PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) – Amid all the reports of violence and vandalism in Old Town Portland, a grassroots effort is underway to breathe new life into the neighborhood. Community members work together on a number of projects.
This week, an exhibit at the Tuck Lung Art Gallery at 4th and Davis focuses on raising funds for artists as well as the White House. La Maison Blanchet is a neighborhood nonprofit that provides food, clothing and shelter to the homeless. The space for the art exhibition was donated by the owner of the building.
Jessie Burke, who co-owns the Society Hotel on a nearby block, helped secure the space for the art exhibit. She also encourages other owners to help where they can. She says she helps promising young entrepreneurs negotiate affordable leases. She does this job for free because she wants to build a strong business coalition in the Old Town.
“Whatever happens here will spread to the rest of the city for good or bad,” Burke says. “Hopefully we can try to master what we have here.”
Burke says she sees progress as a few new businesses have announced plans to move to Old Town.
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