On Tuesday, January 18, 2011, the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods (NECN) Board of Directors approved grant funding of $14,597 for a total of eleven community projects as recommended by the Neighborhood Small Grants Community Committee.
The overall goal of this grant program is to provide neighborhood and community-based organizations the opportunity to build community, attract new and diverse members and sustain current membership. This year’s program offered two funding categories: Neighborhood Small Grants as well as dedicated funding for Graffiti Abatement Projects.
The following projects are excellent examples of how people in inner north and northeast Portland are working together to improve the quality of our neighborhoods by building community, increasing volunteer capacity and forging new organizational partnerships (listed alphabetically):
Neighborhood Small Grants
2011 Summer’s Here Walk/Run
Step It Up Granted $1,000
On June 26, 2011, Step It Up will host a community 5k walk/run at Irving Park to celebrate our community’s youth, families and teens, encourage healthy lifestyles through exercise and good health and provide opportunities for organizations to share information with community members.
Chess for Success After-School Programs
Chess for Success Granted $1,000
Chess for Success will provide after-school chess clubs in three schools in Northeast Portland: Faubion, Vernon and Woodlawn, teaching and training community volunteers to assist in the clubs. Chess for Success brings together diverse students, teachers and volunteers, providing a safe haven for students after school.
Eliot Oral History Project Website & Community Listening Celebration
Eliot Neighborhood Association Granted $600
The Eliot Oral History Project will create a website for community members, including students at Boise Eliot Elementary, to use as a resource for learning about their neighbor-hood’s history. The group will also celebrate these histories at “The Gathering” an annual event at the end of August 2011 where people who grew up in Eliot reunite at Dawson Park to share stories and reconnect.
Emerson Street Project
Emerson Working Group Granted $1,000
A property at NE 8th and Emerson in the King Neighborhood will be transformed into an accessible, sustainable community garden and public space that facilitates ongoing community events and celebrates neighborhood history and culture. Project leaders will lead arts-based workshops, tours, local events and presentations with and for local residents, public schools, service organizations, students and parents.
Good in the Neighborhood Multicultural Music & Food Festival
Good in the Neighborhood Planning Council Granted $1,000
Funding will support the 19th annual Good in the Neighborhood Festival, an event that brings together neighbors at King School Park with two musical stages, food and craft vendors, twenty-two community resource tables and a parade. This grant funding will offset the cost of the annual park fee.
Healthy Homes, Healthy Kids
Josiah Hill III Clinic Granted $2,000
Healthy Homes, Healthy Kids will provide families with information and resources to address and prevent health hazards commonly found in homes. The Clinic is particularly concerned for children and families living in substandard housing, as low quality housing has been linked to a myriad of poor health outcomes including asthma, allergies, respiratory diseases, lead poisoning, unintentional injuries, infectious diseases, headaches and nausea.
Student-Led Solutions to Single-Use Plastic
Create Plenty Granted $1,000
Third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students at King Elementary School will engage in a research project about the effects of plastic on ecosystems, collect plastic from the waste stream at school and design 12” squares to display during the Last Thursday art walk on Alberta. Create Plenty will work with students to develop a presentation for the King Neighborhood Association highlighting solutions to single-use plastic based upon their research and experiences.
The Boise-Eliot Open Markets
Spencer Burton Granted $1,780
The Boise-Eliot Market brings together old and new residents from diverse ethnic backgrounds to buy, sell and trade locally made products at the busy intersection of Fremont and Williams in north Portland. With the hope of spurring the local economy by providing a launching ground for minority and women-owned start-up businesses, the Market will use funds to attract community members through live music, murals, a website and banners.
Graffiti Abatement Grants
Alameda Kinderpainters Mural Project
Alameda Neighborhood Association Granted $1,672
Muralists, property owners, PTA members, teachers, kindergarteners and their parents will team up to plan and paint murals on frequently graffitied retaining walls near Alameda Elementary School.
Mississippi Mural Project
Spencer Burton and Joanne Oleksiak Granted $1,945
Artists along with staff and students at Albina Youth Opportunity School, Our United Villages and Oregon UZN youth group will work with community members to develop a mural for the Albina Yard Facility, a maintenance building owned by the City of Portland on Mississippi Avenue.
One Stop Records Mural Project
Oregon Universal Zulu Nation Granted $1,600
Oregon Universal Zulu Nation (Oregon Universal) will work with youth from Outside In and the Vernon Neighborhood Association to design and install a mural on the west-facing wall of One Stop Records on the corner of NE 16th and Killingsworth. The project brings several accomplished muralists, Dylan Freeman, Levi Banner and Brooke Stein to the area and culminates with a community celebration with live music, guest speakers and a meal.
A selection committee, comprised of 10 community members, met in December 2010 to review the scores and discuss each proposal in-depth. Twenty-four grant proposals were received this year requesting a total of $40,209. With the total amount of requested funds at approximately $25,000 over the grant funds available, the committee decided on an evaluation method that ranked projects based on which had potential to have the broadest impact in the community. After much deliberation, the grant selection committee unanimously decided to recommend that the NECN Board of Directors fund the above projects, believing that the Neighborhood Small Grant Program adds great value to the community and to the neighborhood associations within our coalition area.
Funds for this granting program were allocated from the City of Portland’s Office of Neighborhood Involvement to the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods for the 2011 Neighborhood Small Grant Program granting cycle. Businesses and individuals interested in further supporting community-based projects such as those listed above may make donations of any amount to the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods’ Community Fund. The Community Fund provides essential seed money to valuable projects organized by neighbors, neighborhood associations and community organizations to meet community needs.
As a core part of the Portland Community Engagement System, NECN serves as one of seven district coalitions advancing neighborhood livability in Portland through highly inclusive civic engagement. We believe in creating healthy communities by engaging citizens to become directly involved in determining how their neighborhood evolves. NECN fulfills numerous functions: gathering place, idea and project incubator, and outreach service provider connecting community members to resources from agencies and organizations. Our 12 neighborhoods are: Alameda, Boise, Concordia, Eliot, Grant Park, Humboldt, Irvington, King, Sabin, Sullivan’s Gulch, Vernon and Woodlawn. For more information, please visit the Coalition’s website at necoalition.org.