Congratulations to the 2017 XRAY Award Winners!

The 2nd Annual XRAY Awards show brought together some of the finest of Portland on January 21, 2017 at Marmoset Music. Local artists, change makers, and storytellers were all under one roof to help celebrate the community of independent thinkers that XRAY strives to connect with every day. Below are the winners of the Radio Is Yours Contest, as well as the panel of judges, which includes the likes of stand up comics, studio directors, NPR shows, authors, and attorneys.

Also listed are the recipients of our Creative Crusader Awards– a handful of folks working to advance equality and creativity in our community.

Lastly, before we dive in, the entire crew at XRAY would like to extend a sincere thank you to those who attended, supported, or volunteered at this year’s XRAY Awards. Our community is only able to grow and spread new ideas thanks to your engagement!

Photos by Nina Johnson and Ashley Vaughn.

Creative Crusader Awards

Presented by Jenn Chavez, producer and host of The Five Quadrants of Portland; Ryan Wines, CEO of Marmoset Music; Chloe Eudaly, Portland City Commissioner; Jenny Logan, XRAY Board member and Summer Cannibals bassist; Bob Ham, host of XRAY’s ‘Double Bummer’ show; and Theo Craig, XRAY’s Director of Music Content.

1. The Revolution Will Not Be Televised Award, Roya Amirsoleymani, Natalie Sept, Margaret Jacobsen, and Mia Reback
These organizers have worked to keep from normalizing that which should not be normal. At PICA, Roya Amirsoleymani began workshops with artists for 100 days of resistance after election day. Mia Reback and Portland Resistance took to the streets, and when those streets were damaged, they raised money to pitch in. Natalie Sept combined arts and organizing in one of the first high profile post-election gathering, also named “What Now.” Margaret Jacobson took the reins of the Women’s March and helped develop a teachable moment in intersectionality and inclusion.

2. Democracy Works Better When More People Do It Award, Chloe Eudaly
Over 90,000 votes were cast this year by people who used a simpler method of voter registration. Outgoing President Obama recently reminded the country that the barriers to voting in the United States are a direct successor of Jim Crow Laws. Portland City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly worked with the organizers behind Oregon’s new motor voter law who fought to make “power to the people” more than just a false applause line.

3. The Rent Is Too Damn High Award,  Jes Larson of the Welcome Home Coalition
Jes Larson and the strong coalition she coordinated passed Portland’s first dedicated affordable housing bond. Thousands will still lack good housing they can afford, and so much more needs to be done. But for an estimated 2,900 Portlanders, life will be a little better. And that means a little better for all of us.

4. Pillars of Portland Punk Award,  Fred and Toody Cole
This couple has made an indelible mark on the music world that is still being felt around the globe, thanks to their amazing albums and passionate performances. And the epicenter of that slow moving explosion was right here, in Portland. Their lifetime of work can be found in albums by The Lollipop Shoppe, King Bee, Zipper, The Rats, Dead Moon, and Pierced Arrows.

Fred and Toody Cole, Pillars of Portland Punk Award

Radio Is Yours Contest Winners:

1. Best Music: “Infectious” by Ho Yong Lee (South Korea)

2. Best Current Events: “Jungle Food,” by Jungala Radio (Calais, France)
This piece explores the hopes of the residents who run the kitchen at a refugee camp in Calais, France.  Some of the children who live there are learning about radio and podcasting.

3. Best Humor: “Tomorrow’s English, Today,” by Tony Cohen
Cohen gives ideas on how a conversational English textbook might teach someone to use the phrase, “What Now?”

4. Best Abstract: “All of Us,” by Sunny Bleckinger
Bleckinger looks at the many ways people have used their personal strengths to fight back and work via political parties, charities, and LGBTQ dance parties on Mike Pence’s front lawn.

5. Best Documentary and Best in Show: “Homeless Hospitality” by Barb Seaman
Barb tells the story of a church in Washougal that allows people living in cars to park and use safe facilities to bathe and eat. Along with her compelling story, Barb is a graduate of Radio U, a crash course in radio making put on by XRAY and the Media Institute for Social Change.

Barb Seaman, Best in Show for “Homeless Hospitality”


Contest Judges

Arwen Nicks is an award-winning radio producer who lives and works in the Northwest. She was the founding producer Sound Effect, is co-creator and co-host of the Sub Pop Podcast, she is launching a new show with member station KUOW in early 2017 that is “real weird and dark and maybe a terrible idea,” and sometimes she will make a movie is she gets bored.

Shane Torres is a stand up comedian, writer, and actor. Shane made his late night debut on Conan just this year. You may have also seen him on Last Comic Standing or acting on IFC’s Comedy Bang Bang. Shane has appeared on popular podcast such as Savage Love and Comedy Bang Bang. He is the creator of the podcast radio show Help Wanted. Shane has also contributed writing to Paste Magazine, Laughspin, The Portland Mercury, and Nailed Magazine. He also hates writing bios.

Brendan Fancis Newnam works for the national public radio programs MarketplaceMarketplace Money and Weekend America. Before that, he was a freelance radio reporter and he freelanced domestically and abroad for various publications. He worked for three years as an associate producer for a local arts program at WRTI in Philadelphia and prior to that he was the staff researcher at the national public radio program Fresh Air with Terry Gross. He enjoys eating decadently, engaging in spirited debate and writing pop songs.

Mindy Nettifee is a writer living in Portland, Oregon where she hosts The Moth, produces for Back Fence PDX and performs monthly at The New Shit Show. Her most recent book is a collection of essays on writing called Glitter In The Blood out on Write Bloody Press.

Tyesha Snow is the managing director of an experimental audio studio inside the XOXO Festival’s physical space, Head of Product at MobileRQ, a user experience consultant, and creator of She fell in love with the medium of audio at 8 years old when she visited the studios of Oregon Public Broadcasting. You can find her “Walking down the street laughing like a crazy person, crying like a baby.”

Jenny Logan is a writer, musician, and attorney in Portland, Oregon. She co-founded in 2012 and continues to serve as the station’s board president.  She holds a B.A. from the University of CA, a M.A. from New York University, and a J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School.  She is a recipient of the New York City Teaching Fellowship, has clerked for the Hon. Ann Aiken in the U.S. District Court of Oregon, and plays in the bands Sunbathe, deathlist, and Summer Cannibals.

Gina Delvac is a radio and podcast producer covering business, tech, the economy, national politics, entertainment, arts, music and life in California. She produces the popular podcast Call Your Girlfriend and is a producer for public radio’s Marketplace.

Jason Rouse is a writer and producer for Live Wire, the weekly radio variety show from Public Radio International. He has also appeared on Back Fence PDX, acts in various roles, and writes/directs sketch comedy shows.

Jim Brunberg is the founder and co-owner of Mississippi Studios & Revolution Hall in Portland, OR. He makes music for films, records, and radio shows and produced PRI’s Live Wire for over 14 years. He also makes the podcast Roam Schooled with his twin daughters Vern and Dana (oh, and he won last year’s contest!).

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