PP&R presents the First Annual East Portland Summer Arts Festival

News Article
Free and open to all. Rose City native esperanza spalding headlines July festival at Ventura Park - the first annual event's theme is music and expression.

Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) is proud to present the first annual East Portland Summer Arts Festival (EPSAF) on July 9 and 10, 2022. The inaugural EPSAF celebration and performances will be held at PP&R’s Ventura Park and is part of Portland Parks & Recreation’s Summer Free For All. Grammy award-winning Portland native and artist esperanza spalding is headlining the festival, which is free and open to all.

Grammy award-winning artist and Portland native Esperanza Spalding in a promotional photo. She is on a stage with a black background, holding a cello, gesturing and smiling during a performance.
Grammy award-winning artist and Portland native Esperanza Spalding in a promotional photo courtesy of Samuel Prather and PP&R.

WHAT: First Annual East Portland Summer Arts Festival

WHEN:  July 9 and July 10, 2022; 2pm-8pm

WHERE: Ventura Park, 460 SE 113th Avenue in Portland

Free and open to all

FEATURING: Five-time Grammy award-winning bassist, singer, songwriter, and composer esperanza spalding will headline the first-annual East Portland Summer Arts Festival! Spalding is an alumna of PP&R’s Community Music Center. Her performance is the evening of July 10. Aaron Nigel Smith & 1 World Chorus + Sora Shodo (reggae fusion and live painting performance) will also be featured at the festival. The East Portland Summer Arts Festival is a new addition to PP&R’s Summer Free For All. The theme of this year’s inaugural festival is music and expression.

“There is no Portland without a vibrant arts and culture community, and without vibrant arts and culture across our whole community,” said Portland Parks Commissioner Carmen Rubio, who also serves as the City’s Arts and Culture Commissioner. “From our festivals to our playgrounds, accessibility is key to fostering a deep and lasting appreciation for our parks and recreation system. This first-ever East Portland Summer Arts Festival accessibly brings arts and culture to East Portland, and I’m hopeful it will be a treasured annual event.”

Daytime arts activities from 2 pm-4 pm with a headlining performance at 6 pm daily. East Portland Summer Arts Festival attractions include multicultural music and dance performances, including Spalding, Aaron Nigel Smith, and 1 World Chorus, live painting from Sora Shodo, Tongan dance, Hip Hop dance performance by Manifest Dance Agency PDX & Hip Hop Soulsation Academy and more. Free drop-in mini music lessons, art activities, and more will be provided by Portland Parks & Recreation's very own Community Music Center and Multnomah Arts Center. Big Up Music Show, and Family Fun Drumming will be a part of our daily activities, something for the entire family.

“The enthusiasm of the neighborhoods and community have been remarkable,” says PP&R Director Adena Long. “It’s so exciting to see one of Portland’s own, esperanza spalding, return to her hometown to headline this new, major showcase. The festival overall - and her performance in particular - will be a highlight of Portland’s summer.”

Special thanks to our nonprofit partners: Community Music Center, Inc. for their support of esperanza spalding’s engagement and Multnomah Arts Center Association for their support of the East Portland Summer Arts Festival.

Summer Free For All Funding

The 2020 Parks Local Option Levy (Parks Levy) is making Summer Free For All possible, and the program would not be occurring without this critical community investment. As promised to Portland voters, the Parks Levy will, in part, deliver recreational programs, including family-friendly movies and concerts, fitness and art classes, teen- and senior-focused programs, life-saving swim lessons, and Free Lunch + Play.

Summer Free For All programs and info

The long-anticipated Summer Free For All (SFFA) events is back this year, revitalized, revamped, and with an amazing series of events by Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R), the founder of SFFA. The 2022 program began with Free Lunch + Play on Tuesday, June 21 at 15 parks in the Portland Public School district area and on Monday, June 27, 2022, for other school district sites. This will be followed by dozens of amazing outdoor citywide events all summer long.

Summer Free For All (SFFA) is a community-building, annual program consisting of free cultural events and free meals and activities for kids in Portland parks. This year’s program includes 42 events including festivals, Movies in the Park, Concerts in the Park, and other special events across the city. The Free Lunch + Play program will again provide free lunches to youth while schools are not in session, in partnership withPortland Public Schools, Centennial, David Douglas, and Parkrose school districts at 23 parks citywide and seven mobile program sites in East Portland.

The Summer Free For All event schedules and more info can be found at this link:


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