Aug. 6: The Building Portlanders Love to Hate, Buster Keaton's 'The General' Gets a New Score & More

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This week, on State of Wonder: a multi-city birthday party for Oregon’s milestone in silent film history, Buster Keaton’s "The General," with a brand new live score; moments of reckoning as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival responds to threats against black actors, and opens up about dealing with resistance to its equity work; and Erin McKeown drops in to bend your mind, taking gospel music into the bathroom stall. Love It Or Loath It - Portland Newest High-Rise: The Yard The new chocolate-brown high-rise building at the east end of the Burnside bridge has received a lot of attention from Portlanders, from those who think its a daring modern style to those who call it the Death Star and the Borg and think it represents all that's wrong about Portland growth. Our columnist-in-residence, Randy Gragg, talked with the building's architect Jeff Kovel of Skylab Architecture about the design of the building, factors that went into why it looks the way it does, and what sets it apart. Erin McKeown Takes Prayer into the Bathroom with the Queer Gospel Erin McKeown got her start in the New England folk scene, but she’s since grown into a genre dancer of the highest order, gliding from folk to big band to gospel without straining her crystal clear voice. But even for an artist who regularly tackles politics and social justice, something feels particularly urgent about the six songs that make up her first studio album in three years, the EP “According to Us.” She released its first single, “The Queer Gospel,” just days after the Orlando shooting at the Pulse Nightclub. The Hollywood Theatre Gives Buster Keaton's Silent Film "The General" a New Score for Its 90th Birthday Filmed in Cottage Grove, Oregon, Buster Keaton’s 1926 silent film “The General” is considered one of the greatest movies of all time. The Hollywood Theatre, which is also celebrating its 90th anniversary, decided to throw a co-birthday party by commissioning an original score from the well-known Oregon composer Mark Orton, who has soundtracked everything from "Nebraska" to Ken Burns' "The Roosevelts" and episodes of "This American Life." Orton and a group of talented musicians will take the film and live score on a week tour through Oregon. Converge 45 Brings the Art Crowd to Portland Last weekend, collectors en route to the Seattle art fair were invited to come south to Oregon for a few days of art, sun and socializing by a new event called Converge 45. We talked with the organizer and gallerist Elizabeth Leach about the event that steered collectors and art connoisseurs toward exhibitions and artist talks by local and international artists. Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Ashland Community Unite after Racist Threats The community of Ashland and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival are coming together after two African American actors became the recent targets of racist comments and death threats. Nothing to Laugh About: Curious Comedy Theater Teams Up with the Hillsboro Police After Hillsboro’s police department decided to try something new earlier this year by working with improv performers from Portland's Curious Comedy Theater to improve the quality of its training, tensions between police and the community have only continued to escalate around the country.