April 20, 2009 § Leave a comment
Hello Beautiful People! I would like to update you all on Art Hop 2009, which will happen on Saturday, May 16, 2009. (click here to go to our website if you need information on event hours, vendor information, donation links, or to contact our event coordinator Combustible Media.)
This is the 10th year that Art on Alberta has organized Art Hop on NE Alberta Street. We are an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization who has been putting in countless hours to make this year’s event better than ever on this significant anniversary for our organization. Art on Alberta believes strongly that the arts are an important part of the identity of this neighborhood, and that educational and cultural events bring communities together. Last year’s Art Hop brought over 10,000 people to Alberta Street, including neighborhood residents, parade lovers, art lovers, and families all over the region. Our outreach this year has expanded to major cities around the state to to attract even more newcomers to this unique part of Portland.
Every year, Art on Alberta chooses one artist to honor at Art Hop, and displays their work in several galleries spread along the Alberta Street corridor. This year, we are very honored to feature the work of a woman who is a significant part of Oregon’s history: Thelma Johhnson Streat. Ms. Streat lived in Portland during the 1930’s and attended the Museum School, now known as Pacific Northwest College of Art. Her African American and Native American heritage was important to her artwork and dance, and she often expressed a “one people in one world” philosophy that we felt was in the spirit of Art Hop. Thelma Johnson Streat was internationally recognized in her era and one of her paintings was the first piece of African American Art purchased for the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Streat’s family still lives in Oregon, and has been working with Art on Alberta to exhibit their personal collection of her paintings and drawings between April 28 and Last Thursday and May 16’s Art Hop. This will be the largest showing of Streat’s work ever mounted, and we are already attracting the attention of many outsiders who are excited about this significant show.
Combustible Media, who coordinated the 2008 Art Hop, is on board again for this year’s event. We are planning a street closure again, with vendors, a parade, music stages, and other family-friendly events for this all-day festival. Zipcar has offered to sponsor the event by providing shuttles to bring people from locations on Alberta Street to Tri-Met bus stops on Killingsworth and Prescott, since normal bus service will be re-routed between the hours of 10am and 7 pm on May 16th. A mailing has been sent to neighborhood residents, and information is also available on our website.
An event like Art Hop takes countless behind-the-scenes hours and funds in order to happen. Street closure alone costs over $5000, which includes a voluntary expense toward renting adequate porta-potties to help alleviate the burden on the businesses and reduce the public’s impact on residents of the neighborhood. All expenses connected to street closure have increased since 2008’s event. Art on Alberta has recently been forced to make some unfortunate decisions about the street closure and parade, due to budget shortfalls as of this date. Unless we can raise an additional $3000 in the next week, we will be forced to limit street closure Alberta Street between 15th and 30th Avenues.
The parade will have a smaller scope this year as well. The City of Portland has informed us that the $85 permit only allows us to have a parade of 6 blocks in length. To do the entire 20 run as has happened in years past requires a $690 permit. We do not have the funds, unfortunately to support a larger parade to run the entire length of our street closure, but it is important to us to retain this celebration of our community in some fashion. Please check our website in the coming weeks for more details on the parade route.
At the time I am writing this, only 6 businesses on Alberta Street have stepped up to sponsor this event. Art on Alberta is relying heavily on grant support from the Oregon Arts Commission and the Regional Arts and Culture Council, as well as vendor sign-ups, but additional support is needed urgently. (Art on Alberta has a special offer for businesses who are on or 1/2 block off of Alberta Street. For only $100, you are mentioned in all publicity including our website, poster, festival directory, and ad in Portland Mercury. Although we are not a business association, Art on Alberta maintains the only website that gathers together all businesses on Alberta Street who are supporting members of what we do, and ours is the most visited website for information specifically about the street. Any business can join for $50 and get a year’s membership, which gives you a web link from our site.) General memberships are $20, but of course we can accept any amount via check, credit card, or Paypal from people who would like to support Art Hop 2009. We appreciate your helping us spread the word that Art on Alberta needs the community to step up and help us make this year’s event a success.
We established this public forum in order to help spread the word about Art on Alberta’s efforts for the community, particularly our one major event of the year, Art Hop. (Art on Alberta does not coordinate September’s Street Fair or Last Thursday.) Please feel free to use the comments section on this blog if you have questions or concerns we haven’t addressed in this posting or on our website.