Keith V. Goodman, a beloved figure in the Portland arts community, died suddenly of an apparent heart attack on Saturday, June 27. He was 54.
Goodman collapsed after gracefully finishing a dance performance outside the Beaverton Library. His longtime domestic partner, Bill Flood; their daughter, Anahelena; his mother, Ruth, and brother, Kevin, from Atlanta, GA; and an extended family of friends survive him.
A memorial service will take place this Thursday, July 2, from 4-6pm in the Gerding Theater at the Armory, 128 NW Eleventh Avenue.
Many artists who loved Keith will be sharing their work on stage. Bill Flood reflects, "This is an opportunity for his family and friends—anyone whose life he touched—to come together in grief as we celebrate Keith's life, his art and his vision."
Goodman's research specialized in the folkloric dance and cultural traditions of the African diaspora, particularly those of the Afro-Caribbean traditions. He produced and performed in numerous independent choreographic projects in the Pacific Northwest, New York and Washington, DC. Fellow dancers remember Keith as "an angelic soul with an electric aura."
Goodman will also be remembered for his singular style of dress. Fashion design was a second career of Keith's, an aesthetic passion he expressed throughout his life in the amazing garments he made for himself and others.
Goodman was not only noted as an exceptionally talented performer and choreographer, but as a maker of young dance artists. He was an instructor for the Jefferson Dancers of Jefferson High School from 1985 to 1991, and was instrumental to the school's modern dance program. He later transitioned to Buckman Elementary Magnet School of the Arts, where he taught dance for the past twelve years.
In 1999, Keith founded the Dance Gatherer Camp for Kids, providing students the safety and intimacy of a productive and professional art environment. His inspiration was to broaden students' perspectives in the arts, alongside their leadership capabilities, while allowing them to have fun and be creative.
Goodman also taught at Reed College, Lewis and Clark College, and numerous other educational institutions around the world.
His students recall, "Keith made me fall in love with dance," and "helped me become the person I wanted to be." The positive impact he made upon hundreds of students will likely be remembered as the cornerstone of his legacy.
The Keith V. Goodman Memorial Fund has been established to support the continuation of the artist's legacy. Contributions can be sent to: The Keith V. Goodman Memorial Fund – Account #981422, OnPoint Credit Union,
For those who use Facebook, please join the group "In loving memory of Keith V. Goodman" and reply to the event "Keith V. Goodman Memorial Service."