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Letters, May 6

Thanks to donors

1st Phoenix Community Center’s Free Food Pantry thanks so many donors!

304 Ray’s Stuff the Truck donors: we’re down to the last of the precious strawberry jelly! Phoenix Food Project — we thrive on your generosity of spirit, goods and funds. Can and bottle donors: you’ve helped us raise $11,000 in the last four years, a nickel/dime at a time! We welcome folks in need to our free pantry and free clothing closet on Saturday mornings from 8-12. The closet is also open Wednesdays from 1-3 by appointment.

We thank all for supporting our residents in need through your need to share. Helpers Wanted: Saturday 8-12. First Presbyterian Church, Second Street and Church, Phoenix. Bring your family and neighbors! And to all you closet cleaner-outers: what incredible bounty! But we’ve had to rent storage space for off-season clothing: so we’re full.

What a great community! More info: 1stPhoenix.org

Karen Jones

1st Phoenix Board of Directors/Phoenix Food Project

Students explore OSF’s role

Whenever I told someone I was moving to Ashland, they provided one of four responses:

“Sorry, where?”

“Oh, how close is that to Portland?”

“Ashland? I love North Carolina!”

or, my favorite, “Ah, yes: Oregon Shakespeare Festival.”

It was no surprise to learn that OSF and the tourism industry it supports are a backbone of Ashland’s economy, and for my first few months here, I saw it that simply: OSF productions bring money and jobs to a rural — sometimes forgotten — part of the state. With the help of some extraordinary young people, though, I have discovered that the symbiosis of our community and this institution are much more complex.

At Ashland High School, I advise a club called Truth to Power. If you’re a diligent Tidings reader, you might recognize the group from our work engaging the houseless community or promoting antiracism.

The group’s most recent project features interviews with Nataki Garrett, local business owners, and more. “Tea, Toast, and Truth: To Be or Not to Be?” thoroughly examines the ecology of the Rogue Valley’s relationship with OSF. “I don’t think we would have the vital, energetic, interesting, robust economy that we do without Shakespeare,” says one local. In return, OSF says, “We can’t do anything without the valley!”

We are excited to share that we are debuting this new episode in a virtual gala this Friday, May 7! We will be giving out prizes, reporting on our work and then taking you all out to a night at the theater: we will offer a stream, on us, of OSF’s Snow in Midsummer — available to watch at your convenience through May 29. To claim your seat, go here. Admission is free, but donations are welcomed graciously.

Shane Abrams, teacher

Ashland High School