While most downtown businesses are doing what they can to prevent protesters from spray painting their property, a Portland theater company decided to tag its own building to express its support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
At first, the lack of narration in the video makes it unclear whether the tagging was vandalism or done on purpose. That's when the camera operator states that Artists Rep is behind the newly painted rallying cries across its façade.
"You want to talk about who deserves better? Black people deserve better," the person recording says. "So this is just a building, which is our choice to tag. And if you're struggling with the gravity, I would definitely suggest start writing down and speaking out loud the names of all the people that have been killed."
Several hours before the planned tagging, Artists Rep used its social media account to encourage people to join the visual protest on Southwest Morrison Street in lieu of using the theater as temporary shelter for demonstrators. That's because the company does not currently have access to its longtime home.
Artists Rep had to move out last June, selling half the building, while the other portion is being remodeled for theater productions. The 2019-20 season went on the road, with productions being held at other venues throughout the city, from Portland Opera to the Tiffany Center, until COVID-19 cut it short.
Artists Rep isn't the only theater company supporting the protests. Portland Center Stage has started opening its historic Armory space at Northwest 11th Avenue and Davis Street for participants to use the restroom, charge electronic devices and consume water and granola bars that were donated to the venue for this effort.