Loading Events
  • This event has passed.

2018 Siren Nation Arts Workshops & Panels (Free)

November 11, 2018 @ 11:00 am - 5:00 pm PST

Location Details

Join us for a day of FREE workshops and panel discussions, featuring diverse women from across the arts spectrum. This event is part of the 2018 Siren Nation Festival.


McMenamins Kennedy School
5736 NE 33rd Avenue
Portland, OR 97211



(In the Martha Jordan Room)

The Business of Art
11:00 AM-12:45 PM

Learn how to treat your art like a professional business. We’ll cover topics such as different ways to make money from your art, how to present your work in the best light, and basic business management for artists. Come prepared with any questions you may have about how to make and grow a creative business.

Podcasting Basics
1:00-2:45 PM

Creating a podcast? Looking for your voice? This workshop’s for you. Every good podcast revolves around a story. We’ll explore storytelling in multiple podcast formats, as well as how to get your show published, connecting to your audience, and key tools.

POC Stand-up Comedy
3:00-5:00 PM

This free workshop is being offered specifically to people of color. It’s an opportunity to learn and develop stand-up writing and performance skills. Come polish those punchlines! No experience required.


(In the Mina Parsons Room)

Funding Creative Work
11:00 AM-12:15 PM

Do you have a dream project? Get ideas about how to make it happen. Our panel of creative professionals will discuss and answer questions about different ways of financing creative projects, from grants to freelancing to crowdfunding.

Social Media for Creative Professionals
12:30-1:45 PM

Get a variety of perspectives on social media strategies and how to manage the personal/professional balancing act when you’re doing creative work. Panelists include artists from different fields, a social media manager, and PSU’s Director of Book Publishing.

The Business of Music
2:00-3:15 PM

Music industry pros, including indie and major-label performers, talk about their experiences in the business, career tips, and Portland’s music scene.

The Wide World of Weed
3:30-5:00 PM

Learn about the cannabis industry from women who are shaping it! Our panelists deal with just about every aspect of cannabis, including edible and topical products, medicinal CBD, science, art, and community.



The Business of Art
11:00 AM-12:45 PM

Cate Anevski has spent her career split between working as a professional artist and a tax accountant. A few years back, she finally decided to work as an artist full time, but she loves applying her business knowledge to her artistic endeavors. Her latest goal is helping other creative individuals understand business so they can have successful careers following their passions.

Podcasting Basics
1:00-2:45 PM

Jeni Wren Stottrup is a podcast producer and editor in Portland, Oregon. Since launching her podcast, Gritty Birds, in 2015, she has made podcasting more than just a hobby, but a way of life. In 2017, she founded Podcast Portland and successfully funded a Kickstarter for her home production studio. Since then, Wren has continued to be an advocate for podcasting in the NW. In 2018 she launched Gritty Birds Podcast Editing and spoke at Podcast Movement in Philadelphia. A RACC grant recipient and XRAY.FM producer, Wren currently works in audio at Guitar Center in Clackamas. In her spare time, she is addicted to Modular Synths, live music, and puppies.

POC Stand-up Comedy
3:00-5:00 PM

Katie Nguyen writes and performs stand-up, improv, sketch, and more. She has performed at SF Sketchfest, Asheville Comedy Festival, 10,000 Laughs Festival, Stumptown Improv Fest, and Bridgetown Comedy Festival. Katie performed in the ensemble of the Brody Theater for years, is an instructor at Deep End Theater, hosts the show Earthquake Hurricane, and was twice named one of the Portland Mercury’s Geniuses of Comedy.


Funding Creative Work
11:00 AM-12:15 PM

Oluyinka A. Akinjiola is a dancer and Artistic Director/Choreographer at Rejoice! Diaspora Dance Theater, which she founded in 2014 with the support of New Expressive Works (Subashini Ganesan) and Performance Works NW (Linda Austin) in Portland, Oregon. Oluyinka is a recipient of the 2017 Oregon Arts Commission Artist Fellowship, Monserrat Award for Dance Research, Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) project grant awards, and Multnomah County Cultural Coalition grants; was a Fulbright Finalist; and is in the RACC Cultural Leadership Program. She received an MFA in Dance Choreography and Performance, and was Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance at Reed College and SUNY The College at Brockport. She creates a unique blend between dances of Africa, the African Diaspora, modern dance, and social justice issues. Oluyinka was a three-year guest artist for the Sankofa African Drum & Dance Ensemble; her work was featured in the International Association of Blacks in Dance conference (Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles), Carnaval 2014 (Salvador, BA, Brazil), TEDxMtHood, and Newmark Theater, among others.

Jae Yeun Choi serves as the Regional Arts & Culture Council’s (RACC) Program Specialist for Individual Artists. She helps provide workshops, training opportunities, and additional resources to artists. Jae administers RACC’s Professional Development Grant program, which supports individual artists and arts organizations in acquiring new skills or experiences to advance their creative practice or business. She has taught poetry at Reed College, Portland State University, and the University of Iowa, and her poems have been published in The Volta, A Plume Annual, Tin House, The Iowa Review, and elsewhere. Her work has also been featured within group exhibitions at 356 S. Mission, 3 Days Awake Gallery, PMoMA, and Good Press Glasgow.

Kel McDonald is a writer, artist, and publisher who has been working in comics for over a decade. Much of that time has been spent on her webcomic Sorcery 101. She also organized and crowdfunded the anthology series Cautionary Fables and Fairytales, while contributing to other anthologies such as Dark Horse Presents, Smut Peddler, and Sleep of Reason. She has also worked on the comic book series Buffy: The High School Years. Kel recently finished a creator-owned series, Misfits of Avalon, for Dark Horse Comics. She’s currently working on her self-published series The City Between.

Tara Johnson-Medinger is a director/producer living in Portland. She is in post-production on her feature directorial debut, My Summer as a Goth, which is set to premiere in autumn 2018. She is the producer of the feature film City Baby; two feature documentaries, Rock N Roll Mamas and The Winding Stream; and two short films, Working Lunch and The Musicianer. Tara is the executive director of The Portland Oregon Women’s Film Festival (POW Film Fest) and the POWGirls Media Education Program. She served on the founding board of directors of the Women in Film Portland Chapter and was awarded the 2013 Service & Inspiration Award by the Oregon Media Production Association. Before moving to Portland, she was a manager of affiliate promotion at the FOX Broadcasting Company in Los Angeles. Through her production work as well as the POW Film Fest, Tara wants to promote and create new opportunities for women filmmakers.

Dawn Jones Redstone is an award-winning filmmaker focused on telling stories that lift the experiences of women and people of color. She is best known for her critically acclaimed short film Sista in the Brotherhood, about a black apprentice carpenter who experiences discrimination. Among other projects, she also directed We Have Our Ways, which won Best Short at Portland International Film Festival and is currently on the festival circuit. Early next year, she’ll release her next short, tentatively titled Magnificent, about two women who go on a first date/hike in the Gorge. All three of these highlighted projects received grants from the Regional Arts and Culture Council, were crowdfunded, and garnered significant in-kind donations in order to be made. Dawn is a recipient of the Lilla Jewel Artist Award from MRG Foundation (cash award) and been named a Woman of Vision by the Daily Journal of Commerce.

Social Media for Creative Professionals
12:30-1:45 PM

Renèe Lopez is a freelance photographer in Portland. She is a Momma, an Activist, and a Connector. Her photography focuses on highlighting and uplifting people of color in Portland, shooting the local hiphop scene, and documenting protest and social injustices. In 2016, Renèe started her Women of Color in PDX series, in which she shares a picture of each woman alongside a story about who they are and what they do. Renèe’s work has been featured in publications such as We Out Here, Vortex, and The Portland Mercury, and in gallery showings at Union Knott, UNA Gallery, and C3initiative.

Dr. Rachel Noorda is the Director of Book Publishing and Assistant Professor in English at Portland State University, where she teaches courses in editing, marketing, book publishing for writers, and book publishing research. She has a PhD in Publishing Studies from the University of Stirling. Her research interests include 21st-century book culture, diaspora communities, Scottish publishing, small business marketing, international marketing, and entrepreneurship. In addition to her scholarly interest in the publishing ecosystem, Rachel co-runs a small educational children’s publisher, ThunderStone Books.

Rebecca Gates is a US-based musician, curator, artist, and audio editor. She has released five albums, three as leader of the critically acclaimed group The Spinanes (Sub Pop); toured internationally; and appeared as a vocalist on numerous records by artists as wide ranging as Akito Katayose, The Decemberists, and Willie Nelson.

Alberta Poon is a writer, director, editor, and videographer. The creative aura surrounding her work emanates from years of fronting musical acts, developing shorts for her comedic web series Scorpiono, and her obsession with color and symmetry. Fond of mixing genres, Alberta’s work presents surreal worlds often tinted with humor and melancholy. Her eye for detail and ability to bring out the best in her subjects are key elements of her work, whether she is directing live action or developing stories in post. Currently, she is working as an editor for Kamp Grizzly while directing and editing a music video for songwriter, producer, and actor Amenta Abioto. Additionally, Alberta is shooting, directing, and editing videos for the influential She Shreds magazine.

Lindsay Strannigan is a social media manager and event planner based in Portland, Oregon. She is currently the Marketing Director for the Beaverton Farmers Market, and she runs her own social media strategy company, Strannigan & Sons. Lindsay has planned events for Feast Portland, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Union/Pine, Whole Foods, and more. She provides ongoing social media management services for numerous local businesses, such as Bunk Sandwiches, Hotel Vintage, Townshend’s Tea, and Fifty Licks Ice Cream.

The Business of Music
2:00-3:15 PM

With her effortless flow and lyrical poeticism, MC and rapper Raquel Divar is making waves in the Portland underground hip-hop and electronic scenes. Raquel has innovated a style that draws on the traditions of old-school hip-hop, Southern rap, UK grime, dubstep, and trap. Born to a Mexican and Indigenous father and a Jewish mother, Raquel’s diverse heritage has directly influenced her sound. Growing up in San Francisco with a brother who was a scratch DJ, Raquel was fascinated with DJ culture, electronica, and hip-hop from a young age. Raquel’s work is highly influenced by acts such as Vince Staples, Ms. Banks, SantiGold, and renowned underground hip-hop group Hieroglyphics. Raquel has notably collaborated with Portland’s prominent underground bass label and collective STYLSS as well as indie label Tomahawk Recordings, helping her alter the face of rap in bass music. Raquel can often be found performing with Tomahawk Recordings label head Cory O, with whom she released collaborative EP The Reign in 2018. Raquel’s ardent passion, powerful flow, and energy shine through in her live sets. Willamette Week named Raquel one of Portland’s most underrated rappers in 2016 and “Vandals” one of Portland’s most underrated rap songs of 2017.

Sallie Ford grew up playing music in Asheville, North Carolina. In 2006, she moved to Portland, where she met her band The Sound Outside. Together they released three albums and an EP before parting ways. In 2014, Sallie fulfilled her dream of starting an all-girl rock ’n’ roll band and recorded Slap Back, which she has called “an ode to all the babe rockers from Joan Jett, Blondie and Pat Benatar to PJ Harvey and Exene Cervenka,” with producer Chris Funk. More recently, Sallie released the solo album Soul Sick on Vanguard Records. She has performed on The Late Show and garnered critical acclaim from USA Today, New York Daily News, Boston Globe, Interview, Nylon, BUST, Paste, and many others.

Vocalist Rae Gordon started her singing career in the piano bars and comedy clubs of Los Angeles, where she honed her ability to relate to any audience — from a small wine bar with a few people sipping libations, to a big festival attended by thousands. Rae’s approachability and onstage charisma are as well-known as her multi-octave range. She has won the Cascade Blues Association’s Muddy Award for Best Female Vocalist three times, landing her in their Hall of Fame. Her first recording, Blue Lemonade, hit #10 on the Billboard Blues Chart; her second offering, Dirty Flowers, has enjoyed extensive airplay in the US and beyond. In 2017, the Rae Gordon Band released its third recording, the award-winning Better Than I Was, produced by RGB guitarist Kivett Bednar and featuring songs co-written with RGB keyboardist and musical director Pat McDougall, which has charted number 2 in the Roots Report. The band also received international acclaim when they placed third in the 2017 International Blues Challenge, which led to gigs in Canada and the US including the Big Blues Bender in Las Vegas. Next year will bring another CD and more travel for Rae.

Amanda Richards is a six-time Grammy-nominated songwriter and performer with more than 15 years’ experience in the music industry. She has written and produced seven full-length albums and scored several documentaries, independent films, and shorts. Her 2011 rock opera, Play Dead, garnered her international recognition and an Independent Music Award for Best Concept Album. Amanda is a popular presence on the Portland live music scene, playing with her band The Good Long Whiles, as well as solo and in duo configurations. In 2018, Amanda wrote, produced, and starred in her own “raunchy outlaw-country” stage musical, Whiskey Dixie & The Big Wet Country.

The Wide World of Weed
3:30-5:00 PM

Emma Chasen has a mission: to educate people on the science behind Cannabis so that they may take charge of their own healing, as well as to address the need for training and education of budtenders, medical professionals, and the general public. After graduating from Brown University in 2014 with a degree in Medicinal Plant Research, Emma coordinated Clinical Oncology trials with the Brown University Oncology Research Group. When her supervisor refused a Cannabis trial in favor of another expensive pharmaceutical drug, Emma quit and headed across the country to Portland, Oregon. She found her way to Farma, the popular Portland dispensary that takes a more scientific approach to Cannabis; rejecting the indica/sativa binary and instead focusing on chemotypes to determine effect. There she quickly rose from budtender to General Manager and Director of Education, creating a training curriculum that focuses on cannabis science, product knowledge, and empathetic patient care. Emma now co-owns and operates Eminent Consulting, which provides cannabis business consulting services, marketing collateral development, and educational training programs. Emma was named Portland’s Best Budtender of 2016 and has been featured in Newsweek, MG Magazine, Forbes, High Times Magazine, The Centennial, The Oregon Leaf, and Teen Vogue for her work with cannabis education. She is also a regular guest on podcasts and has been featured on television for her ability to explain scientific concepts around cannabis in a way that is accessible to the general public.

Megon Dee-Cave is a professional cannabis chef whose focus is to continue gaining knowledge of the effects of cannabinoids and terpenes for medicinal practices and wellness routines. Megon is a former bakery owner from Baltimore, Maryland, and a third-generation cook. Relocating to Portland in 2016 to further her knowledge as a healer of sorts, she gained knowledge of how to better control the consistency of cannabinoid dosing and navigated the developing cannabis industry with her culinary skills and savvy marketing assets. Megon is currently developing a CBD wellness and personal care line of products, Oracle Infused Wellness Co., which focuses on integrating hemp-derived CBD skin, hair, and body care products into the everyday wellness routine. While working privately with clients looking for alternative ways to medicate for specific ailments such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, chronic pain, and stage 4 cancer, she has developed an understanding of her purpose in healing while using cannabis, terpenes, and hemp as her choice tools. She is also an advocate for canna-moms and is expecting her second child in January 2019 with plans to incorporate CBD into the birthing process.

Crystal Hoffman has worked for Organa Brands for the last six years. The company is comprised of five brands: O.penVAPE, Bakked, District Edibles, Magic Buzz, and Pressies. Crystal has multi-market experience with lab management and operations including raw material acquisition, documenting process flows, compliance, state and local licensing, distribution, CO2 extraction, infused product manufacturing, and vape cartridge production. Having been with the company since inception, she was on the ground level when Colorado transitioned to the recreational cannabis market. She also assisted with the transition from medical to recreational cannabis operations in Oregon in 2016 and in California in 2018. The company is currently licensed and distributed in 10 states and has its products in over 1,500 dispensaries.

Aminah Leary is on a mission to fortify and empower the black community and economy in Portland. Through her work as a community builder in the cannabis industry and beyond, she has become a powerful voice for social equity, restorative justice, and rightful distribution of economic resources. She pours her whole heart into all of her entrepreneurial endeavors as the mission always comes back to home, family, and legacy. In all her work, Aminah strives to build a stronger community that her children can be proud and intentional members of.

Samantha Montanaro is a chicken-lovin’ multimedia artist, event coordinator, gardener, musician, and mother who is passionate about community, cannabis, and feminine empowerment. Sam came into cannabis in 2014 by founding Prism House PDX, an events and graphic design company. She hosted regular events like The Oregon Cannabis Industry Meet Up and Puff Pass and Paint Portland, and provided a private cannabis-friendly space for dispensaries, farms, and processors to host employee trainings, team-building events, and parties to celebrate their successes. The community built through Prism House became an epicenter for Oregon cannabis social culture by offering unique, uplifting, and creative cannabis-friendly gatherings that shatter stoner stigmas. In 2017, Samantha expanded her regular repertoire of events by partnering up with Lisa Snyder to launch Tokeativity, the worldwide cannabis community for women, based in Portland, Oregon. Samantha also serves as President of the Board of Historic Parkrose, a local nonprofit aimed at revitalizing the business district of Parkrose; and on the executive board of Venture Portland, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting all 50 Portland business districts. Samantha and her work have been featured in numerous media outlets, including Forbes, Rolling Stone, Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, Newsweek, Dope Magazine, and The Weed Blog, and she is known for her progressive stance on healthcare, education, and urban development.

Savina Monet is an independent branding consultant, artist, and graphic designer, focused on building entrepreneurial brands in the cannabis industry. Some of her notable clients include Gold Moon Concentrates, Tokeativity, The Initiative, and many other women- or diverse-owned businesses throughout the West Coast. In a sea of ever-changing legislation, Savina carefully balances transparency and beauty to connect with her audience and satisfy her clients. Outside of work, Savina enjoys creating digital and analog collages and exploring the Pacific Northwest with her terrier pup.

The Kennedy School’s accessibility information:

The main schoolhouse is ADA compliant.

The SE entrance to the building is ADA compliant and has a ramp.

The front (west) and NE back entrances are NOT ADA accessible.

There are also small ramps into the Gymnasium.

The bathrooms nearest the Gym have an ADA stall.

The chairs are all black metal framed conference chairs with a padded seat. No arms.

The Kennedy School does not have a no/low scent policy.

There are 140+ spots in the lot, including several permit-only accessible spots.


Event Location

McMenamins – Kennedy School
5736 NE 33rd Av
Portland, OR 97211 United States

+ Google Map