The Vanport Mosaic Festival 2017 is around the corner!
We are so grateful for the excitement and heartwarming interest the event is receiving! Many of you are asking the following question:
That is a heck of an event! How are you going to make it happen? And how can you offer 4 days of screenings, oral history recordings, theater, exhibit, an educational workshop, a reunion for former Vanport residents, narrated bus tours, self-guided walking tours with a map and an app, a bike tour with theater performances for free or low-cost to the public?
Here is our "secret": Abundance. Abundance of volunteers, abundance of funders, abundance of sponsors, abundance of partners. First and foremost, abundance of passion and idealism. And if this sounds terribly naive… well, it is, but it works! Last year our Inaugural Vanport Mosaic Festival, grounded on this unconventional “business” model, is a testament to the power of grassroot organizing and community engagement.
Watch this short documentary to get a glimpse of it:
On Memorial Day weekend, over 2500 Portlanders of all racial and gender identity, age, and socio-economic backgrounds gathered to explore the history of Vanport, the catalyst of the racial mosaic that now exists in Portland and the region. Sixty-eight years after the flood that destroyed what at its peak was Oregon's second largest city, we showed its former residents, now in their 80s and 90s, that their experience matters to us, and that we are not going to forget it.
This abundance-powered effort received a Spirit of Portland Award, a Columbia Slough Watershed Council Leadership Award, and an Oregon Heritage Excellence Award.
We will be honest. This year it’s been harder… Allowing yourself to be so idealistic and keep your hopes up in these difficult times where everything around us screams fear and scarcity has been a challenge. But now more than ever, we want to believe we can do it again. We can keep using the power of personal stories, arts, and dialogue to envisioning and building the community we wish to become.
Will you help us do it again? Will you join the growing network of funders, sponsors, donors and partners who are making this year’s festival possible, and help fill the gap we have left? Your tax-deductible contribution will prove, once again, that stories build communities.