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Joy! Initiative

Oct 17 Been Here, Still Here

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The event is a celebratory kickoff to the project planning process, interweaving personal stories and interviews with original, local music performances.

Below are excerpts from the interviews:

Kayin Talton Davis

“What is your Albina Vision?”

“…a vibrant and energetic community that really focuses on the future and creating an area that is creative, cultural, and is intentionally about maintaining a community that once was.”

Cleo Davis

“What’s your connection to Albina?”

“I was born and raised in Albina. I’ve got deep cultural roots here.”

Donna Maxey

“What does [a multi-layered community] look like?”

Reflecting fondly on her memory growing up in Albina, Donna describes a “whole conglomeration of people” that seemed to represent a wide variety of ages, ethnicities, and beliefs. “I think that’s an ideal community. So that everyone has an opportunity to know that people are people. And give everyone an opportunity to make the city what it could be.”

Donovan Smith

“What’s your Albina Vision?”

“The Albina Vision is a chance to bring us back together, to have a nucleus where you can find our Black small businesses; where we’re living in places that’s affordable for us, but also where people are living in their own homes and create moments like the Block Party…more communal wide… The Albina Vision is one where we are ultimately more whole.”

Shaina Pomerantz

“What is your Albina Vision?”

“It’s complicated.” “My vision would really be… telling the stories of the families that came in and the hard work and the labor that went into growing up this community and making sure that that history is never lost, and simultaneously creating space for folks to be able to come back in and thrive and have businesses here in the community today so we can continue to stay and not feel like we don’t have a home here.”

Noni Causey

“What would you like to see?”

“I would love to see a place that heals; a place that educates; a place where people aren’t confined to little apartments; where people can have yards.” “I would like to see something that can bring folks together… It’s gotta be a place of peace, because, there’s enough destruction going on.”

Andre Middleton

What is your connection to Albina?”

“I’ll be honest: I’m a transplant. I moved here from Brooklyn, NY, back in 1995. I’ve seen Portland change over the years. My connection is that I got to see a lot of speculators buying people’s homes at rock bottom prices…and how through eminent domain, a lot of property was lost to the black community.” “It’s been really incredible to see how many people were displaced in just the last 10, 15 years.”

Watch the Joy! Initiative: Been Here, Still Here Event

The event was produced in collaboration with Friends of Noise, which is a 501- c3 organization that seeks to foster healing and growth for the creative youth in our community via the arts by hosting professional development workshops and inclusive all ages concerts that provide live performance opportunities for youth artists and hands-on experience for emerging youth sound engineers.

Featured Artist: Wavey Josef
As a producer and engineer, Wav blends sounds from various genres such as Electronica, R&B, Hip-Hop and Pop to create a sonic environment that invites the listeners into the dimension of his conception. A poet at heart, Wav provides a dialogue in his writing that provokes grand emotion, vulnerability, and introspection. He makes music to “fill a void”, and songs he thinks his favorite artists would make if they “dipped into different vibes or went a different direction”.

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