An Artists Home

Whether it’s the gorgeous wood floor, the bright windows or the decades of people who have danced in the room, there is a notable feel to Conduit’s space that can’t be ignored. After 20 years in their downtown building, Conduit’s Director Tere Mathern has only this to say: “What does it take to keep a space empty so we can fill it with dance?” She is referring to how Portland has grown and the landscape surrounding the building that houses their space, right in the heart of downtown, has dramatically changed. These changes have even brought Conduit dangerously close to being pushed out of their home, before the dance community stepped in to save it. Conduit itself has evolved and shifted, but the one binding thread is the actual room that supports their vision of providing an incubator of artistic creation for the dancers of Portland.

One of the programs Conduit will be presenting, for the third year this July, directly supports that mission. Dance+ is one of the only dance focused, curated group shows that highlights artists from our region. Providing a venue for professional work, the program also strives to create space for experimentation, and past participants have described their experience as nourishing. The program is unique in that it offers a commission to choreographers and provides space grants so the artists can spend less time managing the logistics of producing their work and instead immerse more fully into the creative process. The framework of multiple choreographers, dancers and collaborators involved in the same show also leads to better, more sophisticated work. If you want a see into the minds of some of Portland’s developing artists, look no further.