Mayo Street Arts is an interdisciplinary organization, with an emphasis on dance, theater, puppet theater, International music and visual arts.
International Music Series: Based on the idea that music is inherent to strengthening community in cultures around the world, the International Heritage Music Series celebrates regional music and dance traditions. Past performances have showcased leading artists in Afro-Carribean percussion and song, Bulgarian women’s vocal music, Manouche Gypsy Jazz, and African percussion and dance. Artists are chosen for the series based on artistic excellence and diversity.
National Night Out – an annual neighborhood festival in collaboration with Community Policing promoting neighborhood solidarity and crime awareness. Mayo Street Arts organizes the entertainment for this festival, and puts on a puppet parade and dance performances with neighborhood youths who participate in our afterschool programs Club Hip Hop and the Children’s Puppet Workshop.
MSA hosts an ongoing International Open Mic, a live open mic that is open to all languages and cultures and has become a talent feeder for national festivals.
Theater and Puppetry: Mayo Street Arts presents award-winning puppetry performances for adults, many of whom we seek via UNIMA or learn about as Jim Henson Grant awardees, host and organize an annual Puppet Slam for budding puppet artists, as well as a Puppeteer’s Happy Hour, an informal gathering for puppet artists to view and critique each other’s work.
The Children’s Puppet Workshop is a program for neighborhood children and area underserved youths to learn the art of puppetry and experience live puppet theater with our puppeteer in residence or other professional troupes performing. MSA puppeteers also do outreach workshops at area schools. Throughout the year, we present puppet theater shows for families and adults featuring local and international troupes. Family shows are offered at a low admission cost and free or sliding scale admission to neighborhood youths. MSA hosts several local theater programs throughout the year for performances and rehearsals.
Education Programs: Most programs for youth are free by invitation for children ages 5-14. Programs take place after school and on weekends. Summer tutoring program is in collaboration with East End Community School. RAD (Reading, Art, Dance) is in collaboration with LearningWorks, the Portland Public Library, the Boys and Girls Club, the YMCA, and Portland Housing. MSA does outreach, planning, funding, recruiting, and staffing for these programs. Club Hip Hop meets seasonally and is taught by teachers from Portland Youth Dance and returning students from years past.