BEARING WITNESS: James Chasse – a celebration & conversation September 17

WHAT: BEARING WITNESS: James Chasse – a celebration & conversation about the life of James Chasse Jr. on the 10th anniversary of his death

WHERE: CERIMON HOUSE – 5131 NE 23rd Avenue, Portland – MAP IT

WHEN: Saturday, 9/17/16 – Film screening @ 5:00 PM, Community Conversation @ 7:00 PM

HOW: Reservations:

On Saturday, September 17th, Cerimon House, a nonprofit humanities organization located in the heart of the Alberta Arts District, is teaming-up with the Mental Health Association of Portland and members of the community to offer a memorial, a documentary screening, and a community conversation marking the occasion of the passing of Chasse, who died in police custody ten years ago.

James Chasse

James Chasse

BEARING WITNESS: James Chasse begins with a 5:00 PM screening of Brian Lindstrom’s powerful documentary Alien Boy: the Life and Death of James Chasse.

After a brief break, a Where Are We Now? conversation will commence at 7:00 PM, featuring remarks from citizens and professionals involved in the case, the creation of the documentary film, and James’ personal life. Attendees will be encouraged to engage in a facilitated discussion with questions and observations, joining participants in bearing witness to the past, and looking toward a future where we can make significant and positive changes together.

A memorial installation will be set-up for friends, family, and citizens to add a meaningful item or written comment to honor James’ life. (Please: no balloons, open flame, or anti-police items on this peaceful and loving display.) Finally, a special announcement will be made at the event, promising a dynamic piece of public art coming to Portland in 2017.

This memorial for James Chasse is the first in a planned series of evenings at Cerimon House where Portlanders can come together and bear compassionate witness to individuals and incidents that must not be forgotten. In many ways, Cerimon House, a community-based organization, exists as a result of that day when James Chasse was pursued and died; its founder Randall Stuart was a witness to the tragedy in the Pearl District and appears as one of the interviewees in the film Alien Boy. In the wake of the incident, Mr. Stuart decided to establish “a sanctuary for the humanities and cultural arts” to produce events and programming that would allow citizens to “convene to experience the evolving human story”. Taking its inspiration from the turn-of-the-20th-century’s educational model: the Circuit Chautauqua, Cerimon House offers an active roster of programs that allow the community to meet in a safe space, and to have the deep conversations that can help to transform our relationships, and our world.