Portland State kicks off its annual 10-day celebration of university knowledge and culture this Thursday, Oct. 22. Portland State of Mind runs through Oct. 31 and features over 50 events for students and community members.
Events include PSU Viking sporting events, a music festival, a haunted house, panel discussions on social and political topics, cultural celebrations, artist lectures and plenty of other opportunities to get into the Portland State of Mind.
It’ll be impossible not to find something that’s up your alley—the hardest part will be trying to decide what you’re going to attend.
Let your mind journey beyond Portland
by Molly Ozier
On an urban campus like PSU, you’ll will find a mixture of cultures, interests, beliefs and knowledge. PSOM started three years ago as a way to bring together alumni for one weekend. In those three years, PSOM has grown into a 10-day event for students, faculty, alumni and the Portland community.
“I used to think PSOM was more of a university-wide thing, but now it involves something a little larger than the university: how the university affects Portland, the relationship between PSU, PSU students, then the larger Portland community.” said Pedro S. Torres, Program Coordinator for La Casa Latina.
The Vanguard International Section will be highlighting four events taking place during PSOM. The first will be held at LCL on Oct. 22 at noon for a viewing of “Latino Americans: 500 Years of History,” a documentary series that traces the history of Latino Americans in what is now the western United States. This is the first episode of a six-part series; three episodes will be aired during fall term and three during winter.
Torres collaborated with a professor from Chicano/Latino studies, Elena Avilés. “Latino Americans” is part of a series of events that Avilés will coordinate as part of her application for a grant. The movie is Latino-focused, although many of the events will highlight different cultures. The grant is from an initiative by the National Endowment for Humanities and American Library Association.
“The idea is to promote, to foster a cultural identity and pride in the students that identify with said cultures but also to promote the cultures,” Torres said. “Collaborations with other academic departments tends to be fruitful because they invite their students to take part and participate.”
Torres said LCL is not only a safe, open place to visit but a home away from home.
On Oct. 27, LCL will be hosting a Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) gathering as a way to honor lost loved ones. A community altar will be set up for those who want to create traditional Day of the Dead memorials.
An evening of storytelling will be held at the Multicultural Center on Oct. 23. The storytellers will be an array of seven PSU students, faculty and staff members who will tell their personal stories of struggles, challenges and families.
If you’re thinking of a greener tomorrow, look no further than “Beyond the Limits to Growth: New Ideas for Sustainability from Japan.” Join the Center for Japanese Studies on Oct. 29 as they introduce Dr. Hiroshi Komiyama, an academic leader on global sustainability.
All four of these events are free to students. If you’re interested in finding out more about your Portland culture, get out there for PSOM.
Extra, Extra News All About it
by Colleen Leary
PSOM includes several events related to current affairs, political movements, PSU’s Strategic Plan, community engagement and Viking sports.
The university will host a community engagement event on Oct. 24 where students can volunteer at PSU’s Day of Service. On the same day, they can attend PSU Day at the Farmer’s Market in the Park Blocks.
PSU’s ongoing Strategic Plan project will hosts its second installment of the Strategic Ice Cream Social on Oct. 27, where students will engage with and offer feedback on PSU’s future goals. Attendees receive free ice cream. Because ice cream.
Later in the evening, a town hall discussion on Oregon’s minimum wage will be live broadcast from Smith Memorial Student Union. KATU’s Steve Dunn will moderate a panel of experts who will respond to questions from a media panel, including student media representative Lisa Dunn.
Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Huffington Post will host PSU Foundation’s Annual Simon Benson Award Dinner and fundraiser on Oct. 29. Huffington will host an RSVP-only Q&A event with a small group of students and journalists prior to the Awards Dinner.
The week closes out with a Vikings Homecoming celebration as the football team squares off again University of Montana on Halloween night.
Get your Arts & Culture on
by Aislinn Rennison
PSOM is offering a myriad of art and culture events, talks, exhibits and performances this year. Although they will all be worthwhile, there are a few that definitely can’t be skipped.
One event on the can’t-miss list is the Arlene Schnitzer Visual Arts Prize Exhibit and Reception. The top three winners of the highly reputable arts award will have their work on display in the Autzen Gallery on Oct. 22, 4 to 6 p.m.
Although their art will be on view from Oct. 6 to 30, going to the event offers the opportunity to meet the artists, listen to the presentations and enjoy the reception, free of charge. The 2015 winners and master’s students from Portland State’s School of Art and Design are Amanda Evans for first place, Chris Freeman for second and Melodee Dudley for third.
Evans, an art and social practice MFA student, competed against 60 other applicants for the prestigious place title and $5,500 reward. Evan’s ceramic artwork, Objects for Digestion, appear to be beautiful sculptures for home decor. However, the containers are also functional and meant for practical use. According to her artist statement, Evans plans to give each piece to a different person or place, including a community CSA farm and a classroom.
Freeman and Dudley, also recipients of the prize, received $4,000 and $3,000 for their artistic achievements. Freeman focused his work on a social experiment that examines gender roles and human behavior. Dudley’s photographic art is both emotionally moving and introspective, as it is inspired by losing her parents.
The Arlene Schnitzer Visual Arts Prize was created in 2013 in hopes to increase public awareness of art at PSU. Attending the event will benefit this goal.
Another notable event for the PSOM festivities is the Museum of Natural History open house. For one day only, the Science Research and Teaching Center is highlighting a scientific exhibit of different kinds of animals in rooms 219 and 257 of the Science Research & Technology Center.
The collection will be on display from 1 to 4 p.m. on Oct. 24. Free and interactive, this brand-new presentation is perfect for families.
The PSOM Music Festival is one more event to squeeze into your schedule. Seven hours of seven performances will start at 4 p.m. on Oct. 23. The first three acts—David Bazan, Luz Elena Mendoza and Ezza Rose—will play their acoustic sets at the Green Roots Cafe in the Smith Memorial Student Union building.
At 8 p.m. the party will move to SMSU Parkway North for the remainder of the festival, featuring THEESatisfaction, Beat Connection, DJ Anjali & The Incredible Kid and Hutch Harris of the Thermals.
Although the concerts are free for PSU students with a valid ID, non-students will need to swing by the PSU Box Office; tickets cost $25 for all day, $10 for the Green Roots Cafe shows and $15 for the Parkway North concerts.
There are plenty of fun and exciting PSOM happenings for our art and culture community—seize the opportunity and get to as many as you can!
Click here to see a full schedule of the 50+ PSOM events.