04-13-2024  6:19 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
Dr. Clarice Bailey
By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 25 January 2024

PassinArt, the oldest producing Black Theater in Oregon, welcomes Dr Clarice Bailey home to the theater company she helped found over 40 years ago. Bailey has stepped in as PassinArt’s new managing director, a spot left vacant by the passing of co-founder Connie Carley in 2022. Bailey joins Jerry Foster, artistic director since 1995, to lead the company in a time of considerable promise and forward movement.

In October of this year, PassinArt received funding from Oregon Community Foundation to partner with Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center, the Albina Art Center’s new owner, to develop arts programming at the historic building. The two partners envision an intergenerational community arts hub with a youth theatre academy, play readings, music, dance, poetry, visual arts and community advocacy activities.

Bailey happily identifies her old friend and co-founder, Connie Carley, as the voice calling her back to PassinArt. “Connie and Jerry were re-imagining PassinArt’s youth programming,” she said. “I was already back in town, working on other projects, and Connie knew I wouldn’t be able to resist working with youth.”

In fall 2023, PassinArt launched a year-round youth theatre camp in partnership with New Columbia/Home Forward and their residents. Bailey directs the project. The Youth Camp is the pilot for the main youth academy that will be headquartered at Albina Arts Center.

Re-engaged with the company, it was clear to Bailey that PassinArt was moving forward in multiple exciting directions: Revitalization of the Arts Center, a biennial, national, multicultural stage and film festival of new work, and an annual season of plays at The Brunish Theatre. There was so much to do. Perhaps Jerry Foster and the team could use more help.

As of January 1, Bailey became PassinArt’s Managing Director. “You come back as a co-founder, and you find the mission is still the mission, the company is still of the community and the culture, the values haven’t changed, and there’s more need than ever to keep that spirit and that work alive,” Bailey said.

“We were founded to pass on arts, culture and history from one generation to the next.

"Everything old is new again. I’m grateful to be home and back at it.”

Artistic Director and Board President, Jerry Foster, said he’s “delighted to have Clarice on the team.” Foster added: “I know she will continue to help PassinArt reach its vision and fulfill its mission.”


Founded in Portland, Oregon, in 1982, PassinArt’s mission is to educate, entertain and celebrate our culture while highlighting issues that impact the community. The company is committed to passing on arts, culture, and history from one generation to the next.

Recently Published by The Skanner News

  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random

The Skanner Foundation's 38th Annual MLK Breakfast