Vanport Mosaic Festival

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Tue, 05/17/2016 - 11:00am to 11:30am
Vanport Mosaic Festival
Vanport Mosaic Festival, a four-day multi-disciplinary event celebrates the history of a community washed away during the flood.

Dmae features the Vanport Mosaic Festival that celebrates and remembers an important time and community in Portland history. She'll talk  with festival co-artistic directors S. Renee Mitchell, Damaris Webb and Laura Lo Forti.  Damaris is the director/producer of Cottonwood In The FloodLo Forti organized the Vanport Mosaic oral history project and three free screenings of these community-produced short documentaries (Lost City, Living Memories: Vanport Through The Voices of Its Residents) during the Festival. Mitchell is performing in Cottonwood and also leads youth poets from her Spit/WRITE poetry program who will perform at several events.

(Airs Tues 11am May 17th on KBOO.FM and

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S. Renee Mitchell, Laura Lo Forti and Damaris Webb,
S. Renee Mitchell, Laura Lo Forti and Damaris Webb,


May 27-30, 2016

The Vanport Mosaic Festival is a four-day multi-disciplinary event that memorializes a unique sociological experiment that forever altered Oregon’s racial history. Conceived and curated by artistic co-directors Laura Lo Forti, S. Renee Mitchell, and Damaris Webb, the Festival, on the 68th anniversary of the Vanport Flood, will unite Portland area residents through historical and artistic tributes, including:

FULL SCHEDULE and details here:

Screenings of short docs produced as part of Vanport Mosaic participatory oral history program led by story-midwife Laura Lo Forti:

 Cottonwood In The Flood, a full-length play written by Rich Rubin and directed by Damaris Webb.

Poetry by Renee Mitchell and youth from Spit/WRITE spoken word program

Welcome Home To Vanport - on Memorial Day, May 30th, at Portland International Raceway (a part of the Vanport site), a day of self-guided tours, speakers, and music. Curated by Susan Barthel.
Vanport: The Surge of Social Change exhibit of photos and artifacts curated by Kim Moreland/Oregon Black Pioneers and Laura Lo Forti/A Fourth Act.


Cottonwood in the Flood
by Rich Rubin

A fully staged drama about the African American experience in 1940s Oregon and the rapid rise and even more rapid fall of the city of Vanport

Directed by Damaris Webb
Produced by Don Glenn & Damaris Webb

12 Public Performances at The Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center - 5340 N Interstate Ave., Portland.  May 26th-June 12th, 2016, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30p; Sundays at 3p. Run time: 2hrs with intermission - join us for talk-back panels following the Sunday matinees.

Tickets available through, or at the IFCC box office day of performance. $10-$25, general admission; $5, students and seniors. The Box Office at IFCC will be open one hour before curtain.

Co-winner, 2012 Fratti-Newman Political Play Contest (Castillo Theatre, New York) & Finalist, 2012 JAW Festival (Portland Center Stage), staged reading performing to sold-out houses in the 2015 Fertile Ground Festival. More information at

Featuring Anthony Armstrong, Jeb Berrier, Joe Gibson, S. Renee Mitchell, Theresa Park, Josiah Phillips*, Jocelyn Seid & Jonathan Thompson (*courtesy AEA). Technical design by Lara Klingeman, costume design Wanda Walden, and production stage manager Judith Yeckel.


Lost City, Living Memories: Vanport Through the Voice of its Residents will showcase a series of community-produced short oral history documentaries. These films feature former Vanport residents sharing their memories of the Vanport community and the flood that displaced them.  Through archival footage, historic photographs, and compelling first-person narratives, this collection of short films creates a rich and elaborate “mosaic” of the vibrant community that made up the city of Vanport.

Screening Schedule:

May 28 | 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church - 3138 N Vancouver Ave, Portland
- Sen. Jackie Winters (flood survivor) will read the City's  Proclamation for the "Vanport Day of Remembrance"

May 29 | 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center (IFCC) - 5340 N. Interstate Ave., Portland
- With special guest Shalanda Sims, director of “Vanport, The Musical,” performing songs from the play.

May 30 | 3-4.30 p.m.

Irvington Covenant Church , 4003 NE Grand Ave., Portland
Opening remarks by City of Portland Commissioner Nick Fish commemorating the day/time the dykes broke.

Tickets are FREE, but seating is limited and RSVP is strongly recommended:

For updates on the Festival and all Vanport-related initiatives, sign up for newsletter:


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