It’s been a long time since Randy Gragg left the Oregonian. I remember looking forward to his column every Sunday — he told beautiful stories about local architects and our architecture, and managed to weave history and politics into each story. When he announced his last column for the Oregonian had been written, I was one of many Oregonians who wrote to him professing my shock at the impending loss. As a result, his heartfelt response came back to us – how surprised and delighted to know what a loyal following he had – and he promised to keep in touch as to his next move.
In 2009, Randy became the new editor of Portland Monthly, after first coming on board at the sister publication of Portland Spaces. In typical Gragg fashion, he’s cleverly spawned yet another Portland marvel – Bright Lights.
“Bright Lights: Discussions on the City” is a monthly series presented by Portland Monthly magazine with City Club of Portland (you can also see the old ones on vimeo). The City Club explains that the series “is designed to bring the region’s thought leaders to the stage in an informal, conversational setting.” With past guests ranging from Congressman Earl Blumenauer and advertising guru Dan Wieden to the Portland State University president Wim Wiewel, it’s always an engaging discussion, and often quite an eye-opening experience.
For me, one of my very first Bright Lights was in September, 2008, when my experience with Portland was changed forever. Randy gave me a profound new awareness of our community when he introduced me to Time Based Art and the work of Lawrence and Anna Halprin, who’ve had a huge impact on our city. Through this, I was introduced to dance – which most of you know has been significant in my life indeed. Thank you, Randy. Since then, I’ve tried to never miss another Bright Lights event. Who knows where Randy will take me next?
What’s your favorite Bright Lights experience? Who would you like to see there?
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