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“Story Mid-Wife” directs NPMTC 2014 Vanport Multimedia Project  

July 2014

Laura Lo Forti, a local creative projects consultant, will direct the North Portland Multimedia Training Center (NPMTC) project to collect stories from Vanport survivors. This has been an ongoing project of NPMTC since 2011 to document the stories of life and survival in Vanport as told by the people who experienced them and their families.

The generous support to NPMTC from Meyer Memorial Trust, the Oregon Community Foundation, and the Multnomah Cultural Coalition made it possible to extend the project through 2014 and hire a project consultant to help collect, present, and archive interviews with Vanport survivors. With Lo Forti’s history and experience directing life-story workshops around the world, she brings a new approach and focus to the project emphasizing the art of story gathering. “The stories exist already within each individual,” she noted during a recent interview with Ochre, a digital publication that profiled Lo Forti’s agency, A Fourth Act, “I facilitate the process of expressing them. Technology aside, that happens every time you sit with someone and listen with empathy.”

Lo Forti brings 10 years of experience in creating and leading participatory media programs that give marginalized communities the opportunity to represent themselves and share their knowledge about issues affecting their life.

Lo Forti created a Vanport Multimedia Project Face Book page to promote the project successfully engaging over 200 Face Book followers in the first few hours. More importantly are the connections coming to surface and the power of outreach to individuals through social media. NPMTC Administrator Naomi Pierce notes this is an outreach component that has been somewhat missing from past NPMTC training projects, but the value is obviously immense.

Free story gathering workshops will be offered in July and include learning video and audio recording to capture the interviews, and editing skills necessary to produce multimedia stories. The free weekend workshops begin July 12 extending to July 27 with a break in-between for filming/recording interviews. The commitment is around 32 hours of workshop time plus 5-10 additional hours for filming outside the classroom. For registration and more information visit http://vanportmultimediaproject.tumblr.com/apply .

NPMTC is a project of The Skanner Foundation, est. 1993 as the non-profit entity of The Skanner News Group to further education among African Americans.  For more information about NPMTC visit www.npmtc.org.  

NPMTC trains PPS students to make a PSA.

April 2014

"Let's make a PSA" workshops sponsored by NPMTC taught Community Transition Students how to produce a PSA using a Sony HD camera, interview techniques and editing with Final Cut ProX. Students are a part of a Portland Public School program to support job and living skills in the community. Two PSA's were filmed and will soon be available for viewing on NPMTC website and on Community Access stations. Fourteen students participated in four workshops and two labs. Pictured are CTP students with their Certificates of Completion, NPMTC trainers and PPS teachers and staff. The project was sponsored in part by The Black United Fund of Oregon and The Skanner Foundation. For more information on "Let's Make a PSA" workshops, contact NPMTC at 503-285-5555 x 521. 

NPMTC continues Vanport Film Project through 2014; builds ADA bathroom through community grants.

February 2014 

Meyer Memorial Trust, Portland Development Commission, Multnomah County Cultural Coalition and the Black United Fund gave support through their 2014 grant programs to the North Portland Multimedia Training Center, an educational project of The Skanner Foundation. 

PDC is providing nearly $20,000 to upgrade to ADA standards one of the existing downstairs bathrooms at the training center site on Killingsworth. The building’s design already has several built in advantages for people with disabilities with its wide doors and spacious hallways. Building owner and The Skanner Foundation President, Bernie Foster says this helps toward their commitment of being 100 percent ADA compliant for NPMTC trainees. Their next big challenge is to provide ADA access to the second floor of The Skanner Newsgroup building, where training occasionally occurs. Part of the PDC project is to provide a design and estimate for second floor ADA access.

Meyer Memorial Trust, The Black United Fund, and Multnomah County Cultural Coalition provided a total of $14,000 in support to train HD camera production. Productions will include the Vanport Film Project and PSA’s made by PPS students attending the Community Transitions Program through Portland Public Schools.

NPMTC understands the impact of these awards and sees them as a stabilizing factor for the training center as well as providing leverage for additional funding. NPMTC trains individuals in the community at no charge to use professional state of the art HD video cameras as the method to record oral history interviews and other productions. 

In 2014 NPMTC will continue to collect Vanport stories to create a video archive for the community and the public at large and to provide opportunities to view the productions in venues across the city. For more information, visit npmtc.org or call NPMTC at 503-285-5555 x 521.

2014 Vanport Oral History Project

March 2014

The North Portland Multimedia Training Center through its Vanport Oral History Video Contest sought producers to interview Vanport survivors. Dozens of survivors came forward to be interviewed. We acknowledge and appreciate the many individuals in the community that helped with our outreach and continue to help us. 

Four Vanport related videos have been produced and are available to view. Several more Vanport interviews have been filmed and are being edited to include in the NPMTC 2014 Oral History project to collect video recorded histories about Vanport, Oregon.

Productions resulting from interviews will be submitted to public access TV, posted on social media and multimedia websites. Venues throughout the city will provide opportunities for Portland communities to view them. 

If you are interested in volunteering for this project or to learn more about it, please contact Naomi Pierce, npmtc@comcast.net or call 503-285-5555, X 521, go to www.npmtc.org or visit the NPMTC page on Facebook and "Like" us. 




NPMTC Awards 2013 

Vanport Festival Contest Winners





L-R: Naomi Pierce, NPMTC Administrator; Benita Aloith, 2nd Prize Winner; Alisa Christensen, 1st Prize Winner; and Bernie Foster, Project Director.  Not pictured is 3rdPrize winner, Sharon Sirois.

Just in time for Christmas, three contestants of the North Portland Multimedia Training Center (NPMTC) 2013 Vanport Film Festival received prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Winning the $1,000 first place award was Alisa Christensen; 2nd place for $500 when to Benita Aloith; and Sharon Sirois won 3rd Place for $300. Submissions were judged monthly throughout 2013 by the general public on Facebook. Monthly winners were then independently judged by film professionals. Submitted videos R2DToo, A Vietnam Story, and Mr. Woods, a Vanport Story can be viewed at npmtc.org  For more information, call 503-285-5555, ext. 521.