Last year, APANO and Midway piloted the first round of creative placemaking projects in the neighborhoods by awarding funds to seven artists for placemaking art projects in the Jade and Midway district. Projects ranged from a booklet, Faces & Places, celebrating Women of the Community to a series of documentary shorts, Mixing Together, featuring international cuisine of people living in and around the Jade & Midway districts.
This year, APANO and DMA will be creating an Art Plan for the Powell-Division High Capacity Transit Project and are looking for projects that will help inform the final art plan for the area. The selection committee scored artist applications that addressed the following issues: development of public transportation in this area as it relates to access to bus stops, street design, displacement and gentrification that occurs with development, and highlighting health issues that impact those that live and work in the area. Selected grantees of the cohort are people who live within the Jade and Midway Districts, who use art to address issues that affect them. Artists with strong connections to East Portland and the Jade and Midway districts were also encouraged to apply. Grantees will partner with organizations, groups, small businesses or campaigns happening in the Jade and Midway Districts. The cohort is participating in a collaborative community through a series of sessions in January to March that will build their power as skilled cultural workers whose labor has value, and as important partners in the work for social justice.
For information about the Resident Artist Collaborative and APANO’s cultural work, contact Community Engagement Manager, Luann Algoso at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2016 Cohort for the Resident Artist Collaborative
Portland housing crisis mural
Artist: Bijan Sharifi
Artist Bijan Sharifi will paint a mural satirizing the “Keep Portland Weird” mural by appropriating the typography and color scheme of this iconic mural to draw attention to the housing crisis in this city. The reappropriated slogan will read “Keep Portland Affordable” with the word “weird” crossed out and replaced with “affordable”. The color choice of red for the word “affordable” is to communicate a sense of urgency about the crisis to the viewer. I as an artist feel that the “Keep Portland Weird” mural and phrase is an exclusive slogan. The message is a means to question whose values are being represented by the word “weird” and bring to light that Portland’s “weirdness” is only able to be enjoyed by those of economic privilege.
“Wish You Were Here”
Artist: Christine Toth
Wish You Were Here is a series of postcards that highlight the diverse businesses along the transit corridor in the Midway District. Each participating business will have a unique Wish You Were Here card that is a portrait of their place, with a photograph of their shop on the front, and text on the back that says something that they would like people to know about them (printed in English and translated into a second language if possible). The business will have a stack of these cards to hand out to the community. To encourage community interaction, and hopefully more foot traffic for the shops, a “say hello” card will be printed that will be distributed broadly to the public. The Say Hello card will have information about all the participating businesses with a thumbnail image of each shop, their address, and information about how to visit the business and collect their card.
Writing group and spoken word/poetry reading event
Artist: Christopher Rose
His project will combine poetry, found language, and community narrative to create a series of poems and nonfiction pieces that exploration the issues of movement and displacement in relation to the Jade-Midway District. He will also lead a series of creative writing workshops that will be open to all community members.
“Voices of the Jade District”
Artist: Joe Jiang
“Voices of the Jade District” is a travel documentary that examines the past, present and future of the Jade District through the words of its business owners and patrons. Serving both an intro and a guide to the neighborhood, the video will take the viewer on a tour of the district, exploring the history of the many establishments. Interviews will touch on the topics of gentrification, displacement and allow the business owners and employees to address how the neighborhood can thrive and succeed.
Oregon History Comic #11, Hung Far Low Restaurant
Artists: Joamette Gil, Cameron Whitten, Roya Amirsoleymani and Know Your City
Know Your City is working with Portland artist Joamette Gil to produce Oregon History Comic #11, Hung Far Low. Hung Far Low was the oldest Chinese restaurant in Portland, and the history of its opening, transition, and recent closure blends together how racism and displacement effects the API communities living around 82nd avenue.
“TALK STORY: LAND IS LIFE”
Artist: Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines
TALK STORY: LAND IS LIFE is a project that links the current issues and raises collective unity and consciousness around the inherent problems of capitalism as it connects to U.S. imperialism, militarization, gentrification, and systemic oppression.This interactive workshop series consists of 4 workshops, which can be utilized as an alternative means of education for our community. It will culminate into a cultural solidarity night featuring a documentary highlighting migrant stories and the organizing work being done to encourage rising up for self-determination and liberation in Portland and in the Philippines. There are different mediums in which people learn and there are a lot of ways in which we can mobilize. We hope to explore different creative approaches wherein each individual can learn about current issues and utilize their interests for action towards generating social change here in our community.
“Division Street Stories: Southeast Mixtape Volume 1”
Artist: Solomon Starr
Division Street Stories is where Urban Music meets Community Organizing. The project is designed to pair opportunity youth and high school students with Hip-Hop Educators to document through interviews on film and audio, the real life experiences of SouthEast Portland community members taking mass transit. After reviewing the testimony of community members the very students conducting the interviews will create original works of Hip-Hop, R&B, Pop and Poetry in response to what was described by community members in their stories. Students will also perform their music at Bus Stops along the 4 & 71 Lines and Green Line Max Stations. Following the public performances commuters will be interviewed on film and asked respond to the students artistic expressions. The audio and data will be edited mixed mastered and compiled into a DVD/CD Package containing an Original Soundtrack and Documentary available for mass distribution.
“What is a Place?”
Artist: Tamara Lynne
In partnership with OPAL/Bus Riders Unite and Living Stages, Tamara will engage community members living, working, and traveling along the proposed Midway-Division high capacity-transit route in dialogue about displacement, gentrification and transportation justice. Bringing together themes based on the community’s hopes and fears for the neighborhood, she’ll offer a workshop to facilitate community creation of an interactive performance that reflects the community’s past, present and hopes for the future.
“See Me, Hear Me”
Artists: Toni Tabora-Roberts, Unit Souzou
The act of striking a drum is inherently empowering. Using taiko as a powerful, framing beat, Unit Souzou will engage with neighborhood children, their parents, and even grandparents, to create a short performance piece that will resonate at the intersection of music, poetry, street theatre and protest song. The project, “See Me, Hear Me,” seeks to explore notions of safety and displacement. The project will consist of multigenerational community workshops using taiko and theatre performance to examine the impact of the High Capacity Transit Project on the Jade District, exploring issues of pedestrian and child safety, neighborhood character, gentrification and identity.