Notes from the Publisher - Pamela Hulse Andrews
by PAMELA HULSE ANDREWS Cascade A&E Publisher
You have to have a big vision and take very small steps to get there. You have to be humble as you execute but visionary and gigantic in terms of your aspiration. It’s not about grand innovation, it’s about a lot of little innovations: every day, every week, every month, making something a little bit better.
~ Jason Calacanis (American internet entrepreneur and blogger)
BendFilm is an inspiring, passionate and economically beneficial event embraced by the community in a pretty big way. An independent film festival that was once a dot on the radar is now one of the top 50 film festivals in the world named by MovieMaker magazine.
The four-day dream catcher gives our community a firsthand glance at documentaries that are gut wrenching, films that will make you laugh or cry or ponder along with a chance to meet innovative and hopeful filmmakers who are sure to find a spot in history.
BendFilm has had its ebbs and flows in its minor financial crisis and its changes of the guard through various directors, board members and sponsors.
But Bendfilm survives because it is a gift for our community and offers us the privilege, opportunity and responsibility to view great works of thought and visual intregrity through film.
Under the leadership of former BendFilm Executive Director Orit Schwartz, last year was certainly a banner year for the festival as it completed its tenth season and evolved into one of the most anticipated events in Bend’s history.
Several years ago the festival was highlighted by the performance of the amusing John Waters with his edgy Pope of Trash. But it was the Audience Favorite and the Best of Show winning a $10,000 award, The Trials of Darryl Hunt, that was so deeply moving and still reminds me today why we bring independent films here. Darryl Hunt spent 20 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. The winning film was a story of a brutal rape/murder case of a young white women in the south and a wrongly convicted young black man. With exclusive footage from two decades, the film frames the judicial and emotional response to a chilling crime — and the implications that reverberate from Darryl’s conviction.
It was a great tribute for BendFilm to host both Darryl Hunt and director Annie Sundberg and reminds me often of what an introspective experience BendFilm can be.
Two years ago, we fathomed the idea to create a special ‘club’ so to speak, whereby 100 women would each contribute $100 each to raise $10,000 for BendFilm awards especially for women filmmakers and directors.
Money raised is also wanted to fund valuable festival activities such as filmmaker visits, lectures and workshops, as well as attendee gatherings that have helped to make the BendFilm festival successful in past years.
You can see a list of some of the women who have given to the Indie Women fund over the years on page 34 of this magazine. With two years and more than $20,000 under our belt, we are well on our way to raising another $10,000 that will help the festival’s new and inspiring director, Todd Looby, put on another fabulous festival.
People only look at me as a Beatle, but my friends look at me as a whole person. That’s how life works, but it’s not bugging me anymore. Being in The Beatles was a short, incredible period of my life. I had 22 years leading up to it and it was all over eight years later.
~ Ringo Starr
by PAMELA HULSE ANDREWS Cascade A&E Publisher
Ringo Star in Bend, Oregon. The famous Beatle drummer (singer/songwriter/actor) performed last month at the Les Schwab Amphitheater, his only performance in Oregon. How did we get so lucky? Bill Smith informs me that it was Marney Smith (manager of the Amphitheater) and Monqui Productions that lured him here with an Oregon only play.
But how did he get so lucky? Ringo performed during a spectacular summer evening on the banks of the Deschutes River to a packed, exuberant audience with the majestic Cascades and Old Mill smokestacks framing the landscape. I have a feeling he was impressed with our little town!
You can argue about who the favorite Beatle should be, but Ringo was very influential in creating Beatlemania during the ‘60s until the band broke up in 1970. During live performances, the Beatles created the Starr Time routine that was popular among his fans: Lennon would place a microphone in front of Starr’s kit in preparation for his spotlight moment and audiences would erupt in screams.
Ringo sang lead vocals with the Beatles on only a few songs, but songs many remember the words to including With a Little Help from My Friends, Yellow Submarine and Act Naturally. He also wrote the Beatles’ songs Don’t Pass Me By and Octopus’s Garden.
I might not have taken such notice of him leading to enthusiastic anticipation of this concert had it not been for the February 9, 2014 performance on CBS celebrating 50 years to the date that the Beatles performed on the Ed Sullivan show. During the celebration Ringo rocked the house with his spirited energy (he’s a young 74 for sure), charm, showmanship...and his All-Starr Band members.
Since 1989, Starr has toured with twelve variations of his band, where “everybody on stage is a star in their own right.”
This year Ringo’s gifted band members include Steve Lukather original lead guitarist for the rock band Toto, Gregg Rolie one of the founding members of the band Santana, Todd Rundgren from the bands Nazz, Utopia and The New Cars, Richard Page lead singer and bassist of 80’s band Mr. Mister, Warren Ham vocalist, saxophonist, flutist from Fort Worth, Texas who formed The Ham Brothers Band and David Lee Roth rock vocalist, songwriter, actor, author, former radio personality currently lead singer of the Southern California-based hard rock band Van Halen.
Ringo is a living legend whose contribution to rock and roll is immeasurable, not only as a Beatle, but also through his prolific and thriving solo career. In gathering a new group of iconic rockers to perform in the All-Starr band each year, every arrangement offers an original and memorable moment where we get to experience songs we all know and love.
There were few people in the audience at the Les Schwab concert under 30, but babyboomers do know their music and loved the British Invasion. It was particularly nice to have a little slice of it here in Bend.
by PAMELA HULSE ANDREWS Cascade A&E Publisher
Over the past two decades I have tried to position this magazine as a cultural wake up call to our community as to the importance and significance of the beauty of our region captured in diverse artwork from painting, pottery and sculptures to murals and wearable art, heard aloud from poets and writers in the local music scene from country, blues and hip hop to our theatrical successes at the Tower Theatre, 2nd Street, Bend Experimental Art Theatre and Cascades Theatrical Company.
In the early days of Cascade A&E few gave credence to the importance of the local art scene let alone to the economic value that the creative community provides to our region. We were not talking about research that demonstrates that creativity increases test scores, generates social responsibility and can turn a failing student into a success story. We just wanted people to know that our lifestyle is better served with a vibrant arts community.
During a recent taping of State of Wonder on Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB), the host Emily Carr asked Pat Clark of Atelier 6000 (A6) and me about what the recession did to Central Oregon’s arts scene. Pat and I looked at each other and smiled knowing full well the toll it took on nearly everyone in Central Oregon and how the arts suffered with decreasing budgets for arts organizations and the struggles that galleries and artists went though.
But we smiled because we know that time and hard work changes everything and that through diversity comes new awareness and creativity. Under Pat’s leadership and during the recession Atelier made a shift in its mission that forged a new relationship with arts education and cultivated (among other things) in the enormously successful M. C. Escher art exhibit with his genius woodcuts, lithographs and mezzotints that inspired local students.
Artists are not to be deterred in their pursuit of their craft. It seems that for every gallery that closes two more open. Most of the arts organizations in Central Oregon have fully survived the recession and more are beginning and thriving including BendFilm, Sunriver Music Festival, Scalehouse, Art on the High Desert, Arts Central, Central Oregon Metal Arts Guild, Songwriters Association, Sisters Folk Festival, Quilt Show, Central Oregon Symphony, High Desert Chamber Music, Jefferson County Art Association, Arts & Culture Alliance and of course the museums (Bowman, High Desert, Des Chutes Historical and Warm Springs).
Art in Public Places has been an enormous contributor to Bend’s art resurgence utilizing public art (especially throughout our roundabouts) to enhance the cultural environment and encourage visitors to our area. And of course, thanks to Visit Bend, we now have a Cultural Tourism Fund that will promote arts and cultural programs to enhance Bend’s tourism economy.
On OPB Pat said that A6 is now a gathering place with artists, students and patrons touching base. She has seen a change and emphasis on aesthetics that she thought would never be possible. We both agreed that the recession resulted in some good things: a repositioning of people back into education and people losing traditional jobs becoming creative with their skills (from construction worker to metal artist).
And now? One final note that was said on OPB: Bend has arrived. We are not just a recreational paradise, we are an arts community from Last Saturday at the Old Ironworks to First Friday in downtown Bend, and it has had a rippling effect on our surrounding communities who are developing their own festivals, roundabouts and artwalks.
It’s a complex and multilayered culture, one we can be very proud to call home.