VMF 2017 Final Screening

Join us TODAY for the last FREE SCREENING of short documentaries of life in Vanport, memories of the flood and its aftermath. ~6pm - Irvington Covenant Church~
With World Stage Theatre performs songs from Vanport, the musical written by Shalanda Sims. Remarks by Commissioner Nick Fish and Kimberly Moreland/Prosper Portland. Prof. James Stanley Harrison will answer our questions about Vanport history.
This is the closing of The Vanport Mosaic Festival 2017!
RSVP: https://lostcitylivingmemories0529.eventbrite.com/

Laura Lo Forti
Vanport Tours
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Join us TODAY, May 29th, for a full day of exploration of the historic Vanport sites with our BUS/WALKING/BIKING TOURS! The free narrated bus tours are "sold out" but there might be last minute cancellations. And you can still grab our newly produced map (yup! free as well!) of Vanport in 1943 superimposed over the current map, and walk on your own pace. Or join is for Gentrification is Weird: Bike Tour/Theater Forum at 1pm!. #RememberVanport 

Laura Lo Forti
Lost City, Living Memories

The Vanport Mosaic Festival 2017 closes tomorrow, May 29th. Please join us the final FREE screening of Lost City, Living Memories: Vanport oral histories at 6pm at Irvington Covenant Church. All NEW stories! We are particularly honored to be able to share Mr. Albert Oyama's oral history. Through his memories, we will learn about the experience of one of the thousands of Japanese American families who suffered under the great injustice at the hands of the government, evacuated to prison camps during WWII. The Oyama lost everything and rebuilt their life in Vanport, only to experience the most heartbreaking loss. Mrs. Izumi Oyama is one of the fifteen recorded victims of the 1948 flood. 

Laura Lo Forti
THANK YOU!
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Thanks for all of you attending The Vanport Mosaic Festival 2017 this weekend! Today program: Priced Out- With Oregon Humanities community dialogue at 11am- IFCC; American Summer Squash & Hercules Didn't Wade in the Water at 2pm at IFCC; Vanport, The Musical at 2pm at Midland Library; Vanport Mosaic Festival: Gambatte Be Strong at 7 pm at IFCC. And we are continuing Story Harvest: Albina Memories - recording oral histories in collaboration with Stream PDX. Come and say hi when you spot the silver airstream parked outside IFCC!

Laura Lo Forti
Gambatte Be Strong
Opening tonight, as part of  The Vanport Mosaic Festival 2017 ! From Japantown to the Portland Livestock Exposition, from WWII concentration camps to the Vanport flood--the immigrant journey of the Japanese in Oregon is paved with stories of perseverance and courage. Gambatte Be Strong is an original reading of the little known stories featuring the return of Japanese Americans to Oregon after their incarceration during WWII. 

Opening tonight, as part of The Vanport Mosaic Festival 2017! From Japantown to the Portland Livestock Exposition, from WWII concentration camps to the Vanport flood--the immigrant journey of the Japanese in Oregon is paved with stories of perseverance and courage. Gambatte Be Strong is an original reading of the little known stories featuring the return of Japanese Americans to Oregon after their incarceration during WWII. 

Laura Lo Forti
Vanport Mosaic Festival 2017 OPENING!!!
The Vanport Mosaic Festival 2017 opened today with The Vanport Mosaic Festival 2017: Two Vanport Exhibits!, American Summer Squash & Hercules Didn't Wade in the Water and Story Harvest: Albina Memories, plus remarks by Com. Amanda Fritz, the festival co-directors, and John Cárdenas/ Prosper Portland! Music by New Orleans saxophonist and singer Reggie Houston.Velynn Brown-Writer & Speaker and her daughter Aliyah Brown, fourth and third Vanport descendants, honored us with "Holding On -A Poem about Roots and Remnants" ... our hearts are full. Join us tomorrow!  #VanportFest2017  @RememberVanport

The Vanport Mosaic Festival 2017 opened today with The Vanport Mosaic Festival 2017: Two Vanport Exhibits!, American Summer Squash & Hercules Didn't Wade in the Water and Story Harvest: Albina Memories, plus remarks by Com. Amanda Fritz, the festival co-directors, and John Cárdenas/ Prosper Portland! Music by New Orleans saxophonist and singer Reggie Houston.Velynn Brown-Writer & Speaker and her daughter Aliyah Brown, fourth and third Vanport descendants, honored us with "Holding On -A Poem about Roots and Remnants" ... our hearts are full. Join us tomorrow! #VanportFest2017 @RememberVanport

Laura Lo Forti
Oregon Arts Watch

American Summer Squash & Hercules Didn't Wade in the Water on Oregon Arts Watch! " Jocelyn Seid directs Don Wilson Glenn’s Squash and Damaris Webb directs Michael A. Jones’s Hercules as part of this year’s The Vanport Mosaic Festival 2017, which looks at the roots and consequences of the post-World War II destruction of an entire largely working class and multicultural city by floodwaters in what is now North Portland. Friday through June 4 at the Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center. Among several other events are educational workshops and an exhibit at IFCC, Vanport: The Surge of Social Change. #VanportFest17

 

Laura Lo Forti
City Council

So, this happened! This morning at City Council we heard Mayor Ted Wheeler reading the Proclamation for a Vanport Day of Remembrance, and we were moved to tears by the testimony by Mrs. Bea Gilmore, former Vanport resident, 9-year-old Arinze Na'im McGee, Vanport Mosaic youngest historian-in-residence, Shalanda Sims, third generation Vanport descendent, and Mr. Bob Matsunaga, who was displaced by the Japanese internment in 1942, and once again by the flood in 1948. Join us in honoring and exploring the Vanport history and its legacy at The Vanport Mosaic Festival 2017 May 26-29! #VanportFest17 #RememberVanport#StoriesBuildCommunities

Laura Lo Forti
The Portland Observer

The Vanport Mosaic Festival 2017 on The Portland Observer! "A large line up of events told through film, theater and historical exhibits are planned for the Memorial Day weekend beginning on Friday, May 26 and continuing through Monday, May 29. The second annual festival is collaboration between artists, churches, educators and community groups who have worked for years to preserve the memory of this lost city.

The festival presents a thoughtful, thorough and fresh look at one of Oregon’s most tragic events while also exploring issues of housing discrimination, migration and displacement that continue today."

Laura Lo Forti
Vanport, The Musical

The Vanport Mosaic Festival 2017 Presents

VANPORT,  THE MUSICAL
Written and directed by Shalanda Sims

Come smell the opportunity, touch the dream, hear the music, taste the victory and see the canvas as this refreshing take on Vanport unfolds. 

Sunday, May 21, 2pm
North Portland Library, 512 N Killingsworth Street, Portland

Sunday, May 28th, 2pm
Midland Library, 805 SE 122nd Ave, Portland

Monday, May 29th, 6 pm
Irvington Covenant Church, 4003 Northeast Grand Avenue, Portland
Part of Lost City, Living Memories: Vanport Oral Histories screening. RSVP here: https://lostcitylivingmemories0529.eventbrite.com/

Info: www.worldstagetheatre.org

Vanport Mosaic

Please join Vanport Mosaic at Portland City Council on Wednesday May 24th, and make history with us! Mayor Wheeler will proclaim May 30 to be Vanport Day of Remembrance in Portland, 69th years after a flood wiped out Oregon's second largest city.
This has been such a wonderful community effort, and a perfect prelude to the The Vanport Mosaic Festival 2017, May 26-29. Full program: www.vanportmosaic.org/thefestival
The proclamation will be shared again several times during the Festival.

Laura Lo Forti
Gentrification is Weird: Bike Tour / Theatre Forum

May 29th- Gentrification is Weird: Bike Tour/Theater Forum: A bike tour in historic Vanport with oral history performances—with Gentrification is Weird/ Ignorant/Reflections, Living Stages, and Laquida Landford. RSVP at goo.gl/rdytkL
Part of The Vanport Mosaic Festival 2017, the bike ride traces the history of the community of Vanport and the experiences of displacement of its residents. The ride culminates in a theatrical forum facilitated by Living Stages and presented by community performers who face gentrification or displacement.

 

 

 

 

 

Laura Lo Forti
The Site & It's Many Stories

WOW! The free narrated bus tours of historic Vanport, one of the many new exciting offerings at The Vanport Mosaic Festival 2017, are "sold out"!!! thank you all for your enthusiasm and interest. We are opening the waiting list and we hope to accommodate a few more people, but don't be disappointed!! you can still grab our newly produced map (yup! free as well!) of Vanport in 1943 superimposed over the current map, and walk on your own pace. And sign up for Gentrification is Weird: Bike Tour/Theater Forum. #RememberVanport 

Laura Lo Forti
Lost City, Living Memories

Watch this 1 min clip from Vanport flood survivor Lurlene Shamsud-Din's oral history on why this history matters, and join us next week at The Vanport Mosaic Festival 2017, May 26-29. FREE screenings of Lost City, Living Memories: Vanport Oral Histories, tours, educational workshops, exhibit - low cost theater performances. Some events are "sold out" so RSVP today at goo.gl/Rf85qR ! #RememberVanport

Laura Lo Forti
American Summer Squash & Hercules Didn't Wade in the Water

American Summer Squash & Hercules Didn't Wade in the Water, two new one-act plays about the American Dream, displacement, and Hurricane Katrina from the African American perspective. May 26th-June 4th. Tickets: goo.gl/Rf85qR - Part of The Vanport Mosaic Festival 2017

"Though both of the African American stories shared on this stage are anchored in the event of Hurricane Katrina, the staggering myriad of challenges the characters and their representative communities face began centuries before the hurricane ever made landfall. We are again reminded that housing does not equate home. What does it mean to communities to have home erased? Is it possible for the characters we meet on this stage to equally participate in “The American Dream”? What does it mean to be a refugee in your own country? Can we believe in a happy ending? Why/why not?" Damaris Webb - Vanport Mosaic Co-Director

Laura Lo Forti
Story Lived Story Told

The Vanport Mosaic Festival 2017 Presents:

VANPORT: STORY LIVED. STORY TOLD

This exhibit tells the story of the temporary city of Vanport and the vibrant community that called it home. Through archival material and oral history, it explores this chapter of history and its enduring impact. It is an essential and often forgotten story of migration, housing, displacement, and perseverance.


The exhibit is open to visit in conjuction with all theater and screenings part of The Vanport Mosaic Festival 2017 at Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center: 
Friday, May 26, 5:30- 7pm
Sunday, May 29, 10am -7p
Friday, June 2, 6p-7:30p
Saturday, June 3, 6p-7:30p
Sunday, June 4, 2017, 1p-5p

Location:
The Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center 5340 N Interstate Ave, Portland, OR 97217

CURATED BY: Laura Lo Forti, Greta Smith, A Fourth Act
DESIGNED BY: Paste In Place/www.pasteinplace.com

This is Vanport Mosaic first "Out Of The Box" exhibit, designed to travelt to schools, churches, community groups and wherever there is an interest for this important history. Please come and see it, and learn how to bring it to your community!

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Our deepest gratitude to all the former Vanport residents who have shared their memories with us for the past three years, and informed this exhibit with their riveting stories. And to all the Vanport Mosaic oral historians who helped us capture, honore, and preserve these precious voices.

Special thanks to: Oregon Historical Society, City of Portland Archives, Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center, Multnomah County Archives, Portland State University Special Collections and University Archives, Kaiser Permanente Heritage Resources, Oregon Black Pioneers, Kim Moreland, James Stanley Harrison, Zita Podany, Thomas Robinson, Terry Baxter, Tanya Gossard, Norman Gholston, Jim Burke, Susan Barthel, Will Bennett, and Peter Marsh.


Made possible by the generous support of:
The Oregon Community Foundation, Oregon Arts Commission, Portland State University, Oregon Historical Society, The City of Portland, Portland Development Commission.
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This event is part of the The Vanport Mosaic Festival 2017, a four-day exploration of the history and legacy of Vanport, Oregon’s second largest city wiped out by a flood in 1948. Through theater, documentaries, historic exhibit, lectures, and tours we honor the experience of those who lived there.

Laura Lo Forti
Happy Mother's Day to the Vanport Mothers!

Today we remember and honor all the women who, during WWII, left all they knew behind, packed and moved their families across the country by car, train, and bus, and moved to Vanport, to build a better life for their children and contribute to the war effort. 

Here below a few quotes about motherhood in Vanport from the many interviews we've been collecting through our oral history project, now in its third year.

Join us on May 27th and May 29th for the (free!) screenings of Lost City, Living Memories: Vanport Through The Voices of Its Residents, part of THE VANPORT MOSAIC FESTIVAL 2017

"She wanted to get out of Hughes Springs, and I can see why after I visited. And, she decided she would go as far away from Hughes Springs as she could... And so she found Portland, Oregon, and she didn’t know a soul. But my mother took me, and my sister; I was two at the time, and my sister had just been born. And she got on the train and moved to Portland, Oregon. And so a lot of people who came to Portland, from the South, came to work in the shipyards. But my mother, I always call her a pioneer woman ‘cause she didn’t know a soul." ~Lurlene Samsud-Din

"...so my father contacted my mother and he said, “Pack up, get a Mayflower transport and bring the belongings; I have a home for you, so we can get settled. And so we traveled. My mother did all this, I don’t really know how she accomplished all these things, but we boarded a Greyhound bus and I believe we traveled for six days." ~ Marionne Endecotte

"I washed an awful lot of diapers. And I hemmed them all by hand everything because she was so tiny and she’s still tiny. You had to wash everything by hand because there was nothing else you could do if you wanted clean clothes." ~Lillie Kizer

My mother was Barbara Kiggins. I'm named after her. And she was very shy and quiet and she did everything that everybody would expect of a mother to do without getting any fanfare for herself. So she never, if she complained I didn't hear about it, she just did what needed to be done. ~Barbara Green

The day of the flood I can still remember my mom was cooking a pot roast because it was a Sunday. So not knowing where we were going to be she made certain that we had the pot roast in case we had to have something to eat.  ~ Sen. Jackie Winters

 

We particularly honor the Japanese American mothers "who had the misfortune of losing their husband to the Enemy Alien Control Program, as it came to be known, suddenly found themselves alone in a hostile environment, bearing the full responsibility for supporting their children financially and emotionally." Read about them and look at the moving photo essay on Densho blog . 

 

Laura Lo Forti
Story Harvest: Record your memories of life in Albina

Did you live in the Albina Neighborhood between 1940 and 1980?

The Vanport Mosaic would love to record your memories and digitize your photos for the new chapter of our on-going oral history project.  During the VANPORT MOSAIC FESTIVAL 2017, our volunteers will conduct interviews inside Stream PDX, a mobile recording studio in a '67 Airstream trailer:

May 26, 2-6 pm - near Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center
May 27, 2-6 pm - near Vancouver Ave First Baptist Church
May 28, 1-6 pm -  near Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center

To set a time slot to record, please call 510-717.2441, or email laura@vanportmosaic.org.

Or stop by when you see Stream PDX Airstream!

We'd love to scan and digitize photos and artifacts for history preservation. Please bring anything you'd like, and our volunteers will scan them in front of you and return them immediately.

In collaboration with University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication’s Agora Journalism Center, University of Oregon Historic Preservation Program, Open Signal Portland Community Media, Stream PDX. Made possible by a generous support of University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication and RAAC.

 

This event is part of THE VANPORT MOSAIC FESTIVAL 2017- MAY 26-29, a four-day exploration of the history and legacy of Vanport, Oregon’s second largest city wiped out by a flood in 1948. Through theater, documentaries, historic exhibit, lectures, and tours we honor the experience of those who lived there. Full program at www.vanportmosaic.org.

 

For questions: info@vanportmosaic.org or 971-319-0156

 

 

Laura Lo Forti