Lake Oswego Art Council’s Gallery Reopens with New Photography Exhibition

Lake Oswego Art Council’s Gallery Reopens with New Photography Exhibition

Lake Oswego, OR. The Lake Oswego Art Council‘s public gallery is reopening to the public on February 23rd. There’s a new exhibition features photographs from four photographers called “Visions of 4.” The photo seen above is in the exhibit. It’s called Cape Kiwanda by John Lesch. The work of Reagan Ramsey, Richard Blakeslee, Kevin Felts are also featured. Organizers have are following precautions to keep the staff, volunteers, and the public safe. Face masks will be required, hand sanitizer will be available, social distancing will be enforced, and all areas will be cleaned and sanitized between visits.

Nepal Market Doors, Northern Nepal (Reagan Ramsey)

This exhibit is on view through April 2nd. Each artist’s work represents their varied and multifaceted cultural background with their personal ethos, immersion, and passion driving their art. The gallery will kick off the exhibit with a “Virtual Opening Reception & Artist Talk” on February 26 (5-6 PM). Here’s the zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83687099581?pwd=OHhsRGJRdE5aSUM5Vys5OXYveG9EZz09

The exhibit is at the ARTspace Gallery (41 B Avenue, Lake Oswego) with visiting hours from 10 AM to 5 PM.

Old Barn Hurricane, NE Oregon (Kevin Felts)

Graffiti a la Pollock, Portland, OR (Richard Blakeslee)

About the Arts Council of Lake Oswego:

Works to ensure the arts are an integral part of life in our community now and into the future with the purpose of placement and preservation of public art in Lake Oswego, providing access to art exhibitions for residents and visitors, and advance the lifelong learning about the arts through educational programs and docent tours.

You can find their donation page here.

Elevate Oregon’s Mentorship Program Lifts Struggling Students During Pandemic

Elevate Oregon’s Mentorship Program Lifts Struggling Students During Pandemic

Portland, OR. During the Covid-19 pandemic, students can’t gather around the table like they used to. But Elevate Oregon staff members are working with students remotely and continue to be available around the clock. This dedication is nothing new. Launched in 2010 and inspired by a similar “Colorado Uplift” program, Elevate Oregon works with students and their schools in order to build relationships with those struggling to succeed. Largely organized and lead by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) within the Portland community, the program is aimed at benefiting BIPOC youth. With its primary goal of reaching struggling youth through interpersonal relations, Elevate Oregon’s effect on the community is inspiring to many.

In just four years the mentorship program at Parkrose High School in NE Portland, has seen the graduation rate of students skyrocketed from 55% to 90%. To attain this increase, Elevate Oregon partners with the school and offer students an “in-house” elective classroom. Rather than attempting to replace the school curriculum, they seek to build off of the school’s foundation. Within this class, struggling students work one-on-one with qualified and passionate mentors to find out what they need to be successful during high school and beyond. Paul Morris, Deputy Director at Elevate Oregon, says that this approach “allows students to fail safely” and that “Elevate is in the business of offering second chances to these youth.”

The in-school approach allows students easier access to the help they need without having to attend after-school programs, something that many students already in a chaotic state often can’t swing. Further, students are offered an incentive of end-of-the-year trips/parties for maintaining a high GPA.

Now in 2021, 11 years since Elevate Oregon had started its first program at Parkrose High School, it is serving over 600 students annually and has expanded its mentorship program to include students as young as elementary level as well as students transitioning between grades or schools. Mentors could potentially work with students for 8-9 years, building lifelong relationships with youth living within a chaotic world, who could benefit the most from the stability being offered.

Elevate Oregon’s interpersonal-focus is uplifting the BIPOC youth community here in Portland through its goal of connecting and building one-on-one relationships. Program leaders say it’s useful for a struggling high school student to have someone who cares. A listening ear and an open heart can go a long way.

Elevate Oregon functions entirely off of their mentors and donations. You can donate to this inspiring program here.

About Elevate Oregon from their website:

Elevate Oregon is an empowering, efficient, year-round mentoring program centered on raising graduation rates and post-secondary enrollment, while also striving to create “generational firsts”, offering students the tools they need to become future leaders in our region.

Porsche and Audi Dealers Donate Over $17,000 to Dougy Center for Grieving Children

Porsche and Audi Dealers Donate Over $17,000 to Dougy Center for Grieving Children

Portland, OR. As the toll of the worldwide pandemic climbs higher every day, so does the need for grief response and counseling for families. Porsche Beaverton and Audi Beaverton are helping the Dougy Center’s grief counseling efforts by donating $17,100. The money was raised because Porsche and Audi pledged to donate $100 for every car sold during the month of December.
Everyone responds to grief in a unique way and grief can last a lifetime, which is completely normal. Counselors explain that being grief-informed is vital now.  “After listening to and supporting thousands of children, teens, young adults, and adults who are grieving the death of someone in their lives, and with pandemic-related deaths increasing, and more than 1.6 million deaths worldwide, over 300,000 in the U.S., it is time, now more than ever, to understand what it means to be grief-informed.” Here’s a link to resources addressing grief:

The Dougy Center (founded in 1982) has been helping children, young adults, and families through their grief and trauma by teaching them that grief is not only natural but that there is no “right way” to grieve. the loss of a loved one. The Dougy Center is also offering many programs remotely for easy access from home.

Dougy Turno, a 13 year old boy who inspired the founding of the Dougy Center for grieving children and familes.

Despite the social stigmas surrounding the display of grief and sadness, the Dougy Center seeks to raise awareness to break down the barriers of mental health. In a paper written by Dr. Donna Schuurman and Dr. Monique Mitchell (two directors at the Dougy Center), they explain that grief manifests itself in various ways through many social facets of our lives, leading to a complicated social web of emotional response and management with no easy answer. Further, they say that dealing with one’s grief has no time-line or direction and that it can last a lifetime. They say, during this time of pain and loss across the nation and the globe, it’s important to remember that you are not alone and that there are resources for you.

Yet, the Dougy Center doesn’t place sole responsibility of mental health awareness and management on health care professionals. Rather, their mission is one of mutual aid (read: reciprocal aid and cooperation) and community involvement. This is an important distinction as health care access is expensive and often inaccessible, especially when considering mental health. The Dougy Center has continually been a positive force within the community by offering training for individuals and/or organizations seeking to become grieving counselors, providing safe spaces for grieving children and their families, and raising awareness about mental health.

From the Dougy Center:

If you’d like to donate your resources or time, the Dougy Center has a plethora of options available to you. They also thrive on donations, which can be offered here.

The Dougy Center, the first center in the United States to provide peer support groups for grieving children, was founded in 1982. A courageous boy named Dougy Turno died of an inoperable brain tumor at the age of 13. In the two months prior to his death, he was a patient at Oregon Health Sciences University, where Beverly Chappell, at the request of Swiss psychiatrist and pioneer in the field of death, dying and bereavement, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, supported Dougy and his family during his treatment. Bev quickly observed Dougy’s ability to bond with other teens facing serious medical issues, how he intuitively knew he was dying, and how he helped other kids talk about their fears. After his death, Bev envisioned a place where children, teens, and their parents coping with the death of a family member, could share their experience with others who understood, who didn’t tell them to “get over it” or judge how they chose to grieve. The first grief support groups met in Bev’s home and has grown from that grassroots effort to become a sought after resource for children and families who are grieving. It is still the only year-round child-centered program offering peer support groups to grieving families in our community.

New Virtual Museum Tour Open at Portland’s Architectural Heritage Center

New Virtual Museum Tour Open at Portland’s Architectural Heritage Center

Portland, OR. With ongoing COVID-related restrictions still in place, you may be looking for some fun and fulfilling ways to pass the time. Portland’s Architectural Heritage Center (established back in 1987) has a “Virtual Museum” online series exploring the history of South Portland. Images like the one above are part of the collection. For those who’ve grown up in and around Portland, or even those new to the city, the black-and-white historical photographs and accompanying information offer an intriguing gaze back into a not-so-distant past.

The Architectural Heritage Center located at 701 SE Grand.

Part of this new online platform includes a partnership with Brian Libby’s XRAY.FM podcast. With an episode focusing on the specific Portland block of 10th Avenue and Alder Street and its 125-year history, the podcast explores the ever-changing culture here in Portland through historical records, photographs, and more. It’s free to listen to and has a whole lot of content available, including episodes on the Portland Art Museum, the Lincoln Hall, and the Portland Building.

Pictured is a c.1910 postcard of the Hazelwood Creamery, located in the Selling-Hirsch building, one of the places discussed in the podcast.

AHC’s biggest event is its annual Gala. This event, typically attracting over 250 members, aims to connect the community while showcasing the AHC’s work within Portland. While COVID restrictions will not allow this event to take place in-person this year, the Gala will still continue on to a virtual format. This will take place on February 25, 2021, and will be free and open to all who desire to attend.

Grocery and Deli in South Portland, 1958. Photo courtesy Portland Archives and Records Center.

The Architectural Heritage Center has always been a nonprofit and thrives off of volunteer work. It is currently looking for volunteers who are passionate about the mission and goals. If you don’t have the skill requirements or availability for one of these positions, they are always happy for any donations received from patrons and this can be done in a number of ways.

About Portland’s Architectural Heritage Center from their website:

The Architectural Heritage Center is a significant historic preservation education facility for the Portland region and plays an important role in celebrating and advocating for the architectural heritage of our city and region. The Center includes two exhibition galleries, two classrooms, workshop space, a library, collections storage spaces, and the Foundation’s offices.

Public historic preservation programming, begun in 1992, continues at the AHC, as well as at historic sites and neighborhoods throughout the Portland metro area. We have served the needs of more than 65,000 people. Continued progress is being made on the professional inventory and documentation of the collections.

Portland’s NAACP President Remains Optimistic About the Fight for Racial Justice

Portland’s NAACP President Remains Optimistic About the Fight for Racial Justice

Portland, OR. The President of the Portland Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is feeling optimistic about the future of race relations in the Rose City. Rev. E. D. Mondainé, a renowned musician, and U.S. Army/Air Force veteran took the helm of Portland’s chapter in 2018. His voice has become increasingly important during this time of downtown protests and civil unrest. Mondainé’s says, “Even though times are bleak, we can make change. Portland is a perfect storm for change in this country and the ninety-plus days of noise is the start of revolution.”

While many organizations and individuals protesting are calling for a complete defunding of the police in Portland (and across the nation, for that matter), Rev. Mondainé says that the NAACP does not stand with the goal of abolition, but rather, reformation.

Starting in May 2020, demonstrations over the police killing of George Floyd have been held in the city of Portland, concurrent with protests in other cities around the United States and around the world.

When asked about the death of George Floyd and the reverberations across the nation, Mondainé’s said he believes Floyd’s death was nothing less than a “horizontal, modern-day lynching” and not to be convoluted else wise. (Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin is charged with murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.)

Reverend E.D. Mondainé believes in Portland and the ability of residents to confront nationwide and global equality and equity. “We’re on a mission for justice, truth, and equality. And we’ll never stop fighting for that.”

The Portland NAACP has taken a stand on many issues including renter’s rights in 2019. 

Mondainé’s spoke to Portland Society Page reporter Daniel Chilton about his views on the strategy of the Black Lives Matter movement and where the NAACP stands regarding the policing institution, as well as the prison industrial complex.

While the public conversation has primarily revolved around police institutions and police brutality, Mondainé also discussed the often-absent subject of the prison industrial complex. With Black inmates outnumbering whites by a large margin until very recently (according to Pew Research Center, this gap has begun to narrow) Rev. Mondainé says that the NAACP is trying hard to keep this conversation going and has major plans in the future to continue to address both police and prison reform; that one cannot exist without the other present.

Thousands marching into downtown Portland; a photo strikingly familiar to those of the 1960s civil rights march on Washington.

About the Portland NAACP:

Founded in 1909 in response to the ongoing violence against Black people around the country, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) is the largest and most pre-eminent civil rights organization in the nation. We have over 2,200 units and branches across the nation, along with well over 2M activists. Our mission is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.

The vision of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights without discrimination based on race.

To find out more about Portland’s NAACP branch and any upcoming events, including their monthly meetings downtown, click here. If you’re interested in donating to their cause, you can do so directly here. To register to vote for the upcoming election and make your voice heard for change, you can do so here.