We are Public Annex, a non-profit organization in Portland, Oregon that provides accessible urban farming and arts programming, focusing on inclusivity of artists and farmers with developmental disabilities. Our mission is to break down systemic barriers that prohibit marginalized populations from inclusivity by building a community around accessible farming and art programming.
What does this mean?
It means that we are thinking about the ways in which people's lives are affected by the communities they have access to.
Currently, there are few programs that offer creative outlets for people with disabilities. Due to changes in state funding, many of these programs are being negatively affected and face possible closure. People who are part of such programs are experiencing drastic cuts in the types of services offered, or are losing their place in those programs altogether. This not only disrupts people's creative practices and access to income, but also dissolves close-knit communities. We know firsthand the value of community and are actively creating programming that centers on this core idea.
It means we are creating programming outside the system to fill in the gaps and making sure it is accessible to people who need it.
Services we offer include but are not limited to open art studio sessions, open urban farming sessions, art and farming classes, open weaving sessions, lectures and workshops, social/educational groups, artist representation, and mentorships. We are partnering with other organizations to host our unique vision. This ensures that our classes, studio sessions, farming sessions and events are attended by people of every ability, of all backgrounds.
It means we are creating integrated spaces where everyone is valued and can work alongside each other.
Our goal isn't simply to make resources available to artists with disabilities. It's to remove the stigma of disability and expand the understanding of what disability is. Our goal is to create programming that is accessible in every aspect, by all people. We aim to instigate conversations. We want to create a culture of sharing and collaboration. We need truthful exchanges that lead to meaningful changes in how we all think and act. We believe the way to do this is to knock down the physical and metaphorical ways that separate creative people. These sessions, classes, lectures and workshops are just a small step towards the truly integrated society we know can exist.
What can you do to help?
Right now, we need funds to ensure the first term of our programming. We have some amazing classes, workshops and lectures in the works and we need to be able to pay our instructors, facilitators and mentors for their skills and time. We need to be able to purchase art supplies, workshop materials & farm supplies for people to work with. We need to renovate our urban farm plot to make it accessible with ramps and raised beds. This work isn't cheap or easy, but we are resourceful and have a lot of support behind us. We need you to join in!
Check out our video for a bigger picture of what we are doing and why we're doing it. Then peep some of the amazing perks we have as a "thank you" for your generous donation! Not in Portland Oregon? We got you. Snatch up our Public Annex Gift Bag for a cool $100 donation and get the best bang for your buck - a hefty tote filled with all kinds of unique, local goods & gifts. These are a limited edition deal and won't last long!
What Else Can You Get?
Check out some of the other incredible perks by a host of supportive organizations in the Portland area!
Radiant Human has donated their services to five lucky donors. Claim your Portrait of the Artist perk today!
The North Portland Wellness Center has graciously donated group acupuncture sessions as a cool perk. Claim your reward by donating today.
Soak & Sauna for two? Yes please! Donate at the We Can Do This Together! level and claim this luxurious perk from our friends at CGWC, along with two tickets to an upcoming Public Annex fundraiser event / party + two PA totes!
Our pals over at Voicebox have made a killer donation to our cause. Help us secure a location for our open studio sessions and claim the Premier Suite Karaoke Session for up to 30 friends! This is an incredible way to celebrate your commitment to our cause. Only one available!
ADX Portland has been a huge resource for makers and artisans for five years and they've shown their commitment to improving access for all creatives by providing us with a generous donation. Make it possible for us to rental space for our various programming by claiming this perk and get a full month of Unlimited Membership to ADX. This is a fantastic way to get involved with an awesome community of makers while getting access to a whole range of tools and services.
Portland Institute for Contemporary Art has redefined contemporary art in our city for over two decades and has been an incredible resource for Public Annex. We are thrilled to include them as a support of our cause!
We all need to do the work. Help us help others by making a donation to our project today!
Risks and challenges
Our founding board members have a combined 22 years of experience working with adults with disabilities. We are drawing upon our firsthand knowledge of how services for individuals with disabilities work to take on a unique set of challenges that stand between people and their goals. There are many barriers that need to be addressed one by one, many times on an individual basis. We know that this is a group effort and that the task at hand is bigger than what we can accomplish as individuals. That's why we are creating a model of conversation and collaboration to get as many people involved as possible, to better serve our community of artists, farmers and volunteers.
We know what needs to get done to get these classes, studio sessions and urban farm plots up and running. We have done a lot of the leg-work setting up partnerships with organizations around Portland who support our mission of making artistic resources available to people with disabilities. We are in the midst of building, modifying and retooling infrastructure to make it physically, intellectually and economically accessible. We are researching and reaching out to working artists, activists and educators to widen our curatorial scope. We are reading, posting and sharing to build an online community of supporters. We are doing the work and making sure that every dollar you donate makes a maximum impact.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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