RHYTHM PROJECT: East Portland Neighborhood Cohort


Are you someone with a strong current or past connection to East Portland? Unit Souzou, a taiko ensemble based in Portland, is seeking participants for their current project RHYTHM: Walking to the Heartbeat of our Community.

Will you join us? We are forming an East Portland Neighborhood Cohort, which will work together over the course of three months to document this unique time and explore how our communities are experiencing and imagining safety as a result of the past year.

We are seeking eight community members with strong connections to East Portland to form a Neighborhood Cohort, which will be the heart of the RHYTHM project.

The cohort will meet over the course of 3-months (August – October) to build relationships and share stories and conversation around their experiences of lockdown, emergence and safety on the streets of East Portland. Cohort members will be compensated for their time (details below).

Unit Souzou will utilize their experience as organizers, facilitators, and artists to devise activities and conversations that spark remembrance, observation, and investigation connected to place. Guest facilitators will also be invited to provide tools of bystander training, processing trauma, and self-defense techniques. Cohort members will participate in both group and individual activities. Cohort meetings will take place over Zoom with the possibility of gathering in-person at a physically distanced outdoor space.

Stories shared by cohort members will be collected and organized into an atlas, documenting experiences of safety/lack of safety over the past year and ideas for the future. Additionally the cohort’s personal stories and experiences will inspire and be woven into new works created by Unit Souzou and artistic collaborators, which will be shared at a public event at Orchards of 82nd on Saturday, October 9th. 

We are looking for people who…

  • Have a strong connection to East Portland either currently or in the past. Examples of a strong connection would be living/growing up, working, or going to school in the neighborhood.
  • Represent a wide range of identities in terms of age, race/ethnicity, and life experiences.
  • Are interested in building relationships with others through activities and conversations.
  • Are able to commit to attending all cohort meetings.
  • Are willing to listen, share, and participate within a supportive group environment. Discussions may include memories of East Portland, experiences on the streets of the neighborhood, and current feelings and thoughts about safety.
  • Are willing to follow community agreements in order to create a safe and supportive experience for everyone. 

Compensation: $1,000, paid in three installments. Cohort members must be eligible to work in the United States.

Schedule: Cohort members should expect to meet for 25-30 hours on the project over the course of 3 months (August – October, 2021). Activities will include…

  • Cohort Meetings: The cohort will meet together about 6 – 7 times for 2.5 hrs each. Meeting dates/times will be set based on cohort member schedules. 
  • Individual meetings: Michelle Fujii, Unit Souzou Project Lead, will also meet individually with cohort members.
  • Individual work: Michelle and Unit Souzou will share prompts and activities to inspire cohort members’ personal exploration, which will feed into group sessions.
  • Fall public event: The RHYTHM project will end with a public event on Saturday, October 9th at Orchards of 82nd. Cohort members may participate in the event. Details TBD.

Application: Apply to participate by filling out this short form by Wednesday, August 4th.
No resume or professional information needed.