By Weird Portland United board member, Sara Badiali
Portland, we love you and all that you have stood for over the last few months. Weird Portland United has granted over $3,000 to Portlanders dedicated to bringing joy to our community during COVID conditions. However, we feel we can do more. We will be looking into how Weird Portland United can support our community in the current climate.
In January the Board of Directors of Weird Portland United created a Strategic Plan based on the information gathered from first year operations. For six hours, six people hunkered down in Wayfinding Academy’s main room, diligently developing and forecasting a substantial second year. We outlined and organized grand plans for 2020, filled with events, shows, partnerships and weird celebrations. Our guiding principles ever present on our minds; of celebrating Portland’s unique innovative culture, amplifying Portland’s creative expression, and removing barriers to the wonderful weirdness. We departed our workshop, tired but optimistic about the future of the Weird.
Even before the comet Neowise flew over and Maximum Overdrived our town, the pandemic certainly ceased all forward momentum. What does a primarily events-based organization do to steward the weirdness in the current climate?
Weird Portland United is the lovechild of the Unipiper. One might understatedly identify him as an extrovert. In these strange times, the demure introvert is faring better than most (although we would never draw attention to ourselves about it). Portland is in fact, full of weird introverts. Introverts are the quiet creative heroes of Portland. For every person who is happy to express themselves in the public view, there are a dozen unobtrusive ones appreciating the show, all the while creating Oscillation Overthrusters in their garages.
The good news is that WPU Board has introverts. Which is going to play an important role in revising the organization’s future next steps. We are going back to the drawing board to revisit the Strategic Plan in the framework of the current climate of Portland. We will still be looking at how to continue to support Portland’s unique innovative culture, amplifying our creative expression, and removing barriers to the weirdness. As always, we are happy to hear from you about your ideas and insights. Feel free to reach out.