Vestal Social Justice Night
Montavilla’s Vestal Elementary expands their annual Social Justice Night this year in partnership with PSU’s Artist as Citizen Initiative and Montavilla Jazz Thursday, May 26 starting at 4:30 pm.
The community-wide celebration will feature collaborative artistic works, by both students and professionals, focused on two of Vestal’s five pillars of social justice: community diversity and family identity.
The student-led social justice projects and exhibits were created in response to stories gathered in interviews with fellow students and community members and will be offered outside on the playground and in the gymnasium of Vestal Elementary, 161 NE 82nd Ave.
Montavilla Jazz, stars of Portland’s jazz scene who have a history of working with Vestal students, will perform the world premiere of music crafted as a complement to the stories. In the spirit of collaboration, many featured, creative works will reflect the experience of celebrating community, identity and social justice.
Featured artists are Denzel Mendoza, Grammy winning trombonist and improviser; Machado Mijinga,multi-instrumentalist, producer and educator; and Mary-Sue Tobin, saxophonist, bandleader and educator.
A welcoming dinner will take place before the performance at The Yard food carts, located directly across from the school. Complimentary meals, procured through grant funding, will be provided by participating food carts and coordinated with support from Samira Mohamend, owner of Mira’s East African Cuisine.
PSU students, working with Erica Thomas, founder of Works Progress Agency, will create a multipart podcast documentary featuring themes from the evening. The podcast will be hosted on montavillajazz.org, in addition to premieres on local radio stations.