Education & Community Engagement


To offer culturally relevant education programming as part of Portland’5 Centers for the Arts’ commitment to celebrate diversity and broaden access to the performing arts for people of all means, cultures, and ethnicities.


Through our Education Program, Portland’5 Centers for the Arts removes barriers and provides access to a diverse selection of world-class lectures and performing arts. We offer free performances in our venues and in the community, career shadow opportunities, summer internships, and curriculum support. Our Education Program intentionally seeks and supports teachers and students in Title-I schools. Focusing on Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties, our programs enhance the education and arts experience by providing curricular materials that connect what students see on the stage with what they experience in the classroom. In our inaugural 2015-2016 season the Portland’5 Education Program served over 6,000 students and staff from Multnomah county schools. In our 2016-2017 season, we served over 14,000 students and staff.

Portland'5 Education Program 2018-19 Infographic

Portland'5 Education Program 2019-2020 (PDF)


Lack of arts education opportunities disproportionately affects students and families from communities of color and low-income households. Many attend schools that do not provide comprehensive arts programming if any at all. Additional barriers to the arts include limited access to transportation, lack of expendable time, lack of disposable income, little or no exposure to the arts, and a misperception that the arts are exclusive.


In an effort to better serve our community and celebrate diversity, our Education Program is designed to provide elementary to high school students free opportunities to see and hear nationally celebrated arts performances. Through music, theater, and lectures, students learn about and explore career paths in the performing arts, while experiencing our venues. Portland’5 events offer a range of ethnic and cultural perspectives and celebrate the rich heritage of the arts in all its forms. 


Community Engagement is embedded in the history of Portland’5 Centers for the Arts. Previously the Portland Center for Performing Arts (PCPA), the Portland’5 theaters were created as a welcoming and accessible environment for resident companies and the community to work and experience the arts. We are dedicated to being a vibrant and supportive part of our community by providing invaluable educational opportunities and engagement initiatives.

For more information, please email Ruby Joy White (Prince/They|She), Director of Culture & Community.

About 1,500 PPS Students were guests of Portland'5 Centers for the Arts and got a chance to experience the Nutcracker, though this holiday classic came with a twist - Hip Hop. Before the performance, dancers from the production visited Jefferson High School to work with dance students on the fine skills of stylized rhythmic dance.

With deepest gratitude we thank our corporate partners:

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