May 22, 2024
Contact: Shawn Uhlman, Prosper Portland, 503-823-7994

In partnership with Travel Portland, the Events & Film Office at Prosper Portland is proud to announce five awardees for the 2024 Scale Up Grant, a competitive grant program that provides funding and technical assistance for local Portland events that are positioned to grow and attract attendance beyond the Portland metro region. The awardees are: Sneaker Week PDX, the 11th Annual Montavilla Jazz Festival, Lan Su Chinese Garden’s Mid-Autumn Moonlight Market, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s Time-Based Art Festival, and the 2024 Portland Book Festival.

Commissioner Carmen Rubio said, “Scale Up Event Grants build on Portland’s reputation as a creative and eventful city. By helping mid-sized events grow to attract larger audiences — especially visitors to Portland — this program greatly benefits our community and our economy.”

Sneaker Week PDX
Friday, July 26 – Thursday, August 1
Sneaker Week PDX is a seven-day, all-ages celebration of sneaker culture and its economic impact throughout Portland. Enthusiasts, designers, and brands are given the platform to exchange ideas and explore sneaker culture. The weeklong festival includes workshops, panel discussions, collaborative demonstrations, skill challenges, a consumer summit, and many exhibits. Cultural celebrations will include food and drinks from local vendors, as well as live music and performances. During the week, participants will network and support local businesses by participating in Open Houses offering exclusive glimpses into opportunities in the sneaker industry beyond footwear design and production.

“The receipt of the Scale Up grant from Prosper Portland is not only a crucial asset for expanding our operational capacity but it also symbolizes the recognition of our potential to generate more employment, tourism, and economic opportunities for Portlanders and aspiring footwear professionals across the globe,” said Herbert Beauclere, Co-founder of Sneaker Week PDX.

11th Annual Montavilla Jazz Festival
Friday, August 30 – Sunday, September 1   
The 11th Annual Montavilla Jazz Festival (MJF) celebrates local artistry, food, and shops in a village-style event for the whole family. The festival presents three days of ticketed and free concerts in iconic outdoor locations such as Mt. Tabor Park and the Historic Downtown Montavilla Street Plaza, and indoor venues including Strum, The 1905, and Alberta Rose Theatre. Montavilla businesses – including Yaowarat, Vino Veritas, Threshold Brewing, and The Observatory – will help showcase what makes Portland special, with nightly food and drink specials, live music, and DJ sets.

Montavilla Jazz Executive Director Neil Mattson said, “Montavilla Jazz is immensely excited to receive Prosper Portland’s Scale Up Grant for summer 2024. This significant funding and technical support from Prosper Portland and Travel Portland will help us realize our grand vision for a fun and inclusive event that reaches more people, boosts the local economy, and most of all celebrates Portland’s creative spirit.”

Mid-Autumn Moonlight Market
Sunday, September 1 – Tuesday, September 3
Lan Su Chinese Garden celebrates the Mid-Autumn Festival with a three-day bustling marketplace of local Asian businesses open to all ages. Visitors can indulge in mouth-watering culinary delights and captivating cultural performances. As dusk falls and the moon glows, they’ll witness the enchanting spectacle of illuminated lion dances and lanterns adorning the garden and engage in interactive activities like the rabbit meet and greet and enchanting story time. The Mid-Autumn Festival will also feature the world debut of rabbit lantern sculptures from China that add a touch of whimsy to this unforgettable celebration of culture, community, and the luminous beauty.

“At Lan Su Chinese Garden, we are deeply honored to receive the Scale Up Event Grant, which enables us to extend the Mid-Autumn Moonlight Market beyond the walls of Lan Su and into the heart of our community,” said Elizabeth Nye, Executive Director of Lan Su Chinese Garden. “This pivotal support from Travel Portland and Prosper Portland not only allows us to showcase and celebrate Asian culture more broadly but also helps us bring more visitors to Old Town, positively impacting our local business partners. We are excited about the potential to transform our festival into a larger, more inclusive celebration that draws the community closer, both to our traditions and to each other.”

Time-Based Art Festival 2024
Thursday, September 5 – Saturday, September 14 
Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA) will present the 21st edition of the Time-Based Art Festival (TBA) in September 2024. TBA:24 is a multi-day, in-person festival, supporting local, national, and international artist projects including performances, visual art, film, and other mediums. Many projects will be presented by BIPOC and QTPOC artists. All ages are welcome to the Festival, although some programs include content warnings. Food and drink are available at all TBA:24 events; PICA partners with local food and drink vendors, with priority for working with BIPOC and Queer-owned businesses.

“PICA’s Time-Based Art Festival, lovingly known as TBA, is a celebration bringing together groundbreaking artists, engaged audiences, and vibrant communities. Grants like the Scale Up Grant are essential in sustaining this creative ecosystem and enables us to support and present visionary artists. Join us this September to experience the unexpected and the extraordinary at TBA,” said Leslie Vigeant, Director of Marketing and Communications, PICA.

2024 Portland Book Festival
Monday, October 28 – Sunday, November 3  
Portland Book Festival is a regional festival that features 148 authors and moderators, with stage events, readings, writing workshops, and story times at the Portland Art Museum and surrounding venues. The festival also offers local food trucks and a book fair with 87 vendors and four partner bookstores. The Friday Night Book Market kicks off the weekend with book fair vendors, craft vendors, food and beverage, and live music. The Cover-to-Cover series will feature an additional 37 literary events put on by 40 partner bookstores, coffee shops, and restaurants throughout the city.

Senior Artistic Director Amanda Bullock said, “Portland Book Festival is a cornerstone annual event at the center of art and civic life, bringing readers and writers of all ages together to exchange stories about the world’s most important ideas. We are honored to be a recipient of Prosper Portland’s Scale Up Grant, which will provide much needed marketing resources and publicity support to expand our reach throughout the region. We will be able to engage experts and create new assets to use across our website and social media that will support targeted marketing to attract new audiences to Portland Book Festival, the largest general interest book festival in the PNW.”

Scale Up Grants are intended to advance the city’s economic and cultural revitalization, with an emphasis on supporting areas of Portland that have experienced a significant impact from COVID, including lost businesses and employment, high increase in office vacancies, and significant changes in visitor and employee foot traffic. Prosper Portland, Travel Portland, and the City of Portland Office of Arts and Culture support and fund this program.

Award packages are comprehensive programs consisting of up to $25,000 in direct financial support plus custom technical, marketing, administrative, and logistical assistance provided by Travel Portland and Prosper Portland. Packages are customized for each recipient depending on needs requested during the application process. Awardees can also connect with other grant recipients as a part of a cohort model. Applications are slated to open in fall 2024 for the next round of Scale Up Grants to support eligible 2025 events.