Joni Renee Whitworth, who uses they/them pronouns, is a poet and the executive director of Future Prairie, “a queer creative studio and non-profit artist collective.” We talked about how their organization has changed course during the pandemic, what the value of a nonprofit dedicated to marginalized artists is, and how an arts organizer finds space and time for their own work as they support the work of others.
Amidst the struggles of the pandemic and racial justice protests in Portland, Onry has taken the opportunity to clarify his priorities, taking his creative future in his own hands. Onry is a singer, dancer, actor, and pianist based in Portland, Oregon. He’s one of very few Black professional classical singers here. When the pandemic hit, Onry went outside to find places to sing, to keep his voice strong, and that led to some experiences that inspired his new project, a documentary and studio recording project called Livin’ in the Light. You can see a beautiful music video that’s part of the project at moredevotedly.com, as well as a link to a fundraiser that’s still in progress. We talk about how the experiences he’s had during this time showed Onry that it was time to step into his own light, and to show how others can do the same in their own way.