Why Vibe exists for Portland
Vibe exists because arts education is missing in today’s daily educational system ~ especially for students without the means to make it happen outside of the school day. Vibe connects local teaching artists who are passionate about bringing their love of music and visual arts to the students they work with.
Until long-term comprehensive visual art and music educational classes are available to ALL students in Portland, Vibe will work to provide those missing pieces in a well-rounded education.
Vibe of Portland believes art and music are best taught by building relationships between mentors, teachers, directors and students. Our aim is to build long-term invested relationships with the students, schools and communities where our programs are implemented.
Vibe is not a substitute for having art and music teachers, we are a supplement. When we started our first middle school music foundations class in 2008 and our students were learning beginning rhythms, note names and music fundamentals because they had never had a music class in their 6+ years of public education. With limited resources in Portland public schools, Vibe exists to bridge the gap and promote art and music education and empower students.
Vibe of Portland currently provides 30+ classes weekly at our 8 partner schools and art studio under the direction of Vibe’s full-time mom, founder, and executive director Laura Streib. Laura calls her kids the Vibe mascots as they are her reason behind her passion to make sure all students in Portland have access to quality art and music education.
Due to lack of funding in the Portland Metro Area, many programs in the arts and music have been drastically reduced if not all together eliminated from the educational experience for students. Vibe of Portland began in 2007 to provide art and music instruction to students regardless of economic means. Our first 2 classes launched at Harrison Park K-8 in the 2008-09 school year in partnership with Impact NW and their SUN schools program. Since 2008, Vibe has grown to partner with the SUN schools programs at SE Portland’s Harrison Park K-8, Bridger Elementary, Whitman and Woodmere schools. Vibe also partners with the PTAs at Creative Science School, Creston and Atkinson to provide these classes. In North Portland Vibe offers classes at King Elementary, Ockley Green K-8 and Beach K-8 in partnership with the schools and Self-Enhancement Inc. (SEI)
Beginning with our Foundations series of classes during the 2008-2009 school year at Harrison Park, Vibe has grown to include specific classes in guitar, percussion, choir, illustration, ceramics and general art as student interest and demand indicates. Vibe’s classes educate, challenge, provide discipline and creativity, and instill a sense of worth and accomplishment in Portland’s youth in a positive and creative environment.
In March of 2011, Vibe of Portland opened the Vibe Art Studio at TaborSpace in Southeast Portland to broaden the number of students to whom we can provide artistic experiences. These classes are offered to home school students, preschool students, elementary students after school and on Saturdays as well as offering open studios and workshops and summer camps.
Vibe believes that access to art and music education should be available to all students regardless of their location, background, or any other circumstance that might prevent them having an opportunity to learn and succeed through artistic outlets. Currently in our city and economic climate, neighborhoods where parents know they can advocate and fundraise for their students education, those schools retain the arts or ‘elective’ classes as part of the school day. For school communities that don’t have the same level of economic means or knowledge for advocacy – the arts are not equally represented in a child’s education. And this happens all within the same school district.
Vibe’s art and music programming is all lead by local professionals who practice their art and/or music within the community. It is important for our students to see professional artists as well as connect the broader artistic community to kids in Portland.
Vibe’s art classes are not “cookie cutter” art classes. We don’t teach you how to draw or paint a dog step by step; there’s no glitter and minimal amounts of googly eyes. Everyone is not going to come out with a painting that looks the same as the next kid. Our teaching artists provide our students with tools to look at form, at line, at texture, at value. We provide exercises in using hand-eye coordination through blind-drawings (you put your hand in a bag and work to connect what your eye sees with where your hand is moving). Our teaching artists give direction but also give great freedom for students to experiment, to create, to explore.
Vibe’s teaching artists incorporate art history throughout all the projects students are working on. Whether its our Pint-Size Picasso classes learning about Georgia O’Keeffe while looking at flowers and painting, our elementary classes are doing self-portraits while studying Chuck Close or our middle school classes learning about Calder while creating sculptures- we incorporate the history of art into every aspect of our classes.
Vibe believes that art and music should be a fundamental educational right for all students in all schools. Until that returns during the day in the public school format, Vibe is here to fulfill that void in arts education by working during the school day and in after school partnerships to ensure that students without access to the arts will have that opportunity through our programming.
Our partner schools are primarily schools with over 50% of the student population living at or below the poverty line. Students we serve do not have outside resources available to them to access art and music opportunities on their own and that is where Vibe comes in. We bring quality art and music educational access to students regardless of background, economic situation, race, religion or anything else that might prevent them from being able to otherwise participate in the arts.
Contact Info for Vibe of Portland : email@example.com or 503.560.3592
All teachers and volunteers with Vibe of Portland undergo background checks.
Laura Streib, Founder, Executive Director & Art Director of Vibe: Laura grew up with a life filled with music. She started playing piano in elementary school, added the flute in 5th grade and finally landed on playing the oboe in 7th grade. Music and access to an amazing arts education is where she developed her passion for music and the arts and built community. Some of her life-long friends came from a shared arts experience. Continuing in her music education Laura earned her Bachelor of Arts in Music at Western Washington University and began building her private studio. She moved to Portland in 2004 to work on her graduate degree. Laura founded Vibe after receiving her Masters Degree in Music Performance at Portland State University. While studying in downtown Portland Laura discovered the need for art and music within the schools here in the Portland Metro area. Since 2007 she has taken Vibe of Portland from just an idea to an organization with 40+ weekly classes at 7 SE & North Portland schools, the Vibe Art Studio at TaborSpace and is looking to expand Vibe’s artistic and musical offerings to students in Portland in the future. Laura is the winner of the 2010 Skidmore Prize from the Willamette Week. She was featured in the magazine, Christianity Today ‘s November 2011 issue as well as in a short documentary with the This Is Our City project. When classes began at Harrison Park in 2008, Laura was pregnant with her first daughter. Her second daughter was born one month after the Vibe Art Studio opened in 2011. She wears many hats while directing Vibe of Portland, most importantly being a mom to two lovely daughters who love art and music and help drive Laura’s passion to see that ALL children have access to the arts.
Dunja Jennings, founder of Music Access Project Portland and Vibe’s Music Director: Dunja Jennings, Director and Founder of MAPP, is a teacher, performer, administrator, grant writer, and above all- passionate about ensuring that every child receive access to music education. “I know the power of music; I live it. That some children in lesser served neighborhoods today grow up without ever experiencing music education that provides the building blocks of musical literacy is to me, a civil rights issue.” She is the clarinet instructor at Lewis and Clark College in Portland where she frequently performs with the Friends of Rain New Music Ensemble. Ms. Jennings is in demand as a freelance clarinetist, and has performed with many ensembles throughout the Northwest, including the Oregon Symphony and Third Angle New Music Ensemble. Ms. Jennings received her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in Clarinet Performance from the University of Oregon where she was a student of Dr. Wayne Bennett. In addition she has received her Master of Arts in Teaching from Lewis and Clark College; Dunja has been a student of Yehuda Gilad and the late Rosario Mazzeo.
Aurelian Bordeaux, teaching musician: Aurelian maintains an active career as a violist, chamber musician and teacher. A native of Beaumont, Texas, he began his professional career being featured as a soloist with Baroque Orchestra of South East Texas in Germany and Belgium. As a chamber musician, he is the founder and violist of the Belden Piano Quartet, resident chamber musicians of the PMMF festival in 2009. His orchestral career highlights include performances with the Chicago Civic Orchestra, Chicago Sinfonietta, Pacific Symphony, Silk Road Project Ensemble, Houston Symphony, Houston Grand Opera and, as Principal Viola, with the Arizona Chamber Orchestra. Aurelian is proud to have played chamber music with members of the Houston, Atlanta, and Dallas Symphonies, as well as members of the Berlin Philharmonic. He has also recorded with Sting, Malcolm Jamal Warner, Karen Briggs, and James Tormè. As a teacher, Aurelian is passionate about outreach, having taught with the Harmony Project, 92nd Street Violin Project and the Watts Willowbrook Boys and Girls Club in Los Angeles.
Maria Boyer teaching musician: Maria is a native of North Carolina, performs viola with the Oregon Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, sings soprano in Lewis and Clark College’s Community Chorale, and plays viola and sings with chamber metal band Aradia! Maria graduated with honors from Lewis and Clark with a B.A. in ethnomusicology and minor in Gender Studies. After serving as intern with the Rosa Parks School’s Bravo youth orchestra program, Maria wrote her senior thesis drawing heavily upon her experience with the BRAVO non-profit model and interrogations into the global spread of the lauded El Sistema format for empowering impoverished youth through rigorous, classical music education.
Mary Dixon, teaching artist: Mary graduated from PNCA with a BFA in Sculpture. She has worked with both PNCA’s Outreach and smARTworks Programs as well as teaching Vibe’s Art Foundations, beginning and advanced ceramics classes and Pint-Size Picasso classes as well as a lead teaching artist for Vibe’s annual summer art camps. Mary has been with Vibe of Portland since 2009! Mary also works as a muralist in private homes.
Roberta Gannett, teaching musician: Roberta began playing violin at age 8 under the Suzuki Method and quickly began to explore many folk/fiddling traditions in tandem. She studied at Whitman College, where she got her BA in 2008. Roberta’s teaching over the last 10 years have included working with the Willowbrook Arts Program, Ethos Music Center, Cathedral Park Performing Arts Collective and Vibe of Portland. Her teaching is grounded in the belief that making music is a gift and a tool that we can use throughout our lives as a source of joy, catharsis, empathy, and meditation. She aims to help her students find the role it can play in their lives so they can take music with them regardless of where life takes them. Roberta is an O’Connor Method certified teacher, and her teaching style draws from this method, the Suzuki Method, and a few others, giving students a strong foundation balanced with a sense of play.
Maggie Maggio, Arts Workshop Facilitator: Architect and Internationally Acclaimed Artist. Color is the thread that ties my worlds together. After years of splitting my time between architecture and art, I retired to focus on exploring color in my studio and teaching 21st Century Color to artists and educators. Learning about color is a lifetime journey. I’m thrilled to share my experiences and discoveries along the way.
Sonja Myklebust, teaching musician: Sonja is a cellist and avid performer of classical and contemporary music and a teacher based in Portland, OR. As a teacher Sonja comes to Portland after having taught at Edmonds Community College and Seattle Music Partners as well as being a Teaching Artist with and founder of the UW World Series’ Music Link program. Sonja is a doctoral candidate at the University of Washington where she was the Teaching Assistant for professor Toby Saks and visiting artist Eric Gaenslen. She holds a Master’s degree from the UW and a Bachelor’s degree from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR.
Caitlin Moline, teaching artist: Caitlin Moline has a BFA in Art Teaching and a secondary teaching license. She has taught art to individuals spanning from the ages of 3 to 95 years of age and has recently returned to the states after living and teaching in New Zealand. As an art teacher, Caitlin is a firm believer in the importance of art and is dedicated to creating meaningful and innovative arts curriculum. Caitlin is excited to become a part of Vibe of Portland’s after school programs and share her love of art!
Leslie Tucker, teaching artist: Leslie Tucker graduated from PNCA with a BFA in Painting. She worked for several years as a textile designer. She has completed several murals and a community mosaic at Creative Science School. Leslie is currently teaching for Vibe’s Art Studio at TaborSpace for ages ranging from preschool to 12 years as well as our Vibe @ School art classes at Bridger Elementary. She loves learning from her students by watching them explore and play while they create. As a teacher, she encourages them to find their own intuitive approach in creating their work.
Kyle Williams, teaching musician: Kyle Williams is a guitarist, composer, and teacher from Portland Oregon. He began studying music at Portland State University in 2003, was awarded the Trudeau Scholarship for the Arts, and graduated with a B.M. in Music Performance with a Jazz Emphasis. He has taught guitar students of all ages since his senior year in high school and continues to do so at Opus School of Music in Ridgefield, Washington and Vibe of Portland in Portland, Oregon. He has lead and been a sideman in numerous groups including the Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble, Retake Productions, and Rainbow Jive Hammer. He has also been involved in musical theater in and around town and has performed in productions at St. Mary’s Academy, the Lakewood Theater, La Salle Catholic College Preparatory School, and most recently at Evergreen High School. Kyle and his wife life happily in an apartment near Alberta Street in NE Portland where they drink coffee and go on walks. They also live within walking distance of Trade Up Music, which is pretty sweet.
Jameson Wandling, teaching musician: Jameson is a multi-instrumental independent instructor with Vibe of Portland. In addition to being a lifelong musician, he also has a Master’s of Science in Conflict Resolution from Portland State University, which he earned in 2012. To earn his degree, he developed a program to help promote social and emotional skills with youth in a long-term residential treatment center using ukuleles and songwriting as a coping mechanism. Since then, he has been using the same program design in after-school enrichment classes through Vibe to foster and cultivate cooperative and collaborative skills among youth. He currently teaches ukulele, guitar, and songwriting through Vibe, as well as with SUN Schools. When he is not teaching, he is likely working on his own original music.
Alec Varis, teaching musician: Alec Varis has taught guitar, ukulele, drumming, choir, and general music for Vibe since 2013 and led the first Vibe performance at the Moose Lodge #291 in SE Portland. An active musician, Alec and his wife Cassie Varis lead the folk-soul band Copper and Crow, a family band that tries to focus on potent and meaningful lyrics, coupled with lush and captivating harmonies. Alec is a Portand native, having graduated from Cleveland High School, and receiving his B.A. in Music Education from Bethany University.
Rich Littledyke, teaching musician:
Arlan Rippe, Board Chair: PE, D.GE, Board Chair: Arlan Rippe is a Senior Geotechnical Consultant. He is former President and CEO of a regional geotechnical engineering firm. And, he has served in positions of leadership on various national non-profit boards, including president of the Geo-Institute of American Society of Civil Engineers, and as founding-president of the Academy of Geo-Professionals, an advanced credentialing organization. As a technical expert, Arlan recognizes the importance of the creative arts to strengthen the educational foundation for childhood and lifetime development. His participation with Vibe of Portland fuels that passion.
Nike Greene, Career and Family Counselor and Women’s Basketball Coach at Roosevelt High School. Nike has lived most of her life in North Portland and is deeply committed to building a strong and equitable community for her children, neighbors and North Portland as a whole. Nike is also passionate about seeing her children and her students realize their full potential in arts, athletics and academics and is excited to work with Vibe in a board role to realize these passions.
Steven Miller, Board Treasurer: Having grown up in a musical family and pursing instrumental and vocal music throughout his K-12 and college career, he understands the importance music played in his life to provide discipline, community and connection. Steven is using his background in mathematics to provide financial assistance to Vibe through his board leadership.
Meghan Tamargo, Board Secretary: Operations/Quality Manager for Catholic Community Services. Meghan enjoys hiking, hugging trees, camping, baking yummy goodies and getting her hands dirty in the garden. She serves on Vibe’s board because the of the incredible impact this non-profit has on changing kids’ lives. Vibe’s programs do much more than just open the door to arts and music, but rather they invite creativity, vulnerability, confidence and fun that can be tapped into for a child’s lifetime.
Scott Macdonald, Communications lead & Board Member: Scott is a communications and marketing professional and understands the significance of arts education in childhood development. Before joining Vibe’s team in 2011, he directed several youth music programs and saw first-hand the importance of music as an aid in the study of other branches of school curriculum. “Not only is arts education recognized as a powerful stimulus for other learning development, but its also pretty fun! I’m honored to be apart of the team to help enhance children’s learning potential.” A graduate of Arizona State University, Scott draws on his experience in marketing and brand management to assist in digital marketing strategy, event planning, and fundraising. When not involved with Vibe, Scott remains active as tennis coach, musician and recording engineer at Colorfield Studios, a recording studio in Portland, OR and volunteers with several local nonprofit organizations.