by Todd Struble
Jade District Manager
The mission of the Jade District is rooted in building power in our community and fighting displacement pressures on folks that live in the area around Southeast 82nd Avenue and Division Street. As part of that mission, we understand that the community which is most affected by investments and decisions in the area will have the best understanding of what the needs of the community are and what support is needed.
This is something that distinguishes the Jade International Night Market from other outdoor events held in Portland; we are proud to say that the idea, planning, design and implementation of the Jade International Night Market came predominantly from members in the community. The Jade District held a community visioning process in 2014 to identify what residents, neighbors, and workers in the area wanted to see happen in the neighborhood. You can see the visioning report here. One of the many ideas our community came up with included an outdoor event where neighbors could come together, share their experiences, culture, and food with their community and the rest of Portland.
From that idea a tiny group of resident volunteers recruited an event coordinator and worked tirelessly to recruit vendors and performers for the first Jade International Night Market in 2014. A vision to reality, the first Jade International Night Market took place in August of 2014. Where our committed group of volunteers was hoping for a few hundred participants in this pilot project, over 6,000 people attended the first night of the event, and by the end of the events, over 20,000 people visited the Jade International Night Market to celebrate and support the event.