volunteer posting: membership coordinator

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Are you interested in learning fundraising and development? Here’s your opportunity to join a growing nonprofit organization! Through this internship, you’ll learn hands-on skills, helping in our day-to-day operations, and fulfilling our mission of engaging the public in arts and social justice projects.

KYC is looking for a volunteer Membership Coordinator to assist with its membership and donor management efforts. Volunteership requires approximately 2-8 hours of work/ week, with job responsibilities which include overseeing donor management system database, communicating with donors and manage fundraising campaigns and assisting with organizational outreach and community engagement efforts.

This is a great opportunity to learn hands-on development and fundraising skills at a rapidly growing nonprofit organization. Work is based at our downtown office in historic Union Station, and some work that can be done remotely.

Download the job posting here. We are looking for someone to start as soon as possible, or by January 1, 2015. For more info, email: ask@knowyourcity.org.

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DISPATCH #2 FROM CRCI

Silkscreened texture of the walls (L) and floor (R) of our classroom at CRCI.

Silkscreened texture of the walls (L) and floor (R) of our classroom at CRCI.

The CRCI Art Workshop is a 12-week collaborative project in which participants will design, create and install a site-specific artwork inside of Columbia River Correction Institution (CRCI), a minimum security men’s facility in North Portland. We’re designing, creating and installing a series of flags – imagine the flags flying above used car lots, flags marking the end of the swimming pool, or Tibetan prayer flags, floating on the wind – and we will hang them throughout the interior and exterior space of CRCI. All participants will also mail flags to people of their choosing on the outside.

Creating artwork that deals with place – which is essentially a core element of Know Your City’s mission – raises complicated questions about visibility (who and what areas are seen as part of the community) and voice (Who defines community? Who speaks, who listens and who is heard?).

Part of the point of this project is to create more awareness of the prison system on a local level: Portland is not just what is represented through Portlandia. I’m still a relative newcomer to town, but the more I learn about Portland, I realize that the history of this place – like most of the United States – is one of policed borders and displaced peoples. The prison industrial complex is a whole world unto itself. If you don’t have a personal connection to some one in jail, you probably have the privilege to literally never see the behemoth that incarcerates over 2.4 million people in the United States. There are close to six hundred men incarcerated in CRCI. This institution and the people in it are a part of the Portland community.

As this project has morphed from a static mural on a wall into an opportunity to create silkscreened multiples that will live in the world in many places, we’ve had some lively discussions. We’ve talked about personal and cultural understandings of flags: as expressions of pride, values, or information; as objects resonant with symbolism; as banners to inspire emotion; as a “logo for a nation;” as semaphore; as tools of inclusion and exclusion; as representations of patriotism and disillusionment. We have discussed tattoos as markers on the body that can carry meaning for two different types of audiences. Some ink has meaning only to the person who wears it – a personal reminder or message; tattoos can also serve to communicate information or ideas to an external audience. We decided that the flags we create will consider what messages, meaning and information the artists want to share with an internal audience at the prison, but also with folks on the outside. These will not be the flags of conquerors, claiming ownership or land; these flags will be crossing borders of inside and outside, and hopefully making all of us (re)consider our own role in and relationship to the prison industrial complex.

On Wednesday, we started to design the flags. We didn’t get very far because halfway through the workshop, there was an institution-wide lockdown because a tool from the shop was missing. Since I can’t share any design brainstorm images yet, the photo I’m including in the post is a sample silkscreen of two textures created a few weeks ago. We spent some time making rubbings of all the surfaces in our classroom using graphite and newsprint. The textures provide a different way to see the inside of CRCI.

Look for more updates on the CRCI mural project soon. Don’t forget: Know Your City is in the middle of our Fall Membership Drive and when you sign up to be member, you directly support our work like the CRCI Mural Project. As a member, you’ll be able to delve deeper into this project through a talk back about the project and we’re working to make the show open to all members. Make sure we can continue these critical placemaking programs – sign up to be a member of Know Your City now.

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KYC Holiday Specials: Gifts that show you love your city

Holiday Specials from your friends at Know Your City

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KYC Comics Special – all KYC comics for just $50!

Stumped by holiday shopping? KYC has got you covered! We’ve created special gift packages so you can give everyone on your list a little something that shows you love your city – and they will too. We put together 6 Holiday Specials with our friends in mind. There’s something for every taste: music, art, history and more!

Know Your City Comics  $50 This special includes KYC comic box sets, Oregon History Comics Vol. 1-10 and Comics for Change! These two box sets contain a collection of 20 stories highlighting the state’s history of activism and little-known stories, and features the work of local authors and artists. This special also includes recent KYC comics Tom McCall & the Vortex and Don’t Move Out!

KYC Flare $30 Wear your Portland and KYC pride on your sleeve! Includes a ‘Stumpton Shirt,’ designed by local artist Justin Scrappers Morrison; the Know Your City logo button; and a logo tote, perfect for carrying around some comics!

totallyportland_largeTotally Portland $35 What makes Portland so…Portland? This holiday special has the answer! KYC’s Art for the Millions, a guide to some of Portland’s most notable public works projects from the Works Progress Administration (WPA); Carye Bye’s Museums and Collections, an up-to-date guide to Portland’s hidden attractions. Also included is Portlandia: A Guide for Visitors (cheeky!); Zinester’s Guide to Portland (low/no-budget fun in PDX!) and This is Portland: The City You’ve Heard You Should Like, a recent transplants’ impression of the city. Extra treat: a Keep Portland Weird! magnet!

Seedy, Seamy, Sinful Portland $45 Looking for the Portland not shown on TV? This holiday special includes Portland Confidential: Sex, Crime and Corruption in the Rose City (need we say more?), plus two Know Your City mini-comics, Lives of Loggers and Walter Cole telling the stories of 2 different Portland pioneers – Simon Benson and Darcelle! Plus a Keep Portland Weird! sticker!

Old Town / Chinatown $50 Dig deep into Portland’s multicultural past with our  Streets of Chinatown mini-comic andSweet Cakes, Long Journeya terrific book on the history and development of Portland’s Chinatown. Then get to know 2 Portland activists who have raised the level of dignity for the people living hard in Old Town: KYC’s Comics for Change! #4 Genny Nelson and #5 Ibrahim Mubarak. Find out more about Portland’s activist past in Portland Red Guide.

singasongSing A Song of Portland! $60 Here’s a holiday package full of treasures that highlight our fair city’s musical heritage and culture. Find 2 CDs of local music, Friends & Friends of Friends, and PDX Pop Now!, a copy of Jumptown: the Golden Years of Portland Jazz, 1942-1957 (CD included!), The Life and Death of the X-Ray Cafe mini-comic and a KYC logo tote bag that neatly fits your vinyl purchases.

 

Find out how to purchase these specials and more information about our publications at our KYC shop.

Happy Holidays from Know Your City!

 

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Thank you for supporting an amazing year of Know Your City programs!

thanks your for supporting know your city
Dear Friends & Supporters,

2014 was an incredible year for us. We led fun and interactive tours, released new publications, and expanded our youth education programs. Know Your City has been hard at work empowering voices of social justice in more ways than ever.

We started off the year releasing our Comics For Change! series, honoring living Oregonian social change makers. We collaborated with diverse nonprofits to offer tours on topics like Portland tech, local film, food carts, Portland parks, local craft makers, environmental activism and economic development. We engaged dozens of youth through programs like the East Portland Newspaper Project, where a 5th grade class is producing a multilingual newspaper about SE 82nd Avenue. We kept the momentum going with other projects like the De-Gentrifying Portland youth video program and a prison arts program at Columbia River Correctional Institution.

Oh, and did we mention we fabricated and launched a bike-powered kiosk in Old Town, with the help of more than 150+ Kickstarter backers?? It’s amazing what a small organization can accomplish with an incredible network of supporters, like you. Thank you!

We’re excited for all that 2015 holds in store for us. We’ll be reopening the kiosk in Ankeny Alley, with expanded offerings and multiple tours departing daily. We’ll be releasing a new publication with Community Alliance of Tenants called Renter’s Rights: How to Avoid Evictions, as well continue to expand our youth programs, such as Food Fight!, a videography program highlighting the food desert crisis in East Multnomah County and Raising the Wage, a poster project about livable wage policymaking in Oregon.

Please become part of Know Your City by joining our membership and making a year-end donation. Contribute by visiting the support page. 

Your support enables us to continue our mission of engaging our diverse Portland community in social justice through creative placemaking. We hope that this holiday season you will show your support and give the biggest gift you can for a cause that inspires our community to be active and engaged.

Tour on!

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Marc Moscato
Executive Director, Know Your City

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De-Gentrifying Portland Report Back #2

Letf: Baqi Coles, Right: Diamond Ferguson

Left: Baqi Coles, Right: Diamond Ferguson

Some background: De-Gentrifying Portland is a series of workshops and public presentations for local youth of color to address the topic of gentrification and changing neighborhoods. Led by artist Sharita Towne, the program is a collaboration between her, Know Your City, Portland African American Leadership Forum and Self Enhancement, Inc. Donovan Smith, one of the program participants, was kind enough to provide a brief update on the program, in advance of the De-Gentrifying Portland East Portland Screening (12/10) and the De-Gentrifying Portland North Portland Screening (12/13). Thanks Donovan!

So first things first, I’m employed again…writing things. More specifically, I’m reporting….and I constantly feel myself getting better at it, which considering the field I’m in…it’s a pretty good time to be sharpening my pen’s sword.

Black news is especially important in a time like now, when the main focus of the mainstream when it comes to Ferguson is who got arrested and the buildings that got burned down, and not the gang members defending property and the National Guard essentially forcing people to protest away from the more affluent side of town…

Anyways, one of the projects I’ve been a part of for the last few months is a mutimedia coursework headed by the multi-talented Sharita Towne called De-Gentrifying Portland. Her vision was to have youth 16 to 25 learn video at Portland Community Media and radio at KBOO; and that we did.

What’ll culminate out of these skills we’ve been learning is short-documentaries on good-ol’ gentrification. Yep. you know, that process where banks and the city make you live in a particular part of town investing virtually nothing in it, making your neighborhood hardly livable, only for it to be deemed a slum (by nature), assassinate your leaders, then pump drugs amongst your neighbors…that gentrification.

My group’s documentary is focused on bars and barbershops. These are both spaces that have long been places of unfiltered conversation that can be considered touchy; we figured that by visiting these spaces we may find some less politically guided answers.

Right in the heart of NE Portland we asked people about how the changes in the neighborhood have affected them, and for me there were definitely a few enlightening answers; I’d never heard anyone say they wanna move from Northwest Portland to Northeast.

My group is still chopping footage, and I’m excited to see what our and other’s final projects will look like; which leads me to another thing…

Left: Donovan Smith, Right Mia Charnelle

Left: Donovan Smith, Right Mia Charnelle

We’re screening our videos at two separate locations on two separate dates: The Rosewood Initiative on 162nd and Stark on Dec. 10 from 7pm-9pm and the Sons of Haiti Masonic lodge, the last Black-owned establishment on Mississippi (right around the corner from my Grandma’s house), from 2pm-4pm on Dec. 13.

The night should be cool, there’s gonna be videos, speakers, and live Hip Hop performances lined up for both nights. Plus, Ignorant/Reflections and Mia Charnelle’s BLVCK QUEEN lines have working on a collaboration tee that’ll be sold at both venues, so if be on the lookout for that. The night is free, so if you have the time come check it out!

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Dispatch #1 from CRCI

Some background: the CRCI mural project is a 12-week art workshop in which participants will design, create and install a site-specific art project inside of Columbia River Correction Institution (CRCI), a minimum security men’s facility in North Portland. Through reading, writing, and art-making activities, participants will explore the concept of place: from the specificity and regulations of inside (CRCI as an institution, the interior rooms and exterior yard, the bunk) to the physical and emotional dislocation from outside (Portland, home, location prior to incarceration).

CRCI looks a little like this:

José_Where I live now

José’s map: Where I live now

José made this drawing in our first workshop a few weeks ago. After a lengthy conversation on how he and his peers negotiate creative expression in their daily lives both during and prior to their incarceration – which in my mind, only confirmed that creativity is a necessary survival skill, not a superfluous lifeskill – I asked everyone to draw a map of where they live now. I did not get specific on what counted as a map.

Reiko and I go to CRCI on Wednesday afternoons to work with a group of men who are interested in making art and thinking critically about place. We’re ultimately going to be designing, creating and installing a series of flags – imagine the flags flying above used car lots, flags marking the end of the swimming pool, or Tibetan prayer flags, floating on the wind – and we have permission to hang them throughout the interior and exterior space of CRCI.

We have spent the first few weeks getting to know each other and making things with our hands. In addition to maps, we’ve made accordion books by collaging from two sources: the Sunday New York Times and the inmate newsletter. I asked participants to use the book as a platform for making a self portrait by using image (only) on one side of the book form and text (only) on the other. I love working in tandem with other artists: it is a moment where we can essentially eavesdrop on each other’s visual processes. It can be strangely intimate.

I witness Bryan and Julian methodically search through their source material, clipping, gathering, altering, organizing.

The beginning of Julian's accordion book.

The beginning of Julian’s accordion book.

Bryan gathers material to collage into an accordion form.

Bryan gathers material to collage into an accordion form.

I watch José go for it, cutting and pasting immediately with no hesitation, and see Dennis’ love of “realism and sensuous colors” (how he describes why Botticelli is his favorite artist) show up immediately as he begins to create meaning from shapes and images.

A text spread in José's accordion book.

A text spread in José’s accordion book.

Dennis has become a master gardener while incarcerated.

Dennis has become a master gardener while incarcerated.

In the meantime, Cliff independently heads in a completely self-driven direction, creating multiple layers in the book with craft and white paper before he even begins to add other content.

Cliff's first layer.

Cliff’s first layer.

 

Cliff's second layer.

Cliff’s second layer.

Dakotah is wrapping up another program, and can’t fully join us until later in November. Each week thus far, he runs in on his five minute break to see what we’re making and assures me, every time, that he’ll be here as soon as he can. Curt came for the first time last week and decided that he was going to try to rearrange his work schedule so that he could participate. Even though he “isn’t an artist,” he thinks this project “sounds like a good idea.”

While I am honored to work with this group of men and grateful for the support of Know Your City and the administration of CRCI, making art in a prison is hardly a new initiative: whether visual, written, theatrical, musical, you name it, someone is likely doing it somewhere (just Google “art workshops in prison” and you’ll see what I mean). I also have no illusions that collaborating on an art installation with men at CRCI is going to somehow fundamentally change the vast expanse of the prison industrial complex in this country. However, it is an opportunity to talk with this particular group of men about their experience of displacement from their families and communities and current lived reality of a totally different place. With and through this art project, we are going to to try and create meaning from this fragmentation.

Look for more updates on the CRCI mural project soon. Don’t forget: Know Your City is in the middle of our Fall Membership Drive and when you sign up to be member, you directly support our work like the CRCI Mural Project. As a member, you’ll be able to delve deeper into this project through a talk back about the project and we’re working to make the show open to all members. Make sure we can continue these critical placemaking programs – sign up to be a member of Know Your City now.

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