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Discover Portland on Google Arts & Culture

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The city of Portland thrives on creativity in all its forms — I have lived here for 17 years and am proud to call it home. Portland is also home to a robust community of artists, makers and designers who find inspiration and meaning in our natural environment as well as a world-renowned culinary scene where chefs who express themselves through food bring new ideas to international cuisine. That’s why today the Portland Art Museum is announcing a new partnership with Google Arts & Culture as one of the 16 cultural institutions in Portland joining the platform today to celebrate our city.

With over 75 curated stories ranging from the city’s iconic Japanese garden to the longest running African Film Festival in the U.S. to Portland’s own Wendy Red Star, the new Portland hub offers a chance both for Portlanders to rediscover their backyard and for visitors to get to know the city for themselves. Visit to start your own journey or read on to uncover more reasons to love Portland.

  • A vibrant 18th-century painting depicting two men: one person grinning broadly while holding a small, beaded, red object, and the other appearing skeptical or disgruntled with a furrowed brow. The grinning man on the right wears a blue robe with a scarlett jacket underneath and a blue head piece. The skeptical man on the left wears a yellow jacket and an white headpiece.

    The Femminiello by Giuseppe Bonito | Portland Art Museum on Google Arts & Culture

  • A serene waterfall cascading into a tranquil pond surrounded by vibrant foliage in an idyllic garden setting.

    Heavenly Falls by Portland Japanese Garden | Portland Japanese Garden on Google Arts & Culture

  • A group of people enjoying an outdoor gathering around a table filled with food and drinks, with one woman smiling towards the camera while the others are engaged in conversation.

    Community Picnic Gathering by Frank C. Hirahara | Japanese American Museum of Oregon on Google Arts & Culture

  • Three indigenous women engaged in a lively discussion at a panel event, set against a backdrop featuring classical relief artwork.

    Indigenous Poets doing a Q&A with the audience by Robert Franklin | Native Arts and Cultures Foundation on Google Arts & Culture

1. Arts and culture

Portland’s art scene is a strong part of the city’s identity. Highlights include the Portland Playhouse, the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art and of course, the Portland Art Museum (PAM), which will open a renovated and expanded campus in the heart of downtown in late 2025.

Want to get to know the city streets? Start with the Architecture Heritage Center, which will take you everywhere from industrial Eastside Portland to the home of the first West Coast streetcars, to the historic buildings along Grand Avenue. Most people don’t know that the city was a big influence in the resurgence of stained glass window design.

Another wonderful well-kept secret is that Portland is home to the longest-running African film festival in the U.S. The Cascade Festival of African Films, founded by four Portland Community College faculty members, has brought "Africa through African lenses" to Portland since 1991. And of course the Portland Chinatown Museum, Oregon's first museum dedicated to Chinese American history, art and culture, is an essential stop to learn about the deep Asian American roots in the city.

2. Nature

PAM’s collection features art that reflects the regional landscape by generations of artists who have visited, lived and worked in Oregon. And not far from the Museum visitors can see the beauty for themselves in places like Forest Park, which is one of the largest urban forests in the United States. The city is renowned for its lush greenery, eco-conscious culture and gardens — in fact, the Japanese Garden was dubbed “the most authentic” outside of Japan by a Japanese ambassador, and the Rose Garden gave Portland its nickname “the City of Roses.” Head west on Highway 26 to discover ancient natural treasures at the Rice Museum of Rocks and Minerals where you can see Oregon’s prehistoric gems, from thundereggs to sunstones.

3. Food

There is no shortage of award-winning, boundary-breaking and classic restaurants in Portland. And while you’re taking in everything from trending food carts to local favorites, you might find yourself wondering about Portland’s food scene history. The wonderful Japanese American Museum of Oregon looks at the complex history of Japanese immigrants in the state through the lens of food.

4. Native Arts and Culture

Portland is a beacon of Native arts and culture. Located on the ancestral lands of eight tribes, including the Multnomah, Chinook and Kalapuya, Portland is home to a large Native population. At the Center for Native Arts and Cultures, located in the historic Yale Union Building, visitors can take part in art making, storytelling, canoe carving and performances and celebrate local Native artists like Marie Watt. PAM is proud to have a strong Native American Art collection and to be presenting Jeffrey Gibson as the representative for the United States at the 60th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia (April - November 2024) along with SITE Santa Fe and in cooperation with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

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