This Week's Curator: Janet Benitez of Rosewood Initiative.

Janet Benitez is a 23-year-old first-generation Mexican American. She grew up in the Rosewood neighborhood right across the street from where she works now at Rosewood Initiative as a Resource Navigator. In addition to her full-time job, Janet recently started a Master of Social Work program at PSU. She got her BSW, as well as a BA in Spanish, from George Fox University. Janet loves to go on walks, connect with people, and she is learning how to garden. 

This Week's Curator: Kimmie Hutchins, Owner of Jam Cakes.

Kimmie Hutchins owns Jam Cakes, a cake decorating business with a loyal cult following, She's often booked for months in advance. She is a married mother of two little ones, and she lives in NE Portland in the Madison South neighborhood, near Rocky Butte. Kimmie was adopted from Korea as a young girl, and she was raised in a small logging town in Oregon. She has lived here in Oregon for most of her life. She has a background in painting and used to show her work and ran a small art gallery in downtown Portland. She fell into cake decorating a few years ago, and in 2016, Kimmie started Jam Cakes and now makes custom cakes and treats full time. When Kimmie is not working on cakes, she’s usually spending time with her family and probably driving her kids all over town to all of their activities.

Introducing our Inaugural Curator: Community Connector and Leader Sarah Iannarone.

Sarah Iannarone is the Associate Director of First Stop Portland, a program she helped develop in 2008 while a doctoral student in the Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University. Her areas of expertise include social equity, urban placemaking, climate action planning, and sustainable development. Her research explores how urban planning polices and best practices move from place to place.

Welcome to East PDX. We live here.

Welcome to East PDX. This is an incredibly diverse and incredibly vast area of Portland, Oregon. We have: incredible natural areas, such as Powell Butte; gorgeous murals, such as the one at the Boys & Girls Club in Lents, or the various murals in the secret alleys in Foster-Powell, or the brand-new mural at the Trimet station at NE 82d; international foods and markets; wonderful parks that were hard fought for and are lovingly maintained; and people from all racial, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds who know hard work, struggle, hope, success, and giving back.