I was heading to the Waypost earlier today, with a stop at Title Wave (to purchase Sojourners), when I saw this piece of work at MLK & Russell (a ‘viral marketing campaign’ for Donna Karan?):

…which reminds me that Provenance, DeAngelo Raines‘ gallery at MLK & Alberta that displayed graffiti art and hosted occasional live graffiti art sessions, is now closed, as that building continues to undergo extensive renovation.


Portland African American Film Festival: now through Sunday.

Ron Craig, Executive Director of the Portland African American Film Festival, opens the Festival’s webpage with this message:

In my younger days in Portland, Oregon, growing up on Cook Street between 7th and Union [now MLK Boulevard] Avenues, where every house had young people running and playing during all four seasons, there was always a place to run and play.

But let me take you inside my memories: Saturday afternoons at the once majestic Egyptian Theatre on NE Union and Russell Streets, with its exotic pillars, pyramids, cast stone panels, ornamental urns and lotus flower motifs! As a youngster, this was the place I would come to see people run, laugh and fly (without an airplane)! For me it was partly a dream (oh, to fly without that plane!) but overall, it was this young black man making a mental list of people and places he wished to see, and things he would like to do.

Now you may ask what this has to do with the PDX African American Film Festival. Well, those very Saturday afternoons in the dark in the Egyptian Theatre put me on the course to be a filmmaker and to host two international film festivals—one in my home town of Portland, Oregon, the PDX African American Film Festival—and the other in Astoria, Oregon, the Astoria International Film Festival, which just completed its fourth year.

The Portland African American Film Festival is showing films until Sunday, this weekend. This year’s festival includes a screening of the documentary Imaging Home: Stories of Columbia Villa:

Columbia Villa, a troubled and dilapidated Portland public housing neighborhood originally built to house WWII shipyard workers and later ravaged by gangs and drugs, is demolished, displacing 1,300 residents. In its place, New Columbia, a federal HOPE VI urban redevelopment project, emerges as a model for progressive community building. Imagining Home follows several Columbia Villa families from displacement to relocation back into New Columbia over four years.

Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives (PCRI).

Representatives of Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives (PCRI) will be addressing the King Neighborhood Association tomorrow (Wednesday, November 10),  in the wake of a recent incident at a property owned by PCRI.

The vision of PCRI is  “to provide affordable housing and associated services that achieve family stability, self-sufficiency and resident wealth creation.”

PCRI is headquartered at 6329 NE Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, in a Piedmont neighborhood property, called the M.G. Nease House:

Local ‘amateur architectural historian’ James Heuer has a page of photos of the inside of the Nease House. He writes:

The M. G. Nease House was designed by Alfred Faber for one of the many newly wealthy lumber entrepreneurs in 1908. In form it is an enlarged bungalow with characteristic Craftsman Style detailing… When PCRI acquired the building it was in marginal condition, with many disruptive alterations having been performed by its prior owners. After 2 years of painstaking rehabilitation, PCRI moved into their new offices in early 2006. The work they did, as shown in these photos is remarkable for the dedication shown to preserving and restoring the architectural details of this once, and now again, grand home.

For more on the PCRI’s visit to King NA tomorrow and a discussion of  how PCRI’s efforts on behalf of lower-income Portlanders impacts our neighborhoods, you can read King NA blog posts here, and here. Everyone is welcome to attend the NA meeting. King NA’s Trace Salmon also made available the transcript of an interview he conducted with Maxine Fitzpatrick, executive director of PCRI.

KGW aired a recent story on the completion of two townhouses built by PCRI. These homes are billed as energy efficient, and are part of a long-term project of making ‘green’ homes available for purchase by families with low-to-moderate incomes.

PCRI is on facebook and twitter; its website also hosts a blog about PCRI news, as well as general information for homeowners.