Oregon Culinary Event Didn’t Charge Black Attendees; Others Paid $80

On Sunday, the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art staged a “Black Feast: Black Imagerial” event in Oregon where Black entrants got in free or submitted a donation of their choosing — while others were charged an $80 admission fee.

The event, showcasing the “Black Imagerial” work of chef Salimatu Amabebe, was three hours in duration and promoted as a “culinary event celebrating Black artists and writers through food.”

The event description also read: “At our table, guests participate in an experience that weaves together food and art, where Salimatu [Amabebe] works with Black artists to create a multi-course, vegan, gluten-free meal based off of the artist’s work.”

The event also featured a performance featuring interpretive dance while sampling the meal.

Another part of the description stated: “With eight Black dancers and artists moving with the land, Black Imagerial recognizes Black movement as embodied image-making and visionary practice.”

Last week, the Twitter account “@LibsofTikTok” (1.3 million followers) first noted the uniqueness of the event’s race-based admission policy.

The event is apparently sold out, according to the institute’s website. The capacity for the event was reportedly limited to 40 people.

The Blaze reports that it was “unclear” if Black patrons seeking free tickets had to verify their race before receiving entry passes, or if mixed-race art lovers also got into the event free of charge.

The event advertisement specified that “black guests could attend for free.” It also encouraged Black patrons to use a promo code (“blackmovement”) to receive the free tickets.

“This meal is created as a celebration, a dance, and an offering. This meal is created for you,” read the festival name.

According to reports, Black Imagerial was merely one event featured at the 20th annual Time-Based Art Festival, which strives to push “against this edge of what it means to make — and who can participate in — contemporary art.”

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