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On May 28, 2016, Vanport Mosaic organized a Vanport survivor's reunion at Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church in North Portland. Part of the celebration included a reading of the Proclamation from Mayor Charlie Hales declaring a Vanport Day of Remembrance. Singer Marilyn Keller with pianist George Mitchell accompany excerpts from the proclamation with the folk song, Eyes on the Prize.

"Oregon Experience" is an OPB original television series that brings to life stories that help us understand this place where we live and reinforce our shared identity as Oregonians.

Co-produced with the Oregon Historical Society, the series draws upon the Society’s skilled researchers and extensive photography and moving-image archives. The program also incorporates OPB’s own film and video resources and the expertise of some of Oregon’s finest historians. Each episode features captivating characters — both familiar and forgotten — who have played key roles in building our state into the unique place we call home.

We are pleased to announce that "Oregon Experience" received a number of nominations for this year's Northwest Regional Emmy Awards from the Northwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS). The awards recognize excellence in programming and individual craft achievement in television and media arts.
The stories nominated include "Jazz Town," " Darcelle XV," " The Jewish Frontier" and "Vanport." Congratulations to the producers, videographers, writers and editors that are being recognized for their individual work in a variety of categories.
Additionally, "Oregon Experience" was awarded a 2017 Oregon Heritage Excellence Award for their 2016 season of exceptional programing showcasing documentaries that promote education and dialogue around remarkable citizens and underrepresented communities of the state.  Executive Producer Nadine Jelsing and Producer Kami Horton attended the ceremony.

This program is supported in part by Arlene Schnitzer and Jordan Schnitzer, the Oregon Cultural Trust, and the Clark Foundation.

Funding Provided By: 


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Upcoming Broadcasts

Darcelle XV an Oregon Experience (1005)

June 20, 8 p.m. [OPB PLUS]

More Oregon Experience

Broken Treaties, An Oregon Experience

OPB | Broadcast: March 20, 2017

"Broken Treaties" introduces viewers to Oregon's Native American tribes and explores a thread of the Oregon story that hasn't been told very well over the years.

Massacre At Hells Canyon

OPB | Broadcast: Jan. 23, 2017

Hells Canyon is the site of what may be the worst massacre of Chinese by whites in U.S. history. For more than 100 years, evidence of the murders was hidden away, and the story long forgotten.


OPB | Broadcast: Nov. 14, 2016

During the early 1940s, Vanport, Oregon, was the second largest city in the state. But on a Sunday afternoon in May 1948, it disappeared completely — destroyed by a catastrophic flood. 

Darcelle XV

OPB | Broadcast: June 20, 2016

Darcelle XV is the West Coast’s oldest performing female impersonator, and operates what is likely the nation’s longest running drag revue.

Portland Jazz Back in the Day

OPB | Broadcast: April 25, 2016

Jazz Town examines the vibrant, post-World War II eruption of music and nightlife in North and Northeast Portland. A colorful and significant chapter in the city’s cultural narrative, this short-lived period is largely unknown to many Oregonians.

Thomas Condon: Of Faith and Fossils

OPB | Broadcast: Feb. 22, 2016

Irish immigrant Thomas Condon was a Congregational minister and Oregon's first state geologist. 

The Jewish Frontier

OPB | Broadcast: Jan. 25, 2016

Oregon's Jewish pioneers were among the region's first settlers. Arriving with the gold miners, they came for a better life away from persecution. In the process, they helped build the businesses and civic organizations that shaped the state.

Vilma Silva on Shakespeare's work: "Claim it. It's yours."

OPB | Broadcast: Oct. 19, 2015

Vilma Silva on Shakespeare's work: "Claim it. It's yours."

Scott Kaiser on Translating Shakespeare into... English.

OPB | Broadcast: Oct. 19, 2015

OSF's Scott Kaiser on translating Shakespeare into... English.

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival

OPB | Broadcast: Oct. 19, 2015

Oregon Experience explores the origins and the evolution of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Murder On The Southern Pacific

OPB | Broadcast: May 4, 2015

In 1923, a Southern Oregon train holdup sparked one of the nation’s largest manhunts and helped established modern criminal forensics.

Portland Civil Rights: Lift Ev'ry Voice

OPB | Broadcast: April 21, 2015

Lift Ev’ry Voice explores Portland’s African-American history with a focus on the turbulent 1960s, ’70s and early ’80s. At the time, issues surrounding urban renewal, school desegregation and brittle police relations were exploding both nationally and locally.


OPB | Broadcast: Jan. 26, 2015

Founded in 1811 by wealthy fur baron John Jacob Astor, Astoria is the oldest United States settlement west of the Rocky Mountains. Learn more about the multifaceted history of this city and where those two centuries of activity have brought Astoria today.

State of Jefferson

OPB | Broadcast: Sept. 29, 2014

Southern Oregon and Northern California make up the mythical State of Jefferson. The “state” is the product of local lore, regional identity, and pride for its residents. It remains a symbol of an enduring rural-urban divide. Now, some are working to make it the 51st official state.

Luther Cressman, Quest For First People

OPB | Broadcast: April 30, 2014

A new Oregon Experience examines an Oregon man’s lifelong search for America’s first people. 

Ken Kesey: An Oregon Life

OPB | Broadcast: Jan. 3, 2014

Ken Kesey, author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1962) and Sometimes a Great Notion (1964), was one of the best-known authors to ever emerge from Oregon. Airing January 20 at 9 p.m.  

Portland Noir

OPB | Broadcast: Sept. 26, 2013

From shanghaied sailors to opium dens, Portland’s illicit past is legendary. But how much of it is true?  Portland Noir examines Old Town’s sordid history.


OPB | Broadcast: Sept. 16, 2013

In 1943, as World War II raged in Europe and the Pacific, thousands of men and women from across the United States began arriving in a remote part of south-central Washington state. They knew very little about why the U.S. government had hired them — only that it was an important project to support the war effort. It was a project that would change the world forever.

Capturing Oregon's Frontier

OPB | Broadcast: April 9, 2013

Tom McCall

OPB | Broadcast: March 19, 2013