White Bird's Education Outreach Program

Dedicated to education and broadening the audience of contemporary dance, White Bird has developed a series of programs that bring dance into Portland area schools and dance studios. The programs range from master classes and interactive workshops with major dance companies to an annual month long curriculum taught in the Portland Public Schools, grades 6-12.


"The project has blossomed, incorporating the talents of 67 teachers in an interdisciplinary juggernaut that includes courses outside the proscribed "cultural" scope of social studies and history
-Willamette Week


"White Bird is tireless in its efforts to continue its partnership with Portland Public Schools to create an exemplary curriculum for grades 5-12, stressing the integration of the arts with other disciplines" 
-Ron Wyden, U.S. Senator


Curriculums & Performances with Portland Public Schools


Since 2001, White Bird and Portland Public Schools have successfully partnered in developing a month-long multi-disciplinary curriculum on a particular artist or theme inspired by a dance company that White Bird is presenting. Taught through the lenses of history, anthropology, literature, art, music and dance, the curriculum sparks a passion in students who otherwise might not be exposed to contemporary culture. Each project culminates in a free student performance for 2,700 students and teachers by the dance company at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. We want to thank our Portland Public Schools Curriculum Team of Jeffrey Gilpin, Adriene Cruz, Chisao Hata and S. Renee Mitchell, as well as Donna Tucker for organizing the logistics for the student matinees at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.


"Hispanic Arts & Culture," with a free student performance by New York City's Ballet Hispanico.


"Indigenous Cultures in New Zealand and Australia," with a free student performance by New Zealand's Black Grace.


"Hip Hop in Different Cultures,” with a free student performance by Compagnie Käfig, based in France, involving 11 young men from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


Exploration of Alvin Ailey’s Revelations, focused on the history of the African American fight for freedom with a free student performance by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.


Ethnic diversity with a free student performance by Complexions Contemporary Ballet.


The Celebrations and Cultural Diversity of Brazil with a free student performance by Dance Brazil.


The theme of Cultural Exchange with a free student performance by Urban Bush Women (Brooklyn, NY) and Compagnie Jant-Bi (Senegal, West Africa).


The great African-American artist Jacob Lawrence, culminating in a student performance by Dayton Contemporary Dance Company of dance works inspired by Lawrence’s artwork.


Alvin Ailey with a performance by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.


Chinese Arts and Culture with a performance by Beijing Modern Dance.


Children of Uganda—AIDS in Africa and the healing and nurturing power of the arts.


Hispanic arts and culture, with a student performance by Ballet Hispanico, America’s leading Hispanic dance company.


Inaugurated first outreach project with Portland Public Schools in February 2001, Black History Month, on Alvin Ailey and African American culture-- introduced to 4000 elementary, middle and high school students, culminating in a free student performance by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.


"Cultural collaboration,” with a performance of The People of the Forest by Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet and the BaAka Musicians of the Central African Rain Forest.


Beijing Modern Dance
Student Matinee, March 9, 2005
photo by Basil Childers
White Bird


White Bird

A Non-profit Organization

  • Brings excellence in dance to Portland
  • Keeps ticket prices affordable
  • Commissions new works
  • Develops educational and outreach programs
  • Strengthens our community by broadening the audience for contemporary dance
Ballet Hispanico Student Matinee
February 12, 2003
photo by Basil Childers


White Bird's Community Partners

Some of the many schools, organizations, and charities that White Bird partners with:

Jefferson Dancers
Jefferson High School (PPS)
da Vinci Arts Middle School (PPS)
Buckman Arts Focus Elementary School (PPS)
NW Pilot Project
Our House of Portland
Outside In
St. Mary's Home for Boys
Beaverton  Arts & Communication Magnet Academy
Vancouver School of Arts & Academics
Reed College
Portland State University College of the Arts