Portland art event lets black people in for free, charges everyone else $80

News & Politics

An event at an art festival in Portland, Oregon, offered race-based admission pricing. According to an ad for the event, “Black folks” could attend for free or with a donation of their choice. All other attendees had to pay $80 a piece.

Black Feast: Black Imagerial, a three-hour event hosted last Sunday by Salimatu Amabebe and sponsored by the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, was promoted as “a culinary event celebrating Black artists and writers through food.”

“At our table,” the event description states, “guests participate in an experience that weaves together food and art, where Salimatu [Amabebe] works with Black artists to create a multi-course, vegan, gluten-free meal based off of the artist’s work.”

While guests created their “multi-course vegan, and gluten-free meal,” they were also regaled with interpretive dance.

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“With eight Black dancers and artists moving with the land, Black Imagerial recognizes Black movement as embodied image-making and visionary practice,” the description continues.

In keeping with the “Black” theme of the event, black guests could attend for free. “**This event is free or by donation for Black folks,” the ad says, advising those who identify as black to use promo code “blackmovement” to receive their free tickets. It is unclear how a person’s black identity was verified or whether those of mixed race were able to attend free of charge.

The ad did provide a means for “Black folks” to make a donation, if they so chose.

Despite the hefty $80 fee charged to non-black attendees, the event sold out, according to the website. The number of participants is unknown, though capacity was supposedly limited to 40 persons.

“This meal is created as a celebration, a dance, and an offering. This meal is created for you,” the festival ad insisted.

The Twitter account Libs of TikTok first noted the event and its race-based admission charge disparity last Friday.


Black Feast: Black Imagerial was just one event featured at the 20th annual Time-Based Art Festival, which claims to push “against this edge of what it means to make—and who can participate in—contemporary art.”

Fox News Digital reached out to the PICA for a comment about the event, but did not receive a response.

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