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Oregon illustartors – we're offering a $1,000 honorarium for new Renter's Rights comic; deadline is April 25th.

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Comics For Change! is still available. Order at our shop.

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Our tours are starting back up, including the popular "Keep Portland Wired!" tech tour 5/16.

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Download PDX Social History Guide, a free app and website of Portland's multicultural history.

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Comics For Change! featured on OPB’s Think Out Loud

comics for change
UPDATE! You can now listen to Comics For Change! segment on the Think Out Loud show online, below.

This just in: tune in tomorrow Wednesday, March 26th to Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Think Out Loud program for a special feature on Know Your City’s Comics For Change! The radio program will feature interviews with several people involved in the comics’ creation, including artist Natalie Sept, writer Douglas Wolk and community activist Paul Knauls. It should be a lively and spirited conversation. The program airs at noon tomorrow: more info here.

Comics for Change! celebrates people who are making Oregon a better place for everyone. The box set collects 10 excellent mini-comics by some of Portland’s best comic writers and illustrators.The project aims to honor our community’s unsung heroes.

The radio piece comes in advance of our big reading at Powell’s Books on April 14th. At the reading, several of the artists, writers and activists will talk about their involvement in the final publication, with an accompanying slideshow. It’s free and open to all. Don’t miss it; RSVP on Facebook here.

Purchase the comics online here. Members save $5 off the cost, as well as receive discounts to events and more – all the while supporting our work of engaging Portlanders in issues of art and social justice through creative placemaking projects. More info on membership here.

Be sure to listen in tomorrow…and we’ll see you at Powells April 14!

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welcome new board member megan mccarthy

Megan McCarthy

Our new Board Chair Megan at a bookbinding workshop at the IPRC (Megan is with the large glasses and scarf)

We’ve had some significant changes to our Board of Directors in the last few months, and it is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to some of our long-time members: Pollyanne Birge, BJ Thomsen, Lucy Rockwell, Karie Burch, Cary Clarke, Dale Davis and Kyle Von Hoetzendorff. They have each contributed immensely to the organization.

While the changes have presented some challenges, it also has provided us with the opportunity to to refocus and rebuild – and we have been actively recruiting some new folks to lead the organization forward. Over the next few days, we’ll be introducing you to some of the new faces around the KYC office. It’s an exciting time and we are lucky to have such phenomenal leadership and support!

Today we welcome Megan McCarthy to our board, and to her new role as Board Chair. Over the last decade, Megan has worked in economic development and city and regional planning at Portland Business Alliance and Portland Development Commission. While working at the city, she served on the team responsible for completing the City of Portland’s 2010 Economic Development Strategy, the Portland Plan and other regional plans supporting the growth of the state’s targeted industries. Most recently, she served as the Operations and Programs Manager at Equity Foundation.

Megan was nice enough to take the time to answer a few questions for our blog…

What speaks to you about Know Your City’s programs?
I’ve been engaged in different community development programs in Portland for the last decade or so. At every level of participation I have been engaged with, from starting non-profits, funding non-profits, working, as a volunteer or staff member, in non-profits and working as a city planner/strategic planner in the City government, there is a sense of disconnection between what programs intend to do to build healthy communities and the impact those programs actually have… not to mention what people take away after participating in community building activities.

I was inspired to contact KYC because I was struck by the simplicity of the mission: connecting people to place can nurture activism and give people a sense of ownership over their lives in this city. If people don’t walk away from something this lofty after engaging in one of KYC’s programs, they will at least feel uplifted by knowing more about the city around them and that is special too. Informed people make better citizens.

And: being the person who gives tours to my friends and family when they visit (whether they like it or not), it was exciting to think that if I could join in KYC’s work, I could learn more, do more and meet people who care about the city too.

The mission speaks to me in a way I don’t know how to articulate. How do you describe your favorite song or a work of art that hits you in that spot that suddenly makes everything make sense and gives you hope?

Where do you see Know Your City in the next several years? How can we improve?  What role do you see yourself playing in our growth?
In two to four years, I hope KYC has a stronger and stable base of members who give at the highest level, institutional support from granting foundations and a broader base of relational support from organizations in the city that are also invested in inspiring engaged citizenry and the connection of people to place.

In a broad sense: I envision KYC being a first stop hub for civic engagement that is accessible and interesting (and fun) to Portlanders and people who are visiting Portland. KYC is unique in its ability to be meaningfully accessible to different audiences and its ability to engage different participants in creating content relevant to the mission. I think KYC can expand its impact by partnering with sister organizations that build off the momentum KYC generates to encourage more sophisticated kinds of activism and civic engagement. It can also be the historian of what inspires.

One idea I have for future Know Your City programming:
I love the idea of KYC being able to do more to put story telling into the hands of the people. Connect people to place. Connect people to people in that place. Let the people talk about history as it is being made. There could be a more seamless transition between tours, lectures, publications and films so an issue could be explored through each medium.

Thanks Megan, and welcome! For more on our board, visit “Who We Are“.

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know your city zine workshop with caldera

Know Your City zine workshop

Last weekend, Know Your City led a zine making workshop with youth enrolled in the Caldera arts program. During the course of a 3-hour workshop students interviewed each other, took photos and wrote about their experiences growing up in Portland. The end result was turned into the template for a zine that will be photocopied for all students in the class.

This was our first time working with Caldera, and it was a great learning experience. View some samples of the students’ work below. We were honored to work with such an esteemed organization and we’re looking forward to future collaborations.

In the meantime, we’ll be tweaking some of the program activities and gearing up for another workshop – this time at Caldera’s camp in Sisters, Oregon, April 12-13. For more on our youth programs, visit our main page here.

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caldera zine workshop, a set on Flickr.

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