City of Gresham
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News Releases
Gresham Arts Festival features artists, world record breakers and Gresham's Got Talent competition - 07/06/17

GRESHAM, OR. -- This year's Gresham Arts Festival is bigger and better than ever with more than 150 artists, live music, free family fun, the Reclaim Chalk of Fame world record attempt and two new events--it's all happening on Friday, July 14 and Saturday, July 15 at the 16th annual Gresham Arts Festival in historic downtown.

The Gresham Arts Festival draws thousands from around the region each year to the charming downtown streets to meet, browse and shop from a carefully curated crop of Northwest artists and artisans, ranging from painters, potters and sculptors to woodworkers, photographers, jewelers and more.

Two new events will be added this year. On Friday, July 14, the Art Under the Stars charitable silent auction event includes pieces donated by Arts Festival artists, with proceeds donated to Gresham Outdoor Public Art. While bidding, attendees can enjoy award-winning R&B artist Norman Sylvester and friends on a beautiful summer evening in downtown. Beer, wine and food is available for purchase.

On Saturday evening, Gresham's Got Talent will showcase a wide array of talented entertainers in our community at the Arts Plaza. Celebrity judges are Katie Harman, Miss America 2002; Kirk Mouser, Stumptown Stages Producer/Broadway actor; and Haley Green, Broadway actress/former Disney Princess. Food and beverage booths will open at 6 p.m.; the show begins at 6:30 p.m.

The Gresham community and festival visitors will also come together to Reclaim the Chalk of Fame. The Canadian city of Summerside stole the world record set by the Gresham community in 2015 for the largest display of chalk pavement art. Families, businesses, community groups and visitors will steal the record back by coloring in 500 chalk drawings designed by local artists. The drawings will center around the themes of Gresham community spirit and Americana. Everyone is welcome to help break the record and color in a square (or two, or three!). Thank you to organizations that have already signed up for 10 or more squares: First Class East Gresham Homeschool; Neighbor-Helping-Neighbor; Nutz n Boltz Theater; Gresham City Learning Center; Free Arts NW.

Drop in between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the Arts Plaza on Third Street between Hood and Kelly Avenues, or reserve your blocks online at A measurement ceremony and celebration will be held at 5:30 p.m.

"There's something for everyone at the Arts Festival. It's a wonderful way to spend a summer weekend in our charming, thriving downtown," Mayor Shane Bemis said. "I'll be there and plan to do my part by coloring in some chalk squares so we can steal our world record back from Canada. I invite you to join me!"

The free, family friendly Gresham Arts Festival continues on Saturday, July 15, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and in addition to more than 150 artist booths and a dozen musical acts, the Kids' Village will set up shop at the Arts Plaza. Cool off in the Children's Fountain, explore a fire truck and police car, tackle a sports obstacle course, and enjoy games of ring toss, corn hole, an inflatable slide and much more.

More than 100 shops and eateries will throw their doors open for visitors to browse and dine. The Gresham Farmers' Market will offer fresh produce on 3rd Street and adds to the festivities by remaining open until 5 p.m.

Park at Gresham City Hall at 1333 NW Eastman Parkway or at the Gresham Transit Station and and take the free shuttle to the Arts Plaza, courtesy of First Student. Parking is available at nine City-owned lots in and around downtown. Public transportation is also available via TriMet's MAX Blue Line to Gresham Central Transit Center.

More than forty sponsors make this community event possible. Special thanks to our Patron sponsors: Gresham Ford, Gresham Station, The Outlook/Pamplin Media Group, MetroEast Community Media, 101.9 KINK and 98.7 The Bull; and to our Pillar sponsors, NW Natural and Pathway Church.

For more information, visit

For information the day of the event, members of the media may call or text Elizabeth Coffey, Communications Manager for the City of Gresham, at 503-793-4167.

City of Gresham accepting applications for Arts and Culture grants - 07/05/17

GRESHAM, OR. -- The City of Gresham's Arts and Cultural Assistance Grant Program provides assistance to Gresham-based programs that enrich the arts, culture and heritage of the community. Applications are now open for fiscal year 2017-18 and are due by 9 a.m. on August 15.

Grants are available to nonprofit organizations physically located within Gresham city limits and to Gresham residents who have partnered with a qualifying nonprofit. Proposals should address at least one of the Grant Program objectives, which include exposure to art, particularly for families and children; collaboration between artists and community organizations; and enhancement of Gresham's arts and culture organizations and/or individual artists. Grant categories include performing arts, festivals and parades, folk arts, literature, media arts, visual arts, museum exhibits and classes, and the heritage and preservation of Gresham's history.

Applicants are required to describe the public purpose, public benefit, their project management experience and submit a detailed budget with their application. A volunteer committee, including a Gresham City Councilor, will award the grants in late August.

Previous grants have supported events such as the popular "Music Mondays" summer concerts at the Arts Plaza, a planned public art installation at a local park, and a family friendly musical production.

Find applications and more information at