Photographer Julie Keefe named Portland's creative laureate

Oregon has a poet laureate.

Now Portland has its own official creative laureate.

Portland Mayor Sam Adams named photographer Julie Keefe as the city's first creative laureate, a new post. Keefe will work with the Regional Arts and Culture Council to advocate for the arts, creative industries and arts education.

Keefe has worked in photojournalism, documentaries and community-based art projects, including the Hello Neighbor project.

“It is my hope that the position of Creative Laureate for the city of Portland will afford me the opportunity to continue advocating for the ideas I so strongly believe in — that art creates conversation, conversation creates community and everyone loves poetry written by first graders reflecting on their first photographs,” Keefe said in a prepared release.

Keefe assumes the one-year post in January, the same time Adams steps down from the City Council after deciding not to seek re-election.

The move comes a month after city voters approved a new arts income tax championed by Adams, which will benefit arts in the public schools in Portland and area arts groups.

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