The Unity Project
We’re excited to present the Unity Project!
The Unity Project is a two part project. The first portion is a collaborative public art project in which we paired twenty-four recognized local artists with twenty-four foster youth, most of whom are up for adoption.
Together each of these pairs worked one on one over the course of four months (June-Sept), to redesign the large art panels that will be publicly displayed on the building located at 1111 East Burnside for the next 7-10 years. This gives the youth an opportunity to build self-worth and have a positive impact on the entire city through artwork. Each youth will get to return to the prominent building that their artwork is displayed on for years to come, with a sense of pride and accomplishment that they aided in creating a truly professional work of art.
Every panel turned out completely unique and amazing in it's own way. Each story behind every panel was just as different as the aesthetic, and the connection and bond that was made between the foster youth and artists was just as special as the art that was created.
The theme of the collaborative series, “Unity,” is meant to be a reminder that we should all be advocates for looking beyond the barriers that separate us; by race, religion, gender, and socio-economic brackets. By celebrating diversity, we are reminded that we are stronger together, regardless of our differences. We believe that art and music are meaningful tools that can be used to build bridges and weave communities closer together. Many people involved in this project are a representation of that message and come from diverse racial, gender and socio- economic backgrounds.
The second part of the Unity project will focus on using this model for the 2019/2020 school year, by connecting the foster and at-risk youth we serve with an array of creative professionals, agencies and experiences in Portland. This includes music, dance, digital arts, architecture, sculpture and more. Our goal is to connect these youth with creative professionals and passions they feel inspired by. We then will work to give them the tools and resources to nurture this passion into the future.
On October 12th, we gathered for an art show and fundraiser at the Redd Ecotrust on SE Salmon. This party gave the foster youth and artists the ability to present their 24 mini-murals to the public. This event doubled as a fundraiser for the upcoming year, which raised funds to give marginalized youth healing opportunities with art and music in 2020 and beyond.
This event included -
- A selection of local bars and restaurants offering food and beverage items
- 6pm-8pm public art show displaying the 24 panels. Free and all ages
- 8pm-11pm Musical performance and DJ sets 21+
- Several of Portland’s primary media sources covering the event
- Interactive art installations from Axiom
- Various raffle prizes