August 2021
Fall 2021 Program Updates and Registration Dates
The Multnomah Arts Center is looking forward to reopening to the public for limited fall term programming in October.
MAC is currently planning to offer a limited number of classes, activities, and private music lessons for the upcoming Fall 2021 term. We look forward to expanding our offerings as staffing and public health guidelines allow.

In order to ensure our arts programs are accessible to all, we will continue to utilize PP&R's "Pay What You Can" option for our classes. This means that most activities can be reduced up to 75% for Portland residents at checkout, no application required. If additional financial assistance is needed to ensure participation, MACA will be helping provide additional support. To help support MACA's mission of advocating for equity and access to arts education for all, please consider donating to our nonprofit friend's group here!

MAC's fall term programming will be available to view online by Saturday, September 4. Staff will also be releasing a fall term class list by this date, which will include clickable registration links and classes listed by art form. We will post this list on our website and will send it out via our newsletter email list (If you know of someone who would be interested in receiving our class list and other announcements, be sure to share with them this link to sign up!).

Fall 2021 Registration Timelines:
  • Registration will open Tuesday, September 7 at 12:30 pm for activities and classes that begin October 4–November 3
  • Registration will open Monday, October 11 at 12:30 pm for activities and classes that begin November 8–December 19

As has been the case for the past year and a half, MAC's programming is being designed to be flexible as conditions change and will be entirely dependent on the most current public health guidance. We appreciate our community's patience throughout this pandemic and look forward to an anticipated fall reopening to the public! Stay tuned for more information...
MAC's 2021 Season of Summer Arts Camps Wraps Up!
This summer, MAC staff programmed and offered 24 Summer Arts Camps to Portlanders ages 6-11. We had over 200 campers register and participate this season!
This week marks the conclusion of MAC's 2021 Summer Arts Camps program. Planning all-day summer camps against the backdrop of a constantly changing pandemic presented unique challenges, but MAC staff were up to the task and were grateful and excited to have the opportunity to safely welcome Portland youth back to the campus for arts opportunities. All throughout the planning process, our staff were guided by two core principles: protecting the public from the spread of COVID-19, and thoughtfully designing high-quality arts experiences for youth that were true to the MAC brand.

By the end of the season, MAC has offered 24 summer day camps in the visual and performing arts over a span of eight weeks. Special thanks to MACA for their continued support in helping MAC revitalize accessible in-person arts programming for Portlanders. We also want to take a moment and give a HUGE THANK YOU to the 16 Arts Instructors and 11 Camp Counselors who made the delivery of this program to kids such a huge success:

  • Visual Arts Instructors: Arielle Brackett, Marc Cissell, Eduardo Fernandez, Jenna Gersbach-King, Dawn Grunwald, Junko Iijima, Gage Mace, and Jan von Bergen
  • Music Instructors: Jim Blackburn, Tracey Edson, Ana Gavrilovich, and Yohannes Murphy
  • Theatre Arts Instructors: Dawn Panttaja and Timothy Scarrott
  • Dance Instructors: Jarmila Darby and Kelsi Schnitter
  • Camp Counselors: Chase Allbritton, Natalia Bermudez, Adam Biggs, Camille Joublin, Anja Kennedy, Hannah Lasky, Vy Nguyen, Trinity Oslapas, Deewa Rahim, Maura Romo, and AC Sgroi

And an additional big thank you to MAC Visual Arts Lead Virginia McKinney for taking on the Herculean task of ordering, organizing, and coordinating art supplies and materials for over 200 happy campers! Welcoming kids back to the Multnomah Arts Center and getting to see them create together again was an immensely rewarding experience. MAC staff and MACA look forward to continuing to find safe and creative ways to keep the arts alive and serve Portlanders in fall and beyond.
Instructor Spotlights: Dawn Panttaja & Timothy Scarrott, Theatre Arts
Dawn and Timothy have been directing MAC's Studio Theatre productions for over a decade. This summer season, they served as Arts Instructors for some of our theatre camps.
Dawn Panttaja and Timothy Scarrott are best known around the MAC campus as the Studio Theatre Directors. Each term, the pair will work with groups of up to 20 kids and guide them over 10 weeks in rehearsing original scripts and adaptations that culminate in full-fledged theatre productions. Some of their most previous MAC productions include: Dr. Who & the Werewolves of London, The Odyssey, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and the Spotlight Parade series. More often than not the dynamic duo manages many other aspects of their original productions, serving as playwrights, designers (lighting, sound, costumes, etc.), and technicians.

Their passion for theatre is evident all throughout the rehearsal process. Guided by a commitment to "leave the drama on the stage," they take every opportunity to foster a learning environment that emanates collaboration, self-expression, and professionalism. A previous Studio Theatre student writes: "I like how Timothy and Dawn treat us like professional actors, not like little kids. It's like being in a real professional play."

Most recently, Dawn and Timothy joined the MAC Summer Camps team this season by serving as the Professional Arts Instructors for some of our performing arts camps. In MAC's "All the World's a Stage" theatre camps, Timothy directed campers in staged productions of Treasure Island and Stinky Cheeseman out on the Courtyard stage. Dawn created dance/movement curriculum around Alice in Wonderland for "Dance Magic" and offered sea-themed theatre activities for the interdisciplinary "Octopus' Garden" camp.
Dawn and Timothy have plans to offer theatre classes at MAC this fall, including revitalizing their Studio Theatre program! Stay tuned for more information on how to register.
Remembering Our Friend and Fellow Artist, Christine Colasurdo
We sadly share with the MAC community the passing of arts instructor Christine Colasurdo. Pictured above are some of her calligraphy works.
The Multnomah Arts Center recently lost beloved arts instructor Christine Colasurdo, who taught calligraphy and writing here since 2011. A gifted and passionate teacher, Christine brought beauty, excellence, and thoughtfulness to the classroom. Writes one of her students: "I have come to love calligraphy and that is because of Christine Colasurdo. She is a master teacher. I deeply appreciate her knowledge and skills in both the topic and teaching."

Ever since she began studying calligraphy, Christine's hands have always been stained with ink (She accidentally tattooed herself with a dip pen when she was a teenager!). Later she worked as a commercial calligrapher, graphic designer, and calligraphy teacher. She was also a poet, author, and journalist, writing about calligraphy in Alphabet and Letter Arts Review. Her work has been featured in Calligrapher's Engagement Calendar as well as in members' exhibitions of the Portland Society for Calligraphy and the Friends of Calligraphy. A partial list of her published works:

  • Return to Spirit Lake Life and Landscape at Mount St. Helens
  • Golden Gate National Parks: A Photographic Journey
  • RAIN: A Song Cycle a handbound collection of songs created to celebrate the beauty of rain
  • Cascade Manifesto: An Open Letter to Residents of the Cascade Range a handbound single-poem chapbook honoring the 35th anniversary of the eruption of Mount St. Helens

Friends and colleagues of Christine would often receive one of her gorgeous cards in the mail around the holidays. Some examples of her works are included above.

Christine will be missed at MAC! We extend our sympathy to her family, friends, colleagues, and students, and wish all joy and gratitude whenever she is remembered.

To read Christine's obituary in the Oregonian, please visit: Christine Colasurdo Obituary (1961-2021) - Portland, OR - The Oregonian (
The Multnomah Arts Center (MAC), a program of Portland Parks & Recreation, provides excellent arts education in the visual and performing arts at an affordable cost to students of all ages. We offer programs in music, movement, dance, theatre, woodshop, literary arts, conditioning, metal arts, mixed media, printmaking, drawing, painting, photography, ceramics, sculpture, textiles, and more. Programs run year-round, and scholarships are available. Visit to learn more about our programs.

The Multnomah Arts Center Association (MACA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which supports the vibrancy and health of the Multnomah Arts Center. Its mission is to advocate for equity and access to arts education.

The MAC Press is a publication of and made possible by the Multnomah Arts Center Association. MACA welcomes your tax-deductible cash contributions and in-kind donations to provide improvements to our facilities and programs. Thank you for your support.