PICA Member Profile: David Bragdon

You’ve been involved with PICA since the mid-nineties–a long time! Can you give five reasons why you’ve been a PICA supporter for so long?
David Bragdon: I joined early on to support Kristy Edmunds efforts to bring creative new work to Portland at a time when there was less of it than there is today. Second, in the days when PICA had a performance series I enjoyed my membership as a chance to have my mind provoked. I liked about half the performances and hated about half of them and understood none of them; but I was glad to have attended all of them. Third, when PICA’s performance season evolved to a more concentrated series in the form of TBA, I enjoyed that sense of something happening all week long and the energy that accumulates when the events all run together. Fourth, philosophically, I support having an organization like PICA to encourage local artists event during the times of the year when there are not performances. Fifth, I can’t believe it’s been nearly fifteen years that I have been a member!

Did you ever attend a DADA ball? If so, what is your best memory?

DB: Oh yes, oh yes. I know I attended the first and second ones, and then probably the fourth. My best memory is the first one, on the waterfront in lower Albina near the grain elevator. It was a magical evening. Specifically, my favorite memory is washing blue dye out of my hair in a friend’s kitchen sink afterwards.
What is your favorite TBA performance?
DB: Its is tied between two different shows which both took place in the Newmark. One was Laurie Anderson’s work with NASA. The other was another spoken word project …(hmm…I must be a verbal person, not a visual one!) which title I have forgotten [ed: The Spalding Gray Project, during TBA:06], about Spalding Gray and Dustin Hoffman. My all time favorite was the guy at the WORKS who did the Lionel Ritchie medley–Kenny Mellman. In terms of the performance series predating TBA, my favorite was the Israeli dance troupe that baked bread.

Describe your philosophy of supporting the arts?

DB: Arts make me think with a part of my brain that I would like to develop and apply more. That’s the selfish reason, so maybe I should not admit it! I also think that arts, especially when I don’t understand them, add more to the fabric of a community that I would like to live in.
Are you an artist yourself? What do you create?
DB: I like writing fictional short stories and fantasies and semi-fictional memoirs which go into a desk drawer or to select friends.
Add a question, one that you think should be answered about yourself.
DB: What would I be doing if I didn’t have this job? Railroad brakeman.

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