Public Street Plaza June Newsletter

News Article
Portland's Public Street Plazas Banner featuring a cartoon scene of people enjoying a plaza.  People are running, biking, sitting, eating, socializing, dancing, and DJing.
New Plazas, Art, and Events Galore!
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Plazas Season is in Full Swing! Events, Art, and NEW Plazas

Plazas are absolutely buzzing with activity this month! Our fantastic partners and community members have lined up over 20 exciting events for you to enjoy. In this month's issue, we’re also shining a spotlight on Concordia Commons, one of our newest plazas for 2024. Discover the incredible work being done by our partners, Friends of the Plaza.

But that's not all! Read on to learn about new plaza art and a host of other exciting updates for these cherished Portland public spaces.


Hundreds of people gather at St Johns Plaza to watch a live band on stage.
St Johns Bizarre was a MASSIVE success! Photo Credit: Jason Quigley

Upcoming Plaza Partner Events

Monday, June 3 to June 10 - PSU's Place Matters Design Competition Public Exhibit: Interested in the future of Portland State's public spaces? Three finalist teams have created designs for enhancing PSU's public space through the Place Matters Design Competition. Their concepts will be available to view at Montgomery Plaza the week of June 3 to the 7th and on June 10 from 10 A.M - 4 P.M. Students, faculty, staff and community members will be able to learn more about the competition and submit feedback on their preferred design.

Thursday, June 6 -First Thursdays Street Gallery: Join us in the Pearl District for First Thursday. Experience the work of local artists and makers from 5-9 p.m. at NW 13th Plaza on NW 13th Avenue between Everett and NW Irving streets. This event is sponsored by the Urban Art Network.

Sunday, June 8 & 9 - The Arleta Triangle Arts and Crafts Kaleidoscope: An Arts and crafts event featuring makers from the Portland metro area in collaboration with Mt Scott Arleta Neighborhood Association from 10 A.M. - 5 P.M. at Arleta Triangle Square.

Saturday, June 22 - Concordia Commons Mural Painting Party: The Concordia Neighborhood Association and the Friends of the Plaza are painting a new street mural at The Concordia Commons on Saturday, June 22 from 10 A.M. – 3 P.M., weather dependent. Come join the painting fun! Go to Street Mural Painting Signup on the CNA website to get involved.

Saturday, June 29 - Arleta Triangle Square Summer Works Party: Make a good place even better! Winter has ended, and your neighborhood plaza requires your assistance to maintain it an accessible space for community events and gatherings. Gather at Arleta Triangle Square every last Saturday starting at 10 a.m. to paint, weed, clean, and meet your neighbors. Gloves, tools, and light refreshments provided.

Saturday, June 29 - Backyard Babes Arts and Crafts Market at Concordia Commons: Backyard Babes with Friends of The Plaza is hosting art and craft vendors with hand made wares including:
ceramics, jewelry, clothing, swimwear, art prints, original paintings, crafty items, crochet, and dog accessories. The Backyard Babes will put on a short 5 minute fashion walk (with people and dogs) at the end of the event and name the winners of their raffle. Join the fun and support local artists at the Concordia Commons from 12-6 PM.


MusicPortland Events are Here!

Two people are playing guitars along Ankney Rainbow Road on a beautiful blue sky day.  A large carpet is set out as a stage.
Johnny Franco and His Real Brother Dom perform a curbside serenade at Rainbow Road. Photo Credit: MusicPortland

Get ready to dance Portland! MusicPortland is back, bringing live music to plazas all across the city. From now through September, you can enjoy over 50 electrifying events featuring local artists. Check out the details below and let the music take you away this summer!

MusicPortland is more than just an organization; it's a community dedicated to driving a sustainable, independent local music economy. By supporting local musicians and creating vibrant, musical public spaces, MusicPortland is turning our city into a summer-long festival of sound.

June 1 - Montavilla Plaza- 12-5 P.M. - Sponsored by the Montavilla East Tabor Business Association

June 1 - Spokane Plaza -1-3 P.M. - Sponsored by Gino's Restaurant & BarNotary Ceramics

June 2 - Ankeny Alley - 4-6 P.M. - Sponsored by the Ankeny Alley & Downtown Neighborhood Associations

June 5 - The Cart Blocks - 11 A.M.-5 P.M. - Sponsored by the Downtown Neighborhood Association

June 6 - Ankeny Rainbow Road - 4-6 P.M. - Sponsored by Ankeny Tap & Table / Gorges Beer Co.

June 9Ankeny Alley- 4-6 P.M - Sponsored by the Ankeny Alley & Downtown Neighborhood Associations

June 9 - Concordia Commons - 4-6 P.M. - Sponsored by the Concordia Neighborhood Association

June 12 - Spokane Plaza - 5-7 P.M. - Sponsored by Gino's Restaurant & BarNotary Ceramics

June 13 - Ankeny Rainbow Road - 4-6 P.M. - Sponsored by Ankeny Tap & Table / Gorges Beer Co.

June 16 -Ankeny Alley- 4-6 P.M - Sponsored by the Ankeny Alley & Downtown Neighborhood Associations

June 20 - Ankeny Rainbow Road - 4-6 P.M. - Sponsored by Ankeny Tap & Table / Gorges Beer Co.

June 23 - Ankeny Alley- 4-6 P.M - Sponsored by the Ankeny Alley & Downtown Neighborhood Associations

June 26 - Spokane Plaza - 5-7 P.M. - Sponsored by Gino's Restaurant & BarNotary Ceramics

June 27 - Ankeny Rainbow Road - 4-6 P.M. - Sponsored by Ankeny Tap & Table / Gorges Beer Co.

June 30 - Ankeny Alley- 4-6 P.M - Sponsored by the Ankeny Alley & Downtown Neighborhood Associations


Want to throw an event at a PBOT Public Street Plaza?

Plazas are for Portlanders and we love to see them thrive! Want to throw a performance, dance party, craft market, seed swap, game night, neighborhood meet and greet, or something else? Reach out and email us at PortlandStreetPlazas@portlandoregon.gov and we can help you navigate throwing an event.

The Small Plaza Activation process is intended to remove barriers for small-scale neighborhood-based activities that build social and community connections in PBOT plazas. Best of all, permits under Small Plaza Activation are 100% FREE.

New Plaza Spotlight! Concordia Commons

A woman sits at a table collecting donations for plaza events and votes for the new plaza name
Kepper Petzig has championed the plaza on 30th and Killingsworth, forming Friends of the Plaza earlier this year, collecting donations, and helping organize events. Photo Credit: Kunal Mehta and the Concordia News

PBOT's new Public Street Plaza in the heart of NE Portland is the perfect spot to soak up the sun and have some fun! Originally a healthy business space under funded by the American Rescue Plan, we’ve been working with the Concordia Neighborhood to spruce up the newly named Concordia Commons at NE 30th Ave and Killingsworth Street and turn it into a formal PBOT Street Plaza.

The real magic at the plaza comes from the Friends of the Plaza, a fantastic community group who have poured their hearts into making this space vibrant and lively. Their dedication has brought neighbors together and filled the plaza with art, music, and community driven events. They’re always on the lookout for new ideas and helping hands to plan events. Imagine music, poetry readings, storytelling, games, cultural festivals, dancing, and art fairs – the possibilities are endless!

This month, the neighborhood is excited to get a new street painting from the creative minds of Carla Bartow and Evan Wilcox. We’re thrilled to collaborate with them and Symbiop Landscaping and Garden Shop, providing the painting supplies and expertise. Join the neighborhood for the mural painting party on Saturday, June 22nd, from 10 A.M.–3 P.M. The design will incorporate fun games for all ages, so come ready to paint and play.

A group of smiling neighbors sits at a table providing info about native bees and supporting bee habitats.
Neighbors educate the community about bees at the March Garden Fair. Photo Credit: Kunal Mehta and the Concordia News
"We want to help preserve the Concordia Commons as the best part of the COVID pandemic's history. The pandemic let us see that being together outside brought joy. The street plaza is a healthy place to meet outdoors and support our local businesses. Keeping this space for pedestrians and families to meet up without fear of traffic is very desirable to the community and the transition of this block from a healthy business space to a formal street plaza continues this wonderful adventure." 
Megan Cecil-Gobble
Friends of the Plaza Committee Member and SW2 Representative
Concordia Neighborhood Association
A smiling man stands in front of a table filled with plant starts. A colorful street mural is visible in the background.
Plant starts galore at the March Garden Fair. Photo Credit: Kunal Mehta and the Concordia News

If you are interested in getting involved with The Friends of the Plaza the committee meets on the second Wednesday of the month from 12:30 – 1:30 pm hybrid, both in person in the Commons and on Zoom. Contact Megan Gobble at SW2@ConcordiaPDX.org to confirm meeting location or for Zoom link.

Stay tuned as the Concordia Community and PBOT continue to develop the space. We hope to see you at the Commons!


Unveiling the Nautilus Sculpture at Pride Plaza

5 city leaders stand underneath the colorful Nautilus sculpture in front of McMenamins at Pride Plaza.
Andew Moore, Anne Hill, Red Turner, Alisha Sullivan, and Chris Fish pose during the unveling of the Nautilus at Pride Plaza. Photo: PBOT & Tyler Smith

Downtown Portland is set to become even more vibrant this summer, thanks to the collaboration between the City of Portland, PBOT, the Portland Winter Light Festival, and McMenamins. Together, they have installed the stunning "Nautilus Deep Sea" sculpture at Pride Plaza on Southwest Harvey Milk Street, just in time for Pride Month!

"Nautilus Deep Sea" sculpture, created by the talented artist Heather Don Sparks and Sparks Design. This captivating light sculpture, which debuted at the 2024 Portland Winter Light Festival, is inspired by the mysteries of the deep sea. Its intricate design and dynamic lighting provide a mesmerizing experience for both day and night visitors, symbolizing the hidden beauty and resilience of our natural world.

Andrew Moore, Visitor Services Manager at Travel Portland, expresses the excitement:

"We're really excited to have this sculpture here. It brings even more vibrancy to the West End. Our goal at the visitor center is to show people what a wonderful city Portland is. Having this sculpture right outside our doors helps make the point of what an amazing city it is."
a group gathers for the unveiling of the colorful nautilus at pride plaza. the street is colorfully painted and includes a green bike lane.
Pride Plaza was looking beautiful on this sunny wednesday and the Nautilis' colored glass was sparkling in the sun. Photo: PBOT & Tyler Smith

The installation of the "Nautilus Deep Sea" sculpture at Pride Plaza is strategically aimed at encouraging more visitors to the downtown area. This two-block stretch of Southwest Harvey Milk Street is home to three hotels, the Portland Visitor Center, restaurants, entertainment venues, theaters, and shopping destinations. By creating a pedestrian-friendly plaza, visitors can stop, take photos, and appreciate the illuminated sculpture, adding to the area's charm and appeal.

Alisha Sullivan, Executive Director of the Portland Winter Light Festival, highlights the transformative power of art in public spaces:

"We're excited to bring this Nautilus sculpture by Heather Don Sparks here because we love the idea of creating public spaces through plazas like PBOT is doing. We believe strongly that art has the power to transform places, making streets vibrant and exciting. This sculpture helps turn a regular street into a beautiful venue for art."

The Nautilus will be in Pride Plaza through August. Come check it out day or night!


Scenes from the Plazas: PSU Reuses Pop-Up Swap at Montgomery Plaza

A smiling student holds up a pair of green pants that she found at the Re-Use Swap at Montgomery Plaza.
Karen Hernadez finds a great new pair of pants at the Re-Use Swap event. We love a good scavenge! Photo: PBOT & Tyler Smith
"As a student and someone who believes in sustainable practices, I think this is really amazing. We don't need to consume constantly, and I often try to get my clothes used. You can reuse and recycle and I think this is really fantastic what the Planning and Sustainability Office is doing out here.

I think Montgomery Plaza is great because it invites not just students but the community to participate and strengthens our ties. It's just a awesome resource for anybody everybody to throw events like this or even just eat lunch at the public seating. I hope to see more events out here!"

 
Karen Hernandez
Student
Portland State University
Three students donate used clothing into yellow bins at Montgomery Plaza.
Students dropped off their old clothes and found something new. Photo Credit: PBOT & Tyler Smith

Do you have a great Public Street Plaza Photo?

We'd love to feature it!  Share your best PBOT Street Plaza photo with the world by tagging @PBOTinfo on InstagramFacebook, or X (formally Twitter).  You can also email them directly to our team at PortlandStreetPlazas@portlandoregon.gov


Where can you find PBOT's Street Plazas?

A map of Portland featuring the 17 street plazas across the city

PBOT has numerous active plazas that are ready for you, your friends, and family to enjoy. They are great places to grab a bite to eat, relax, enjoy live music, meet up with friends, and so much more. Check out our directory to find out about plazas near you!


What is the Portland Public Street Plaza Program?

Originally started during the Covid-19 pandemic to assist businesses and Portlanders, PBOT's Public Street Plaza program-built partnerships with community and local businesses to transform select streets into public spaces for cultural events, street fairs, pop-up markets, and more. The program uses PBOT's Livable Streets Strategy, adopted by Portland City Council in 2017 as its policy foundation to turn streets into inclusive public spaces that foster public life.

What started as a temporary solution is now becoming a permanent fixture in our city. The Street Plaza program reflects PBOT's commitment to climate action, mobility for all, and community building by creating spaces that everyone in Portland can use and enjoy.


Contact Us

Got a question, comment, concern, or an awesome new idea? The Street Plaza Team wants to hear from you! Send us an email at PortlandStreetPlazas@portlandoregon.gov, and we’ll get back to you in a couple of business days.


Portland Public Street Plazas Funded by the American Rescue Plan

This project is funded by the American Rescue Plan, a federal economic stimulus bill designed to help communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recession. The City of Portland is receiving $208 million of local recovery funds. Investments focus on three key priorities: houselessness response and household stabilization, business and commercial district stabilization, and community health and safety.

The City of Portland's America Rescue Plan Logo.  The subtitle reads Investing in Portland

The City of Portland ensures meaningful access to city programs, services, and activities to comply with Civil Rights Title VI and ADA Title II laws and reasonably provides: translation, interpretation, modifications, accommodations, alternative formats, auxiliary aids and services. To request these services, contact the Portland Bureau of Transportation at 311 (503-823-4000), for Relay Service & TTY: 711.Click to edit this placeholder text.