Upstanders Festival

May 27, 2017 @ 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Upstanders Festival logoIt’s time to amplify voices and activate caring to make our city a better place. Join the Museum of Impact, Don’t Shoot Portland, and the Portland Art Museum for a fun-filled day of spoken word, restorative justice, music and media, interactive workshops, art zines, and poster making in support of social justice, activism, and positive community change. Channel your inner Upstander—stand up, speak up, and act up—as we build community together!

Upstanders Festival is a social justice extravaganza, shining a light on the bravery and brilliance of activism and changemakers in our midst. Produced by the Museum of Impact, this event series transforms audiences from bystanders to Upstanders through a variety of activities to enhance equity and creative expression. Make art and build power with like-minded locals.  Articulate hopes and dreams for our future. Discover the intersectional role you play in Being the Change!

The festival activities and events are free.


Noon — Welcome to Upstanders Fest / “What is an Upstander?”

12:30 p.m. — VLR Reunion music performance

1:20 p.m. — “Lowkey Hate in America” Discussion
Discussion with Glenn Waco, Chris Riser, DyDisha Gordon, and Eric Orr, moderated by Teressa Raiford, around racism, prejudice and micro aggressions.

2 p.m. — History in the Making: Papel Picado Now!
Artist Karina Puente leads an interactive and uplifting workshop where participants learn how to make colorful, paper protest flags inspired by the Mexican paper cutting tradition called, Papel Picado.

2:20 p.m. — “Say Their Name” Performance
Performance and artist talk by Intercision about the song, the hashtag and the many lives lost to state sanctioned violence in the Black Lives Matter journey for justice.

2:30 p.m. — “You Can’t Control Art” discussion
Discussion with Michael Woods (former Baltimore police officer), Nicole Rose (attorney), and Jesce Horton (Portland business owner and entrepreneur) on intersecting issues of art, activism, and freedom of expression. Moderated by Teressa Raiford.

3:30 p.m. — “Black Fashion in the Movement” by PDX Formation
Fashion walk + discussion presented by PDX Formation. ‘Black Fashion in the Movement’ art illustrations by artist Stephanie PhaFa Roy, on display from Museum of Impact’s collection.

3:55 p.m. — The Cipher
A collaboration by multiple artists, performers, slam poetry, SlamBoo artists.

Additional games and art-making activities will be available throughout the day.

The Upstanders Festival is presented in conjunction with the special exhibition Constructing Identity: Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art, on view through June 18. This exhibition features artists that embody the brave and brilliant spirit of being an Upstander, including artists like Edward Bannister, whose decision to become an artist nearly 150 years ago was an act of resistance and strength against racial discrimination; Elizabeth Catlett, who protested, picketed, and was arrested in her quest to win justice for African-American and Mexican workers; Margaret Burroughs, a prominent community organizer and social activist in Chicago; Faith Ringgold, who in the 1970s organized protests against the major art museums in New York for excluding works by black artists and women artists; Reginald Gammon, who formed the Black Emergency Cultural Coalition in 1969, a highly political group of artists that also actively protested the  exclusion of black artists and curators for museums; Norman Lewis, who taught for Harlem Youth in Action, an anti-poverty program designed to retain youth in school; and many others whose resilience, strength, and activism helped bring people together and create community change.

Special thanks to the Museum of Impact, Don’t Shoot Portland, Pacific Northwest College of Art, Marylhurst University, and all our community partner and volunteers for making this festival possible.


The Portland Art Museum is pleased to offer accommodations to ensure that our programs are accessible and inclusive. All spaces for this program are accessible by wheelchair. Assistive listening devices are also available for lectures. All restrooms have accessible stalls but no power doors. There are single-stall all-gender bathrooms available. Please ask staff for directions.

We will do our best to accommodate your needs when you arrive, however, we need 2-3 weeks advance notice for some specific requests. Please email requests to, or call 503-226-2811.