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Since 2015 the Vanport Mosaic has been telling stories WITH, and not about communities. We share them through films, theater, exhibits, poetry, workshops, tours... We engage in uncomfortable and necessary conversations about difficult chapters of our history that continue to be part of our present, while celebrating community strength and resilience.
Will you join us in our effort against collective amnesia? Please consider become a memory activist with a tax-deductible donation!
A Letter From The Directors
As 2017 draws to a close and the days are darker, we are invited to sit with our shadow self in time of reflection, renewal and re-dedication to the values that keep us the best of our human selves. In these dire times, the ability to come together in community to honor our stories of diversity, resilience and innovation is great balm for the soul. We reflect on a year of upheaval and loss on the political level, outcries for justice and introspection, and the earth rocked by environmental disasters; We are moved by the fires in California, the devastating impact of the recent hurricanes that battered the Atlantic and Caribbean, the earthquake in Mexico, and again are offered a timely opportunity to reflect on how disasters often replicate and deepen social inequalities.
As a community driven, artist-led non-profit,The Vanport Mosaic is dedicated to engaging the public in remembering silenced histories of the Pacific Northwest to better understand our present. Our programming honors the experience of traditionally underrepresented communities, by surfacing, celebrating and maintaining their cultural and historical memories.
To date we have produced and screened over 30 multi-media oral histories with Vanport residents. For the past two years we presented The Vanport Mosaic Festival, engaging Portlanders through theater and poetry performances, screenings, tours, exhibits and educational presentations. This 4-day multi-disciplinary event was awarded the Spirit of Portland Award by City Commissioner Nick Fish, and the Columbia Slough Watershed Council’s Achievement Award, and the Oregon Heritage Excellence Award.
As we lean into the new year, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Fair Housing Act and commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Vanport Flood, programmatically moving into the “Albina Chapter” of The Vanport Mosaic.
We would like to extend our sincere thanks to our inspirational family of collaborators, partners, funders, sponsors and donors: we couldn’t do this without you. Stories build communities, and we are grateful to those who share them as gifts, and those who receive them as such.
Laura and Damaris
The Vanport Mosaic Co-Founders and Co-Directors