MFA student writes about Portland arts landscape
Author: College of the Arts
Posted: December 10, 2018

Roshani Thakore, a student in the MFA in Social Practice program, writes about the state of the arts in Portland as part of the Regional Arts and Cultural Council's State of the Arts series. 

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"As a student in a Master’s of Fine Arts Program focused on art in the public spheres, the accessibility to the various arts communities within Portland has been extremely welcoming and exciting since I landed here a year ago after 18 years in New York City. The most invigorating, inspiring, and complex work that I’ve been able to experience and see is from the artists who have been creatively pushing issues of race, class, sex, sexuality, indigenous rights, immigration and migration through their work within this city. These artists in Portland are actively shaping the cultural landscape and they need to be heard, supported and invested in. ...

"... In our current state, what concerns me, as an individual investing in my practice through further education is the future instability for artists practicing in Portland and the inability for the city to keep their creative capital. ...

"We all know that Portland is rapidly growing. In that growth, I envision a Portland where the cultural fabric represents and supports Portland artists living in a just way. ... If Portland wants to  thrive, its leaders need to step back, listen, and implement the needs and wants of the artists on the ground that have been barely surviving. Portland: show up for your artists; show up for communities of color; show up for the communities that have been displaced. Let them know a new era is coming where Portland is where they will thrive."