Special Events

MANA 2013 was such great fun! Here's a summary of some of the special events (and info about the performers) so you can remember it!


The Portland Planning Committee brought together four local performance groups for your world-music entertainment: "Taiko," an award-winning Asian American drumming ensemble; the Jefferson Dancers multi-ethnic dance company performing African dance, the Northwest Dragon and Lion Dance Association, and Ballet Folklorico, a Mexican dance group of students in middle and high school.



Through innovation and excellence in taiko, Portland Taiko affirms Asian American pride, inspires audiences, builds community, and educates about our heritage and culture.

Portland Taiko is an award-winning Asian American drumming ensemble. Rhythm, melody, and movement are woven together into an exhilarating musical experience. Taiko, the Japanese word for drum and the name of the art form, has its roots in Japanese tradition and was used in religious ceremonies, community festivals and theater.

Portland Taiko brings its own unique, contemporary style and innovations in taiko to over 70,000 people a year. Equally important to artistic excellence is the element of sharing and inspiring others through hands-on education, from local elementary schools to our public classes and workshops available for all people of all ages. Portland Taiko is eager to share its artistry throughout the greater Portland community as well as the country, through education and entertainment. To date, PT has reached over 1 million audience members at over 1500 performances at theatres, schools, and festivals.

Jefferson Dancers

The Jefferson Dancers are the elite dancers of the nationally known dance department at Jefferson High School. For 37 years the company has comprised the school's most advanced dance students who come to Jefferson High School for dance training. It is a multi-ethnic company of dancers, ages 14-18. The program is dedicated to educating and preparing students for the depth of commitment it takes to physically and mentally prepare themselves for a performing arts career. In this professional dance company environment students begin to understand the responsibility required of them and the rewards of contributing to a product of exceptional quality. Unlike most dance companies, The Jefferson Dancers are trained and perform works in all dance styles. The company's diverse repertoire includes over 200 works of Modern, Tap, Ballet, Jazz, African, Ethnic, and Musical Theatre, choreographed by nationally recognized choreographers.

Northwest Dragon & Lion Dance Association

At the Northwest Dragon & Lion Dance Association we teach the traditional lion and dragon dance. We actively perform at various business, schools, and community functions. Our mission is to pass on the knowledge and culture of traditional lion and dragon dance to the next generation and to share these traditions with the community. The Northwest Dragon & Lion Dance Association started teaching the traditional lion and dragon dance in 1996. Our team was invited by the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Parade Committee to represent the State of Oregon by participating in the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Parade in Washington DC where we performed in front of President Obama. The team also represented the Chinese community in the 2012 Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade in Portland Oregon.

Ballet Folklorico

The Forest Grove School District Ballet Folklorico "Lo Nuestro," is a Mexican folk dancing group comprised of elementary, middle and high school students as well as community members.


Free Film Showing: Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity from 7 - 8:30 pm

Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity asks America to talk about the causes and consequences of systemic inequity. This new film from Shakti Butler, acclaimed director of Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible and The Way Home: Women in America Talk About Race, features moving stories from 23 racial justice leaders including Amer Ahmed, Michael Benitez, Barbie-Danielle DeCarlo, Joy DeGruy, Ericka Huggins, Humaira Jackson, Yuko Kodama, Peggy McIntosh, Rinku Sen, Tilman Smith and Tim Wise. Stories are interwoven with spoken word, art, and theater. The film is supported by a conversation guide, racial equity learning modules, and a growing schedule of community film/dialogue events throughout the U.S. Learn more about the film here.

FAM Talent Show starts at 8:30 pm. Sing! Dance! Improvise!

Midwives showcased their talent at MANA's North American Idol for cash prizes and drinks!

This was a FAM fundraiser, funding more midwifery projects than anybody else!


Midwives of Color Reception from 7:30 - 9 pm

The International Center for Traditional Childbearing (ICTC) head quartered in Portland, Oregon welcomed midwives and students of color to the City of Roses in partnership with MANA for desserts and refreshments while networking with attendees, distinguished presenters and the ICTC Portland members. They participated in a silent auction to support training and education programs for student midwives and women aspiring to become midwives and had fun singing the ICTC theme song "I Love Being A Midwife."

Free Film Showing and Discussion: The Milky Way from 9 - 11 pm

The Milky Way is a film to empower mothers. In it we reveal how medical practices, social programing, and marketing influences often conspire to undermine and often derail breastfeeding mothers. We shine a light on why this happens, who benefits, and what is at stake. Most importantly, The Milky Way showcases the power of a mothers body and why it is so important to keep mothers and babies together immediately after birth in the early days of infancy as well as during any hospitalizations in infancy, including pre-term babies in the NICU.

Jennifer Davidson, RN, BSN, IBCLC*, is a pediatric nurse and lactation consultant at the progressive pediatric practice of Dr. Jay Gordon, M.D. in Santa Monica, CA. After years of working with mothers and babies Jennifer recognized a consistent need to provide her clients with essential tools to enable them to trust their bodies, trust their babies, and trust themselves, especially during the early days of new motherhood. Jennifer has the wonderful opportunity of following women from their pregnancy throughout their breastfeeding experience and is able to intimately know the women and their stories. Most important, Jennifer learns with the women how best to draw out their own knowledge in creating a successful breastfeeding experience.

Chantal Molnar, RN, MA, IBCLC*, worked at University of California, Irvine Medical Center for over 20 years. During those years she saw how damaging medical prac­tices are to breastfeeding, and realized how drastically the culture must change in order for more moms to succeed. Having witnessed the habitual separation of newborns from their mothers in those crucial moments after birth that are so critical to bonding and breastfeeding, it became increasingly clear that doctors do not perceive a mother and baby as one, holistic, synergistic unit, but instead, demonstrate a profound lack of trust in the extraordinary process of nursing a baby. Chantal holds a master’s degree in human develop­ment.

Cascade Crossing Contra Dance in the Ballroom from 9 - 11 pm

Cascade Crossing is one of the hottest Contra bands in the Pacific Northwest region. They have developed a reputation for intense creativity, breadth of instrumentation, and energizing dance crowds. Cascade Crossing's music is influenced by many styles, with touches of baroque, Caribbean, Celtic, Klezmer, traditional, northern, southern, jazz and ragtime. With many original tunes, expect the unexpected, from hard-driving reels to smooth, mysterious jigs. Using their wide range of instrumentation and styles, Cascade Crossing fills the dance hall with an exciting palette of musical colors and textures.