The desire to come together to preserve & discuss the memories & stories surrounding the story of Vanport, as well as, learn how they’ve impacted us today is truly inspiring. Read on to see how tragedy can be a learning experience and a chance at community growth and understanding.
Talk about the building of community! “The Vanport Mosaic initiative is a response to a growing desire to honor the legacy of the Vanport community and the 1948 flood, which started an overwhelmingly homogeneous Portland and Oregon down the path toward interracial progress.” The initiative aims to document and tell the stories of those connected to Vanport.
This last month, the ReBuilding Center hosted Laura Lo Forti of the Vanport Mosaic. She led the workshop in discussion as they shared skillsets around oral history, storytelling and spoke about ethical issues that occur when telling other people's stories. They also worked on interviewing skills and video shooting. With these developed skillsets they are now ready to go out and capture the stories of Vanport.
In May, The Vanport Mosaic project will bring together many of these stories, as well as, others at Vanport Mosaic Festival 2016. This event will be held at the site in commemoration of the 68th anniversary of the flood that took place in 1948. The festival will include music, dance, theater, film, poetry, lectures, tours, an historical exhibit, and dance.
One participant in the recent workshop, Todd Fadel, summed up the experience with this statement,
Want to join in the discussion regarding Vanport and the Vanport Mosaic initiative? Check out their website vanportmosaic.org