Performing arts and culture of many kinds are widely believed to enrich our lives, spark community vitality and even improve student test scores. They’re also the first to be dismissed as unnecessary frills in budgetary hard times.

With our teeming creative community in Portland, we wondered: What is the state of “the arts?” Specifically, paid gigs for working performers. How dependent are performers on old-school institutional arts funding for opportunities? How successful are arts entrepreneurs in carving out a financially stable life for themselves?

This week on Biz503, we delve into Jobs in Performing Arts. Tune into our encore episode to hear a discussion of this topic with an A-list panel. In three 20-minute segments, you’ll learn from Oregon’s top experts in arts funding how successful working musicians survive and thrive.

The guest that joined us for an overview of this podcast include:

Lisa Lepine, (know as the “Promotion Queen,”) a beloved Oregon music fixture who offered creative industry tips to help musicians excel with branding and marketing. Lepine, who sadly passed away last year, was respected by the Portland music scene as an agent, promoter and band consultant.

Also on the panel:

Eloise Damrosch, executive director, Regional Arts and Culture Council; Clara Hillier, education coordinator, Portland Center Stage; and Tim Williams, executive director, Oregon Governor’s Office of Film & Television. And since Portlandia Producer David Cress is also the president of the Oregon Media Production Association, he also joined us.

Jacqueline Gault, film producer and owner of The Gault Shop film and TV development company, and Jana Lee Hamblin, owner/founder/actor and teacher at Act Now Studio spoke about their experiences as entrepreneurial artists – and a new initiative to diversify screen images.

And finally, to buck up the working musician, we heard from Lori Hughes, hotel music booker for McMenamins, one of the largest providers of economic opportunities for musicians with its dozens of venues in Oregon and Washington, along with Jeremy Wilson, Dharma Bums frontman in the ’80s and ’90s.

Listne to the encore episode, sponsored by Logical Position:

Listen to the original podcast, sponsored by Albina Community Bank:


Rebecca Webb
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