copper Union and the University of California, Berkeley, where she received her BA and MFA degrees in fine arts. She was an educator at Washington State University in Pullman and Portland State University, where she taught printmaking and chaired the art department until her retirement in 2013. The exhibition features a range of work from the past forty years drawn from public and private collections throughout the region.

Through April 22

Hidden Histories: Ancient Art from the Permanent Collections — Over the years, the Hallie Ford Museum of Art has amassed a fine collection of ancient art and textiles. Organized by faculty curator and professor of art history and archaeology, Ann M. Nicgorski, the exhibition features a range of objects of daily life from Egypt, Cyprus, Greece, and Rome; as well as a range of

Explore art in Salem at these exhibits.


Level 2 Gallery at the Salem Convention Center is curated by the Oregon Artists Series Foundation. It features changing exhibits of work by established and emerging artists of the region. The Gallery is accessible Monday - Friday during business hours, during special events or by appointment. Call 503589-1700.

February 1 to June 23

Jon Colburn: Dreams — Jon Colburn’s life and art are rooted equally in his native Oregon and in his extensive travels over almost five decades.

ancient textiles mainly from late Roman to Late Antique Egypt. Works from the permanent collection include gifts from Fred W. Neumann, Mark Sponenburgh, A. Dean McKenzie and others.


Attend a docent-led gallery talk on Tuesdays during February and March. Talks start in the museum lobby at 12:30 p.m.

There will also be a Gallery Talk led by artist Rita Robillard at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 25 and one led by exhibition curator Ann M. Nicgorksi at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 15. Gallery talks are free & open to the public.

Jon was born in Klamath Falls, Oregon in 1934. After spending a year at Portland State College, he received a full scholarship to attend and then graduated from the (Portland) Museum Art School with a major in painting in 1961. In 1966, he was awarded a D.A.A.D (German Academic Exchange Service) Fellowship to study painting at the Munich Academy of Fine Arts in Germany. Returning to the United States in 1967, he lived in New York City for 14 years, working in the studio of noted illustrator James McMullen, then moved back to Paris. He returned to Portland, “a city that’s in my blood”, in 1994, where he lived until he moved to Salem in 2007, where he still lives and paints daily.

Sixty years into his explorations, Colburn still seeks expression and style that goes beyond just the love of painting to find a view of the world through its realities and dreams. (An extension of this exhibit hangs in the Art Hall at Salem Public Library.)

feb/mar 2023 | | 31
Detail: Jon Colburn "Quake" 38.5 x 49” Acrylic on canvas

Take a Peek—

Explore Open Studios at the Mill, from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, February 11. This casual afternoon is an opportunity to browse the studios of 11 artists . It's where you’ll find a variety of affordable art to inspire and purchase for your collection or for someone special.

Tune in 9 to 10 a.m. Friday, February 10 at 88.5 or 100.7 FM to hear from studio artists, Bonnie Hull, Susan Napack and Ross Sutherland, who recently sat down with Joel Zak for his KMUZ radio program Talking About Art.

Studios at the Mill are a Salem artist collective located on the second floor of the old Wool Warehouse at the Willamette Heritage Center, 1313 Mill St SE.

For more information, visit


A year-round gallery space under the guidance of the Salem Public Art Commission, the Art Hall at the Salem Public Library features the Salem Reads Art Exhibit each February. During the rest of the year, the Oregon Artists Series Foundation curates rotating exhibits featuring regional artists.

Through February 26

Salem Reads Art Exhibit — View work created by local professional artists inspired by the 2023 Salem Reads book selection, Born a Crime by Trevor Noah.

February 28 to June 23

Jon Colburn: Dreams — View recent work by Salem artist Jon Colburn. This show is a companion to Jon’s work on display at Level 2 Gallery at Salem Convention Center.


Founded in 1919, the Salem Art Association aims to actively engage the community in the appreciation of the arts through contemporary art exhibits and events, and arts education for youth and adults. Visit the Bush Barn Art Center & Annex at 600 Mission St. SE.

Through February 26

Marisa Mecure: A Visual Journey of Landscapes — “My paintings start with an idea in mind of the final result, and are done with my acquired skills, intuition and the mind fully engaged in the work....In many cases, the painting dictates the road to follow, respecting what is there or isn’t, is a good rule.”

Hattitude: Hats from the Hatboxes of Willie Richardson — Black women wearing stunning “church hats” to express their respect for God, and their own “Hattitude”

reaches back generations. Salem treasure, Willie Richardson (Dec 20, 1948 – Jan 25, 2023) shares her “Crowns” which reflect the “convergence of faith and fashion that keeps the Sabbath both holy and glamorous.”

Artist in Residence: Cami Cummings

For Salem artist and business owner Cami Cummings, art helped her find her own voice and now she’s on a mission to help others do the same.

February 9 to 12

Impressions of Love — The art of Japanese flower arranging, also known as ikebana, is a traditional form of floral decoration that originated in Japan. The purpose of ikebana is to create harmony between the flowers, the container, and the space where the arrangement is displayed.

March 10 to April 29

Stellular — Kathryn Cellerini Moore is a self-proclaimed nerd whose interdisciplinary work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. She reuses and recycles media to create immersive

32 | | feb/mar 2023
Detail: Ron Conrad "Touch Pink" Acrylic on canvas, 30” x 20” 2020
"Pin Pots" by Susan Napack

experiences for people to reflect on our collective, multifaceted potential as just one species among many. Opening reception: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 10

March 18

Queer Artists Series: 2SLGBTQIAP in Focus

— Artist Badly Licked Bear talks about writing and hacking comics, finding and making Queer representation, and their current project, A Game of Me.

March 11 to 26

Young Artists’ Showcase: Individuals & Elementary Students — Featuring work created by school-aged artists (K-5) in Marion, Polk and Yamhill Counties. Opening reception and awards: March 11

April 1 to 30

Young Artists’ Showcase: Middle & High School Students — Featuring work by middle and high school artists in Marion, Polk and Yamhill Counties. Opening reception and awards: April 1


From fine art, up-and-coming artists, graffiti muralists and more, Salem on the Edge features work by PNW artists in a variety of media both for purchase and in rotating exhibits. Stop in and visit at 156 Liberty St. NE.

February 2 to 25

From the sensual to the seductive, Erotica: An Exhibition to Arouse returns to visually stimulate the senses. On display (and available for purchase) are 20 works of art, selected by juror Robin Weirich, owner of Portland’s Brassworks Gallery. Additionally, see work created by guest artist Melissa Rivers. Melissa’s art explores normalizing desire and sexuality with a healthy dose of humor. Using mid-century commercial images and watercolor the artist embraces unconventional sexual expression and fantasies.

March 1 to 25

Explore the work of featured artist Ron Conrad and guest artist Eddie Reed. Ron’s work (paintings and kinetic sculptures) dives into the relationship between people and movement and time. It also explores the connections and disconnections people have with themselves and their dreams. Eddie’s work “wonders aloud about contradicting behaviors. It tells stories of past and current struggles and carries a message of hope for the future. It pushes the viewer to confront socially out-of-balance contradictions by questioning systemic racism and privilege.”


Watch for more art exhibits & events at

feb/mar 2023 | | 33 PICTURE DISC
Melissa Rivers "Good Friends" Mixed media collage, 14” x 18” 2022

Coming Next Issue...


Steps to a more eco-friendly city


Sip, snack and sup your way through Salem


Things to do in West Salem


Who's roasting what?


Music features, artist profiles, stories from the stage and more!


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34 | | feb/mar 2023

Get Your Skate On...

If you’re not quite ready (willing, able, or interested) in joining roller derby, but still want to get your skate on, fear not…Traveling Wheelz is ready to get you rolling.

A passion project of Erin WheelerMcKenzie, Traveling Wheelz is a popup skating rink that hosts Open Skate events about twice a month.

The next two are a Valentine-theme night on February 4 and a Mardi Grasthemed skate February 18, at The Mad House, home of Cherry City Roller Derby. There are two sessions at each event: 4 to 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 to 10 p.m. All ages are welcome, except for the 7:30 p.m. Feb 4 session, which is 18 and older. Cost is $10-$15 per person. Bring your own skates or rent some for $5. Oh and yes, festive attire is encouraged.

It’s a side hustle fueled by passion. “I will never get rich, but I love it,” Erin said. “I want the community to have it.”

For future events, keep an eye on

feb/mar 2023 | | 35 PLAY

Aaron Naden is taking Salem by storm—one business at a time. If you have been downtown since 2016 you have probably seen at least one, if not more, of his companies. He started Bearded Oregon in July 2016 and his husband opened Flowers in the Alley in October 2020. Continuing their entrepreneurial ambitions, they established Capitol Menswear in July of 2021, then Capitol Apothecary in August of the same year.

This bearded businessman has been in and out of Salem most of his life but settled here with his husband about seven years ago. Aaron takes great pride in being part of the downtown Salem community—wanting to see it continue to flourish. He recently joined the Board of Directors for Salem Main Street Association, a nonprofit, volunteer-run organization that “provides the opportunity for interested persons to collaborate and participate in advocating for a vibrant Downtown Salem.” The SMSA helps organize events such as the First Friday Art Walk and the recent holiday lights downtown.

Aaron was also instrumental in spearheading this past summer’s pride event downtown. He was excited to celebrate during pride month while not interfering with the annual Capitol Pride event in the park which typically takes place in the late summer.

Next time you are downtown stop in and visit one Aaron’s businesses. But first, let’s stop and take a peek at what makes this entrepreneur and community activist tick.

36 | | feb/mar 2023 STOP

Man About Town

Meet Aaron Naden

What is your favorite thing about Salem? I love Salem's potential in where it's situated, the climate we have, and the diversity of people we are home to.

What is your favorite thing to do in Salem? An autumn walk through Minto Brown with my husband and our Yorkipoo. Also, dining at our fabulous locally-owned restaurants.

What name would you pick for yourself other than your current name?

I like my name, but it might be fun to spell it differently. A Starbucks barista once spelled it "Ehren" and that was intriguing.

If you could meet your 18-year-old self, what advice would you give them? So much advice. Most importantly, don't be so hard on yourself.

What subject do you wish you knew more about?

I wish I would've pursued art more. I would love to sit down and paint something beautiful.

What is the best compliment you have received?

Being told that I'm helping make significant change in a community is a wonderful compliment and hopefully, I can look back and agree.

Who has influenced you the most and how? I had two teachers in high school who both said "in order to know what you believe, you must know what you don't believe. That's how you develop your worldview." That's really stuck with me.

Do you have a secret talent, if so what is it?

Gosh, I wish I did. I like to think I'm a dog whisperer.

Quiet night at home or night on the town? I've always been a night on the town person, but am definitely preferring quiet nights at home more often as I get older.

Chinese or Mexican food?

Mmm Mexican food is bomb here in Salem. Gotta go with that.

Stage play or a concert?

Depends on what it is. Probably a concert.

Sweet or dill pickles?

Dill for sure. Gotta be crisp though.

Save the date for these upcoming events

Cherry City Flea

Cherry City Flea: Spring Market is a local shopping experience featuring more than 60 makers, curators and collectors. From vintage clothing and decor to handmade candles, handcrafted jewelry, original artwork and more.

April 2 | Salem Convention Center

Petal to the Metal

Cherry Blossoms Junior Roller Derby hosts Petal to the Metal, a sanctioned tournament featuring games by six teams from around the US.

April 14-16 | The Mad House

East European Romanticism

Salem Philharmonia presents East European Romanticism featuring pianist Crystal Zimmerman and music by Bedřich Smetana, Franz Liszt and Antonín Dvořák. Watch for tickets at

April 15 & 16 | East Salem Community Center

Rabbit Hole

Written by David Lindsay-Abaire and directed by Jo Dodge, Rabbit Hole is a Pulitzer Prize-winning drama about navigating loss, grief and heartbreak to find forgiveness.

April 21 to May 13 | Pentacle Theatre

Earth Day Yoga + Sitar

Celebrate Earth Day Yoga + Sitar in the Park. Sitarist JJ Gregg will provide live music at an all-levels hatha class by Common People Yoga. Register to participate at

April 22 | Riverfront Park

Ag Fest

Touch, taste and experience the incredible world of Oregon agriculture a fun-filled, festive environment at Ag Fest, a two-day event, aimed to help families better understand where their food, fiber and flora come from.

April 29 & 30 | Oregon State Fairgrounds

feb/mar 2023 | | 37
winter 2021/22
Story by Tracy Torres | Photo by Ben Mah

Mixtape, a montage of Salem by Salem for Salem, is a series of images discovered when searching #PressPlaySalem on Instagram. (Tag your photos to share them with us!)

38 | | feb/mar 2023 @madelinealpert MIXTAPE
@madelinealpert @downtownsalem @downtownsalem @dolarfilmphotography @basilandboard @dolarfilmphotography @enjoynoblewave @downtownsalem

Re-Opening Soon!

Comfortable fine dining in an elegant atmosphere

Northwest Inspired Menu featuring fresh seasonal seafood | artfully presented salads | choice steaks

inside The Grand Hotel | 201 Liberty Street SE | Downtown Salem

A Proper Breakfast Sandwich

Things to do in February & March

Man About Town

Aaron Naden

...And More!

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