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 amanda@knowyourcity.org

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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Spring Publications Update: Know Your Rights & Jade Journal now in shop

Spring update: KYC is busy getting ready for the opening of our free walking tours starting May 1st, and with the release of two new publications, Jade Journal #1 and Know Your Rights: Don’t Get Evicted! now available in our shop.
know your rights: don't get evicted
What do you do if you get evicted? The evictions process can be scary. It doesn’t have to be – and our new comic Know Your Rights: Don’t Get Evicted! will help you know your legal rights as a renter. Know Your City partnered with Community Alliance of Tenants (CAT) in a year long collaboration, working to gather personal accounts of eviction and resistance. Each story has “CAT Tips”, advice from CAT on how to handle different obstacles described in the comic. These stories engage and educate tenants and non-tenants alike, acting as a reference to understand the process of eviction, and covering essential topics such as how to respond to a termination notice, what do do if you are locked out by your landlord, or what to expect if you need to go to evictions court.

becky gesturing

Artist Becky Hawkins describing the process of illustrating Know Your Rights: Don’t Get Evicted.

On March 30, Know Your City and Community Alliance of Tenants celebrated the release of our newest publication, at the Oregon Public House. Guests heard presentations about the project’s process from leaders of both organizations and saw a slideshow on the illustration process from artist Becky Hawkins. We were also treated to first-hand accounts of tenant’s rights issues from CAT members who shared their stories.

Buy and or download Know Your Rights: Don’t Get Evicted at our webstore here.

Jade Journal

Also new in our store: Jade Journal #1, a student-generated multilingual newspaper about the SE 82nd community. The paper is the culmination of a 12-week KYC youth program with Tim Schulze’s 5th-grade class at Harrison Park School, with assistance and lesson planning from designer and educator Travis Neel.

During Fall 2014, Know Your City worked with Tim Schulze’s 5th grade class at Harrison Park School to produce the paper. Over the course of 12-weeks, students studied their immediate SE 82nd Ave neighborhood and created a free, multilingual newspaper that is informed by their study. With articles ranging from profiles on local businesses to editorials on addressing racism, the lack of sidewalks and inadequate parks, the paper both acknowledges the need for greater equity in neighborhoods east of SE 82nd Ave, while celebrating the area’s rich cultural diversity.

Buy and or download Jade Journal #1 at our webstore here, or more at the programs page here.

KYC also recently finished its civil rights comics program with SW Charter School. During the course of several weeks teachers led the students in discussions and readings covering topics including exclusion laws, the Vanport flood, school segregation and integration. Then, class studied comic books and how to make and write comics. With guidance from visiting artist Lisa Eisenberg, participants partook in a comic making intensive, where they built on what they’d learned in class about local history and wrote and illustrated short comics. The final comic was celebrated by a public release event at Oregon Historical Society, with a slideshow, readings and a display of artwork. Download a digital copy of the class comic at the program page. 

insider's guide to portland
Finally, KYC is excited to release a new publication, Insider’s Guide to Portland. Illustrated by our friend, the extremely talented Kate Bingaman-Burt, the fold-out map of Portland’s hidden treasures will be available for free in our mobile kiosk and at Travel Portland’s Visitor Information Center, as well as at locations throughout Portland listed on the map. The aim of the publication is to get tourists and locals off the beaten track, and into the hidden cultural pockets of the city – from St. Johns to Sellwood – and show off our local talent.

Want to get KYC Publications mailed to your door? It’s easy!  Sign up to be a member. Our publication projects would not exist without the support of Know Your City members. Along with the many benefits of being a member you will receive a complimentary copy of our newest publications mailed directly to your door. This money directly helps Know Your City by supporting the staff necessary to make all our programs  possible. Support the expansion of our publication programs and join now!

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Join us for Know Your Rights: Don’t Get Evicted! next Monday


On Monday, March 30, join Know Your City (KYC) and Community Alliance of Tenants (CAT) as we celebrate the release of Know Your Rights: Don’t Get Evicted, our new comic book publication empowering Oregon renters to learn about tenant rights and the eviction process. We’re very excited to be holding this event at the Oregon Public House, the world’s first nonprofit brewpub. All day long (11am-11pm), the purchases of beer and food will be shared with KYC and CAT as part of the brewpub’s mission to assist fellow nonprofits. The release party for Know Your Rights: Don’t Get Evicted will begin at 7pm with a short presentation from both organizations, the artist and CAT members.

What a great idea: grab lunch, an after work beer or dinner and support two great nonprofits with every purchase made at an excellent local brewpub. Then, attend the release party of an incredible new comic book about tenants rights and the eviction process, illustrated by local comics artist Becky Hawkins.

Know Your Rights has been been a year-long collaboration between KYC and CAT, in which we worked to gather stories of eviction and resistance. Each story has “CAT Tips”, advice from CAT on how to handle different obstacles described in the comic.

Check out this sneak preview of some of the pages:

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Know Your Rights: Don’t Get Evicted will be available at the release event and distributed for free from Community Alliance of Tenants. Copies will also be available at Know Your City’s office in Union Station and for download from the Know Your City website.

Don’t forget: KYC members receive our publications! If you want a copy of Know Your Rights sign up to be a member and we’ll mail one to your door! We need your support to keep providing these critical programs. If you’re not already a member, please sign up and help bring these program offerings to our community now.

Know Your Rights: Don’t Get Evicted was supported by funding from Sappi Fine Paper and Regional Arts & Culture Council.

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Hot off the Presses: Jade Journal Vol 1 hits the streets!

JJ Release!

Teacher Tim Schulze is surrounded by students and Jade Journals at the Jade Journal Release event, February 15th, 2015.

On Sunday, February 15, Know Your City had a release party for Jade Journal #1, a student-generated multilingual newspaper about the SE 82nd community at APANO’s Jade District Office. The paper is the culmination of a 12-week KYC youth program with Tim Schulze’s 5th-grade class at Harrison Park School, with assistance and lesson planning from designer and educator Travis Neel.

Know Your City expresses a warm thank you to everyone who attended the event. It was terrific to hear students read the stories they had written: Thanks, Elaine and Jacoby! Harrison Park teacher Tim Schulze spoke and introduced the students and recounted highlights from the program. Anita Yap, APANO board member talked about the benefits a youth project like the Jade Journal has on the SE 82nd community. Many of the guest speakers who visited the class were also on hand to share experiences from working with the students, Representative Alissa Keny-Guyer, Ronault “Polo” Catalani, Michael Lui and Rosaline Hui. Everyone was excited to see the inaugural paper in its final version.

Jade Journal was featured in an article in the Oregonian by Casey Parks, What’s life like East of 82nd? Ask the kids. And if you didn’t catch it, be sure to check out our blogpost leading up to the Jade Journal release event.

JJ cover!

Want to get a copy of Jade Journal? In the coming weeks, we’ll be hitting the streets and getting the paper distributed around town. Thanks to the Portland Tribune, we’ll have a few news boxes in the Jade District – at FuBonn Shopping Center, Harrison Park School and Portland Community College Southeast Campus. We’ll also have some paper distribution at locations in inner Portland.

We’re looking for volunteers to help with distribution. Have a vehicle that can haul a couple boxes? Own a truck that can help us transport the news boxes? Want a stack of Jade Journals to put in your neighborhood cafe? To lend a hand for an hour or two, e-mail Amanda.

Want to get a copy of Jade Journal mailed to your door? Sign up to be a member. The project would not have been possible without the support of Know Your City Members. Along with the many benefits of being a KYC Member, you will receive a complimentary copy mailed directly to your door. This money directly helps Know Your City and its youth programs by supporting the staff necessary to make programs like this possible. Support the expansion of programs like Jade Journal in schools and join now.

Want to read the paper electronically? Unable to track down a copy of the paper in person? Download a PDF of Jade Journal here.

For more on Jade Journal, see our previous report backs:


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