My co-organizer Ash & I started as just a couple of pandemic skaters, picking up skating together in the spring of 2020. When we recognized the inherent social distancing in Roller skating outdoors we thought it would be fun to invite more friends to skate with us, and if we opened it to the public we could even raise money for community organizations. I got a hold of my DJ community and we brought a sound system fit for a block party, and the neighborhood absolutely loved it.
Over the span of five events we hosted over 400 individual skaters and raised an average of $500 for community orgs from each event. By the last couple events we even had the support of the Rose City Rollers Skate Mobile, offering free skate rentals for attendees. This year we expect to be even more awesome & successful, but there’s one thing we need help with - securing a space!
Last year we didn’t have the overhead of paying for the space we used, so we did it largely on the acceptance of the surrounding neighborhood. Thanks to that I was able to fund the promotion & production of this event out of pocket. But in formally requesting the space with Portland Public Schools this year, I learned that skate events are never officially permitted on PPS grounds, and so began the search for a new home for Rise & Roll!
Since the beginning of this year, Rise & Roll has grown a in a new way, hosting open skate meetups 5+ days a week, building a passionate, engaged and regularly-attending social community of skaters, many of whom attended last years events, and also many more who found us through our social media presence. We’re proud to get to bring community together around skating and hope to continue creating spaces for joy, creativity, and camaraderie.
Funded by Portland, OR (March 2021)