Governor Tina Kotek awarded the Cultural Trust’s Celebrate Oregon! float the Governor’s Award during the live television broadcast of the June 10 Portland Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade, citing it as the float that best depicts life in Oregon. It was the first time in 25 years that an Oregon Governor presented the award in person.
“We are incredibly honored,” said Brian Rogers, Cultural Trust executive director. “The Celebrate Oregon! artwork was designed to reflect and respect our people and their cultural practices. Governor Kotek’s recognition tells us we have achieved that goal.”
Designed for the Cultural Trust license plate, the Celebrate Oregon! artwork is a vibrant tapestry of Oregon geography into which are woven 127 symbols that reflect and respect the diversity of Oregon’s people and cultural traditions. The artwork, a celebration of Oregon arts, heritage and humanities, has also been displayed on full-scale murals at Oregon’s four largest airports and in a custom “wrap” of the Oregon Coast Art Bus.
“When the artwork was finalized, we realized its power to unite Oregonians,” said Rogers. “Everyone who views the artwork finds a personal connection, making them feel included and part of the Oregon story. That is why we continue to seek out new public platforms for the artwork and partnered with the Portland Rose Festival.”
Nang Sangkhan Lao New Year 2023 were the float’s official “walkers;” Celebrate Oregon! artist Liza Mana Burns was the featured float rider. The float was preceded by Ballet Papalotl – a folklórico dancing group – and followed by the White Lotus Foundation Lion and Dragon Dancers’ 100-foot long Chinese dragon.