Mission & Vision

Mission & Values

Dedicated to Excellence in Dance

White Bird is committed to bringing the best Portland-based, regional, national, and international dance companies to Portland, Oregon and to fostering the growth of dance in the region. Through presenting established and emerging companies and choreographers, commissioning and co-commissioning new work, as well as collaborating with other arts organizations in Portland and the region, we are able to make these dance performances possible.  White Bird strongly believes in making dance exciting, educational, equitable and accessible to everyone, young and old, of all social backgrounds, and through contributed income and sponsorships, is able to facilitate outreach to schools and keep ticket prices affordable. A passionate advocate for dance, White Bird strives to broaden audiences, develop new dance venues, and support both existing and new dance programs.

White Bird is a Portland cultural treasure! I subscribed for the first time for the 2022-23 season and will enthusiastically look forward to the next season!
Robert R. , White Bird Subscriber

Our Values

Excellence in Performance

We compensate highly skilled dance artists and crew fairly for their hard work.

Accessibility and Inclusiveness

We provide thousands of low-cost and no-cost tickets annually to Portlanders in need.

Generosity of Spirit

We go above and beyond to ensure both audiences and visiting artists have the best possible experience.

Diversity in Movement

We present the dance you know and love, plus the dance you don’t know you love…yet.

Dedication to Community

We arrange local community engagement opportunities for each and every artist we bring to Portland.

Fiscal Responsibility

With good governance and your support, White Bird continues to operate sustainably.

Equity & Commitment

The core of White Bird is the conviction that dance is a universal language and possesses the power to inspire, uplift, and unify communities. White Bird's staff is attentive to the inherent discriminatory aspects of the dance industry, and we strive to expand our Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA) initiatives in all aspects of our presenting and beyond. We owe it to our patrons and Community Partners to improve our support for everyone who walks through our doors.

We acknowledge that the state of Oregon has a long history of oppressive practices that have hindered the development of diversity and equality in our communities. Sadly, due in part to these entrenched norms, unconscious biases and white supremacy are still at work in our Oregon dance community. White Bird is committed to nurturing a sense of unity among individuals through a shared human experience while prioritizing the eradication of systemic racism, misogyny, ableism, and ageism within and beyond our organization.

Knowing that this is an ever-evolving process, we at White Bird pledge to:

  • Use our privileged position to amplify the voices, stories, and histories of marginalized communities through movement.

  • Harness our influence as presenters to create spaces for underrepresented artists by actively programming companies that share our IDEA values.

  • Change our business practices with establishments that inequitably favor white, able-bodied, affluent, cisgender clientele, and enhance our engagement with business proprietors, staff members, and customers that are as diverse and dynamic as the many communities in Portland.

  • Ensure that all White Bird spaces (theaters, offices, and events) remain respectful, inclusive, and safe for all.

  • Foster conversations on the intersection of performative dance and social change.

  • Be active listeners, respect existing knowledge, and avoid assumptions via a trauma informed approach.

  • Approach our IDEA work from a place of humility; understanding that these efforts are non-negotiable, and that progress can only be achieved through actions, not rhetoric.

Land Acknowledgement

White Bird is located in Portland, Oregon in Multnomah County.

We honor the Indigenous people whose traditional and ancestral homelands we stand on, the Multnomah, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Tumwater, Watlala bands of the Chinook, the Tualatin Kalapuya and many other Indigenous nations of the Columbia River.

It is important to acknowledge the ancestors of this place and to recognize that we are here because of the sacrifices forced upon them.

In remembering these communities, we honor their legacy, their lives, and their descendants.

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