Established in 2019, the Union PDX - Festival of Contemporary Dance was born with the mission of creating a platform for artists to achieve greater work, to increase visibility and access for artists and audiences, and to expand the creative influences and voices here in Portland. Providing a much-needed platform for supportive cross-pollination in the Pacific Northwest dance community, the Union PDX festival breaks down barriers for boundary-pushing dance artists, offering important artistic and administrative resources and opportunities to address major needs for professional artists.
“push/FOLD's festival drew national and international contemporary-dance ideas from Brooklyn to New Jersey to Portland to L.A. to the Dominican Republic and Taiwan… If there’s one thing Festival:21 wasn’t short on, it’s talent… In all, the festival performance was a success... As push/FOLD and the festival collaborators continue to make a name for themselves, Union PDX is beginning to fit into the annual autumnal patchwork of the city.”Elizabeth Whelan - Oregon ArtsWatch
* Facilitated artist-talks and Q&A follow each performance. *
** Donation-based professional-development classes geared towards artists of all genres. **
The Union PDX festival is a major pillar of push/FOLD’s programming. It is a platform devoted to the upward mobility of dance artists geared towards addressing three main challenges for developing artists:
Curated by a panel of our peers to mitigate the systems which reduce access for artists (proximity to opportunity, networking, and gatekeeping), festival commissions and performances help enhance artists' resumés required to for future opportunities.
As a curated festival, we also address the significant financial and time barriers artists face trying to navigate their representation at booking conferences. By creating a one-stop-shop for presenters and collaborators via our festival performances, we bring those often hard-to-reach, and sometimes inaccessible, circles to the artists.
Through education packaged with performance and art, we:
Offloading the burden of production and marketing from artists and providing tangible resources required for career advancement in the forms of:
We do! The Union PDX festival is one of push/FOLD's pillars to help us fulfill our mission of fostering community power through education and performances.
Community, Direct Vision, Clarity with Simplicity, and Growth. It is a start and an open-ended mark symbolizing that our paths are undetermined and yet still chosen.
We chose the Union PDX logo to center the community.
The Union PDX festival is a forum for dance, an opportunity to share ideas with our community, and and avenue to provide much needed resources to artists seeking greater foundational support.
By presenting developing professional artists worldwide in an accessible festival format, we expand the voices represented in our community, maintain an influx of fresh ideas, and offer more opportunities for students, dancers, presenters, educators, and audience members to develop relationships with local, regional, national, and international talent.
By providing curated performances and training platforms for professional dance artists inside of Portland, we can strengthen our city as a national hub for dance.
We welcome companies and artists from all over the world who are focused on creating contemporary work in any dance genre or tradition.
Like all life, Portland needs variety. As a community, we must seek a variety of tastes to keep us healthy.
A panel of professional artists who represent various backgrounds, identities, and dance styles and traditions curate the Union PDX festival through a free and open application and comprehensive review process.
Education is a core tenet of push/FOLD's culture and the Union PDX festival: for audiences, donors, foundations, students, and professional artists.
Masterclasses help enhance the skills of Portland's dancers while providing opportunities to build relationships between dancers, companies, and choreographers. By providing free professional development workshops, we can assist professional artists develop the skills required for the next steps in our professional careers (grant writing, project development, budgets, leadership, narrative writing, public speaking, etc).