July 2021
Director's Box
Dear Friends of Multnomah Arts Center,

Thank you for your continued support as we slowly return to a new normal—one informed both by the long term changes COVID is having on our lives and PP&R’s commitment to better serve the community with more equitable programs. We are already providing in-person summer camps at MAC and deploying Art Pods to parks around the city (read more below). It has been great seeing dozens of our teachers back in action! And it is great working with kids again!!! These programs have been made even more fun and impactful through additional funding from MACA and supporters like you.
Providing safe and welcoming activities will continue to guide us in the future, and while we still don’t know exactly what it will look like, MAC plans on reopening to the public by this fall. Initially, we anticipate offering about a quarter of the programs we were providing pre-COVID, slowly ramping back up the number of classes offered over the next 9 months. If all goes well, we will reach our new normal by next Summer.

Programs we will offer will continue to reflect what we’ve always done well – teaching arts to the community by our professional arts instructors. Programs will have extra focus on instruction that is core to each of the many visual, performing, and literary arts disciplines we offer.  Importantly, PP&R has committed to better serve five priority groups, so our program will also strive to serve these groups through outreach, marketing, and culturally responsive programming:

  • BIPOC (Black People, Indigenous People, and People of Color) youth and families
  • Immigrants and Refugees
  • Families living in poverty
  • People living with disabilities
  • Seniors

Look for more information in the near future from The MAC Press, as it’s the best way to know what going on for all things MAC! If you have friends and family that want to join our mailing list, please share this with them, too.

We look forward to serving you again!

MAC Welcomes Youth Back for Summer Arts Camps!
MAC's Summer Arts Camps program launched this month on July 6. After 15 months of being closed to the public, staff were thrilled to have kids back at MAC creating art together! Summer camps run through August 28. To view our offerings and to register, click here.
This month, MAC staff welcomed Portland youth back to the Multnomah Arts Center for our outdoor Summer Arts Camps! Planning and programming all-day summer camps to be COVID-safe in an ever-changing environment was no easy task, but it is thanks to 11 newly hired Camp Counselors, 15 returning MAC Arts Instructors, and support from MACA that we were able to revitalize in-person arts programming for Portlanders.

We still have spaces available in some of our Summer Arts Camps! Our summer camps run through August 28 and there is a wide variety of opportunities in both the visual and performing arts. In order to ensure our programs are accessible to all, "Pay What You Can" options are available at checkout.
To view our offerings and to register today, please visit the link below:
IMPORTANT: We know that space is limited. If you cannot get into a camp, it is highly recommended that you place yourself on the waitlist. MAC staff will be monitoring waitlists every week and offering spots as they become available based on ever-changing camp guidelines.
Camp Details:

  • Our all-day summer camps run weekly, Monday through Thursday from 9:00-5:00 pm
  • Sites will offer a flexible drop-off from 8:30-9:00 am and flexible pick-up from 5:00-5:30 pm
  • All MAC camps will take place outdoors on the MAC campus
  • We are programming a wide variety of offerings in both the visual and performing arts for grades 1-3 and 3-5

Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R)'s primary goal is to keep the community healthy and to protect the public from the spread of COVID-19. All in-person summer programming is being designed to meet public health guidance and to be flexible as conditions change. Visit Oregon Early Learning's Child Care Provider COVID-19 Requirements and Recommendations to learn more about state, county, and city COVID-19 protocols.

To learn more about PP&R's summer programming (including information on pricing, new health and safety protocols, and Inclusion Services), please visit the PP&R Summer Camps link below.
MAC Arts Instructor Reflects on Returning to In-Person Programming
Young artists in MAC's Young da Vincis summer camp received arts instruction from Jan von Bergen (mixed media), Junko Iijima (metals), and Jenna Gersbach-King (photography).
By Jenna Gersbach-King, MAC Photography Instructor

Young da Vincis Summer Art Camp couldn't have been a more perfect way to return to the Multnomah Arts Center. Things looked a little different for us with our outdoor setup, but the fun was all the same! We explored campus and our photographic creativity with our eyes and our MACA iPads by taking portraits, discovering new perspectives, and even going on a photo scavenger hunt. The result felt like a perfect combination of giggles, creative thinking, and some really great works of art.
Art & Music Pods Launch Across East Portland
MAC Recreation Lead Craton Highways and CMC Music Coordinator Daniel Reyes Llinás out in the field this month delivering arts activities to Portlanders.
By Craton Highways, Art Pods Lead

Multnomah Arts Center and Community Music Center launched Art & Music Pods on July 7th at multiple parks across east Portland. The four mobile art studios, each with a different theme (music, story, nature, and design), have been organizing 'surprise visits' to many Free Lunch + Play sites and will continue providing drop-in activities for younger kids and families through August.

So far we have had excellent turnout from participants! Our Art & Music Pods team has been having a great time engaging Portland youth in dance activities, rhythmic exercises, and visual arts projects. Kids definitely love art! And adults, too. We are very glad to see young individuals and families playing and creating together with such joy, energy, and enthusiasm.

If you come across an Art & Music Pod, be sure to stop by, say hi, and create some art with us!
MACA Welcomes Swapna Mukhopadhyay to the Board
MACA is thrilled to welcome Swapna to its executive board. A longtime friend, ceramics student, and arts advocate, we are excited to have her passion and expertise joining the Board.
We are happy to announce that we recently welcomed a new board member, Swapna Mukhopadhyay, a clay artist.

Swapna (pronounced Shopna) was born and raised in Calcutta, India, now known as Kolkata. Her art exploration began as a young child. Rather than play with dolls, she worked on projects with found materials such as newspaper, kite paper, feathers from the duster, and sticks from the coconut leaf broom, much to her mother’s chagrin. Even the clay soil in the flower pots wasn’t safe from little Swapna who dug it out and shaped it into tiny shoes. After air drying them, she’d toss them in the coal-fired stove to bake, then hand paint each one. There is a family joke that every two days Swapna’s projects required a fresh batch of homemade glue!

This happy little artist grew up to become a critical mathematics educator, passionate about ethnomathematics and alternative ways of knowing and doing mathematics. Swapna retired as a Professor of Curriculum and Instruction in the Graduate School of Education at Portland State University where she taught elementary teachers about mathematics education, emphasizing that mathematics is a cultural construction requiring a culturally responsive approach to teaching it. Currently, Swapna’s work includes a study of the indigenous boat-builders on the Bay of Bengal as a form of cultural engineering.

As you can see, equity and cultural awareness are foundational to her life’s work.

Swapna brings her lifelong creative spirit and passion for mathematics and art to her MACA Board work. Deeply committed to equity and social justice issues, she is a firm believer in community arts education and is working to support it through her Board service. Like all of us, she looks forward to MAC re-opening and returning to the pottery studio where she has created her small, folk-art based clay work for several years.

Welcome, Swapna!
Instructor Spotlight: Yohannes Murphy, Music & Theatre Arts
Yohannes Murphy has been teaching private guitar and ukulele lessons at MAC for over a decade. This summer, he has been teaching summer camps in music and musical theatre.
Yohannes began teaching private music lessons in guitar and ukulele at the Multnomah Arts Center in 2006. His musicianship and strong sense for community arts education have been "instrumental" for MAC's performing arts programs. He has since expanded his offerings to include "Music and Movement for Children," "Beginning Folk Song," and group ukulele classes for adults.

In addition to being a professional guitarist, he is also a vocalist and acting/movement coach. This summer season, Yohannes joined the Summer Arts Camp team and has been teaching acting, singing, and movement in our musical theatre camps. In addition to lending his talents at MAC, Yohannes also teaches at Portland Playhouse, Ethos Music, and Lakewood Theatre.
Yohannes will be the music instructor for some of MAC's upcoming Summer Arts Camps in the performing arts. Click the links below to learn more and to register today!
The Multnomah Arts Center (MAC), a program of Portland Parks & Recreation, provides excellent arts education in the visual and performing arts at an affordable cost to students of all ages. We offer programs in music, movement, dance, theatre, woodshop, literary arts, conditioning, metal arts, mixed media, printmaking, drawing, painting, photography, ceramics, sculpture, textiles, and more. Programs run year-round, and scholarships are available. Visit MultnomahArtsCenter.org to learn more about our programs.

The Multnomah Arts Center Association (MACA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which supports the vibrancy and health of the Multnomah Arts Center. Its mission is to advocate for equity and access to arts education.

The MAC Press is a publication of and made possible by the Multnomah Arts Center Association. MACA welcomes your tax-deductible cash contributions and in-kind donations to provide improvements to our facilities and programs. Thank you for your support.