Black History Month will be celebrated at Portland City Hall on Feb. 1 with art, song and an appreciation of the African American community.
The free event from 5 to 7 p.m. is open to the public and sponsored by United Way Art of Change Gallery, the World Arts Foundation Inc. and the Zimbabwe Artists Project.
The events at Portland City Hall, 1221 S.W. Fourth Ave., will be followed by a gathering from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Art of Change Gallery, 619 S.W. 11th Ave.
Titled "Generations," the First Thursday celebration of Portland's African American Community at City Hall will feature artists Henry Frison, Alice Bruce, Bobby Fouther, Renee Quarterman, Sunshine Dixon, Maka Foster, Richard Brown, Wanda Wright and the Zimbabwe Art Project.
Youth art produced under the artistic guidance of Barbara McKee will feature young artists Delano Espinoza, Kylia Harold-Golden, Francisco Gutierrez Sequoia, Turner Virginia, Lari Ramar Hatchett and Nerlie Jean.
Sculptural art by seventh- and eighth-graders from Ockley Green Magnet School will be displayed. The No Kidding Choir will perform.
Ushers will be from the Everest College English as a Second Language program and the R.E.A.L. M.E. Youth Program (Realistic Enthusiastic Authentic Love Manifesting & Empowering).
Refreshments will be supplied by Le Sous Chef.
Following the City Hall event, participants will travel across downtown to United Way's Art of Change Gallery. The United Way of the Columbia-Willamette's Art of Change Gallery debuted in January 2006.
Created by United Way CEO Brent A. Stewart Sr. and gallery Director Sunshine Dixon, the gallery features the work of local and emerging painters, sculptors, photographers and artisans empahasizing the United Way's mission — to help people, make every contribution count and change lives.
At the Art of Change Gallery, many of the artists have overcome personal challenges that proved to serve as motivation in creating their work. Some pieces reflect a story of struggle and triumph, of pain and resolution, about the day-to-day lives of talented people overcoming extraordinary odds.
Many artists whose work is displayed at the United Way Center have never had shows before. It is one of the gallery's goals to provide the first opportunity for some to show and sell their work and become more engaged in the community.