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During the conference (as well as at the after party,) there will be various performances by musicians and artists. Below are listed bios and information for the artists scheduled to perform.

Mic Crenshaw

Mic’s Website

Born on the south side of Chicago, and raised in both Chicago and Minneapolis, Mic is a world class MC and poet now emerging on the national – and international stage. After significant music and social work in Minneapolis Mic moved to Portland where he quickly became one of the most respected artists in the Northwest. In 2001, Crenshaw won The Portland Poetry Slam Championship and went on to finish as a national finalist. In the coming years he became the driving force for some of most popular hip hop artists in the region, including Hungry Mob, Suckapunch and Cleveland Steamers, releasing numerous albums.

The Portland Mercury called Crenshaw (with the Lifesavas) “two of the very best hip-hop acts in PDX”. In 2009 Mic released his debut solo CD, “Thinking Out Loud”, which spent 10 weeks on CMJ’s National Radio Hip Hop Charts in the top 10, peaking at number 4. Recently Crenshaw has been a featured artist in XLR8R Magazine NikeSportswear.com, iTunes, myspace, and sonicbids.com, Myx.tv, hiphopdx.com, okayplayer.com, and a number of other music websites. He has since collaborated and shared the stage with major national and international acts including Dead Prez, Immortal Technique, the legendary Fugees, Ice Cube, Outkast, Wu-Tang Clan and many others.

From the beginning, Mic has felt a deep connection between his art and the larger world around him. In Minneapolis in the 1980’s he was a founder of Anti Racist Action (ARA) and an organizer in the often-violent struggle to rid Minneapolis, MN of white supremacist gangs and organizations. This led to his recruitment by his former public High School to teach and develop curriculum. He created a Social Studies curriculum and his anti-racist organization “The Baldies”, grew in size to over 100 members.

In Portland, Mic’s community efforts have expanded locally – and internationally. After attending a Human Rights conference in Rwanda, he co-founded Global Fam, a non-profit which has helped setup a computer center for disadvantaged youth in Burundi, Central Africa. In 2009 he was intimately involved with the establishment of the first contemporary music-focused high school within the Portland Public School system, the High School for Recording Arts of Portland, scheduled for opening fall 2011. Mic is in discussions now about curriculum development and international student exchange for this upcoming school. Crenshaw currently teaches, and regularly speaks and performs in high schools and universities, continuing the fight for justice and equality in these crucial times.

Crenshaw’s music is a testament to his experiences as an individual in this world attempting to help others. “Thinking Out Loud” established Mic as an artist who uses his craft to confront International social and political issues head-on, making his album one of the most intriguing and important releases of 2009. Crenshaw’s newest album “Under the Sun” is in the final stages of production and is scheduled for release in April 2010.


play/start is a group of four queer musicians who came together in 2007 with the intent of making music that culls from all of their collected musical experiences and influences. Pop, metal, blues, dance, new wave, garage punk and riot grrrl are just some of the terms that have been used to describe their music. And, somehow, they all seem to fit together to create hot, danceable power pop music. Their on-stage energy is contagious, turning any show into a dance party.

play/start’s website play/start’s myspace

Brenna Sahatjian

Brenna’s Website

Brenna plays original folk tunes involving guitar, cello, and piano. She recently helped form Tansy and Tarweed, a anarcha-folk doom jazz quartet based in Portland, OR. She has previously been noted for her unique guitar style, the dense poetry of her lyrics, and multi-instrumental recordings on which she’s accompanied herself. She’s joined members of the Riot-Folk collective on several US tours, and has recorded and distributed several albums with the help of other DIY artists: Crude but Lucid (2005) ,To Each Idle Arrow (2006), Dream Warriors (2007) with Tin Tree Factory, A Mingling of Freak Phenomena (2009) with Arey Gonif, and Things You Can’t Keep (2009) with Actor Slash Model.



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