We need your support!
Here at Know Your City, we need your help to continue to develop innovative projects that take risks and celebrate creative placemaking in Portland. Now you can join us in making it happen.
This year, KYC is celebrating its 6th (!!!) anniversary. During our short history, we’ve produced hundreds of programs – including publishing a community newspaper with 5th graders in East Portland, creating an art installation by and for prisoners, teaching community members how to make documentaries about gentrification, leading walking, bike, and bus tours all over the city, making a free, interactive phone app – and so much more.
We’ve worked with more than 90 nonprofit organizations, bringing together diverse audiences interested in the arts, history and social justice. We’ve done all this on the smallest shoestring of budgets, with just 1.5 FTE employees working out of our tiny office (and many, many volunteers!).
Despite these accomplishments, Know Your City stands at a critical juncture. Last year, with foundational support, we were able grow our programs and hire an additional staff person – but this year we need to sustain our growth through individual giving. You can help us in ensuring that this transition is sustainable. We need the support of our entire community to keep being a vital source for inspiration and social change, and your contribution will enable us to introduce a new crop of social justice projects so everyone can be valued in creating our place called Portland.
By backing our newest projects, you’ll be helping us in this critical phase —and, of course, you’ll be getting some pretty amazing stuff from us and our generous community of artists and friends.
Join us – every backer will get us closer to our goal. Here's what we'll do with your help.
Since the beginning, KYC has put on amazing tours to learn about Portland and its surroundings – by foot, bus and bike. A two-day bus trip to ghost towns in central Oregon? Check. Bike rides to meet with local muralists? You bet. Tours by MAX to the Jade District’s Night Market? Only one nonprofit has produced this diversity of tour programs.
Last fall, with the help of 150 Kickstarter backers, KYC built a kiosk for people to find out about our programs and tours. Staffed by volunteers, the kiosk creates a street level presence and is centrally located in Old Town between Voodoo Doughnuts and Saturday Market.
With the kiosk in place, we are now ready to start offering more and more tours. Since the spring, we have already started offering at least 8 tours a week, an increase of more than 350%! This includes our A People’s History of Portland tour, which presents the history of immigrants in our city and Sing A Song of Portland!, the first and only singing walking tour – that talks about the issues facing the local music community.
This fall, with your support, KYC will develop even more tours. We'll be hosting tours in conjunction with Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s TBA Festival that take a critical look at art and gentrification, visiting past TBA sites and discussing the implications of rising rents on Portland's artist community.
We’ll also develop new content for younger audiences. We’re at work on a youth version of our People’s History tour, which, with funds from this campaign, we’ll be able to widely market to schools throughout the city, exposing thousands to the rich immigrant history of Portland.
KYC designs experimental and boundary-pushing projects to engage kids with ideas about place, and instill a greater sense of community. We led Dreamers: our first youth video project with kids in the “I Have A Dream” Foundation, civil rights comics making workshops, Jade Journal: a multilingual community newspaper about the Jade District and De-Gentrifying Portland: a program for African American youth to make videos about affordable housing issues. These programs get kids out of classrooms to interact with civic leaders and inquire how the city of Portland works, while working with staff to produce media that communicate what they’ve learned.
With the completion of Jade Journal, KYC has a curriculum it will bring to additional schools this year. KYC plans on repeating Jade Journal at Harrison Park in 2016, and offer at least one additional program at David Douglas High School. Meanwhile, KYC is working on additional programs at other schools, including a youth video project at Alder School about food deserts in East Portland. This campaign will cover the costs we need to develop these programs and build on our rapidly growing connections in the education community.
KYC first started publishing guidebooks as a way to document tours, and not long after, produced Oregon History Comics, a set of 10 mini-comics making history accessible through graphic illustration. This led to several comic publications: Comics For Change! Illustrated Stories from Oregon’s Front Lines and Tom McCall and the Vortex. We also collaborated on comic guides about affordable housing, Don’t Move Out! and Don’t Get Evicted!
With funds from this campaign, we will be able to expand our publishing programs and produce our first ever map, An Insider’s Guide to Portland. Illustrated by artist and educator Kate Bingaman-Burt, the map lists more than 100 well-kept secrets not found on existing tourist maps. We have to admit…it’s looking pretty great!
KYC also plans to start a new imprint, Know Your City Guides, which build upon our tours and highlight additional content. We’ll work with some of Portland’s best graphic designers and illustrators in the production of these guides, which will help preserve the stories of communities that have been neglected in traditional narratives of the city.
KYC organizes other creative placemaking projects that help the public better connect to Portland. This includes hosting several community lecture series, producing a free, interactive history app and organizing 30 Flags, a place-based public art project at Columbia River Correctional Institution (CRCI), a minimum-security prison in North Portland.
In 2016, with your support, we will launch Wage/ Working, an oral history project organized in conjunction with artists Laura Hadden and Tennessee Watson. The project will address income inequality in the workplace through interviews conducted with workers – edited to the length of time it takes each worker to earn $1 – giving those who earn the least the most time to speak. Stories will be compiled to create albums placed inside of a vintage jukebox that we'll bring to three diverse locations in Portland.
We're also planning another program at CRCI. Funds from this campaign will support the coordination required in installing and organizing the project a second year.
All right, you're thinking—this campaign seems good and necessary and I will back it. Let this pictorial guide be your guide! Be sure to peruse the column to the right—not every reward is pictured here.
Risks and challenges
These projects will take a great deal of energy, resources and time, but we have been managing our operations for more than 6 years. We have an experienced and qualified team that knows how to make the best out of few resources. We’re certain we will be successful in managing the projects we’ve promised.
Know Your City has managed several successful Kickstarter campaigns over the last several years. Through these campaigns, we’ve always prided ourselves on paying attention to detail and delivering on programs we’ve committed to. We have full confidence in our accomplished and knowledgeable project team, their ability to meet key deadlines and their capacity to overcome any potential challenges that may develop.
Know Your City is a nonprofit organization and we appreciate our Kickstarter backers. Kickstarter backers receive all of the rewards listed above, but if you would prefer to make a tax-deductible donation, please visit http://knowyourcity.org/join/.
Thanks for your support – we can’t do this without you!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (45 days)