Brown Hope & Black Resilience Fund Provide Direct Mutual Aid To Portland BIPOC

Brown Hope & Black Resilience Fund Provide Direct Mutual Aid To Portland BIPOC

Portland, OR. As mutual aid organizations all over Portland have arisen in response to the Black Lives Matter protests, nationwide police brutality, and the growing awareness of social justice activism, Brown Hope has taken strides in mutual aid efforts for Portland BIPOC. Founded in 2018, by Cameron Whitten, (seen above) with their mission directly informed by the needs of “Black, Brown, and Indigenous Portlanders” through trauma-informed activism, this completely volunteer-led organization is working within the community to make improvements for those historically marginalized communities in our city.

Co-founder of the Black Resilience Fund, Salomé Chimuku, speaking with an attendee of a July event where volunteers conducted in-person intakes and distributed funds to Black Portlanders in need. (Photo, Courtney Sherwood/OPB)

One of Brown Hope’s biggest achievements comes from their Black Resilience Fund program. Launched in the summer of 2020 with the goal of providing an immediate emergency funding resource for Black Portlanders, they successfully raised over $1 million in direct donations from 11,000 Portlanders in the short time frame of a single month. These funds are allocated as direct relief for BIPOC Portlanders, an admirable goal considering the financial hardship and trauma sprouting from this last year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since its launch last summer (8 months ago as of this article), their website donations tracker now sits just shy of $2.25 million.

As an intentionally multifaceted organization to deal with a multifaceted and complex community, Brown Hope has founded multiple other initiatives to build up our community. Power Hour is a weekly community discussion meeting in which participants can receive food, drink, and most notably, direct cash reparations of $25 (an interesting aspect of Brown Hope’s mission considering the rarity of active reparations). Featuring a 45-minute discussion based around local community happenings, news, and needs, they encourage white folks to come and participate and/or donate their time. Another is Brown Hope’s Black Street Bakery which provides work opportunities for Black Portlanders while offering the community delicious baked goods.

Brown Hope understands that community building requires mutual aid and a multifaceted outlook on what our community needs are. Further, they know that the only way to go about enacting real change is by offering an ear to the community you’re working within. Brown Hope is a “healing initiative” first and foremost. They understand that justice is a collective experience that requires all of us to put our best foot forward.

You can donate to the Black Resilience Fund here.

A bit about Brown Hope from their website:

Our Mission
Brown Hope is a community solution for racial justice, creating connection with Black, Brown, and Indigenous leaders through the heart, mind, and voice to inspire our collective healing.

Our Vision
We envision a future where the truth about this nation’s long history of injustice is self-evident. We envision the survivors of this injustice taking the lead on change. We envision love as a lived, and collective, experience.

Organizational Values
Truth Seeking
Love Creating
Always Resilient

 

 

Portland Parks & Recreation Revives 2021 Summer Programming

Portland Parks & Recreation Revives 2021 Summer Programming

Portland, OR. Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) will bring back programs including some Fitness in the Park classes as seen above. The city is restoring 2021 Summer programming and will be designing classes and events to meet public health regulations. Programs will also be as flexible as possible in case conditions change. This means a return of programs like Free Lunch + Play, summer camps, art center classes, swimming, movies in the parks and more.

Portland City Commissioner, Carmen Rubio, proposed PP&R Fiscal Year 2020-21 Supplemental Budget ordinance to City Council and was unanimously approved.

“This budget charts a new approach for Portland Parks & Recreation,” said City Commissioner Carmen Rubio. “It centers racial equity and lays the foundation for a Sustainable Future where all Portlanders’ feel safe and welcome in our parks system and where everyone can access programs that bring us together, help us heal, and make our whole community healthier.”

During this public health crisis, access to nutritious food has proven to be one of the highest needs in the Portland community. PP&R will play an important role in keeping kids healthy this summer by moving forward with the Free Lunch + Play program. Youth will be able to count on FREE lunches and safe outdoor recreation—citywide—from June through August.

Portland voters passed the Parks Local Option Levy (Parks Levy) in Nov. 2020 enacting a tax at the rate of $80 per $100,000 of assessed property value for five years in order to fund recreational programs and park services.

The funds from the Parks Levy usually wouldn’t become available until Nov. 2021 however, the Portland City Council also approved an interfund loan to let PP&R access resources early from the Parks Levy.

With Parks Levy resources, PP&R’s recreation program will transition from a model that depended on charging fees to a service-driven model that focuses on racial equity and eliminating cost as a barrier for Portlanders’ who need programming the most.

In 2013 Portland Parks & Recreation held its yearly Summer Free for All, a popular annual series of free outdoor concerts, movies, playground programs, and more. The Portland community will be able to attend this program again in summer 2021.

“I want to thank Portland voters for investing in their parks system through the Parks Levy,” said PP&R Director Adena Long. “We will use these community resources to provide recreation programming for kids, families, and older Portlanders’ in safe, outdoor, physically distanced settings across the City this summer. We will help our community reconnect, exercise and play, and learn and grow. And none of this would be possible without Portlanders’ investment in parks, thank you.”

Some PP&R sites and programs may need to operate at reduced or restricted capacity due to COVID-19 guidelines when summer arrives. For all summer programs, participant capacity limits and locations are subject to change based on the most current public health guidance.

Kids on scooters play together while receiving free food from Portland Parks & Recreation programs before the pandemic. Photo courtesy of Portland Public Schools.

Portland Parks and Recreation plans to keep the Portland community updated about the summer programming throughout the winter and spring as more details become clear. Below is the list of programs set to run this coming summer.

Portland Parks & Recreation’s COVID-19 Responsive Summer 2021 Programming

  • Free Lunch + Play: PP&R will serve over 100,000 meals to alleviate hunger in our community by continuing a critical, decades-long program of distributing free meals to enjoy in parks or take home. Families will also receive free art and music activities at Free Lunch + Play sites.
  • Summer Camps: Outdoor day camps, sports, and art camps will be available at 20 locations across the City.
  • Environmental Education: Nature day camps (info below), guided Ladybug Nature Walks, and family programs will connect young Portlanders to our natural environment.
  • Nature Day Camps for ages 5-12. The PP&R Environmental Education program will offer summer day camps full of hiking, exploration, nature-based activities, and more; groups of campers will adhere to COVID-19 guidelines with other participants of similar ages. Camps offer job opportunities as nature educators for qualified people aged 16 and older.
  • Environmental Education jobs and volunteering – the next generation of environmental leaders start with us. Paid work programs, volunteer naturalist training, and more. The Teen Nature Team (TNT) is a free program for middle school students connecting young people to nature, environmental careers, and college programs. The Youth Conservation Crew (YCC) provides jobs and training for a diverse population of 14-19 year-olds in the Portland area.
  • Fitness in the Park: Expansion of outdoor fitness programs, including yoga, exercise, and Zumba classes.
  • Swimming: Outdoor pools will open in summer 2021 for life-saving swim lessons, water fitness classes, lap swims, and swim team activities. Indoor pools will only open if public health conditions allow.
  • Community centers: Outdoor programming is prioritized to protect public health; community centers will provide staging for outdoor events and access will be limited.
  • Arts centers: The Multnomah Arts Center and the Community Music Center will offer outdoor camps and classes.
  • Art performances: Free art and music activities at Free Lunch + Play sites and small-scale pop-up performances will be available across the City.
  • Gateway Discovery Park: Art and cultural activities will be hosted all summer long at this East Portland park.
  • Splash Pads: Interactive (play) fountains and park splash pads (water play features) are anticipated to re-open.
  • Lifelong Recreation (formerly known as Senior Recreation): Virtual programs and outdoor activities will be available to older Portlanders.
  • Teen Force: Outdoor, drop-in programs designed for young adults will be provided in coordination with Free Lunch + Play events.
  • Stay and Play video series: Free arts, fitness, education, and music videos will help Portlanders stay active and connected to PP&R throughout the summer. Videos are available at Portland Parks & Recreation’s YouTube channel, youtube.com/pdxparksandrec/videos.
  • Virtual Programming: PP&R’s Adaptive & Inclusive Recreation (AIR), Lifelong Recreation, Portland Parks Preschool, and Arts & Culture programs will offer live virtual programming online.
  • SUN Community Schools: SUN Schools, a collaboration between Multnomah County and PP&R, will offer outdoor summer camps.

From Portland Parks and Recreation website: Portland’s parks, public places, natural areas, and recreational opportunities give life and beauty to our city. These essential assets connect people to place, self, and others. Portland’s residents treasure and care for this legacy, building on the past to provide for future generations. Making Portland a great place to live, work and play. Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland.

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.

The Street Trust Hosts Virtual Benefit to Promote Active Lifestyles

The Street Trust Hosts Virtual Benefit to Promote Active Lifestyles

Portland, OR. The Street Trust’s annual fundraiser, Love In Motion, will look different this year from years past. The February 4th benefit will feature four local leaders sharing stories about what gets them moving. This event will be held virtually for the first time after being held at the Alberta Abbey for several years (as seen above).

Since 1990, The Street Trust has worked to promote and improve public transit, walking, and bicycling conditions in Oregon. The organization works in classrooms, on the streets, in city hall, and the state legislature encouraging and advocating for safe and convenient transportation options.

Erin Haley, Director of Communications, feels hopeful that the community will show up to support the nonprofit, buy raffle tickets, and contribute to the cause despite the event being virtual.

Love In Motion audience members listen to one of the speakers from the 2019 event

The Street Trust, like many other small organizations, has had to make some hard financial decisions this year according to Haley. Unlike previous years, Love In Motion is free to attend virtually and each story will have a mobility spin to it. American Sign Language will also be provided.

“The proceeds from this fundraiser will support the work of Street Trust to make streets safe, accessible, and equitable for all,” said Haley, “We hope to inspire people to consider a more environmentally friendly way of moving to their destinations but also to engage with the Street Trust in our advocacy work!”

Each year, Love In Motion features four different speakers alongside an emcee. Ayleen Crotty, producer and moderator of Film By Bikes will be the emcee of this year’s event. This year’s featured storytellers can be found below.

2021 Love In Motion Storytellers Pam Slaughter, Augusto Carneiro, Paul Buchanan, and Candace Avalos.

Here’s some information about the speakers:

  • Pam Slaughter is the Founder of People of Color Outdoors
  • Augusto Carneiro is the Founder and fearless leader of Nossa Familia Coffee
  • Paul Buchanan is the Former Vice President of West Seattle Bike connections
  • Candace Avalos is a Board member for Portland: Neighbors Welcome, and a newly appointed Chapter Review Commissioner for the City of Portland

According to Haley, the organization is thrilled to have this diverse group of storytellers. “All involved have been very generous with their time and energy and we expect it to be a wonderfully informative and fun experience.”

Although Love In Motion will be held on a different platform the event’s annual bike raffle is still happening. This year’s prize is a BMC Alpenchallenge E-Bike donated to the organization from Clever Cycles.

This year’s Love In Motion raffle prize is a BMC Alpenchallenge E-Bike

Haley encourages people to register for the event, “It is sure to be an evening of community and connection, hopefully, some laughter and maybe even some tears. Raffle tickets are also on sale now and are limited so don’t wait! Visit us at www.thestreettrust.org for more information.”

Raffle tickets can be bought through this link or text “BIKERAFFLE” to 44-321.

From The Street Trust website: The Street Trust staff and board are committed to creating communities where people can meet their daily transportation needs through active transportation.

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.

Skiers Show Respect and Consideration at Mount Hood Meadows During Covid-19 Pandemic

Skiers Show Respect and Consideration at Mount Hood Meadows During Covid-19 Pandemic

A Lifestyle Story: Skiers are getting the hang of adhering to new Covid-19 restrictions at Mount Hood Meadows (MHM). Many have been impressed with the respect shown by others.

Physical distancing, face masks, regular sanitizing, individual responsibility, and accountability are required for guests and employees.

Skiers must buy tickets in advance, so here’s a link: https://www.skihood.com/ Mount Hood Meadows is the largest ski resort on Mount Hood. It’s located about 67 miles east of Portland.

MHM spokesperson, Dave Tragethon explains how skiers should think about hitting the slopes. “Think of Meadows as your fitness and meditation center. Come on up, get your workout, spend time reflecting, gain some insight, and then head back down the mountain refreshed. Make room for others who are in need of this same enrichment.”

The team at Meadows put together a video of one “Bluebird Day” in mid-December, with, “Fresh snow from the night before, temps in the teens, and a great groom. A lot of mountain open, with all six high-speed quads, plus four other lifts operating, helped spread out the crowd.”

Dave Tragethon explains that messaging about being patient and kind is resonating with skiers who have taken 2020 suggestions to heart, including:

  • Giving each other space at the lift lines
  • Observing and respecting the indoor capacity signage
  • Sharing outdoor dining space – limiting their time to the allotted 30 minutes and only for those who have purchased
  • Giving space on shuttle buses and in the queuing lines
  • Being considerate of those who are arriving for the noon and 2 PM shifts. Once you’ve got your turns in, head out to make room for others coming in
  • If Meadows reaches parking capacity, don’t park in other Sno-Parks, such as Teacup – leave room for others who want to cross country ski or snowshoe. There is no shuttling service to these Sno-Parks, and hiking is dangerous

“We thank all those who are putting others first while protecting themselves by wearing face masks properly at all times in our parking lots, lodge and deck areas, in lift lines, and on the lifts. Let’s take this spirit of caring for each other another step when planning our time on the mountain.”

Liftlines can be a bit longer than usual even though attendance is limited. Because of Covid-19, skiers are no longer seated four across with people from outside of their families. Most skiers ride up two at a time.

Masks are required on chairlifts and in lift lines.

Covid-19 protocols also necessitate that masks or face coverings are required:

•    Indoors at all times (except when eating)
•    On shuttles
•    In parking lots
•    All other outdoor locations where you can’t maintain six feet of distance from those not in your party

From Mount Hood Meadows, here are answers to FAQ:

Are reservations required? Season pass holders don’t need a reservation. Lift tickets must be purchased online in advance by at least 3 PM the day before you want to come up. Lessons and rentals must be purchased at least 48 hours in advance online. We will not sell any tickets, lessons or rentals at the resort this season.When do I need to purchase a lift ticket? Tickets must be purchased online in advance by at least 3 PM the day before you want to come up. Lessons and rentals need to be purchased online at least 48 hours in advance.What days can I use my Value Pass? Value Passes are valid every day, but on Peak Days they won’t work until 2 PM. Peak Days are December 26 – January 3, Saturdays and Sundays from January to March 7, MLK and Presidents Day Mondays. Get all the details on our Value Pass FAQ page.What if I want to use my Value Pass during the day on a Peak Day? You will need to purchase a ticket to ride during the day on a Peak Day.

When is my Night Pass valid? Night Passes are valid starting December 16, 2020, Wednesday through Sunday nights (from 2 to 9 PM), as well as extended night operations during the holidays. Night operations are scheduled to run through early March.

Do I need a reservation with my USSA Gold Pass? No, but you do need to pick up a ticket from the Concierge Desk.

Do I need a reservation with my Elite Pass? No, you can either purchase a pass and piece of media for $12 for the season, or just a piece of media for $2 and come have it reloaded at the Ticket Booth when you want to use it.

I have a season pass, but couldn’t park in the lot because it was full. Is there anything you can do? We are sorry you didn’t get in the lot. On busy days, we recommend getting here early or planning on coming up in the evening for night skiing and riding.

What if I come up without a Season Pass or lift ticket – can I take my chances? No, sorry lift tickets, lessons and rentals must be purchased online in advance. We will not be selling these at the resort this season.

What if I lost my pass? You can get a new piece of RFID media to replace your lost pass for $2 at the ticket booth outside the main lodge, or at the ticket windows at HRM.

Learn How to Give Back for Free While Shopping With AmazonSmile

Learn How to Give Back for Free While Shopping With AmazonSmile

Portland, OR. The season of giving doesn’t have to end with Christmas; it can continue through AmazonSmile, a program that automatically donates to a nonprofit organization of your choice. The program offers all of the same items, prices, and benefits of online shopping while donating 0.5% of your purchases to the charity of your choice. Some even use AmazonSmile while shopping on their phones, as seen above.

A recent quarterly AmazonSmile notification informed shoppers that the Oregon Food Bank (seen above before the pandemic) recently received a donation of $1,752.15, at no cost to them.

AmazonSmile launched in 2013 and for the past seven years, it has provided a way for customers to support organizations they care about every time they shop. This program comes at no cost to the organizations or customers, and donations could help a wide range of organizations from global humanitarian efforts to local hospitals to school PTA’s.

“Donations from AmazonSmile have resulted in hundreds of thousands of charities expanding their meaningful work across global communities making a difference in people’s lives,” said Llew Mason, Vice President of Consumer Engagement at Amazon. “We are thrilled to have given over $215 million on behalf of customers to the causes they care about most.”

AmazonSmile can be accessed through a web browser and also through the app for iPhones and Android phones. Another way to directly donate items is through the AmazonSmile Charity Lists where the organization will have a list of items of what is needed most.

For first time users, to access the program first visit smile.amazon.com. Then follow the steps below.

  1. Sign in with your Amazon credentials
  2. Choose a charitable organization to receive donations or search the charity of your choice
  3. Then just select the organization and start shopping

Current spotlight organizations include UNCF (United Negro College Fund), Equal Justice Initiative, Feeding America, Save the Children, and Meals On Wheels America. In addition, there are also thousands of organizations to browse and choose from which are sorted into categories such as international or even by state.

When beginning to give back and donate there will be a choice between spotlight charities and searching for an organization.

Organizations can also register for AmazonSmile by visiting: org.amazon.com/signout and follow the steps below.

  1. Click the yellow “Register Now” button
  2. Search for your organization by name or EIN
  3. Click the yellow “Register” button next to your organization’s name
  4. Follow the instructions to complete registration

Tanya Ramos, CEO for Pencils of Promise, explains how the donations with AmazonSmile have helped the organization, “Education is the most powerful tool we can use to change the world. Thanks to the generosity of AmazonSmile customers, Pencils of Promise has helped provide access to quality education for over 100,000 children around the globe.”

From the AmazonSmile Foundation website: The AmazonSmile Foundation is a 501(c)(3) private foundation created by Amazon to administer the AmazonSmile program. All donation amounts generated by the AmazonSmile program are remitted by a subsidiary of Amazon.com, Inc. to the AmazonSmile Foundation. In turn, the AmazonSmile Foundation donates those amounts to the charitable organizations selected by our customers. Amazon pays all expenses of the AmazonSmile Foundation; they are not deducted from the donation amounts generated by purchases on AmazonSmile.

Friends of Noise Partners with Theaters to Keep Music Alive in Portland

Friends of Noise Partners with Theaters to Keep Music Alive in Portland

Portland, OR. Friends of Noise is a Portland-based non-profit that provides young artists with a well-rounded introduction to the music industry. (Wavy Josef, is shown playing an outdoor show above.) With professional workshops in everything from designing fliers and merchandise, to lighting and sound engineering, to networking and performing, the organization invests in its community to better prepare artists for the business side of music. Non-profits have not had an easy year, and this organization has shown that it is resourceful in keeping on track to serve local youth. With ongoing projects heading into 2021, and a long-term goal of opening an art-focused youth center in North East Portland, Friends of Noise is committed to coming out of 2020 stronger than ever.

Many local businesses were forced to halt all activities in March 2020 to slow the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic, and Friends of Noise was one of them. The young community that the non-profit serves, however, was highly active in social justice causes as the Black Lives Matter movement gained momentum all over the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death. Andre Middleton, Executive Director of Friends of Noise, delivered amplification equipment and other sound assistance to marches and protests around the city. Andre felt compelled to provide the non-profit’s sound equipment to a noble cause, “I wanted to make sure that the community’s cries for justice and change would be heard.” Friends of Noise continued to be an ally for these social justice events, which also validated the idea that outdoor spaces would become a viable option for their artists.

Members of the community stand in solidarity for a common cause.

The non-profit went on to hold numerous shows in NE Portland parks throughout the summer and even hosted a social-distanced Black Lives Matter rally in Cathedral Park on Labor Day that drew a crowd of 2000. These live music events were welcomed by these neighborhoods and provided much-needed revenue for the artists and showrunners that had relied on concerts in the past. Friends of Noise makes it a point to compensate performers and showrunners, and believes it is incredibly important to show the community of artists that their time and work is valued. By showing the young artists this now by paying them for their work, Andre hopes they will take that sense of value into their futures: “We’re all about teaching and giving kids opportunities to practice what they learn, and then working to get them paid opportunities to develop this as a career. We work to make sure that young people are seen as valued members of our local music ecosystem.”

In 2021, Friends of Noise will be launching live-stream programming as an ongoing way to feature their growing youth artist directory. This programming will be a collaboration with local music venues that have been closed due to Covid-19 restrictions, creating a connection between the artists and the theaters. They have partnered with theaters like Mississippi Studios, the Star Theater, and the Roseland Theater. The shows will also be multi-generational, pairing young artists with older artists, and will eventually incorporate a local dance group as well. The programming will be consistent, and the non-profit hopes this will represent the Portland music scene as a diverse and harmonious entity. This project is set to launch in January, and Friends of Noise hopes it will help sustain the local music industry through these uncertain times.

The band Out of Luck plays an indoor show before the pandemic.

Engagement in the Friends of Noise community has not slowed down with this pandemic. As a non-profit that serves Portland youth, its artists are looking for more ways to connect and be inspired by their peers. Friends of Noise knows that it cannot be a replacement for school, or other social activities that are no longer safe, but hopes that by building a strong community it can provide comradery through work and expression. This new live-stream project will support this ideal harmonious and collaborative music scene. When speaking about the future of the music industry in Portland, Andre is optimistic, “I have every confidence that young people will be pushing the envelope and be as innovative as they always have been. If we can create an ambience of collaboration over competition, this next cohort of musicians are going to be in an even better position in the future.” Friends of Noise is participating in Willamette Weekly’s GiveGuide, and you can also donate or volunteer on its website.

From Friends of Noise: Friends of Noise is a non-profit, educational, all-ages organization. Our mission is to provide safer and productive spaces for all-ages concerts, focused arts education, and leadership opportunities for youth with a focus on providing marginalized youth and youth of color access to performative creative expression. Our long-term goals are to contribute to the development of a region-wide network of young people and adults that are learned and ready to pursue a career in the music industry on stage or backstage and to grow into a youth-centered arts center that resides in a music-focused arts hub in an underserved community within our city.

We seek to create a non-profit, all-ages arts venue that is youth-oriented and youth-driven. We envision a safe, inclusive community meeting place for arts events, with a strong educational and mentorship component. We intend to engage young people in all aspects of event planning and production within this space, in order to encourage real-world skill-building. We believe these skills will serve students well in their future endeavors and help them become cultural leaders and engaged citizens in their communities.

 

Lifestyle Story: Mt. Hood Skibowl Opens and Cosmic Tubing Will Soon Light Up Night Sky

Lifestyle Story: Mt. Hood Skibowl Opens and Cosmic Tubing Will Soon Light Up Night Sky

Government Camp, OR. Mt. Hood Skibowl is now open for skiing and snowboarding. Ski Bowl managers say they’ll be operating with limited terrain on Multorpor, via the Lower Bowl (West Side). Skiers and Riders will be directed to the West Side and lift tickets will be sold on the west side only. The Eastside will be supporting Tubing operations.

As usual, the resort will host Cosmic Tubing®. Every weekend and holiday during the winter (and through Spring Break), the resort’s Snow Tube and Adventure Park transforms into a one-of-a-kind snowy scene complete with pulsing colored lights and bumping music. It’s all part of Ski Bowl’s Cosmic Tubing experience

There are over 600,000 LED lights, laser light shows, black lights, colored lights, rocking music, and more.

For tubing, Skibowl has Mt. Hood’s only dual conveyor lifts.
Night skiing operations are slated to start Monday and will operate through the week weather permitting.

Here’s a video about Cosmic Tubing:

Cosmic Tubing is open *Friday, Saturday, Sunday and holidays. (*Fridays after December 18th). It’s $38 dollars for adults and $33 for kids. Be sure to check with Skibowl before you head up to the mountain.

From Skibowl:

Our mission remains to make Skibowl fun and accessible for all families who want to enjoy a wide variety of outdoor activities. Less than an hour east of Portland, Skibowl has emerged as a family-friendly alpine resort with something for everyone. For Skiers and Riders, Skibowl provides snow riders with 960 acres in the Mt. Hood National Forest. The resort features 34 fully lit night runs, 65 runs total and a vertical drop of 1,500. The longest run is the 3-mile Skyline trail, starting at 5,100 feet. With the most Black Diamond runs anywhere in Oregon, Skibowl appeals to accomplished riders, night and day. Those in the know are lured to Skibowl’s Outback, the legendary expansive terrain with forested steeps, open glades and ungroomed slopes that are nothing short of heavenly.

Nonprofits Count on Year-End Giving to Help Needy People Survive the Pandemic

Nonprofits Count on Year-End Giving to Help Needy People Survive the Pandemic

Portland, OR. Local families are in need of help after a year of unprecedented challenges. Pacific Northwest communities have supported causes like Black Lives Matter, record-breaking fundraising for political parties, and support for small businesses forced to close due to Covid-19. Nonprofits are hoping that they’ll receive much-needed year-end donations this holiday season. (Causes like Children’s Book Bank, pictured above, represent one of many local nonprofits that serve local families).

There are many meaningful actions that donors can take to help local communities in need of shelter, food, basic necessities, or toys for Christmas morning. On PortlandSocietyPage.com we have a page with a list of nonprofits, here’s a link to our partner’s page. Below is also a list of diverse nonprofits that may inspire those who can afford to offer time and resources to help these imperative causes thrive into the new year.

Volunteers at Blanchet House are encouraged to apply and follow strict Covid guidelines to ensure the safety of the community.

  • Blanchet House provides food, shelter, and aid to any in need with mutual respect and compassion. You can sign up to volunteer and learn more about donations on the non-profit’s website.  Blanchet House is also participating in Willamette Weekly’s Give Guide and are trying to raise 35,000 dollars by December 31st.
  • The Christmas Family Adoption Foundation makes it possible to support an entire family in need during the holiday season. The PNW families are nominated to receive Christmas gifts from a wishlist. You can contribute in multiple ways on the foundation’s website so if you are unable to adopt a family, you can still support this worthy cause.
  • Oregon Food Bank is another excellent way to make sure those in need have a warm meal this winter. The organization has extended it’s Giving Tuesday fundraiser, and are also participating in Willamette Weekly’s Give Guide. With 1,400 food pantries all over Oregon and SW Washington, and you can sign up to volunteer and help keep the business thriving on it’s website.
  • Children’s Book Bank is a wonderful organization to give to around the holidays. This non-profit knows how important books are in children’s lives and has donated over 650,000 books to children in the Portland area.  Book donations are being accepted along with monetary contributions, and you can volunteer with Children’s Book Bank virtually.
  • Store To Door makes sure that seniors and those with disabilities receive the groceries that they need through volunteer grocery shopping and delivery. This busy non-profit is always in need of volunteers and have many different ways that you can contribute. Store To Door has been improving the quality of lives of those in need since 1989.
  • Rose Haven works to ensure the safety of women, children, and marginalized genders that are experiencing homelessness, poverty, and other traumas. This organization provides a safe and stable community for these individuals, along with health resources and emotional support. Rose Haven’s volunteer positions focus on to-go meals, door-to-door services, and Covid-19 support currently, and there are many ways to donate to this worthy cause on the non-profit’s website.
  • Sunshine Division is another organization that will be in full swing ensuring that Pacific Northwest families get everything they need this winter. Food donations are always appreciated by this organization (with new Covid restrictions in place), and the non-profit hopes to continue to help families in the Portland area through monetary contributions this holiday season. Sunshine Division’s annual Winter Wonderland event runs from November 27th through January 2nd, and you can enjoy the drive-through light show from the safety of your car.

Sunshine Division organizes this Covid-safe family activity to support a great cause.

  • West Linn Food Pantry provides West Linn and Lake Oswego families with emergency food donations. They accept curbside food donations every Thursday between 1PM and 6PM at the non-profit’s West Linn location.
  • Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program gifts new clothing and toys to families for Christmas in the Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties. You can donate these items on the organization’s website, and find out more about the many ways this non-profit helps marginalized communities in the Portland Metro area.
  • Hands-On Greater Portland is an excellent resource for finding out how you can volunteer and get involved this holiday season. This non-profit works to connect volunteers with projects and will help you find the best way to utilize your resources to help our local communities thrive. The site keeps an updated project calendar as well, to keep you updated on when your help is needed.

Please support any of the very worthy causes or those on our partner’s page.