Some of us are exploring the possibility of starting a South Asia Cultural Resource Center in Portland. The objective is to preserve and promote South Asian arts, crafts, cultures and languages in Portland-Vancouver area.
Our conception of it as a Folk University or a People's Institute, which will support individuals and organizations that are already providing formal instruction in South Asian arts, crafts, cultures and languages in our area, and encourage others to do the same. Additionally it may provide translation and interpretation services, a library of relevant literature and instruments, and a venue for discussion on various topics of interest to South Asians in our community. Its offerings and services will be open to South Asians as well as non-South Asians.
At this point, we are not thinking of constructing or buying a building. Rather we want to use existing community resources (including school, colleges, community centers, libraries, churches, etc.) for this purpose. Major source of funding can be tuition from the students, and donation of funds, materials and services by interested people.
As a first step, we are planning to do a cultural & economic survey of the Portland-Vancouver South Asian community to identify existing services and resources (e.g., individuals who do and/ or can teach dance, languages, crafts and arts) .
In the survey, we also want to collect information about the South Asian community which can be used to obtain better access to various government and private resources in the larger Portland-Vancouver community (like those available to people originating from Central America, or East Asians).
We are fortunate in having the services of an anthropology student and the support of an anthropology professor available to us for the survey.
We are now eliciting input that can help us refine these ideas, and in planning their implementation. Please share with us your ideas, and let us know if you are willing to serve on the Planning Committee for the Center and/or the Survey.
Please contact Pritam Rohila by telephone at (503)362-4635 between 9 a.m. & 5:30 p.m. on weekdays, at 503-393-8305 evenings and weekends, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by regular mail at 831 Lancaster Drive, NE, Suite 214, Salem, OR 97301-2930