“We are Portland” Portraits from the Our Town Project

June 24th, 2014

These stunning family portraits were taking by Portland youth at five sites as part of a project supported in part by an Our Town grant from the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA). “We are Portland” is a mobile, youth-run portrait studio that gives Portland youth an opportunity to take formal portraits of their families, friends, and neighbors at festive, outdoor events. We own a big thanks to staff and students at the Bhutanese Youth of Oregon, Davis SUN School, ROSE CDC, IRCO, Madison SUN School, Jason Lee SUN School, SEI, and PCRI for helping to make a project a tremendous success. We also owe a big thanks to the City of Portland and Commissioner Nick Fish’s office for partnering with us on this amazing project.

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Bhutanese Youth of Oregon’s Family Portrait Day

June 24th, 2014

Here are some images from our exciting Family Portrait Day hosted by our students from the Bhutanese Youth of Oregon. We had a huge turnout as families gathered to have portraits taken by our youth photographers. Our students brought traditional Bhutanese food and performed some wonderful traditional dances for the crowd. This project was supported in part by an Our Town grant from the National Endowment of the Arts.

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Thank You, Plywerk!

December 12th, 2013

We owe a huge thanks to Plywerk for their generous support of the “We are Portland” project. Thanks to Plywerk, our prints look amazing mounted on gorgeous sheets of bamboo. Check out their website to see how great these guys are! They’ve got some really good deals!

http://www.plywerk.com/

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Thank you RACC and Work for Art!

February 20th, 2013

My Story PCRI RACC Photos 11 e1361383379348 224x300 Thank you RACC and Work for Art! We owe a big thanks to RACC and Work for Art for funding our “We are Portland” project at PCRI’s Maya Angelou Community Center. With a Project Grant from RACC, we brought an after-school photography workshop to 15 Maya Angelou youth, and the youth hosted a festive Family Portrait Day for their families, friends, and neighbors! It was an amazing project! Stay tuned! Work from this project will be exhibited with work from our NEA “Our Town” project this fall!

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Exciting Arts Engagement Opportunity for Portland Youth

January 16th, 2013

photo 300x300 Exciting Arts Engagement Opportunity for Portland Youth My Story and the City of Portland invite you to be a part of “We are Portland,” an exciting youth arts and community engagement program. Through a 2012 National Endowment of the Arts Our Town grant, we will be selecting 5 project partners in the Portland area to receive free arts programming from My Story.

What is “We are Portland?”

“We are Portland” is a mobile portrait studio that gives local youth an opportunity to photograph their families, friends and neighbors. Through provided youth photography workshops, festive Family Portrait Days, and citywide art exhibits, “We are Portland” empowers youth and builds community through the arts.

“We are Portland” project activities and deliverables include:

• Free photography workshops for youth that provide fun, creative class activities and prepare youth to manage all aspects of the portrait studio
• Family Portrait Days where community members gather at festive, outdoor events to have professional-quality portraits taken by youth
• Delivery of free portraits to all community members who are photographed
• A series of citywide exhibits that broaden understanding of the city’s demographics and capture the faces and stories of a changing Portland

Is “We are Portland” for you?

Are you a housing or community organization in the Portland area that serves, represents, and/or has programs for youth?

Do you have a community room that can host My Story workshops? Is this community room easily accessible to the youth you serve? Is it near an open area (courtyard, playground, or park) where youth can take pictures?

Is there an open area (courtyard or park) where Family Portrait Days can be hosted? Is this open area easily accessible to the families you serve?

Do you have staff that can support the project by assisting with recruiting youth for the workshops, and helping to coordinate Family Portrait Days?

If you answered YES to the above questions, “We are Portland” is for YOU!

How to bring “We are Portland” to your community

To apply, send a one-page letter of interest to My Story. This letter should describe your organization, the population you serve, and the ways in which “We are Portland” will benefit your community. If your letter of intent is selected, your organization will be asked to submit a formal application.

Feel free to call or email Alex Ney with any questions:
Phone: (503) 234-0717
Email: alexney@mystoryworkshops.org

Please send letters of Interest by February 28th to:

My Story
2505 SE 11th Ave. Ste. 332
Portland, OR 97202

Sample portraits taken by local youth as part of “We are Portland”

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My Story Receives National Endowment of the Arts Our Town Grant!

July 12th, 2012

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We’re thrilled to announce that My Story has just been named a recipient of an Our Town Grant from the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA)! This $25,000 grant will support “We are Portland,” a youth-run portrait studio that captures the faces and stories of a changing Portland. “We are Portland” is a community arts engagement program that transforms public spaces into sites for artistic expression, and forums for building social cohesion. Click here for a detailed description of “We are Portland.”

Through Our Town, the NEA supports creative placemaking projects that help transform communities into lively, beautiful, and sustainable places with the arts at their core. The grantee projects will improve quality of life, encourage creative activity, create community identity and a sense of place, and help revitalize local economies. All Our Town grant awards were made to partnerships that consisted of a minimum of a not-for-profit organization and a local government entity.

“We are Portland” is a partnership between My Story, the Office of Mayor Sam Adams, the City of Portland, and its Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. At six project sites, 90 underserved youth will study photography and related media, and bring a free, youth-run portrait studio to 180 families in their community. Work will be exhibited in a citywide series of interactive exhibits that challenge preconceptions about the city’s demographics, and capture the faces and stories of a changing Portland.

In a letter of support to the NEA, Mayor Sam Adams wrote, “The demographics of Portland have shifted dramatically in recent years. The result is a much more diverse city than many residents realize. In order to move towards a healthier, more prosperous, educated and equitable future, we must update and enrich our collective sense of who we are as Portlanders. Art and culture have a central role to play in this process, and I can think of no clearer illustration of that potential than the photographs and stories “We are Portland” aims to generate and bring into the public eye.”

The NEA received 317 applications for Our Town that were assigned to one of three application review panels based on their project type; arts engagement, cultural planning and design, or non-metro and tribal communities. My Story received an arts engagement grant award. With only 80 grants emerging from the 317 applications, or a success rate of 25 percent, competition was strong, a testament to the artistic excellence and merit of My Story.

We can’t wait to get started, and are so thankful for the amazing support we’ve received from the City of Portland, Mayor Sam Adams, and the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability!

Check out this announcement on Mayor Adam’s blog to see a slideshow of images from the “We are Portland” project!

For a complete listing of projects recommended for Our Town grant support, please visit the NEA web site at arts.gov.

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A Few More Photo Collages from Lincoln Woods

May 17th, 2012

Here’s another batch of amazing photo collages from our Lincoln Woods students!

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G is for Ghost

May 17th, 2012

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We’ve been busy with our younger students at Lincoln Woods making an alphabet photo book. We’re just about half way through!

Photo Collages at Lincoln Woods

May 4th, 2012

We’re so excited about the way these Exquisite Corpse-inspired photo collages are coming out. Our Lincoln Woods students are pretty excited too!

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A Happy Kid

May 4th, 2012

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Ahman was really happy about getting his photos back yesterday afternoon. This picture was taken after he rolled on the floor laughing for a good 30 seconds!