OrHum Conversation Projects

My full schedule of programs can be found here

For details for each date, see Oregon Humanities’ calendar

Oregon Humanities is a Portland-based non-profit educational organization funded by the Oregon Trust and the National Endowment for the Humanities. I am one of several dozen program organizers and leaders for their Conversation Projects. My programs focus on two topics close to my heart: the DIY movement in all its glorious forms and sustainable seafood.

“Why DIY? Self-Sufficiency and American Life” allows folks to share their philosophies and projects with like-minded (and perhaps NOT like-minded) souls. We ask of each other: Are we as self-sufficient as we can be? As we should be? What are the pleasures and pitfalls of doing it yourself? This conversation investigates why we strive to be makers and doers in a world that provides more conveniences than ever before. How might the “new Industrial Revolution” of tinkerers and crafters affect American schools and workplaces? How do maker spaces or skills courses foster greater engagement and involvement? What could be left behind when we increase self-sufficiency in a community? All kinds of DIY interests are welcome: we can focus on foraging, permaculture, prepping, woodworking, or hovercraft making—or perhaps all of these at once! Through our shared stories, we will seek to understand more deeply how DIY functions in American life.

“Fish Tales: Traditions and Challenges of Seafood in Oregon” focuses on the increasingly worrisome issue of our local seafood. Oregonians love the wild beauty of our 363 miles of coastline, but finding truly local seafood can be hard, even on the coast. The US imports approximately 90 percent of its seafood and ships out nearly as much to the global market. Why aren’t we eating more local seafood, now that preserving and distribution technologies are the most sophisticated they have ever been? Why do we consider seafood more a delicacy now than it has been in the past? In this conversation, I help participants explore our relationship with the products of the sea and cultural traditions involving fishing, eating seafood, and understanding the ocean’s bounty and challenges.

The “Fish Tales” program debuted in 2016, and was one of the top CPs of the year for Oregon Humanities for the 2017 and 2018 seasons. I’ve moderated almost 40 discussions in communities all over the state, including Portland, Eugene, Newport, Corvallis, Bend, Joseph/Enterprise, and Brookings.

For inquiries, please email me at wellsuited at gmail dot com.

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