APANO and the Division-Midway Alliance (DMA) are pleased to present the 2017 Jade-Midway Placemaking Projects: seven creative projects led by local artists and residents to engage the East Portland community in issues that affect them.
Now in its third year, the Jade-Midway Placemaking Project Grants provide opportunities for people who are connected to the neighborhood–including those who do not traditionally identify as artists–to use art as a tool to foster a sense of place and cultivate social justice. Placemaking projects seek to challenge gentrification and advocate for the rejuvenation of public spaces for all income groups, using the Jade-Midway Districts Art Plan as a guiding vision.
Following an open application process in fall 2016, a committee of East Portland residents and stakeholders reviewed a total of 21 project grant applications and selected seven projects in or near the Jade and Midway Districts to receive funds ranging from $3,900 to $7,000. This year, the projects incorporate a range of creative mediums, including dance, illustration, film, multimedia, and theater. The selected grantees will also participate in the Resident Artist Collaborative, a program of 4-6 workshop sessions to build an interconnected cohort of skilled cultural workers who serve as important partners in the work for social justice.
The 2017 Resident Artist Collaborative includes:
Sabina Haque, Excavating (hi)stories: east of 82nd
I plan to re-install parts of my recent show Annexation & Assimilation, an art exhibition on how East Portland was born, in the Jade/APANO Multicultural Space (JAMS) and extend the show to include new community partners and stakeholders. My programing will include bringing students from Madison High School and Portland Community College to JAMS to do round table discussions and create their own (hi)story documents, writing, and art to complement the show and create a handmade zine that will be published and distributed in the neighborhood. I will also use translators and interpreters to include those for whom English is not their language of origin or choice to encourage engagement with communities who live, study and work in the neighborhoods around 82nd Ave. In doing so, I hope to excavate stories from those communities not typically found in official records, and engage youth to ‘re-curate’ and enhance the official archive.
Huy Pham, Brittany DeLano, 11: Dance Co., Jade and Midway Districts Dance Performances
We want to lead the charge in reclaiming our neighborhood sidewalks, bus stops and Max stops through dance. We are committed to creating dialogue through performances in these locations throughout the Jade and Midway Districts. This core initiative will be supported by community workshops and listening sessions on how we can reclaim the space we’ve been displaced from as our own. Throughout this project, we will live stream performances and use recorded footage for place-based content. We imagine utilizing bench billboards and ads with weblinks or QR codes branded “This Is Our Neighborhood” which will direct pedestrians on their smartphones to a website with footage of all the content that happened in that particular place. www.11dance.co
Joe X. Jiang, Jade and Midway Districts Documentaries
Due to the connections I made with my previous placemaking project Voices of the Jade, where I interviewed owners of over a dozen businesses in the Jade District, I will expand my project to cover a wider spread of stories. I will create a larger documentary that combines the stories of all the businesses who are vocal about their place in the district. I’ve also spoken to Lori Boisen of the Division-Midway Alliance about doing additional video documentaries in the Midway District and hosting screenings and other events to help spread the stories of the folks who work to provide services in the Jade and Midway Districts. My documentary filmmaking experience will be once again my main source of creative output. In addition, I am a technical director of the DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon and can use my experience and connections to put together community based screenings. I hope to partner with other artists to help co-host a bigger art-based showcase including film, music, poetry and other performance art.
Tamara Lynne, Living Stages Theatre, Theatre Workshops and Performances on Gentrification and Displacement
Drawing from my experience of sixteen years creating interactive forum theatre with communities about issues of social justice, I will lead a project in collaboration with Donovan Smith and Rut Martinez-Alicea that expands the conversation about gentrification to amplify the voices of those who have been displaced. We plan to initiate this project with a 6-week series of weekly 2-hour interactive theatre workshops that are open to Portland Community College students and community, to explore issues of identity, place, and belonging. In partnership with PCC Multicultural Center, we then plan to recruit from these workshops 8–12 students who have experienced displacement to participate in a 2-day theatre training and play development process. This workshop will culminate in an interactive work-in-progress performance for PCC students and community, about themes relating to gentrification, displacement, and community.
Jennifer Phung and Tommy Larracas, Youth Environmental Justice Alliance (YEJA), Photo Essay Project and Exhibit
We will create a Photo Essay Project and Exhibit that captures young people of color experiences, challenges, and their changing environments in the Jade and Midway Districts. This project will feature multimedia story-telling and creative performances by youth. We will work with Youth Environmental Justice Alliance (YEJA) to explore and document what it’s like growing up in Portland and living in East Portland communities, and to capture our families’ experiences of displacement and resilience. This project will challenge the notions people have of Portland and of young people of color. We are interested in flipping the narrative and empowering young people of color, as well as creating a safe space in our community to celebrate our diverse identities.
Hampton Rodriguez, Division Street Playing Cards
This project finds its basis in an artistic study of the entire course of Division Street in Portland, Oregon, presenting its transportation, the human characters who make it what it is, and its businesses, street cafes, and major intersections. Through 200 or more initial sketches, with some developed as study drawings, I will create a deck of 52 fine art playing cards, each bearing a full-color illustration taken from said artistic investigation of Division Street. The project will produce 50 decks of playable full-color cards. With local collaborators, I will hold an exhibition at the Portland Mercado, featuring larger format prints of the card illustrations and some initial drawings and sketches, with the aim to stimulate the public and catalyze the creation of further urban art by communities along the Division corridor.
Yelena Roslaya, Division Street Photographs, Illustrations, and Vide
As I have been working and collaborating with several organizations in the Jade and Midway Districts over this past year, I have found that the 82nd and Division through 122nd and Division area has been changing over the years and is continuing to do so. For this project, I want to capture that change, but also imagine the future, with the assistance and feedback of Division Street residents, by taking photographs of businesses, landmarks, buildings, etc. that are gentrifying or could be affected by the gentrification in the next few years. Then I will take these documented photographs, present them to Division St. residents, and ask what changes they would like to see in the documented photographs of their area. According to the descriptions and sketches of the people, I will draw and design these changes in a copy of the taken photographs, but keep the original. It will be just like a before and after photoshoot, but with feedback from the APANO-Midway community. After completing the illustrations, I will take a video of each drawing in its original place and create a small documentary or video showing the whole process of this project from start to finish.
The Jade (82nd and Division) and Midway (122nd and Division) Districts are two of Portland’s Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative Districts. Both groups focus on economic growth driven by the community. Metro and Trimet are planning a new High Capacity Transit Project that will travel along SE Division from Gresham to downtown Portland. This new line will bring more business and people to the area, but this may also cause some of the people who live in the area to no longer be able to afford to live here. Both APANO and DMA want to see the community improve without people having to leave their homes and businesses. In this diverse community where 45 languages are spoken at the local elementary school, creative expression is a universal language. The creation of cultural and creative placemaking projects focus on community building and make sure those who live in the area do not get pushed out by development.
For additional information, please contact Cultural Work & Development Coordinator, Candace Kita, at candace[at]apano.org. Stay tuned for more information on the progress of the placemaking projects and ways to participate!
The Jade-Midway Placemaking Projects are made possible due to generous support from the Kresge Foundation and Transportation for America