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Bits and Pieces • Arts generate $253 million for region

by: MICHAEL DURHAM, Oregon Zoo campers get a close-up look at an endangered western pond turtle that has been head-started at the zoo for release into the wild this summer.

The nonprofit arts and culture industry in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties generates more than $253 million in annual economic activity, according to "Arts and Economic Prosperity IV," a national economic impact study. The Regional Arts and Culture Council and Business for Culture and the Arts coordinated the local part of study.

The arts/culture organizations spent $152 million in fiscal year 2010, the study says, and support 8,529 local jobs and return $21 million in revenue to state and local coffers. Total attendance was 4.6 million, with 16.3 percent of attendees from out of town.

"Arts organizations add tremendous value to our community, but it's not always something we can quantify," says Eloise Damrosch, RACC executive director.

The full report can be read at racc.org/aep4.

Windsurfing on ocean

It may be out of the way for Portland, but it should be an

exciting event: The Pistol River Wave Bash, an American Windsurfing Tour stop, will take place at Gold Beach, Thursday through Sunday, June 14 to 17.

For more info, go to americanwindsurfingtour.com

Rock on!

The Portland Youth Rock Orchestra, which features about 50 local youth ages 7 to 23, will rock out 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 15 at Newmark Theatre, 1111 S.W. Broadway, playing tunes from Led Zeppelin and The Kinks -- as well as Beethoven and Vivaldi.

PYRO was founded by Portland-based guitar master and educator Brent Gunter. In an age when music programs are being trimmed or cut in schools, it's a group that continues to teach young musicians to excel.

For info: portlandyouthrock.org.

Breakthrough author

Brian Reeves of Oregon City has been named a finalist in the fifth annual Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition. Winners from general fiction and young adult fiction will be announced June 16 in Seattle; each receives a publishing contract from Penguin and a $15,000 advance.

Reeves' general fiction novel is called "A Chant of Love and Lamentation," which reflects the struggle for Hawaiian identity and the sovereign movement.

'Idol' singing

Mt. Hood Community College's commencements June 15 and 16 will feature a notable singer for the night: "American Idol" contestant Romeo Diahn, singing "America the Beautiful."

Diahn, 23, has his own success story, born in Liberia and fleeing to Ghana and living in a refugee camp with his family. Diahn has studied at MHCC, focusing on music, singing and recording equipment, while also participating in student government. He'll receive an associate of general studies degree, and he's planning to attend Le Cordon Bleu of Culinary Arts in Portland.

Movie time

Dates of upcoming new releases:

June 15: "Rock of Ages"; "Hysteria"

June 22: "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter"; "Brave"; "Where Do We Go Now?"; "Your Sister's Sister"

June 29: "People Like Us"; "Magic Mike"

July 5: "Katy Perry: Part of Me"

July 13: "Ice Age: Continental Drift";

July 20: "The Dark Knight Rises"; "Trishna"

July 27: "The Watch"; "Step Up: Revolution"

Children's author

Charlotte Rodenberg has parlayed her Children at the Vibe of Portland puppet show into a children's book and video. It's called "Bronto and the Pterodactyl Eggs," released May 30. She has a book signing Saturday, June 16, at Powell's Books/Cedar Hill Crossing in Beaverton, and a release party June 24 at Tabor Space, 5441 S.E. Fremont St.

Zoo camp

The popular camps for kids at Oregon Zoo returns June 18. It's designed for kids 4 years through eighth grade to continue education through summer and make connections with nature. Each weeklong camp includes crafts, songs, stories, snacks, train rides, animal visitors and in-depth tours of Oregon Zoo. Spots are still open; go to oregonzoo.org for info.

PNCA campaign

Pacific Northwest College of Art seeks to renovate the historical former federal post office at 511 N.W. Broadway and anchor the PNCA campus in the North Park Blocks, and it has started a fundraising campaign, "Creativity Works Here," in hopes of raising $15 million. PNCA got a boost from The Harold and Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation, which gave $5 million for the naming of the renovated building; Arlene Schnitzer will serve as honorary co-chairwoman for the campaign, along with longtime supporter Dorothy "Dolly" Lemelson.