This April marks 36 years of Pioneer Courthouse Square serving as Portland’s Living Room and gathering place. Under normal circumstances, we’d be coming together – singing, dancing and celebrating all that the Square has brought into our community over the years. Instead, what is usually the bustling center of our Downtown now lies empty as our community practices social distancing and moves from our City’s Living Room into their own living rooms.

The emptiness of our City’s most-visited public park can feel isolating. But in reality, it is a rare expression of community and love. We feel Singer-songwriter Paul Williams says it best, “When you go out and see the empty streets, the empty stadiums, the empty train platforms, don’t say to yourself, ‘It looks like the end of the world.’ What you’re seeing is love in action. What you’re seeing, in that negative space, is how much we do care for each other.”

For 36 remarkable years, the Square’s mission has been to program and enrich our Downtown gathering space. During this unprecedented and uncertain time, our mission remains the same although our methods are evolving. That’s why we hope to bring the joy and sense of community that is felt in Portland’s Living Room directly into your own living rooms each day.

Over the last few years, we’ve made mental, physical and artistic community wellness a priority. Now more than ever, those wellness practices are of the utmost importance. In the months ahead we will roll out programs and resources via our social media channels for you to bring these practices into your own homes. You’ll be able to experience mindfulness tips, music, interviews and more through a series of interactive virtual programming that will begin rolling out this week.

We’ll be back in the Square together again soon – until then, we’ll come to you. Make sure you follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to get first access to all the new content that will be rolling out shortly. We know these uncertain times mean something different for everyone. If you’re able to support the Square’s free community programming, you can Become A Member of the Square or you can #GiveABrick. All the proceeds will go towards maintaining these programs whether physically in Portland’s Living Room or virtually in your own. We look forward to being with you soon.