The following description was submitted by the event organizer.
2023 marks the 75th ANNIVERSARY OF THE FLOOD THAT DESTROYED VANPORT, once Oregon’s second-largest city and the largest WWII federal housing project in the United States. Commemorate Oregon’s Katrina-like disaster with exhibits, art performances, a reunion/celebration of former Vanport residents, documentary screenings and oral history recordings, tours of the historic Vanport area, and community engagement activities.
Join two weeks of memory activism to commemorate Oregon's Katrina-like disaster with exhibits, presentations, artistic tributes, a reunion/celebration of former Vanport residents, documentary screenings and oral history recordings, tours of the historic Vanport area, and community engagement activities
Flood survivors are now in their 80s and 90s, so the Festival continues to offer a long-overdue opportunity to honor their experience and learn from it. The 75th anniversary of the flood, especially in light of the Covid pandemic and the ongoing devastating impact of climate change, will offer a timely opportunity to reflect on the state of emergency preparedness of our city, particularly on how disasters often replicate and deepen social inequalities.
The Vanport Mosaic was awarded the Oregon Heritage Excellence Award, the Spirit of Portland Award by City Commissioner Nick Fish, and the Columbia Slough Watershed Council’s Achievement Award.
In 2022 the National Trust for Historic Preservation recognized Vanport Mosaic as one of 80 organizations nationwide using historical places as catalysts for a more just and equitable society, showcasing the multi-layered intersections of underrepresented communities of people.