PDX Profile: Julie Sabatier, producer of DIY, Portland
This week, we're meeting Julie Sabatier, a multimedia journalist with a special fondness for DIY culture in P-Town. You can check out her awesome radio show, DIY, Portland on KBOO each month. (The podcast version is available from iTunes here, or if you don't have iTunes, you can find it here.) -----------------------------
Tell us about your radio show: DIY, Portland. How did you get started producing it? Where did the idea come from?
I started producing DIY, Portland after volunteering at KBOO for about 2 years. I had learned the ropes of producing in the news department and seen the creative side of things on late-night radio. I had also gotten involved with committees and fundraising at the station. When I heard that a half-hour slot was opening up, it was actually at the start of a programming committee meeting and I spent most of the meeting thinking about what kind of show I could do in a half-hour time slot. By the end of the meeting, I had the idea for DIY, Portland because I thought, I'll never run out of material. There's such a wide array of projects going on in this town that fit the description DIY. So I did a few live pilot shows and then got the time slot and started producing once a month.
What are some aspects of local DIY culture you've covered in the show?
My first show was live and I had Cathy Pitters and Torie Nguyen of PDX Super Crafty and Kim Manchester, who teaches the Anarchist's Guide to Sewing at the DIY Lounge. I've also done shows about self-defense, alternative fuels (biodiesel and veggie oil), the City Repair project, self-publishing (zines, etc.), artist collectives, the radio barnraising in Woodburn last August, open source software and access to computer technology, underground restaurants and music distribution. (All of these shows are available on the web, by the way.>
Why do you think Portland has so many DIY projects thriving? That's a good question and one I've asked a lot of guests on the show. I think it has to do with the creative spirit that draws people here and inspires us once we get here. Like a lot of people who live in Portland, I am not from here. I grew up in Baltimore and went to school in the midwest, but there is something about Portland that called to me and I'm glad I heeded the call because I think there's a lot of creative things I'm doing here that I really couldn't do in a lot of other places. It helps that most everyone I know is involved with interesting creative projects.
What other kinds of things do you make besides radio? I'm a journalist by trade and right now I'm freelancing so my byline gets around quite a bit. I do a lot of writing for Willamette Week and Just Out and I do some professional radio as well. I also like to do my own craft projects like making blank books for people and making my own bumper stickers.
What would you say is the difference between Art and Craft? I guess there isn't a whole lot of difference. Both words kind of describe different aspects of the same thing. Art is what you create and craft is how you create it.
What is your favorite creative spot in Portland? I have a few. I think SCRAP is my favorite place to get materials for creative projects. I always try to take people there when they visit from out of town. It's a great place to go to get inspired. A nearby North Portland coffee shop called The Waypost is an interesting place to meet other creative people. The owner, Michael Newman is a friend of mine and he is always organizing interesting lectures on off-beat topics. During the day, I find it's a great place to go and get work done when I need to get out of my house.
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