PUSH FOLDArtistic Director | Samuel Hobbs | Portland, Oregon USA
push/FOLD's artistic director Samuel Hobbs inverts on their shoulders with long legs while looking up at Tempos Circus Studio in Portland, Oregon | Photography: Gregory Bartning

Mission & Vision

Community Power through the Arts


push/FOLD fosters community power through arts education, interaction, support, and advocacy. Our primary purpose is to provide training and educational opportunities to promote health and art in communities through classes, workshops, and performances.


Through our artistic practices and service work, we seek to challenge established norms around identity, identify barriers to success built within systems, and create Story and Change through movement and sound. We envision communities that generate sustainability because education and platform resources are proximal, local, and diverse. We want access to Opportunity evenly spread across our communities so that income, location, education, culture, and identity are access points for artists, not barriers. Addressing these issues starts at the audience and tax-payer level and includes the boards of foundations and city council members, granting applications, panel training, compensation, and our collective language around art, education, and scarcity-based models. Our goal is to generate abundance-thinking that centers service so that it is understood that when we all give more than we receive, everyone is fed.

In our practice, we bring these issues to the surface and out in the open to hold dialogue with audience members, council members, artistic directors, artists, students, educators, and facilitators. We can only change our community with a community.


Culture & Values


Our culture is in our community. We seek communion with those devoted to service, learning, and growth, and who face the necessities and demands of high caliber professional performance and education with thoughtful resolve and resilience. We maintain open and honest dialogue within our family of dancers, artists, professionals, partners, and neighbors, and we foster the health, well-being, and utility of our bodies so that we may achieve, together, something greater than ourselves.


We value honest, open, and transparent communication. If transparency is not present, honesty and dialogue cannot be achieved. This is central to how our work gets made. Anything we create must come from that space so that what we create transcends individualism.


Artist Statement

Samuel Hobbs — Multi-Disciplinary Artist, Composer, Choreographer, Filmmaker

I am a multi-disciplinary artist refining the messages of our bodies to find grace and make change. I am a lover of the human form in both design and potential, intrigued by our ability to discern Honesty and Power from a simple gesture. I am a composer and choreographer, illustrator, sculptor, designer, manual therapist, and computer programmer; and I am the founder and Artistic Director of the USA-based dance company push/FOLD and the Union PDX - Festival of Contemporary Dance. I work to develop Dance, Art, and movement education around concepts of Strength and Power.

When creating movement and composing sound, I see and hear both music and moving forms within space—a synesthesia of sound and momentum. I craft deep moodscapes hung on a minimal framework built from abstract storytelling to reform and investigate the sensations of identity, relationships, self, and gender dynamics. push/FOLD, is my vehicle and vision. As a white-presenting, mixed-Latinx, plural-gendered, male-presenting-trans-queer artist, story, community, power, and identity center my body of work and push/FOLD's programming. Dichotomy plays heavily in my process.

In my practice, achieving "Art" is the creation of transcendence—the cohesion of discrete pieces to communicate a potent message through abstraction, to be individually decoded and interpreted to make change. As humans, we are stewards of our communities, tasked to uplift others. If a specific sound or movement can motivate someone to think differently just once, we change the world. It is our duty.

Gregory Bartning | Artistic Director: Samuel Hobbs
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