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Vestal Social Justice Night 2023
May 25 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pmFree
Montavilla’s Vestal Elementary expands their annual Social Justice Night, creating deeper impact and joyful programming. Through partnerships with PSU’s Artist as Citizen Initiative and Montavilla Jazz, this celebration of culture will feature students’ social justice projects highlighting Vestal’s five pillars of social justice: local action, academic engagement, community diversity, family identity and social justice. With a focus on storytelling, art, food, and music, this special evening unites one of Portland’s most culturally, linguistically, and ethnically diverse neighborhoods.
WHEN: Thursday, May 25, 2023; 5 to 8 PM
WHERE: Outside on the playground of Vestal Elementary (161 NE 82nd Ave)
WHO: Open to the school community, partners, and neighborhood residents
WHAT: Vestal Social Justice Night 2023 featuring Student Artistic Responses & New Music by Mary-Sue Tobin Sextet
Vestal Elementary has stepped into its role as a community hub, galvanizing the Montavilla neighborhood with its Social Justice Night. The event generates positive values and neighborly goodwill in an area of Portland that has been historically underserved. The event has helped shift the narrative and daily experience for residents and businesses, who embrace the community’s identity as a melting pot and positive example for strength in diversity.
Building on successful, pre-established partnerships, this year’s Social Justice Night will feature artistic responses and social justice projects by Vestal students. Montavilla Jazz resident artist, Mary-Sue Tobin, who has a history of working with Vestal students over previous years, will perform a short preview concert of new music she has created influenced by her interactions with Vestal 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders over the previous two months. After engaging with Vestal students in the classroom, Mary-Sue Tobin created an ensemble of local musicians for this project. Each artist visited Vestal classrooms to demonstrate their musical skills and share what inspired them to become musicians. Later this summer Mary-Sue Tobin will perform the music she made for Vestal at an hour-long concert at the Mt. Tabor Park Amphitheater as part of the 10th Annual Montavilla Jazz Festival, September, 1st, 2023.