The back room is an occasional series of presentations/symposia/bacchanals in Portland, Oregon, replete with food, drink, music, and general boisterousness garlanding the central pleasure of bright intellects voicing their excellent texts, winging it in conversation, and screening or presenting various textual and visual delights. It is an "open source" social/cultural tool, developed and enacted by the various people who choose to use it.
Past guests include: Walid Raad, Lawrence Rinder, Dodie Bellamy, Kevin Killian, Laurie Reid, Anne Focke, Matthew Stadler, Wayne Koestenbaum, Gore Vidal, Gregory Crewdson, Pablo de Ocampo, Lawrence Weschler, Randy Gragg, Sutapa Biswas, Mary Gaitskill, John O'Brian, Lucien Samaha, Daniel Duford, Hadley+Maxwell, Lisa Robertson, Marc Joseph, Paul Stewart, Chris Riddell, John Trumbull, Peter Donahue, Tom Spanbauer, Christopher Zinn, Bill Ray, Joshua Berger, Tiffany Lee Brown, Jon Raymond, Darius Rejali, Amoreen Armetta, Molly Dilworth, Alex Krebs, Julie Shapiro, Stanya Kahn and Harry Dodge, and Thomas Sieverts and Aaron Betsky.
Past musical guests include: The Watery Graves, Thanksgiving, Adrian Orange, Drakkar Sauna, Andrew Kaffer, YACHT, Stephen Malkmus, Mise en Abyme, Calvin Johnson, Valet, Dave Longstreth, White Rainbow, Lucky Dragons, Honey Owens, Jonathan Esquibel, Zach Reno, Karl Blau, Jesse Durost, Carrie Brownstein, Gay Deceivers, Tara Jane O'Neil, and Krebsic Orkestrar Gypsy Brass Band.
A program of the Charitable Partnership Fund, a 501(c)3 organization, it has been supported by the Lehman Foundation, the Mancini Family Foundation, the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College, and individual donors.