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. In May of 2017 Vibe moved the studio to the former Cafe Au Play building on SE Division Street to increase classes and visibility of the program. The studio serves as a creative anchor in the community so anyone ages 18 mo. through adults can have access to quality affordable arts education. The studio has weekly classes, summer camps, workshops, family engagement events and other things happening year-round.
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 : firstname.lastname@example.org or 503.560.3592
All teachers and volunteers with Vibe of Portland undergo background checks.
Laura Streib, Founder, Executive Director & Art Director : 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 10 Portland area schools, the Vibe Studio now located at Tabor Commons on SE Division & SE 57th 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 Studio opened in 2011. She moved the studio to it’s new location as her son had just turned one. She wears many hats while directing Vibe of Portland, most importantly being a mom to her 3 amazing kids who love art and music and help drive Laura’s passion to see that ALL children have access to the arts.
Dunja Jennings Marcum, 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.
Yassi Irajpanah, Development Director: Yassi is a Portland area native, with deep ties to the community and extensive experience within the local nonprofit sector. She joins Vibe of Portland following a career in banking, where she led a local Bank’s nonprofit business banking and community involvement. It is there that Yassi first was introduced to Vibe of Portland, when the organization first obtained its nonprofit status. She has since supported the organization in various forms, initially as Banker and most recently as an art camp parent. She is committed to making a positive impact on her community through her work and volunteer efforts, and has served an impressive list of local organizations as banker, advisor, and volunteer. She currently serves on the Boards of YWCA and World Affairs Council of Oregon.
“I believe from the depths of my soul that arts education can be a catalyst for change. It is a great honor to support Vibe of Portland in that effort by expanding its reach through community partnerships. I’m excited to share Vibe’s story and further connect the organization’s mission throughout our community.”
Emme Van Vorhis, Administrative Assistant and St Johns Studio Manager : Emme grew up in Davis, California where her passion for the arts came to fruition through extensive local arts programming. Emme arrived at Vibe in June 2019 after earning her Bachelor of Arts in Arts Management at the University of Oregon. While in school, she delved deeper into how the arts can strengthen community engagement, create safe spaces and deepen community partnerships. Her participation in arts programs throughout her life has played a huge role in building friendships, establishing her own sense of self and exploring her creativity. Emme’s positive past experiences with the arts and a passion for giving back to her community stemmed her interest in the nonprofit sector. When Emme is not at one of the Vibe studios, she can be found painting in her home, spending time with her kitty, volunteering at other arts organizations, or out exploring Portland with friends. She values play and exploration in her own arts practice and she is beginning to bring that curiosity into teaching arts classes. Emme is excited to assist in the organizational processes at Vibe and help build enthusiasm around arts education in Portland communities.
Vibe Teaching Artists
Leslie Barnum, teaching artist: Leslie Barnum 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 Studio for ages ranging from preschool to 12 years of age. 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.
Nate Bech, teaching musician : As a music and multimedia educator I strive to cultivate confidence and passion for music and the arts in my students. Through a combination of skill building and creative play I work with students to find their voice in the worlds of music, film and animation. With every person I teach I hope to impart artistic proficiency and a creative momentum that will outlive their time with me.
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.
Isan Brandt, teaching musician :
Edin Cook: teaching artist: Edin is a certified Visual Arts (K-12) educator and has been an active teaching artist for the last ten years. She has worked with an array of students through teaching in schools, nonprofits, and summer camps in Los Angeles, Chicago, Cape Cod, and Portland. Edin graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a Bachelors in Fine Art with an Emphasis in Art Education. Her own art practice is currently focused on illustrating children’s books. Edin currently lives with her husband in Portland and is interested in the intersection between visual art, education, climate change, and comedy.
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’s heart for the students she works with is evident in the care, mentoring and amazing artistry she inspires. Mary also works as a muralist in private homes.
Sarah Eaton, Teaching Artist: Portland based, Mixed-Media Artist and Arts Educator Sarah Eaton received her MFA in Craft from Oregon College of Art and Craft, and she received her BFA cumulatively from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Pacific Northwest College of Art. She has shown her work nationally in galleries in Oregon, Washington, and Vermont, as well as multiple galleries and venues throughout Portland. Interested in the hybrid spaces between media, her work interjects the categorization of art through an interplay of painting, fiber, sculpture, and installation, through the use of transparent and layered media and imagery. With an attention to the visual space between the viewer and object/image, Sarah’s work entices through this relational perception through the exploration of natural and synthetic media.
Kelly Finn, teaching artist :
Joe Fortunato, Teaching Artist : “Mr. Joe” is a lifelong artist and professional
illustrator / mentor. He majored in Studio Art and minored in Theatre at Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey and pursued studies in Art History at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, PA. To further his craft, he undertook a year-long residence as a student at the Barnstone Studios in the foothills of the Appalachians, where he studied Classical Design/Geometry & Painting alongside students who now work at Pixar, Disney, and who teach at Savannah College of Art & Design. “Mr. Joe” has been developing his own unique curriculum for over 4 years now,
combining Classical Design & Art History with Pop Culture and Comics / Animation. A self published Comics artist himself who has dabbled in toy design and animation, he enjoys teaching at all age levels, to ‘pass the baton’ to the next generation – and be “that one teacher” he was fortunate to have many of, throughout his life & career.
Jack Harmon, Teaching Musician : Jack is a performer, composer, writer, and artist living and working in Portland. They have been part of many projects, and has spent most of their life sharing their passion for music amongst students and children. Growing up in a small town on the California coast, Jack helped out a children’s sing-a-long program based in a local record store, they began to write songs of their own songs (initially playing both piano and guitar, and a now whole litany of instruments), and went to college for music. After that they very quickly fell in love with private instruction, group classes, and helping people of all skill levels nurture their own personal connection to music. Jack wholeheartedly believes everyone has their own way of approaching and learning music, and is endlessly curious about how each student can be guided along that approach.
Claire Hart, Teaching Artist : A Northwest native who spends a lot of time looking at the ground and getting distracted by lyken and tree bark. My work is influenced by the colors, textures, and shapes of Western North America’s natural landscape. The extreme detail in my work invites the viewer to get close and study the intricacies of my work in the same way that I become focused on the tiny natural details that influence my art.
Kaitlyn Kenzie, teaching artist :
Julie Jeanseau, Teaching Artist : Julie has been teaching in community arts programing and in the schools, as a teaching artist since receiving her Arts Education Degree in 93 from U of O. She is also the owner of the The Abbey Art Center in Salem which has been a studio school that she built with her husband in 2012. Julie loves igniting curiosity in students through the arts and believes that the arts can be a pathway to problem solving and critical thinking in any discipline. As she teaches in programs she is teaching more than the project at hand, but her hope is that she is teaching students possibilities and courage to try the untried and create their own pathways to a full life. She is also an oil painter, mom of three girls and an avid gardener! See her personal studio at : Julie Jeanseau
Nancy Judd, teaching artist : As a Teaching Artist, Nancy engages students in a practice called arts integration in which students engage in a creative process which connects an art form with subjects in other curriculum areas. Nancy works with classrooms and youth groups constructing recycled art and fashion- “trashion”- as a positive and interactive lens to view issues related to resource use, climate change and the future of human habitation on the earth.
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.
Sarah Miller, teaching artist: Sarah is an artist, nanny, and pet-sitter with a background in Art Therapy Counseling and Early Childhood Education. She taught for the Sun program in 2009-10 at HB Lee Middle school and enjoys being back in this great program through Vibe. Her undergraduate work was in Painting and Book Arts. She continues to paint and explore creatively through multi-media approaches.
Sarah is also a student of medicinal herbalism. Having been self taught for many years, she is now embarking on a more structured study of NW plants. As both a student and a teacher Sarah has sought programs rooted in self-empowerment and creative exploration. Her teaching style focuses on nurturing children’s natural creativity and helping adults reclaim it. Sarah believes everyone has creative potential and deserves access to art making and creative community.
Jamie Minkus, teaching artist; Jamie’s love affair with movement started with her gymnastics training at the age of 10. Her background in gymnastics and affinity with Brazilian culture drew her to capoeira, which she studied under the precise eye of Mestre Almiro for over 5 years. Capoeira introduced her to other folkloric movements of Brazil and Cuba. She has studied extensively in Havana Cuba with members of “Raíces Profundas” and “Danza Contemporanea de Cuba.” She completed the Silvestre Technique contemporary dance intensive in Salvador, Brazil and has studied movements of the African Diaspora, including Samba and folklore, with teachers throughout Brazil and the United States. She recently fulfilled a RACC grant studying the Afro-Mexican music and movement of Son Jarocho with master artist Laura Rebelloso in Xalapa Mexico. Jamie was a dancer with Donna Oefinger’s Brazilian and Cuban dance company “Axé Didé” in Portland OR for over eight years, traveled with March Fourth as a choreographer, dancer, acrobat, and capoeirista. Jamie is currently the tour director and media contact as well as a choreographer and performer with Oluyinka Akinjiola’s contemporary folklore dance company, “Rejoice! Diaspora Dance Theater” in Portland, OR. Jamie resides in Portland where she teaches dance and Pilates throughout the community.
Deidre Moss, teaching musician : Deidre has had a passion for music since she was born! She had her first solo in 1st grade, began learning piano at 8 years old, and ended piano at 16 years old when she discovered her love for choir. She has been a part of choir for 8 years. She graduated from Warner Pacific University with her Bachelors in Music with a Music Education emphasis. She is currently in grad school at Warner Pacific University studying for her Master’s of Arts in Teaching to be a choir teacher! “My goal for all my students is to feel the power of music, and the impact it has on your everyday life.” Deidre is so grateful to be part of Vibe PDX to help spread the joy she has for music to the current generation of students.
Ashlee Renfrow, teaching musician :
Dey Rivers, Teaching Artist & SE Studio Coordinator : Dey is bi-coastal storyteller and studio artist with a focus on painting and mixed mediums. During and after their time obtaining a Fine Art degree in Pennsylvania they hosted visual art workshops at community colleges and museums on both sides of the country. Their writing has been published in independent anthologies, and storytelling is often a feature in their personal art practice which encompasses themes of nature, life experiences, emotions, and African American heritage. Over the past four years they continue to developed art as a way to actively soothe the soul, foster community, and bring awareness to personal and social issues of the past and present.
Audrey Sackett, teaching musician :
Annie Trowbridge, teaching artist : Annie Trowbridge is an oil painter and fiber artist living in Portland. She does large-scale oil painting commissions for private homes, and also loves to weave and knit and dye yarn. She received a Watson Fellowship to study traditional weaving techniques around the world in 2015, after graduating from Bard College with a BA in Literature. She has taught both art and woodshop, and loves bringing the tactile world to kids, especially in this digital time. She is passionate about the arts and loves to share her enthusiasm with kids of all ages.
Idalina Adbo Vieira, teaching artist : Idalina has been a teaching artist and mentor through various nonprofits, afterschool programs, and summer camps for the past decade. She received her BFA and MSPC from Clark University in 2012, and moved to Portland in 2016 to receive her post-baccalaureate in metal arts from Oregon College of Art and Craft. Her passion for empowering student’s self-expression and exploration is evident in her technique-based approach and belief that access to the arts is fundamental to personal growth and development.
Xavier “Decimus” Yarbrough, teaching artist : Decimus is a movement artist that was bred from a blend of martial arts and urban and club dance styles. With having a strong family history in music and dance, it was almost inevitable for Decimus to find his passion within the same realm of arts. Decimus had always been invested in the culture of martial arts, ranging in disciplines such as Isshin Ryu, Hapkido and Capoeira-Angola. Hip-Hop/Bboyin found Decimus at an early age where he began to further pursue his passion for dance and movement. The love for House music and dance and club culture began to develop while in his journeys of authentic feelings of freedom of expression. Throughout the years, Decimus travelled to various parts of the country and world to experience, share and learn from other cultures. Decimus currently uses his movement to advocate the preservation of the cultures that raised and influenced him
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. In his professional life, Steve is a Doctor of Physical Therapy with Concentra.
Scott Macdonald, Board Chair and Communications Committee Lead : 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.
Brian Wilkinson : PT, DPT, CHT, CLT – Assistant Professor & Associate Director of Clinical Education at Pacific University.
Emily Wilkinson : Emily grew up in the Los Angeles area and relocated to Eugene, Oregon, after completing a Master of Science in Education at the University of Southern California. There, she focused on learning disorders specific to reading and writing and the best, evidence-based interventions to address them. While in graduate school, she worked in the disability services office and in the athletic department as a graduate assistant, learning specialist. Additionally, she worked at Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes for several years as a clinician, tester and staff trainer for all five of their programs.
Most recently, Emily has completed a graduate certificate course in Applied Behavior Analysis and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in 2016. She is most passionate about verbal behavior and loves the moments when she is able to help facilitate communication skills in an emerging verbal learner.
She is on staff at Victory Academy, Oregon’s only year round school for kids with autism. When she’s not working, you might find her studying ABA at a coffee shop in Portland, taking her therapy dog, Dexter, on long walks with her husband, or writing short stories for children, playing piano, or writing her own music.