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Our Mission

World Arts Foundation Inc. provides community education through performing arts and historic media documenting the Black experience in Portland, Oregon. Since 1978, our programs have served local communities of color, connecting performing artists and educators to diverse and underserved local populations. Through community events and arts education programming, we promote and preserve local Black contributions to the American culture. Our archive of media materials documents the unique cultural experience of Portland's historic Albina District.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our History

 

Since 1985, our Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. tribute program has been recognized as the largest community cultural event of its kind in the State of Oregon. This event has official designation from the National Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday Commission. The program's origin can be traced to our 1978 stage program, "From The Pulpit To The People" as well as a period from 1980-1984 when this program was broadcast on KBOO 90.7 FM.

This tribute program has two primary components. One component is a multi-disciplinary stage production featuring civic leaders, community groups, and performing artists of diverse backgrounds. The second component is the Victory Village community engagement space where community groups, city officials, and artisans occupy booth space, engaging the general public. The program serves thousands in person and online each year. Our board, executive team, advisory council, and robust volunteer base assume a wide range of leadership roles providing event services to patrons. This is a free admission, all-day event occurring each year on the MLK Federal Holiday. Due to COVID-19 impacts, we have transitioned this program to a virtual streaming format in 2021.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Initiatives

 

In addition to our annual tribute to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., our year-round work includes the following initiatives.

Albina Music Trust documents Portland's historic Albina musician community of the late 20th century through oral history, community events, and media archivism. The program has brought to light a definitive catalog of lost recordings and untold stories from this marginalized musician community.

Urban Wings is a supplemental education program serving at-risk middle school and high school youth in Portland, Oregon. With aviation at its core, the program explores the holistic development of young people through hands-on learning strategies utilizing STEM and character development with a special focus on the Tuskegee Airmen. 

The Archive Project documents the Black experience in Portland's historic Albina District, recognizing myriad artists and civic leaders. As we archive media reflecting our organization's history, we've extended this free service to benefit community members by making shared digital copies of photography, audio, and film for historic Albina residents whose communities have been disrupted through gentrification. 

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