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The office reviewed and scored 196 applications for the spring and summer seasons. Awards went to the top scoring 36 applications, including seven that were film-related.  

Additional funding was also secured to award an additional 18 runners-up with up to 50% of their request.  

  • Awarded grants totaled $189,750. 

  • 77% of awardees identify as Black, Indigenous, or Person of Color. 

  • All of the events are free or have an accessible pricing structure. 

 

Prosper Portland, Travel Oregon, Travel Portland, and the City of Portland Office of Arts and Culture support and fund this program. 

Flying the geek flag a little higher in Portland

 

There’s been a unique thread running through the tapestry of geekdom and nerdiness in the Portland area for a while now.

It’s a tapestry replete with all kinds of colors, aesthetics, creativity, and a general sense that there’s something special going on. It’s that sense of “special” that David Raycroft hopes to turn into something much larger. A pop culture swell that will have the nerds and geeks surfing something so uniquely Portland that no one has ever done it before.

 

The world’s first city-wide comic con is coming to Portland via an event tagged Geek Week PDX in September. It’s potential, the organizer said, is unlimited.

 

The genesis of Geek Week PDX formed when Raycroft moved to Portland six years ago from California and thought exploring comic book stores would be a good way to get started learning about the city.

 

“It started out as the best way to explore Portland, but I figured there’d be only two or three in the city,” Raycroft said. “Boy was I wrong. I’ve been a lifelong geek, so putting this together has been kind of a labor of love. It’s pretty exciting.”

 

Being new to the area and wanting to find out more about Portland, Raycroft quickly realized he’d “uncovered this amazing, deep (nerd) culture in my new city. As a byproduct of that experience, “I created something called the Geek Guide, a three-part map that is a catalog of every game store, comic shop, bar and restaurant with a quirky, nerdy vibe in the city.” That publication became available at PDX, comic book stores, game shops and other stops within the Portland-metro area.

In fact, there was so much great content, some of which didn’t make the guide, that Raycroft created a mobile app called Babblebuy, a little business that spun off from his original exploration of Portland.

 

And within that, he had the opportunity to talk to a vast swath of small business owners within the city who owned these “really amazing locations. The list just went on and on.”

And what were their hopes and desires as small business owners? A greater awareness of who they were and what they offered. That’s where the seeds of Geek Week PDX started to really germinate.

On March 20, the Portland City Council proclaimed Sept. 9-15 as Geek Week in Portland, officially signaling that the nerd flag will fly a little higher in the city. And that week wasn’t by accident. It will come on the heels of Oregon’s standard-bearer for all things geek, nerd, and pop culture – Rose City Comic Con.

 

Now the real fun begins – creating Geek Week PDX.

“So, with that proclamation, I’m now in the process of figuring out what Geek Week is going to be,” Raycroft said with a gentle laugh.The goal, he said, is to create a first-ever citywide comic con that will play off the success and vibe that Rose City Comic Con generates. Rose City annually attracts about 50,000 people to the convention center and Raycroft hopes to build something adjacent to that which will attract some of those geeks and nerds to venture out and see what else Portland has to offer in that domain. Instead of flying out or hitting the road right after RCCC is over, perhaps folks would stick around and see what else Portland has to offer in the pop culture realm?

“My hope is to have wizards, aliens, and superheroes traveling on trains and buses throughout town to visit some of these game stores, book shops, or bars and restaurants that are so unique. Raycroft said there are more than 100 nerd and nerd-adjacent small business in the Portland area. He hopes to attract most of them to get involved with Geek Week PDX in some way. So far, the enthusiasm has been palpable.

 

“Right now I’m wrangling the goblins to see who is interested,” Raycroft noted. “The reaction has been just a flood of fabulous ideas. Several of the game stores suggested a game crawl. Perhaps a scavenger hunt of some kind, bar and restaurant specials, all kinds of things. We’d like a wide variety of activities during the day and parties at night across a wide spectrum of interests.

“We would like the people who attend Rose City to also explore Portland and the neat culture it has going and partake of the great, nerdy fun that happens in Portland on any given day,” he added. “All of that coordinated around a single push.”

 

For more information, check out the website at www.geekweekpdx.com or venture to Instagram @geekweekpdx.

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