White Bird Education Programs, Spring 2017:

VIEW FROM THE PERCH, A Series of Intimate Conversations to Benefit White Bird
View from the Perch is a new series of three educational programs –- springboards for interaction with some of White Bird’s talented friends.  These events feature conversations designed to stimulate interest in contemporary dance, raise White Bird’s profile in advance of its 20th Anniversary Season, and develop financial resources to support next Season’s premiere artists coming from across America, Korea, and ……. The venue for the first two events is The Treasury Central Business District.  Following discussion with the artist speakers, a hospitality hour with hosted bar and ample appetizers creates memorable evenings for a small audience.



April 3, 2017, Monday 5:30-7:30 pm.
The Treasury,
326 SW Broadway, Portland

Judith Jamison, former dancer and former Artistic Director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and choreographer Ronald K. Brown are the first guest speakers in View from the Perch to discuss their work and shared inspiration.  The Ailey Company has commissioned numerous works by the acclaimed Brown whose company, Ronald K. Brown/Evidence performs at the Newmark Theater April 6-8.  During its 32 years, Evidence has focused on the seamless integration of traditional African dance with contemporary choreography and spoken word.  Brown was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship and a Bessie Award from the Black Theater Alliance, among others distinctions.  In 2012, he choreographed Porgy and Bess for Broadway.  Jamison is renowned as a dancer, choreographer, artistic director, and author.  During 21 years as Artistic Director of The Ailey Company, she brought the Company to unprecedented heights – including two historic engagements in South Africa and a celebration of the Company’s 50th anniversary with a 50-city global tour.  She is the recipient of numerous awards, among them a prime time Emmy Award, an American Choreography Award, the Kennedy Center Honor, a National Medal of Arts, and the Handel Medallion, the highest honor awarded by the City of New York.  Jamison was also listed in “The TIME 100: The World’s Most Influential People.”  In 2013, she was the 50thinductee into the Hall of Fame at the National Museum of Dance.

April 20, 2017, Thursday 5:30-7:30 pm.
The Treasury,
326 SW Broadway, Portland

Over 30 years, Portlander Michael Curry has achieved an international reputation as a production designer specializing in transformational scenery, large-scale puppetry, costuming, and character design. He collaborates regularly with the world’s foremost entertainment companies, such as The Walt Disney Company, Cirque du Soleil, the Olympic Committee, and the Metropolitan Opera, to create exhilarating performance experiences. Curry will be conversing with Portland Art Museum former Chief Curator Bruce Guenther who steered the Museum’s acquisitions and exhibitions for fourteen years.  He has written extensively on the art of the last 100 years.  Guenther is a frequent juror for regional and national exhibitions and serves as a peer panelist for the General Services Administration Art in Architecture Program.

Event 3 White Party with MICHELLE LESNIAK
June 24, 2017, Saturday 4-6 pm.
Private Residence,
Northwest Portland

In one of Portland’s most stunning residential settings commanding a panoramic view of Portland, fashion designer Michelle Lesniak debuts a capsule collection exclusively for White Bird.  Her designs focus on small production and emotive clothing.  Envisioned for the White Party, Ms. Lesniak’s fashion tableaux are accompanied by music performed by bass guitarist Seth Aaron Montfort in their first artistic collaboration.  Dancer-models will create an atypical (non-runway) fashion show emphasizing clothes in movement.  Lesniak, a native Portlander, jumpstarted her career in fashion via the television show, Project Runway, in 2013.  She impressed the judges: supermodel Heidi Klum, Marie Claire fashion director Nina Garcia and fashion designer Zac Posen to win the season.  Among her prizes, she earned the financial resources to design full-time, and gain fame. Lesniak will discuss her recent experience designing costumes for Carmen, choreographed by Ihsan Rustem for NW Dance Project’s performances in March 2017, and the thought process underpinning her fall fashions.

View from the Perch is generously sponsored by :


      Additional support from: