Don’t miss Portland festivals this month!
Let’s be frank for a moment; when it comes to racial diversity Oregon is not considered to be the most progressive of states. In fact there was a time in the 1800’s when African Americans were not even allowed to live here. In the 1940’s Japanese Americans were forced into internment camps in our state and in the 1990’s the outskirts of Portland were rumored to be teaming with skinheads.
Needless to say, we Portlanders could use a little racial diversity and June brings several opportunities to experiences various cultures. There is everything from a Jewish film festival to a powwow to a celebration of black culture to educate the minds of Portland’s rather Waspy populous. Whether you are looking for enlightenment or recreation, there are plenty of ways to celebrate diversity in the month of June.
Portland Jewish Film Festival
Wednesday, June 15th to Wednesday, July 2nd
When it comes to film, Jewish directors and producers have hardly gone unnoticed. Whether it is the slapstick comedy of Mel Brooks or the Marx Brothers, or the neurotic introspection of Woody Allen or Albert Brooks, Jewish artist have always had a prominent role in the film industry. However, even though Jews may have been writing, directing, producing and acting in movies, there are not always a lot of Jewish characters in movies. The subject of Israeli politics is also something from which Hollywood often shies away.
The Portland Jewish Film Festival gives Jewish film makers a chance to tell their own story. Films include a documentary about Israeli cuisine and an expose’ about media censorship during the Six Day War and a look at the life of television producer Norman Lear. The event will also feature Natalie Portman’s directorial debut, A Tale of Love and Darkness which is based Amos Oz’s autobiographical story of growing up in Israel, shortly after it became a state.
The festival runs from Wednesday, June 15th to Wednesday, July 2nd. Both festival passes and individual tickets are available.
Friday, June 17th to Sunday, June 19th
East Delta Park
If you’re looking for something different to do on Father’s Day you may want to check out this Powwow. Although Powwows have come to be known as great parties featuring lots of dancing, eating and drinking, a true powwow is focused on a particular mission or theme. A Powwow was traditionally performed before a hunt or a battle to give the participants strength. Some powwows were also used to fend off disease. This particular event is dedicated to honoring veterans and fathers.
The celebration is free and open to the public. Although there will be no alcohol at the event there will be plenty of dancing, arts and crafts and of course the all-important fry bread.
Good in the Hood Festival
Friday, June 24th to Sunday June 26
Lillis Albina Park
This North Portland event will feature everything from music, to a parade, to a free health screening. The weekend will begin with a free kick off party at Self Enhancement Inc on North Kerby. The party will begin at 8:00 p.m. and will feature food, booze and a silent auction.
The Parade will start at King Elementary school at 11:00 a.m. and end in Lillis Albina Park where vendors will be waiting with plenty of food and activities. In addition to various booths sponsored by community organizations, there will be puppet shows, a wine and beer garden and a free health screening. The bands performing at the event will include the funk group Hot Tea Cold and bassist Ben Jones.
Eliza Gale – PortlandMetroLive.com Contributor
Eliza Gale began her blogging career interviewing aspiring actors and industry professionals on a Los Angeles based website called Curvewire. She started www.elizagalesintervviews in 2012 and has interviewed over three hundred people about their jobs and businesses since then. She has contributed many interviews to 360drinks.com, which is a Portland based happy-hour website. She also writes for Examiner.com and AXS.com.