Portland Celebrates the Arts

December 29, 2015 (Updated January 1, 2018)

With falling temperatures outside, winter bring us indoors and heats up our creative lives. It’s a great time to explore the arts with annual festivals celebrating music, film and live performances of all stripes. Spend some time in Portland this winter at one of these fabulous wintertime festivals.


The Reel Music Festival takes place January February at the Northwest Film Center at the Portland Art Museum. Now in its 35th year, the festival celebrates music through film in all genres from jazz and blues to folk, rock and classical. Films at previous festivals have highlighted musical greats as diverse as late pop star Elliot Smith, bluegrass legends the Carter Family and hip hop star Nas. Don’t miss special director talks, live music and screenings.

The Fertile Ground Festival spotlights new work in the arts at venues around the city from January 18-28, 2018. This fringe festival highlights the city’s finest local artists and performers in live theater, dance, comedy, visual art and film. The festival includes workshops, dance performances, readings and multiple world premieres, all produced by Portland-based artists.

The 41st annual Portland International Film Festival showcases more than 125 international shorts and feature films from February 15 to March 1, 2018 at Northwest Film Center at the Portland Art Museum. In addition to film screenings, the festival includes special events, visiting artists and gatherings. Screenings take place at theaters around town. Previous festival winners include narrative feature “Conducta” from Cuba and documentary “Sunshine Superman” from the U.S. Check the website for a list of 2017 films.

February 15-25, 2018, the world-famous Portland Jazz Festival takes center stage. In previous years, the festival celebrated the lasting influence of jazz great John Coltrane with performances from internationally acclaimed musicians like the Spanish Harlem Quartet and the Sonny Fortune Quartet. Visit the website for a complete listing of acts.

About The

Eileen Garvin
Eileen Garvin lives and writes in Hood River. When she’s not hunched over her keyboard or digging in the garden, you can find her mountain biking, kiteboarding, hiking, skiing or camping somewhere in Oregon.

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