Part of OUR CITY, OUR VOICE: a creative place-keeping project

Sabina Haque facilitator & collaborator with Madison High School & Portland Youth builders

Over 40 percent of Portland’s children are growing up east of 82nd Ave, a street which historically has been a line of physical and psychological division between inner and outer east-side Portland, despite being the actual geographical center of the city. This part of the city is the most diverse, underserved, and rapidly growing section of Portland.

Madison High School and Portland Youth builders, situated on that line, draws students who reside along and east of NE 82nd Ave. Students worked with Sabina Haque, artist-in-residence at the Portland City Archives, to explore the archival record of how annexation and city policy/ investments in east Portland has affected the community. Youth from Madison High School and Portland Youth Builders became the actors, image-makers and writers of their own histories. Diverse youth created zines, silk-screened posters, painted murals and presented a street performance using a 100ft text banner that gave voice to their experiences of displacement and sent their messages to City Hall in the form of art zines.

This project was funded by the East Portland Action Plan & APANO place-keeping program to explore using art as a means of personal expression, civic engagement, and youth empowerment.