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Creative conference to benefit schools

Creative types to gather in downtown Portland on Sept. 12

Members of the so-called creative community are expected to gather Saturday, Sept. 12, for the annual Portland Creative Conference, which is now a benefit for school arts programs.

This year's conference will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Newmark Theater in the downtown Portland Center for Performing Arts. Costs are $99 a person, with discounts available through associated organizations.

The event is produced by Oregon Creative Industries, a trade association in the formative stages of development, whose mission is to sustain and grow Oregon's creative economy. It benefits benefit Keeping the Beat, a nonprofit that supports K-12 arts education in Oregon.

After several successful conferences, the event was not held for a number of years until being revived as a Keeping the Beat benefit last year.

'Re-Launching the Portland Creative Conference in 2008 as a nonprofit fiscally sponsored project of Keeping the Beat was a win-win situation for the regional creative economy and for arts education,' said Steve Gehlen, chairman of the Portland Creative Conference and founder of Keeping the Beat. 'The first-year results exceeded our expectations due to the outpouring of support received from sponsors, individual donors, volunteers and attendees. That allowed us to distribute funds from proceeds to two different arts education programs in the region.'

Speakers at this year's conference include:

• Dan Wieden, co-founder, president and creative director of Portland's Wieden+Kennedy advertising agency.

• Bill Oakley, a television writer/producer, most notably for the Simpsons.

• Emek, a rock poster artist whose work has been commissioned by musicians like Neil Young and the Beastie Boys.

• Larry Brooks, a novelist, screenwriter and former pitcher for the Texas Rangers

• Jen Jako, a designer and MTV documentary director/ producer.

• Jerry Ketel, creative marketing director at the Leopold Ketel and Partners advertising agerncy.

• Rick Emerson, a Portland radio and TV personality, who will emcee the conference.

Mayor Sam Adams is scheduled to attend a reception at the end of the event.