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Our walking tours have started! Tours leave every Thurs, Fri, Sat & Sunday at 10am & 1pm...details here.

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Our new comic resource Know Your Rights: Don't Get Evicted! is out now...purchase now.

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Jade Journal, a student-made newspaper about SE 82nd Ave, is now out! Pick one up here!

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Watch videos from the De-Gentrifying Portland program – now online.


30 Flags KYC creative placemaking project opens at CRCI prison

On Tuesday, May 26th, Columbia River Correctional Institution (CRCI) will host a dedication ceremony for KYC’s newest creative placemaking project: 30 Flags, an art installation at a minimum-security prison made by inmates, in collaboration with artist Emily Squires.

Since October, Squires has been an artist-in-residence at CRCI. In partnership with KYC and scholar-activist Reiko Hillyer, Squires collaborated with adults in custody to design, screenprint, and install a series of handmade flags throughout the institution. The flags will be installed at the entryway into CRCI, throughout the main hallway of CRCI, and every artist mailed a set to some one of their choosing on the outside.

During weekly art workshops – bookmaking, drawing, and collage – the group discussed the concept of place. Through thinking about the specificity and regulations of inside (CRCI as an institution, the interior rooms and exterior yard, the bunk) versus the physical and emotional dislocation from outside (Portland, home, location prior to incarceration), the group identified different audiences: fellow adults in custody, people that can come and go (volunteers, staff, or family) and external communities. They designed flags using both image and text to carry messages of their choosing based on their lived experiences. Approximately twelve artists created thirty unique designs, each 7″x9.” Squires burned silkscreens in her studio, and the group screenprinted hundreds of flags in CRCI. Squires sewed the flags into long strands that can be hung as a complete set (picture flags flying above a car lot or Tibetan prayer flags).

While the event is not open to the general public due to the security requirements of the prison, we’ll have photos and extensive documentation on our site in the coming weeks. In addition, an extra set of the flags will be made to travel to spaces outside of the prison, in the community. Stay tuned to our site for more info about public showings, or sign up on our e-mail list for the latest (do so in the top right corner of our site).

30 Flags is made possible through the generous support of the Vital Projects Fund. The program is also made possible, in part, by individual members and donors. For more information on supporting Know Your City and the expansion of programs like 30 Flags, click here.

For more on 30 Flags, see our previous blog posts documenting the program:

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Summer Kiosk Tellers Needed! Great volunteer opportunity!


Know Your City is looking for volunteers to help staff our mobile bike kiosk on a semi-regular basis, throughout the summer. From May to September, KYC walking tours will leave from our kiosk in Ankeny Alley every day, Thursday – Sunday at 10am and 1pm. We need a volunteer each day to set up the kiosk and greet tour goers, give out information about KYC tours and publications, and help tourists with general information about the city and local cultural events.

This summer, KYC is offering two daily walking tours, A People’s History of Portland and Sing A Song of Portland. Both tours lead visitors through a history of Portland not found elsewhere – we travel up Burnside, learning Portland’s musical history and singing with our tour guide troubadour, and we discover the stories of immigrant communities who built this city from the waterfront, up!

We will schedule our volunteers to work in daily shifts, as many times a month as available. It’s a great way to help KYC reach our audience and support our programming. PLUS, it’s a fun way to meet visitors and locals who want to explore a city not found in the guidebooks. Show off how much you know (and love) your city!

Interested? Questions?

Please contact Amanda Tillstrom, Programs Coordinator at

We are scheduling our first orientation meeting Monday, May 4th at 5:30pm, with other meetings to follow as necessary. RSVP to the above email  by Friday, May 1st.

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New Sing A Song of Portland! tour promo video

A special heartfelt thanks goes out to Dawn Jones-Redstone and Hearts & Sparks Productions and Lukas Borsten for their work on a new promo video for our Sing A Song of Portland! tour. Check out the video above and share with your friends!

Portland has long been a haven for musicians and music fans. On our tour, you’ll hear the fascinating stories behind Portland’s internationally renowned music scene. Along the way, we’ll visit the rock clubs, record labels and music stores that shaped Portland’s musical past and present—from “Louie Louie” to “Hey, Eugene!” and featuring songs by Sleater Kinney, The Decemberists, Elliot Smith and more. History will come alive as our troubadour tour guide leads the group in sing-alongs that pay tribute to some of the best artists and songs ever to come out of the Rose City. Don’t worry – we’ll teach you the words!

Tours are free and leave every Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday at 1PM, starting May 1st (more info here). Over the next couple of weeks we’ll be editing the outdated info on our tours page – pardon our dust! More soon…

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