Cultural happenings in Bend and beyond

There’s always something going on in Bend during the fall, from History Pubs and poetry workshops to visiting scholars and art talks. The arts, history, culture – they’re all alive in Bend in autumn!

History Pubs
Robert Sawyer, Conservation, and the Making of Central Oregon: Presented by Portland State history professor William Lange
Father Luke’s Room at McMenamins Old St. Francis School

Robert Sawyer

Tuesday, September 24, doors open at 5:30 p.m., event starts at 7 p.m.
Encore presentation: Wednesday, September 25, 2019, noon
East Bend Library

When 32-year-old Harvard Law School graduate Robert Sawyer came to Bend in 1912, the town was just beginning its rise as a metropolis in Central Oregon. The railroad had arrived in 1911 and by 1916 there were two large sawmills ready to turn the region’s pine forest into a bonanza. Sawyer recognized the economic potential and soon found himself the editor/owner of the Bend Bulletin, where he boosted the town and its prospects from a conservative and pro-development point of view. But what also caught his interest was the overwhelming power of the area’s natural beauty, especially its forests and rivers, and is where the story of Sawyer and Bend gets interesting, because without Sawyer this place would likely not be a recreational paradise.

Natural History Pubs
Climate Change Implications for Great Basin Wetlands
Father Luke’s Room at McMenamins Old St. Francis School
Monday, October 7, 7 p.m. – Free (but RSVP)

Wetlands in arid landscapes provide valuable habitat for millions of migratory waterbirds. Scientist Emeritus at the USGS Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center and Courtesy Professor of Wildlife Ecology at Oregon State University Susan Haig will discuss how climate change is affecting water availability for these habitats in the Great Basin—and the implications for wildlife and the Pacific Flyway. Please note the permanent change in schedule: Natural History Pub is on the first Monday of each month.

Harvest Festival (image above)
Saturday, October 5, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Free with Museum admission

 The Miller family of the Museum’s 1904 living history ranch has tended to their garden all summer and needs your help to prepare for winter. Dig and clean potatoes to store in the root cellar, press fresh apples into cider, and even pickle some eggs to make sure the Millers are stocked with the necessities for the changing seasons.

Museum and Me
Saturday, October 12, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
A quieter time for children and adults with physical, intellectual and/or social disabilities to enjoy the High Desert Museum after hours. Explore the Museum’s newest exhibits and revisit your favorites.
Free for individuals, friends and family.

Senior Day
Wednesday, October 16, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Visitors 65 and older are invited to enjoy the Museum for free.

Tales of Hallow’s Eve
Saturday, October 26, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
A Halloween party like you’ve never seen! Dare to enter into the haunted Spirit of the West exhibit. Family fun for all ages. Costumes encouraged!


The Life and Death of Democracies: Explore some of history’s most successful and unsuccessful democracies with COCC history professor Murray Godfrey
Thursday, September 19, 2019, 6 p.m.
Downtown Bend Library

Democracy as a form of government has been an ideal since antiquity, but in the scope of world history, democracy as a dominant form of governance has only lasted for relatively short time periods, and the ideal may be in a precarious position again. COCC history professor Murray Godfrey will discuss some of history’s most successful and unsuccessful democracies, the circumstances of their rise and fall, and implications for the future

Should We Reform the Electoral College? Presented OSU-Cascades political science instructor Ariel Méndez
Tuesday, September 24, 2019, 1 p.m.
East Bend Library

What is the electoral college, and does it need reform?

In two of the last five presidential elections, the candidate with the most votes lost the election (Al Gore in 2000 and Hilary Clinton in 2016). This is because the electoral college – and not the national popular vote – determines which candidate is elected president.

Will we see a repeat in 2020? This interactive workshop will explore what the electoral college is, what it is intended to accomplish, and what the movement to reform it hopes to achieve.

Ariel Méndez is an instructor of political science at OSU-Cascades. His PhD in political science is from Stanford University.

Writers Writing: Memoir Workshop with Beth Alvarado
Saturday, September 28, 2019, 1 p.m.
East Bend Library

The essays in Beth Alvarado’s collection, Anxious Attachments, explore the writer’s personal struggles – from quitting heroin to caring for premature infants to tending to the dying – and become a lens through which she allows readers to see our shared social and political lives. As a larger narrative, the book is about the power of compassion and our ability to revise who we are, what we believe, and what our story is.

Beth’s second book, Anthropologies: A Family Memoir (University of Iowa Press, 2011), is a vivid archive of memories that layers scenes, oral histories, portraits, and dreams in a dynamic cross-cultural mosaic. Her short story collection, Not a Matter of Love (New Rivers Press, 2006), won the Many Voices Project Prize for work that is “aesthetically challenging and has a social consciousness.”

China’s Happy Ice-Snow Dream: How the Communist Party created a winter sports frenzy
Monday, September 30, 2019, 6 p.m.
Downtown Bend Library

With little natural snow, scruffy mountains and virtually no tradition of playing snow and ice sports, China seems like an unlikely place to host the next Winter Olympics. Yet something remarkable is afoot in the Middle Kingdom. By the time the Games roll around in 2022, the Chinese government hopes to have created hundreds of millions of skiers and snowboarders among other winter sports enthusiasts. That’s more than the population of Switzerland, Germany and Austria combined. To make it happen, multi-billion dollar resorts are popping out of the hills north of Beijing. Schools are organizing free on-snow lessons for students. The propaganda machine is in full gear and it all seems to be working. Today, China hosts the largest group of beginners the world has ever seen, while American and European resorts, including our very own Mount Bachelor, are all jockeying to woo them westward.

Tim Neville, a correspondent for Outside and a contributor to the New York Times, has made six trips to the world’s most populous country to explore this phenomenon. What he found is a wildly fun, mind-boggling adventure and a new way to span the cultural divide.

Writers Reading – Kim Fu, The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore
Saturday, October 5, 2019, 2 p.m.
Downtown Bend Library
Kim Fu reads from The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore

Award-winning author Kim Fu reads from her most recent novel, “The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore,” about five young girls who become stranded on a kayaking trip in the Pacific Northwest, and the haunted and complex women they grow up to become.

Reading will be followed by a Q&A and book signing. Books available for purchase.

Fu is the author of two novels and a collection of poetry, most recently The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore, which was called “propulsive” and “skillful” by the New York Times. Her debut, For Today I Am a Boy, won the Edmund White Award and was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award, among others. Her writing has appeared in Granta, the Atlantic, Hazlitt, and the Times Literary Supplement. Fu lives in Seattle, Washington and is an instructor-advisor at the Humber School for Writers.