Spearheaded by Gentrification is WEIRD!, this collaborative showcase with Green Hop and We Out Here Magazine, brought together a number of hip hop musicians, politicians, community advocates, non-profits, and more for an all-ages celebration of Nipsey Hussle a month after his untimely death. Our efforts raised more than $1,000 for STEAM programming at Boise-Elliot, one of the last majority Black schools in Oregon.
In his position with Portland Harbor Community Coalition, in collaboration with partners Get Hooked Foundation initiated this, the first-ever hip hop celebration underneath the St. Johns bridge to call attention to the federally-mandated billion dollar cleanup of a 10-mile stretch of the Willamette River and foster connection to the waterway. The all ages festival featured performances, free youth fishing lessons, an elder-guided history tour, words from community advocates and a number of vendors.
The brainchild of community advocate Laquida Landford, this 2016 event weaved community from the New Columbia (“The Villa”) to the site where the lost city of Vanport and invited community to connect dots to our current day housing crisis. The ride closed with the first longform interview with mayor Ted Wheeler following his election in front of the community.
The women organizing the radical organizing space the Woodlawn MIC, were suddenly left jobless but continued to serve the groups who depended on it. In response, Gentrification is WEIRD! brought together an open mic to raise money for their free labor. As part of this grassroots night of entertainment, we raised nearly $600 for them.
This collaborative exhibit designed in partnership with artist Sharita Towne’s “Our City in Stereo” residency at c3: initiative brought together archival footage of resistance movements in Oregon’s Black community, letters to the next mayor for Portland’s Black community from PAALF, photography, and more for exploration.
Donovan and Laquida Landford organized the opening event
the inaugural exhibit at Portland Community College’s
showcasing longtime Humboldt neighborhood resident
and historian Clifford Walkers. They invited community
to bring in their own scrapbooks, and workshopped
with participants pathways towards a more wholistic city with art.
Gentrification is WEIRD! in collaboration with Friends of Noise
and Julian Outlaw curated the stage for the first-ever Juneteenth
celebration in Gresham, Oregon speaheaded by Beyond Black.
This historic celebration mixed Black music traditions of Jazz, hip hop,
R&B and gospel that brought thosands to celebrate this day of emancipation.
In the parking lot of Alberta Co-operative, we screened the full-length “Priced Out: 15 years of gentrification in Portland” documentary, preceded by Donovan Smith and Sika Stanton’s short film about young people’s desire for East County’s future “The Numbers”. Laquida, Donovan and filmmaker Cornelius Swart facilitated a post-show conversation.
Last Thursdays on Alberta is one of the biggest events
in the city of Portland. Donovan and fellow artists Aaron (Isaiah) Spriggs
and Mia O’Connor curated a half block of Black vendors selling wears,
paintings and other goods to take up space
as part of this event following a conversation with Portland Bureau of Transportation.
The Sons of Masonic Lodge is the last remaining Black business on the popular thoroughfare Mississippi Street, and at the turn of 2016 was under threat of closing because of fines City zoning fines. This collaborative comedy fundraiser aimed to help this venue in its fight to stay open. $2,000 were raised in this event; additionally Prosper Portland stepped up with funding and development support to make sure this venue stayed open shortly after.

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