Summit Recap – Arts, Culture and Community

By way of follow-up to February 15th’s Foster Summit event, we’ve asked a couple of the attendees to share a summary of topics and ideas from the breakout session they attended. We will publish these, along with the ‘butcher paper’ notes in the weeks to come. (Sorry, no butcher paper notes for this one.)

Meg McHutchison participated in the discussion on ways to use the arts to create community in the Foster Road area, and she graciously agreed to share her notes on that discussion. Meg is a familiar face in the area, as a board member of both the Foster-Powell neighborhood and Performance Works Northwest, and as one of the prime movers in making the Foster Summit happen. Meg is the Creative Producer at the innovative Northwest design and marketing firm Gigantic Planet.

Were you were there? What did Meg miss? Even if you couldn’t attend the event, we hope you’ll share your take on these important community issues.

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It was a lively discussion among the participants of the Arts and Culture breakout session.

There are a number of new projects happening along the Foster Corridor and a number of themes that need further exploration and investment from the community.

Dawn DeAno is creating a public art installation called Lents Grown-our stories, which is supported by a grant received by Rose CDC. She hopes to tell the stories of residents of the community. The outcome will be a public installation located in Lents.

The Portland Mercado is also excited to provide opportunities to artists once they are up and running. They are looking to connect with the community on every level, by offering gallery and performance space along with all the good work of the core mission of the Mercado.

Cat Davila is the director of the new Toy Library, which she hopes to find a home for in Foster-Powell. The model is along the lines of the Tool Libraries. She is currently looking for space to serve kids from birth to 8 with toys.

Performance Works Northwest has received a grant to support a Foster Art Night at PWNW in July.

Other key themes that emerged:
– The need for more accessible kids programming along the corridor.

- The desire to connect elder artists who have time and energy to support youth in the community with arts-related mentoring.

- Art in empty spaces. Vicki Wilson is an artist and she’d like to see an investment in empty storefronts by providing temporary installations while the space in transition. This project seems like a great way to use “What Would You Like to See?,” and the small business efforts to encourage landlords to activate their spaces.



  1. There was some discussion of how to bring Foster Art Night farther east. Today it is a relatively cohesive walk from 50th to 67th or so, … but then the activity dies off.

    I’d love to see a connected string of FAN activities up and down Foster and the surrounding areas. I think the Portland Mercado might be the missing link, bridging the vast emptiness that is there today.

    I’m looking forward to getting more places in on the action as we gear up for spring time – if you’re interested in helping expand and spread the word, please contact

    • Meg,

      Thanks for this great recap! The Lents-grown stories public art installation is something that we were really excited to hear about. Though we won’t try to replicate it exactly, we are exploring a similar idea that will serve to highlight the history of Mt. Scott-Arleta / Foster Powell, as a permanent installation. A different concept will also be explored in which highlights the entrepreneurial spirit of the Latino community as seen in region and expressed in a permanent exhibit.

      If anyone is interested in becoming involved in this project, we will likely need some help!

      Nick- We would love to bridge the Foster Art Night gap. Let us know how we might be able to be involved, even if before opening.

      Saludos, PM

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