02/12/21 to 02/21/21

Five Days with Step Afrika! Virtual Series

Step Afrika! is the world’s first professional company dedicated to the tradition of stepping — a polyrhythmic, percussive dance form that uses the body as an instrument. Based on Step Afrika!’s award-winning arts education programs and more than 25 years of performing and teaching students, the Company has created FIVE DAYS WITH STEP AFRIKA! to support the academic environment as well as the challenges of virtual learning. There are five energetic episodes that can be watch in numerical order, or any order you’d like.



Seeking Resonance: Toward Being Future Beings

  • Time: 4:00 PM
  • More Information: Website

This event is captioned.

You’re invited to a free conversation on contemporary art making on Wednesday, March 3 at 4 pm via Zoom. Please join Portland Ovations, Indigo Arts Alliance, and a dynamic group of North American Indigenous artists in a sweeping conversation, “Seeking Resonance: Toward Being Future Beings.” This gathering looks toward the development of renowned Yup’ik artist and choreographer Emily Johnson’s new multidisciplinary project, “Being Future Being,” of which Portland Ovations is a co-commissioner.

This virtual conversation brings Maine-based artists Jason Brown (Penobscot), Donna Decontie (Penobscot) and Chris Newell (Passamaquoddy) into dialogue with Emily, her collaborators Drew Michael (Yup’ik and Inupiaq) and Maggie Thompson (Fond du Lac Ojibwe), and you. Together, we will share a conversation that spans fashion, dance, performance, music, and textile and visual arts, as they discuss their experiences as Indigenous artists making work today: their relationships to tradition, place, spirituality, and more.

Free RSVP to receive the Zoom link to this conversation.

03/13/21 to 03/28/21

Samuel James Tells the Story of Tiny Bill McGraw

  • Time: 12:00 AM to 11:30 PM
  • More Information: Website

Join Portland Ovations on March 13th as Samuel James tells the Story of Tiny Bill McGraw! Tiny Bill, a little Black boy, doesn’t like being small. His grandfather takes Tiny Bill under his wing and teaches him – and the audience – about his musical heritage and that size isn’t everything, especially if you can make a big sound! Through the story of Tiny Bill, Samuel James interweaves music, performance, Black American history, and a few life lessons while putting on a performance of his own. From finger snaps to banjo to piano, James shares his depth of musical talent in this 30-minute poignant storytelling experience of the fictional Tiny Bill McGraw in 1930s America.

The innovative and playful video format allows the audience to see him play numerous instruments at once as he builds to a final performance as a one-man nine instrument folk orchestra. This arts experience is a layered lesson in music and history informed by James’ unique perspective as a Black American folk musician with deep ties to Maine. Samuel James is an award-winning singer/songwriter, world-touring musician and Moth Mainstage storyteller, filmmaker, journalist and educator. For more than a decade he has performed extensively throughout the United States as well as more than 20 other countries, back when you could do that kind of thing.

Suggested for ages 5 and up.

This virtual experience includes three 10-minute videos that includes music and storytelling.


Samuel James and Tiny Bill McGraw LIVE

  • Time: 10:00 AM
  • More Information: Website

This event will be captioned and ASL interpreted.

Join Portland Ovations and come hang with musician, singer, and storyteller Samuel James as he shares a behind the scenes glimpse at his “Story of Tiny Bill McGraw”. You can expect many guitars, some harmonica jams, and double finger snaps. It goes without saying that he’ll also play a few improvised tunes. This event is only offered live and will not be recorded. Recommended for all ages

FREE (does not include access to ‘Samuel James Tells the Story of Tiny Bill McGraw‘)

RSVP required, upon registration you will receive a Zoom link in your confirmation email to join the event.


Women Transforming Leadership: Tribal Health and Leadership

  • Time: 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
  • More Information: Website

Healing to Live and to Lead: Join the Maine Development Foundation for a workshop with Lisa Sockabasin of Wabanaki Public Health and Wellness. This event is open to all, via Zoom.


Portland Ovations Presents: POP 90

  • Time: 6:30 PM
  • More Information: Website

Portland Ovations Presents the launch of their 90th year

Celebrate with the Portland Ovations team at a virtual, 3-part benefit party filled with Artists, Auctions, & Performances streamed to you LIVE from the Merrill Auditorium stage with esteemed emcees Kerem Durdag & Sara Juli and hosts, Mary Allen Lindemann & Aimée M. Petrin.

An exclusive pre-party followed by a dynamic, one-hour broadcast of celebrities, artists, performances, auctions, a raffle, and wrapping up with a live dance party hosted by Portland’s own Cherry Lemonade.


Innovating for Growth: Setting the Stage for Seeing the Future

  • Time: 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Join the Maine Development Foundation on Thursday, March 26th for this event conducted via Zoom. Featured speaker Dr. Todd Gabe will discuss the keys to economic development, where Maine stands according to these important metrics, and how the state can enhance its ability to innovate for economic growth. Dr. Gabe is a Professor of Economics at the University of Maine, where he teaches and conducts research on a broad range of topics related to state and local economic development. The event is open to all.



Architalx Lecture 1: Matthew Lister

  • Time: 6:00 PM
  • More Information: Website

Architalx is an organization that brings leaders in the architecture and design community from around the World to lecture in Portland, Maine every April. The 2021 season will be hosted virtually and thanks to Architalx’s supporters, tickets will be free of cost! The first design lecture of the season is by Matthew Lister, a creative urban place-maker, real estate development strategist and designer. As managing director of Gehl Studio New York, he focuses on the intersection of real estate strategy and the design and activation of public spaces. Register for this free lecture today!


Spurwink Humanitarian Awards Gala // Virtual Event

  • Time: 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
  • More Information: Website

Spurwink’s Humanitarian brings together our community to honor community leaders who make Maine a healthier place to live and work. This year we are honoring Cullen Ryan, who has dedicated his professional career to serving special needs populations and ending homelessness. We will also be honoring Spurwink’s frontline workers who have worked tirelessly during the pandemic. Due to the pandemic, this year’s Humanitarian will be a virtual event including an online auction the week leading up to the event.



One Night of globalFEST

Presented in collaboration with the Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center, we invite you to join Portland Ovations for a virtual WATCH PARTY hosted by multiple Grammy Award winner Angelique Kidjo as we take a musical tour around the world. Featuring Dedicated Men Of Zion, Labess, Sofia Rei, and DakhaBrakha – globalFEST gives audiences the opportunity to experience extraordinary artists from all over the globe – and around the corner – all in one night. This very special experience for Ovations audiences only includes a LIVE conversation with Labess lead vocalist and guitarist Nedjim Bouizzoul, a special message from our friends DakhaBrakha and signature recipes as we explore the intersection of arts, food and culture.

globalFEST promotes global and American regional music traditions, creates opportunities for artists, inspires discovery for arts professionals to present artists from diverse cultures, and introduces new music to the public. globalFEST believes that music can be a driving force toward a society that values cultural diversity as a source of unity rather than division.

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