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My Turn

by Dmae Roberts


From The Asian Reporter, V29, #16 (August 19, 2019), page 6.

Summer culture

As summer begins to wind down and we enter the intermediate season of warm weather before October starts to chill us, I want to sing the praises of local cultural museums and outdoor activities by area groups and organizations offering low-cost and free events that engage, enlighten, and entertain.

First off, Portland is blessed with intimate and reflective museums that focus on the cultural history of Portland and beyond. There are three in the Old Town and Pearl District neighborhoods.

Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center

The Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center, or ONLC (121 N.W. Second Avenue, Portland), is located in the old Nihonmachi, or Japantown, area of Old Town. Itís a compact center with a compelling permanent exhibit that depicts the living conditions of World War II internment, or what many Japanese Americans now refer to as incarceration. It also features local and national artwork, historical photographs, and events. An upcoming celebration on September 14 at 4:00pm will highlight the centerís 30th year. To learn more, visit <www.oregonnikkei.org>.

Portland Chinatown Museum

A newer museum that took years to found is located about a block west of ONLC. Earlier this year, the Portland Chinatown Museum, or PCM (127 N.W. Third Avenue, Portland) installed its permanent exhibit, "Beyond the Gate: A Tale of Portlandís Historic Chinatowns," which was originally curated for the Oregon Historical Society by the Portland Chinatown Museumís founder, Jacqueline Peterson-Loomis. The museum is also currently hosting a beautiful photography exhibit, "The Color of Black and White: The Lens of Two Generations," by Jeff Lee and Eugene Lee. In addition, on August 29 at 5:30pm, the museum is bringing together brother and sister Patsy Fong Lee and Kenneth Fong to share personal stories about growing up in Chinatown during and after World War II. For more information, or to view upcoming events, visit <www.portlandchinatown.org>.

OJMCHE

Several blocks away is the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, or OJMCHE (724 N.W. Davis Street, Portland). The museum features artwork and historic exhibits about Portlandís Jewish community, such as "Discrimination and Resistance, An Oregon Primer" and "Oregon Jewish Stories." OJMCHE participates in First Thursday art events (as do ONLC and PCM). It is also offering a walking tour about Jewish Portland on August 22 at 6:30pm (after a happy hour) as well as free public tours of the Oregon Holocaust Memorial. The next tour is scheduled for Sunday, September 22 from 1:00pm to 2:00pm. To learn more, visit <www.ojmche.org>.

Jade International Night Market

One of the delights of summer is the night market organized by the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO). The Jade International Night Market is held on the Southeast Campus of Portland Community College (2305 S.E. 82nd Avenue, Portland). It is a vibrant and lively collection of food, crafts, and live music and dance, as well as an opportunity for nonprofit organizations and small businesses to connect with the community. The Jade International Night Market takes place on only two nights ó August 24 and 31 ó from 5:00pm to 10:00pm. And itís free! To obtain the entertainment schedule and more information, visit <www.jadedistrictnightmarket.org>.

Pre-Portland Indigenous Marketplace

The Pre-Portland Indigenous Marketplace (4579 N.E. Cully Boulevard, Portland) is also offering a free outdoor activity. The marketplace, a recipient of a Metro "Community Placemaking" grant, which will fund a dozen events, is scheduled for August 31 from noon to 5:00pm. To find out more, visit <www.facebook.com/events/1169369196566139>.

Uwajicon 2019

Another free offering celebrates the cultural phenomenon of anime. Uwajicon 2019, held September 21 from 11:00am to 6:00pm at Uwajimaya Plaza (10500 S.W. Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway, Beaverton), sounds like fun for the whole family. The anime and Japanese pop culture event encourages attendees to cosplay (costume play/dress up) as their favorite anime character with a chance to win prizes. Uwajicon features games, panels, food vendors, an artist alley, live entertainment, and more. For more information, call (503) 643-4512 or visit <www.uwajimaya.com>.

Middle Eastern Festival

Another event thatís been held for decades, the Middle Eastern Festival, takes place August 25 from noon to 7:00pm. Hosted by the Saint George Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church (2101 N.E. 162nd Avenue, Portland), the 42nd annual festival promises a collection of food, dance, performances, and childrenís activities, with many area restaurants and community groups participating. To obtain details, visit <www.stgeorgeportland.org>.

With so much going on in the world right now, sometimes itís important to learn from our local past while connecting with our cultural communities. Besides, summertime seems so short in Oregon. Letís enjoy the transition into autumn!

The Asian Reporter in its entirety!
Go to <www.asianreporter.com/completepaper.htm>!

Opinions expressed in this newspaper are those of the
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