Monday, March 9, 2009

2009 GAP Conference

The Oregon Commission for Women held an All-Day Conference at Portland State University on March 7, 2009.

I went to this conference on Saturday and thought it was invigorating: filled with people and panelists who are full of passion and creativity.

Portland State University in conjunction with the Oregon Commission for Women hosted the 2009 Gap Conference in Smith Memorial Student Union. This all-day conference was open to the public and admission was free.

The goal of the Oregon Commission for Women is to Bridge Gender Gaps in Education, Health Care, Employment and Leadership.

One way the commission is hoping to get more young women involved is by appealing to their interests in movies, theater and films.

Lana Veenker of Veenker Casting,

who helped with the casting of the Twilight movie last year in Portland, participated in a panel discussion, answering questions presented to the group with humor, passion and perspective. You can read her blog here.

Lourrie Hammack the President of Laika House, which produced the amazing stop-motion animated film CORALINE which was written by Newberry Award winning author Neil Gaiman was also on the panel together with Jan Johnson, also from Laika House.

The panel was rounded out by Ellen Bergstone Beer, who is involved with the Women’s Film Initiative and Film Action Oregon.

It was an eye-opening panel discussion moderated by Susan Castner from the Oregon Commission for Women.

Nike’s own Phil Knight owns Laika House and his son, Travis, who is the CEO of the production company, which used to be Will Vinton Studios, here in Portland, Oregon and which became well known due to their advertising campaign for the California Raisins are taking Laika into new areas.

Laika House has recently done animated work for Dole, M&Ms, Soyjoy, Coca Cola, Carnation Breakfast Essentials, Apple, Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food, Nike, the Oregon lottery and more.

The Women’s Film Initiative is working to engage Portland Women in the film-making industry and has contributed more than $17,000 to help fund five different film-making projects: three documentaries and two narratives have been supported by these funds.

If you are interested in getting involved in this program, here is the contact information for the Oregon Commission for Women: 3218 Pringle Road SE, Suite 270, Salem, OR 97302, Phone: 503-378-2139, Email:


Anonymous said...

How fun to attend a conference bursting at the seams with creative, clever people!

Clementine said...

Wow - I can't believe that they didn't charge admission. What a wonderful opportunity. I've never really thought about women in film-making, but there is quite a gender gap. I'm one of those geeks who loves to buy the special edition DVDs with behind the scenes footage, and film-maker interviews. One of my favorites is the Lord of the Rings. Those shots of New Zealand take my breath away.

Rosaria Williams said...

Great information. When is the next one? How can women who do not live in the Portland area hear about these things?

Kelly Polark said...

That sounds like an informative, worthwhile day!

Anonymous said...

This looks fabulous! Lucky you, Kim!

Write2ignite said...

SOunds like a wonderful conference! NC needs something like this. Or maybe we have one and I don't know about it? Hmmm...

Kimbra Kasch said...

Lakeviewer: I started a tab over on my right sidebar to show upcoming literary events (and more) for this reason. It's a shame more people don't hear of these things.

I'm gonna share whenever I hear of something.

New Zealand is beautiful. Maybe one day I'll see it first hand.

And you can't beat the price of this one ;)

Tana said...

Sounds wonderful to have been there. I love getting together with like minded people. It's inspiring.

Rosaria Williams said...

Great. Thank you. I shall check the sidebar regularly.

Christina Farley said...

Sounds like a fantastic conference. I enjoyed seeing the faces with their work.

Douglas Florian said...

jan johnson has a purple phantom on her neck, but we still kinda laika.
looked laika fun conference to me.

Kimbra Kasch said...

Poemhome: I know. I took my son with me to be the photographer, but I took that phantom photo :( I always seem to mess up.