Portland Institute for Contemporary Art

Funding Received: 2011
Portland, OR
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
January 3, 2012


As construction slowly moves along on our new space, our thoughts have turned to figuring out what we’ll fill it with.

Working with big ambitions and a tight budget means having to beg and borrow the tools we need to produce projects. But just what are the tools of a contemporary art organization? Certainly not just hammers and nails, but also lights and PAs and stages and cameras and chairs and trucks and whole warehouses of other materials. Our own storage unit contains 100-foot rolls of duvateen and fake grass, racks of sheet and dimensional lumber, yards and yards of string lights, pop-up tents, signboards, two portable bars, and hundreds of tangled extension cords. You never know what you might need for a given event.

And yet, as we work with ArtPlace to streamline our practice of pop-up presentations all around Portland, it is a perfect moment to reassess what we actually have and what tools we need to better do our jobs. To that end, we've been having staff brainstorming sessions where we imagine our perfect wish lists of tools and technology. Here is some of our early thinking:

Laptops and wireless technology (to work on-the-go).
Audio equipment (so our artists don't have to yell across the room).
Mobile ticketing tools (iPods and iPads and Squares and scanners).
Rolling tool carts (pack it up and deploy a mobile woodshop for each temporary space!).
Pop-up signs (to let audiences know where we are).
A polished-up website (if you move around as much as we do, your homepage is like your storefront).
Video and camera equipment (to share our events with those who couldn't make it).
And a truck to move it all around.