August 4, 2009
60 years ago, Dorothea Lensch, Portland's first Recreation Director, founded the Washington Park Summer Festival. The Festival highlighted Portland's musical theater, big band, jazz, ballet, opera, and symphony, and, most importantly, ensured that the performing arts were free and accessible to all Portlanders.
60 years later, Dorothea's Festival has become a beloved Portland tradition attended by many thousands of people each summer.
The loss of its major sponsor put the Festival at risk this year. Thanks to the generosity of my friends Gordon Sondland and Katy Durant, along with donors across Portland, we are once again enjoying summer evenings with the Washington Park Summer Festival.
As Commissioner-in-Charge of Parks and a strong supporter of the arts in Portland, I am so gratified by the civic spirit our community showed in making this Festival happen once again.
Check out the Parks website for the full Festival schedule.