Special Event     Series: Experience Oregon

Family Day: Experience Oregon Grand Opening Celebration

Free and open to the public
Saturday, February 16, 2019
12PM – 4PM

  • Free
  • Family-friendly
  • Teachers

Oregon Historical Society
1200 SW Park Ave
Portland, Oregon 97205
Get Directions

Event Type: Special EventAudience(s): Family-friendly, TeachersLocation: Portland

Join us for a special Family Day program celebrating the grand opening of our new permanent exhibit, Experience Oregon!

Enjoy musical performances from BRAVO Youth Orchestras, Oregon Trail Trio, Portland Taiko, Portland Gay Men’s Chorus, and The Prairie Blossoms. Listen to traditional Kalapuya/Coos storytelling by Esther & Shannin Stutzman, pan for gold with the Wells Fargo History Museum, and take home a souvenir of your visit at one of our craft activity stations.

Tour our new permanent exhibition to Experience Oregon like never before! Taking over the third floor of our museum, Experience Oregon uses fun, hands-on interactive elements to tell the stories of Oregonians of all ages and backgrounds. Play our “Stories from the Archives” tablet game, build a model canoe, walk through a covered- wagon replica, and take sides in historical debates through role-playing games.

Ability Accommodation Information

This event provides the following accommodations:

  • Handicap Accessible

Performance Schedule

12:00pm – 12:15pm

Portland Taiko

Portland Taiko blends the tradition of Japanese taiko drumming with a sense of Asian American identity, creativity, and empowerment. Since its founding in 1994, the group has headlined at arts festivals and concert halls, and has performed at hundreds of community events and school assemblies. Portland Taiko performs throughout the Pacific Northwest, offers classes and workshops at the Oregon Buddhist Temple, and conducts team-building workshops for businesses and community groups.

Portland Taiko. Courtesy Rick Iwasaki

12:30pm – 12:50pm

BRAVO Youth Orchestras

BRAVO Youth Orchestras aims to transform the lives of underserved youth through intensive orchestral music instruction emphasizing collaboration, promoting self-confidence, and creating a community where children thrive. Inspired by El Sistema in Venezuela, BRAVO established a network of youth orchestras in Oregon for social change serving both urban and rural communities with a high concentration of poverty. BRAVO students rehearse daily after school, taking part in the choir, orchestra, winds, or percussion program. Featured in this program are the first-year elementary string students from Rosa Parks Elementary.

BRAVO Youth Orchestra. Courtesy Sharon Eldridge, BRAVO Operations Manager

1:00pm – 1:15pm

Kalapuya/Coos Storytellers Esther & Shannin Stutzman

Please welcome Esther Stutzman, a Kalapuya/Coos storyteller, and her daughter, Shannin Stutzman, drummer. Storytelling is an important part of the culture of the Kalapuya/Coos people. Stories always teach lessons and morals and often point out those lessons through the wisdom of animals. Stories are usually about the “Time Before” when animals could talk and interact with humans. Coyote, Snake, Bear, and others play an important role in the stories which are emphasized with traditional hand drum songs.

Esther Stutzman, Kalapuya/Coos storyteller. Courtesy Esther Stutzman

1:30pm – 2:30pm

Oregon Trail Trio

Mick Doherty, Gayle Neuman, and Phil Neuman perform a fun and historically informative program featuring music of the heyday from the Oregon Trail to the early twentieth century. The trio sings, plays instruments of the era, and shares quotes from pioneer diaries as well as anecdotes both historical and musical. They play a wide variety of familiar and rare instruments including hammer dulcimer, violin, guitar, banjo, flageolet, tuba, tenor horn, walking stick recorder, pennywhistle, and serpent.

Oregon Trail Trio - Mick Doherty, Gayle Neuman, and Phil Neuman. Courtesy Mick Doherty.

2:45pm – 3:15pm

The Prairie Blossoms

The Prairie Blossoms weave a colorful, compelling repertoire of American Indian songs and stories highlighting the beauty and diversity of ancestral and contemporary Native American music. Using voices, hand drums, assorted shakers, and keyboards, The Prairie Blossoms honor their indigenous histories and rich Native cultural heritage. They perform in many different languages including Cree, Creek-Seminole, Cherokee, Paiute, Dakota, English, French, Lakota, Osage, Pima, Polish, Spanish, with context and translations provided in English. This musical journey highlights specific tribes from different geographic regions: the North the East, the South, and the West.

The Prairie Blossoms. Courtesy Karen Kitchen

3:30pm – 4:00pm

Portland Gay Men’s Chorus

Founded in 1980, The Portland Gay Men's Chorus started with just 26 singers and grew into a prominent institution within the community. Today, PGMC is a thriving arts organization of 140+ singers, performing in front of enthusiastic audiences across the region. PGMC remains committed to choral art as a mechanism for building an inclusive and tolerant community. During its 39-year history, PGMC has had numerous firsts: the first LGBTQ chorus to perform at the inauguration of an elected state public official, perform in the public school system, sing the national anthem at a Portland Trail Blazers game, and this past summer, the first western LGBTQ chorus to tour and perform in the People's Republic of China.

Portland Gay Men's Chorus perform in New York City. Courtesy Richard K. Jung.

Activity Stations

12pm – 4pm

  • Make and Take Home an Experience Oregon Bag
  • Try the Jump In / Jump Back Imagination Activity
  • Pan for Gold with the Wells Fargo History Museum
  • Celebrate Who You Are Activity
  • … and more!

OHS Family Day activities