with Lauren Everett
June 16, 2021 | 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. | Virtual Event
Online, statewide & beyond
Please note: This workshop consists of two two-hour sessions, conducted via Zoom, on June 14 and 16. By registering, participants are expected to attend both sessions.
About Lauren Everett
Lauren is a Portland-based artist, community organizer, and researcher. Her current work explores the different kinds of relationships people form with their home environments, on individual and community scales. She is currently a doctoral candidate in PSU’s Urban Studies program, where her research interests include place attachment, housing policy and the implications of our property ownership paradigm.
Her current research examines the experience of living in rent-controlled housing in Santa Monica, CA, where she was born and partially raised. Her forthcoming feature-length documentary, Mystic Chords of Memory, looks at the role of cultural and personal narratives in maintaining a connection to land in Wales, where her grandmother was born. She is also a member of Portland Tenants United’s Organizing Committee, working alongside other volunteer activists for more equitable housing access and conditions for all Portlanders. You can explore more of Lauren’s work here.
About this workshop
For over a year, Lauren Everett walked past a fenced-off lot in the center of historic downtown St. Johns, a few miles from her home in Portland. Like so much land in the area, the privately owned lot was scheduled to host another chunk of condominiums in the uncertain future, but for now it was full of gravel and garbage. Lauren couldn’t stop thinking, “This could be so much better.” So she did something about it.
In the summer of 2020, Lauren and several dozen community members came together and created a temporary park on the land, which had been vacant for over a year and a half. Utilizing the community’s abundance of energy and enthusiasm--and some very limited financial resources--the space was transformed into a lively place for over three months. People gathered, shared meals, made art and music, watched films, read books, and played games there, creating a welcoming oasis of connectivity in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic: the People’s Park, St. Johns.
In this So Much Together workshop, Lauren will share the story of how the park came to be, including challenges, lessons, and highlights. This will be framed by a conversation about the ideology of private property in the United States, and how we might envision and enact alternative ways of ownership and being in relationship to our environment.
Participants will collaborate to design their own community spaces, using their imaginations and thinking strategically about skills and resources that already exist in their neighborhoods. They will also learn some practical aspects of doing this kind of project, leaving prepared to transform underused spaces in their communities by working together and drawing on individual and collective creativity.
Rozzell Medina at firstname.lastname@example.org