New indigenous marketplaces featuring inter-generational vendors and cultural performances.
Art and cultural programming for underserved young people, including some who are incarcerated.
A social justice-minded art gallery that lifts the voices of trans and queer creatives.
An art residency and lecture program run by families living in an affordable housing complex.
These are among the eight winners of Metro’s 2019 Community Placemaking grants. The grant program helps people tackle community challenges or tap new opportunities through creative projects focused on equity.
“This program puts community needs first,” said Elissa Gertler, Metro’s planning and development director. “It allows us to tackle some of our region’s most pressing challenges that aren’t always addressed in other planning efforts – challenges like healing from the legacy of racially unjust policies and offering our most underserved young people opportunities to build confidence and develop as leaders.”
Gertler noted that there are so many people with great ideas to address these complex challenges. "They're the experts in how communities experience the places across the region. Our Community Placemaking program recognizes their expertise and offers our trust in their solutions."
Metro received 78 applications from around the region requesting more than $1.4 million in funding, nearly ten times the $160,000 available. A community-based advisory group selected the eight winning projects because of the strength of their community impacts and equity outcomes. The selected projects reflect and support multicultural communities that include Rohingya, Latinx, Somali, Ethiopian, Eritrean, Indigenous, African American, immigrant and refugee communities, teen parents, young people who are incarcerated, young people with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ community.
The Community Placemaking program generally awards grants that range from $5,000 to $25,000 to support projects that foster connection to place, strengthen social fabric, and involve and benefit communities of color and other historically marginalized communities.
Mercy Corps - Community Investment Trust
Community Investment Trust: $19,550 (East Portland)
This project supports the enhancement of a community space at Plaza 122. Partner organizations, Plaza 122 tenants and CIT investors will work with artists, who will design a panel for the exterior walls of Plaza 122. After installation, they will host a cultural fair at Plaza 122, where artists will share the story behind their panel and how it represents their culture.
Morpheus Youth Project
MYP Youth Arts and Culture: $25,000 (various locations)
This grant supports arts and cultural opportunities for young people who are underserved, including some who are incarcerated. These artistic and cultural learning opportunities provide them with a safe space to build identity, create community connections and experience new creative outlets. Programming will include dance competitions and workshops, mural painting, song writing, music production, and cultural and historical presentations.
Portland Meet Portland
Healing Dialogues for Latinx Refugee Youth and the Rohingya Community: $19,140 (East Portland)
This grant supports community dialogues tailored for young Latino refugees and refugees from the Rohingya community. The intra-community dialogues are designed to help them begin to process and heal from trauma, and become more familiar with American society. In addition to offering trauma-informed support, the project aims to equip them with information they need to make decisions and build better futures for themselves. These culturally-specific conversations will explore themes around resettlement and belonging. Each series will culminate in an Intercultural Welcoming Ceremony hosted by the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde.
Oregon Human Development Corporation: Supa Fresh Youth Farm
Durham Children's Garden: $24,585 (Tigard)
This grant supports leadership development for teen parents in the Young Parent Program at the Durham Education Center, which provides parenting students with childcare, training and support while they study at school. These young leaders will conduct a robust engagement process to design and build a children’s garden for the childcare center located onsite.
The Living School of Art
The Living School of Art: $12,000 (East Portland)
This grant supports The Living School of Art, an alternative art project in a large affordable housing apartment complex in East Portland. Programming includes an artist residency for artists of color and a lecture program featuring PoC professionals in leadership positions in our region. It also involves building active coalitions between the apartment community, guest speakers, and cultural/nonprofit organizations in the neighborhood.
Indigenous Come Up
Portland Indigenous Marketplace: $25,000 (various locations)
This grant directly supports the region’s inter-generational Indigenous vending community by funding the creation of twelve Indigenous marketplaces, ensuring Indigenous vendors have an opportunity to sell their wares at affordable and culturally respectful vending events. The larger markets will include entertainment such as music, storytelling and other performing arts.
Ori Gallery 2019 Programming: $25,000 (North Portland)
This grant supports programming focused on creating collaborative and equitable spaces for queer and trans PoC artists to create, process and display their work. This includes hosting workshops, lectures, panels and exhibitions that foster dialogue, political and cultural education, skill sharing and movement building.
Tucker Maxon School
Growing Community: The 28th Place Parklet: $10,100 (Southeast Portland)
This grant engages deaf and hearing students, along with the surrounding community, to enhance a new parklet where intergenerational families can meet and forge new friendships within the neighborhood. To draw neighbors into the space as a destination, the project will install a bocce court and repaint a street mural. Students will decorate bollards that stop traffic and create an art installation.
Metro’s Community Placemaking grants program helps people create or sustain the vibrant places envisioned in the region’s 2040 Growth Concept. The program is also a meaningful and tangible way Metro fulfills its commitment to racial equity, as described in the Strategic Plan to Advance Racial Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.
Read the racial equity plan:
Read about the 2019 grant recipients.