Columbia Slough Creek College
Institute: Creek College
Collaborators: Kristina Dutton and Kim Sutherland
MAY 20, 2017 — COLUMBIA SLOUGH, PORTLAND, OREGON
In 2017, Creek College, in collaboration with NAYA (Native American Youth and Family Center) and the Columbia Slough Watershed Council, is hosting a series of three symposiums on the Columbia Slough in Portland, Oregon.
For this session we will be removing invasive species with Portland Parks & Recreation Coordinator Yoko Silk.
Invasive plants can take over ecological landscapes, limiting the diversity of native shrubs, trees, and forbs. By removing English ivy, we are creating space for native plant regeneration, which helps provide more food and shelter for wildlife, and improves water quality. We will be pulling ivy off the ground by hand, and clipping tree ivy to prevent it from re-seeding. This work is fun! All tools and gloves will be provided.
CLASSES AND PROJECTS
TAUGHT BY ANUPAM SINGH
Documentation often allows an artwork to reach wider audiences beyond its physical time and space. Some artistic processes produce experiential and intangible outcomes where documentation becomes the only way to access it. But if we alter the process of documentation into an intangible one, how would it impact the afterlife of an artwork that is ephemeral in nature? Can artworks live through narratives using memories for alternative documentation? Based on this idea, the workshop will explore the aspects of ephemerality and permanence in artistic engagement. Participants will create sculptures with found objects collected from the Columbia Slough site, and inspired by the site. After completion, the sculptures will be left at the site. Instead of conventional documentation methods, participants have the option to share personal memories/narratives of the process in a story circle the next day at MLK Jr. School.
WRITING TOGETHER AND ALONE IN PUBLIC
TAUGHT BY ROZ CREWS
Walking through landscapes, touching grass, seeing a dog, eating apples near a slough; these are some things that we can (and likely will) do in this class. We will work together to write critically about experiential engagement with public space, and we will practice generating meaning from shared moments. We will also talk about ways to participate in the subconscious by listening, looking, and writing. Photo credit: Ashely Sophia Clark
TAUGHT BY LAUREN MORAN AND ELIOT FEENSTRA
What are the stories we tell that connect us and others to a place? What are the tales or histories that we have developed to grow symbiotic relationships between people and the natural world? What are the current and societal stories being debated?
The stories we're able to tell ourselves and others shape what we can understand and imagine, what we believe has happened, and what we believe is possible, both individually and collectively. In the course of sharing stories, difficulties and truths of community and place can rise to the surface. Building on the traditions of story circles and storytelling in both community arts practice and indigenous culture, this workshop invites participants to share and hear stories about The Creek in your own life and to think about storytelling skills that invite connection to a place.
We will collect and examine stories and ways they are told, passed on and documented to bring into consideration during this workshop.
CAFETERIA WORKERS EXCHANGE PROGRAM (IE. LUNCH)
PROJECT BY SALTY THUNDER AND SPENCER BYRNE-SERES
The Cafeteria Worker Exchange Program is a project envisioned as a creative solution to providing lunches for Assembly. The goal is to bring together cafeteria staff from both NAYA Family Center and King Elementary School in an effort to develop conversation and reflection on nutrition, how to provide meals, high volume cooking and our relationship to the food sources that surround us. Who are the staff working tirelessly at NAYA and King? What is their relationship to food? How would they collaboratively design a menu? Where do the recipes they use come from, and what might they cook if they could cook anything at work?
The project will culminate as lunches prepared for each day of Assembly, built off of the menus and ideas generated during the exchange. The project will be documented through custom paper placemats that we produce with notes, photographs and images from the project.
FAMILY PROJECT SPACE AND READING ROOM (CHILDCARE)
PROJECT BY EMMA COLBURN
This is an ongoing learning space for the duration of Creek College that offers free childcare for parents attending the conference and also explores our shifting sites through documentation. Drawing from similarities between radical education philosophies of Reggio Emilia and the Social Practice cannon, we will use processes of recording our surroundings to deepen our inquiries of, and connections to, the landscapes surrounding us for the day. You are welcome to drop in (and drop off) anytime! All ages are invited to participate. Materials will be provided. Sign up on our registration page.
Panel: Placemaking, Community and Environment
Amy Harlwood, Bill Weir, Jennifer Starkey, and Roben White
A discussion among our expert panelists will focus on two topics; Reciprocity between humans and nature, and community involvement in conservation practices. The discussion will highlight approaches and philosophies in each of our panelists respective fields. We will examine development and growth of these practices over time.