Julie Keefe says some people’s reaction when they hear she’s Portland’s creative laureate is: “huh?” That doesn’t bother her in the least. Keefe says her role is similar to a poet laureate, but with a wider berth — encompassing all kind of creative endeavors from music and dance to photography and art education more broadly.
She’s an independent photographer — perhaps best known for her “Hello, Neighbor” project, combining photography and storytelling. This project is still ongoing, and she’s launched others in the last year as well. Earlier this year, she accompanied the Jefferson Dancers to China and collaborated on a short documentary about the trip. And she’s working with the Coalition for a Livable Future on their Equity Atlas project, taking photos of people in poverty and telling their stories.
We’ll talk with Keefe about her role as creative laureate, what she’s done and what she still hopes to do.
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