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Community Update September 2021

To our friends, neighbors, and larger community,

This past year, and certainly the past few months have challenged us all greatly. While the enthusiasm of returning to normal has been tempered by a new coronavirus variant, I want to take this opportunity to share with you how the Museum and NW Film Center have stayed connected with the community through programs, partnerships, and relationships. I plan to provide you with regular updates as we recover and reemerge. 

Sincerely, 
Brian Ferriso, Portland Art Museum Director

Program Highlights & News 

Ansel Adams in Our Time
After starts and stops due to pandemic closures and restrictions, the Ansel Adams in Our Time exhibition provided a much-needed boost of energy and excitement for Museum visitors. Beyond the photographs on the walls, programs featuring community members and local artists provided additional context around our place in the outdoors. Programs included: 

Cinema Unbound Open-Air Cinema
Over the summer, the Northwest Film Center offered a range of ways to safely enjoy movies under the stars. First, injecting some new life into the Lloyd Center by setting up a seated viewing experience on a parking lot rooftop, and then later at an OMSI property on the inner east side offering both drive-in and seated experiences.

Partnering with The Numberz FM
At the core of the Museum’s ongoing partnership with The Numberz FM, a community-based radio station that identifies with the tagline “The Black Music Experience for Black Portland,” is a goal to build meaningful relationships that strengthen the bridge between art and community. Building on a relationship that began during 2019’s Exhibition Hank Willis Thomas: All Things Being Equal…, the Museum and The Numberz FM have worked together to support the community and create new opportunities during the pandemic. Learn more at the links. 

Carmelo Anthony donates $100,000 prize to support  Black Art and Experiences
Earlier this summer, former Portland Trail Blazers star Carmelo Anthony was named the winner of the first Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion award. In recognition of this honor, Mr. Anthony was given the opportunity to choose a nonprofit to receive a $100,000 contribution from the NBA, and he selected the Portland Art Museum’s Black Art and Experiences initiative. Learn more about the donation and the Black Art and Experiences initiative.

See Me. iAm. HEAR: A Creative Activation of Youth Voices of Color
The Museum collaborated with the City of Portland’s “Supporting Community Healing with Art” initiative and other partners to transform the Madison Plaza into a vibrant creative space activated by and for youth. The event centered the ways in which community healing can be realized when youth are empowered to lead, create, dream, and express themselves through their artistic expressions. Featured partners included: The Numberz.fm, I AM M.O.R.E., IPRC, and NAYA Many Nations Academy.

In the News

More Program Highlights

For the second year in a row, the Portland Art Museum and the Northwest Film Center were the exclusive U.S. host for Venice VR Expanded, the official competition of immersive content of the Venice International Film Festival, organized by the Venice Biennale.

The Northwest Film Center announced filmmakers Masami Kawai and Reed Harkness as the Oregon Media Media Arts Fellowship for 2021. The Fellowship is an award given every other year for filmmakers who have shown a commitment to the moving image arts and pushing their practice with new and engaging work. The program is funded by the Oregon Arts Commission and administered by the Northwest Film Center.

In partnership with Portland Public Schools and OK YOU, the Museum collaborated on Journal On!, a project that offers prompts and inspiration for youth to contribute to an enduring art journal of these times. 

Memory and Public Space: An Educator UnConference was an exploration of questions around how we use public space to remember—a particularly vital conversation as public space, history, politics, and art converge. Learn more, and view resources.

Art and Writing During the Pandemic: Celebrating the Write Around Portland Partnership. As an organization, Write Around Portland works to change lives through the power of writing and to use that power of writing in community to create more just, humane, and kind communities. Learn more about this partnership and popular weekly social media series.

The Museum and Film Center expanded the podcast, Art Unbound, during the pandemic, and have partnered with many artists and community organizations, in addition to professionals from the art and new media world. In Everything Was Quiet and Everything Was Boards: A Numberz FM Interview with Emma Berger, The Numberz FM speaks with the artist who started the painting at the Apple store downtown.

The Museum and Film Center continue to prioritize racial equity, and in an effort to increase transparency and accountability, began sharing regular equity and inclusion updates. See the most recent here—Equity and Inclusion Update.

The Northwest Film Center’s Co:Laboratory online classes have supported local teaching artists, offering a range of topics like Inclusivity and Your Script and Exploring Identity, Environment, and Creativity through Photography, Video, and Sound.