Welcome! We are delighted that you are exploring our Grace Institute community!
Since 1995, when the project was founded by Grace Memorial Episcopal Church, Grace Institute has sought to lift up the human spirit through programs that engage creativity, invite discovery, and build community. The Institute gained separate non-profit status in 2005.
In 2007 – our eleventh year – Grace Art Camp attracted over 900 applicants. By 2011, we had expanded from five to seven weeks, and in this our 16th year, we welcomed over 1180 campers! Our goal continues to be to accommodate all applicants – so that no one is disappointed. Also, seeking to improve the cultural authenticity and scope of our camps, we have hired more staff to plan and manage the programs, as well as auditioned, viewed and selected more top professional artists.
Long committed to exploring world cultures with Grace Art Camp students and youth, the Institute has “traveled” the world from South America and India to Africa and Southeast Asia.
Building on our experience, Grace Institute is committed to expanding its program for adults and youth. We are seeking to collaborate with strategic and interested partners to introduce our local community to the global stage through education, information and the creative arts via a center of activity called “Global Grace.” Global Grace in partnership with its affiliate, Grace Memorial Episcopal Church, specifically aims intend to enhance our awareness of the condition of populations who need assistance and advocacy. We have had great success with these outreach efforts, raising significant funds for Earthquake relief in Haiti, a scholarship and assistance for a community Center in Kenya and assistance to a new orphanage in the Colca Valley of Peru.
If Grace Art Camp is about opportunities for our own children, Global Grace is about presenting us with opportunities to bring a united voice of creativity and compassion into a troubled world through a global network of relationships between Portland, Oregon and communities throughout the world.
Grace Institute has recreated its original Peace Camp, founded in response to September 11, 2001, naming it Bridges to Understanding and Peace. Addressing the deep longing of people of all ages, cultures and faiths to have a peaceful and safe place to live, the “Bridges to Peace and Understanding Camp focuses on how different faith traditions interpret peace and, through interactive experiences and studio art projects in music, visual arts, fiber arts, glass, aims to open the hearts and imaginations of students ages 6 to 12, while emphasizing that peace-making begins with personal practice. Grace Institute also added a new Spring Break Art Camp in 2012! The Spring Camp is dedicated to the continual awareness of rising hope in the hearts of humans, finding its interpretation and expression through the arts.
Community develops when we realize that the true riches of our community, city, country and world are the diverse gifts of all its citizens joined together for the common good. At Grace Institute we are committed to continuing to find ways to allow human relationships to flourish in a positive way for the benefit of all.
In an age where the human spirit is too often sorely tried, it is good to know that we can recognize the need to protect the possibility for the simple human desire to discover, create and commune with others who seek to do the same.
Director, Grace Institute