After a year of crises, one of Portland’s unique strengths – its creativity – is bringing people together to grieve and heal.
The City’s Community Healing Arts Initiative provides financial support to community events and curates events that respond to community needs. It is designed to help people process the emotional toll of the COVID-19 pandemic, economic recession, racial justice reckoning, wildfires and an ice storm.
Healing arts programming can range from vigils to concerts to spoken word poetry. All the events have a few things in common: They celebrate creativity. They strengthen community connections. And they serve Portland's diverse communities, especially those who have been hardest hit by this time of crisis.
With support from Mayor Ted Wheeler and Commissioner Carmen Rubio, this initiative is led by the City Arts Program and Portland's Creative Laureate, Subashini Ganesan. Ganesan is an arts community leader who founded Natya Leela Academy for dancers and New Expressive Works – an incubator that supports multicultural artists.