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by Know Your City category: Charity
Know Your City is a nonprofit in Portland, Oregon that engages the public in art and social justice through creative placemaking projects. Our programs and publications aim to educate people to better know their communities, and to empower them to take action.
We’ve engaged the community with hundreds of programs – publishing a multilingual “Jade Journal” newspaper with 5th graders at Harrison Park School, working with local artists like Emily Squires and Sharita Towne to create an art installation by and for inmates at the Columbia River Correctional Facility and shoot documentaries about gentrification with community members in North Portland, illustrating comics on local history and social justice causes, leading walking, bike, and bus tours all over the city, offering a free, self guided tours app – and so much more.
We have celebrated six years of providing vital community programming, working with more than 90 nonprofit organizations and bringing together diverse audiences interested in the arts, history, and social justice. Our work in the community has been recognized by various local media outlets, such as the Oregonian, the Portland Tribune, the Willamette Week, and the Portland Mercury. We’ve done all this on shoestring budgets and a scrappy 1.5 full-time staff, along with the help of many, many volunteers.
November was a bittersweet month for us. We realized that we could not sustain the funding for our staff, and held an emergency board meeting where we decided to transition into a volunteer led organization. We are committed to having Know Your City around as long as Portland needs programs that bring together community and inspire critical thought on social justice - which we expect is going to be a long, long time.
We will be hosting a public community meeting on December 19th for Know Your City supporters, to answer questions and brainstorm how we can come together as a community and move forward. It costs us a bare minimum of $1,350 a month to keep our lights on, pay for basic nonprofit obligations, and keep our creative justice projects running. We can do this for the next three months, but we need a strong financial position to help us thrive for the long run.
We have the volunteer capacity to get through 2015, with Cameron Whitten as our unpaid Executive Director and our growing Board of Directors. But we rely on your support to survive, and thrive, financially through 2016.
We want to acknowledge that this summer, the community generously supported a $10,386 Kickstarter campaign for Know Your City. However, the amount we raised, after deducting Kickstarter fees and processing/shipping rewards costs, was not enough to provide living wages for our staff or save our vital programs.
We are in need of serious funding. Our hope is to raise $12,000 by the end of the year, which will keep Know Your City alive and empower us with the resources to compensate our volunteer staff and preserve our upcoming programs in 2016, such as the Jade Journal, the second edition of the Oregon History Comics, and our summer walking tours.
We are asking you, and this great community, to help lead Know Your City into a better future. If we don’t make our goal, Know Your City might not exist in 2017.
Please make as generous gift as you are able. Please share this crowdfunding page with your friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers. Your contributions help us to lead a new conversation about our history, our culture, and defining Portland as a place where people of all identities are welcome, and celebrated.
Know Your City
Know Your City engages the public in art and social justice through creative placemaking projects. Our programs and publications aim to educate people to better know their communities, and to empower them to take action.