Hands Across the Table
Community Gathering Event Series
Informing Investments through Dialog over Meals and Creative Arts
Led by Mr. Bobby and Blacque Butterfly
Just as Sabin CDC was underway on Harvey Rice Heritage, in the midst of the pandemic, the State of Oregon announced planning grants for Oregon communities to inform its $130 Million investment in affordable housing and residential treatment for people with behavioral health needs historically under-served experiencing health disparities. (See HB5024 2021R1 Budget Note, p11). Sabin CDC reached out to community partners and resident artist, Mr. Bobby Fouther, to develop an event series and put together a grant proposal for these funds. The timing was perfect as the Harvey Rice Heritage was establishing new multi-family affordable housing with a community room and outdoor classroom with resident peer services guided programming. Mr. Bobby has been working on an exhibit, “Grandma’s Hands / Grandpa’s Shoulders : The Nurturing and Power that Keeps the Family Together”
In fall 2021, Sabin CDC received one of the hundred and five grants awarded and kicked off the series with its first meeting on Friday evening December 3rd, 2021 with an incredible heart-healthy Soul Food and Sauces meal planned, prepared and delivered by the local Chef Willis Anderson. Our community members including cultural liaisons prepared colorful name tags with art materials presented by Mr. Bobby. Blacque Butterfly and Mr. Bobby introduced the series at the historic Albina Arts Center in downtown NE Portland where so many stories came alive.
“This is the first time it’s felt like home since I’ve been in Portland!” – Attendee
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On April 30th, 2022 a report was sent to the State of Oregon team with recommendations to inform future funding.
In June 2022, meetings regarding upcoming funding opportunities commence.
Stay tuned as more updates will be posted here soon!
In January and February 2022, Hands Across the Table pivoted to online meetings via Zoom due to the pandemic variant and health guidelines.
January’s event was marked by the loss of an artist, Sonny Amos, friend of Mr. Bobby. The past two years of the pandemic have been a tough season of isolation, grief, loss and trauma for many. It’s also been a call to resilience where community ties are especially important to care for our neighbors, all ages, young and old. We discussed Health Shares and Cares. Mr. Bobby shared videos of the Culture & Trauma Exhibit and The Powerful Womxn Project with Blacque Butterfly was announced.
At the February event, attendees shared their I AM and I AM FROM poems, along with home made Goody Bags learning more about each other. The Goody Bags held items people felt were meaningful, including books, favorite snacks, art, jewelry, music and more. Among items shared:
- War of Art by Steven Pressfield
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
- Marbles by Ellen Forney (comic book)
- Black Power : The Politics of Liberation by Kwame Ture and Charles V. Hamilton
- Georgia O’ Keeffe, Portrait of an Artist by Laurie Lisle
The tradition of Talking Sticks come from many traditions worldwide, not only Native American. Mr. Bobby shared about the history of talking sticks and materials to create one were sent to attendees. A special invitation and announcement from Dr. S. Renee Mitchell‘s was extended to participants to join an event creating an exhibit of talking sticks with materials to be provided. Details to come.
In addition, Jill from Community Vision offered a tour of their facilities and program for ADA accessible building design to which many responded favorably for a future field trip.
On April 2nd, 2022, our community is holding its first in-person event of 2022 at OpenHaus in Portland.
Mr. Bobby has selected materials for a special What Do You Want in Your Toolkit? Mural Project which will explore asset-mapping, solutions and next steps for Hands Across the Table. One of the architects from SE|A (Scott Edwards Architecture) will be presenting and taking Q&A about Harvey Rice Heritage affordable housing coming online in Winter 2022.
It was great to see everybody in person again!
Mural Art Photos
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“I am emotionally moved by everyone in this room.
I very much appreciate this discussion and it’s impact on me personally.”
“Thank you all it was a lot of joy.” -Attendee
“Thank you all. This has been a moving, transformative day.” -Attendee
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Isaka Community Room Plan
Approximately 1,400 square feet
25 feet x 57 feet at longest
Features storage, counter, room divider, windows + treatments, outdoor seating.
50 person limit.
[ NOTE: This is a draft plan, subject to change without notice ]