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By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 15 February 2006


"Dreams"                                                "Family"


"Our Hometown"                            "The Journey to Portland"

When Hurricane Katrina devastated the United States' Gulf Coast last August, thousands of people lost everything, and evacuees spread out across the country searching for relief. More than 800 hurricanesurvivors eventually found theirwayto Portland.

Last October, 200 of the Katrina survivors who moved to Portland gathered together at Matt Dishman Community Center for a private evening of relaxation and support. The event included music, dancing, swimming, basketball, food, craftsandcommunity resource representatives.

A mural project was organized by artist/art therapist Illa Gutman. All ages of survivors embraced the idea, and several huge canvases came alive with inspiration and paint.

The project included four muralsrepresenting "Family," "Dreams," "Our Hometown" and "The Journey to Portland." The murals will be displayed for Last Thursday in February, celebrating Black History Month, and several of the artists will be present.

The program will be from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, at the Black United Fund of Oregon, 2828 N.E. Alberta St. For information call 503-282-7973.

These murals are personal testimonials of what is already viewed as an important time in African American history. They will become part of the Black United Fund's permanent art collection for display in their future African American museum. The murals are not for sale, but sets of greeting cards featuring the images will be available at the event.
All proceeds from the sale of these cards go directly to the Black United Fund's local hurricane relief effort.

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