First SaturdayPDX is a monthly opportunity to enrich our understanding and increase awareness of a wide range of China-related topics. Free of charge, we provide presentations to cover arts and culture, history and international relations related to the Middle Kingdom.
The history ofFirst Saturday PDX is deeply entwined with the opening of the Portland Lan Su Chinese Garden (originally Lansuyuan, Garden of the Awakening Orchid) in September, 2000. Modeled after the literati gardens of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), this landscaping achievement literally has roots dating back thousands of years and transplanted from Portland's Sister City of Suzhou. Like its ancient forebears, Portland's Chinese Garden has many layers of hidden meanings. Full appreciation of the garden requires a deeper understanding of Chinese culture, history, and traditions, particularly those from the Ming Dynasty - thus our program was born. Our logo, the white peony, is an auspicious traditional floral symbol of China, representing spring, female beauty, prosperity, and honor. What began as a continuing education program for the Garden’s docents expanded to include any interested in broadening perspectives about China and its impact on the world. As a not-for-profit organization dedicated to building bridges and increasing awareness, First Saturday PDX is proud to offer all of our presentations free of charge. We are able to do this because of the generosity of our guest speakers, our programming committee members, and faithful volunteers, all of whom donate their time - as well as an invaluable collaboration withPortland State University's Institute for Asian Studies and support from the Northwest China Council.
Since 2001, First Saturday PDX has offered over 170 public programs. Following the academic calendar, our season runs from September to June onthe first Saturday of every month from9:30 - 11:00 am,and is free and open to the public.Our location on the second floor (Rm 230) has an elevator and is wheelchair friendly, with unrestricted viewing and comfortable desks for taking notes.
Each presentation is typically followed by a no host lunch with our presenter where we continue the discussion and have some good food, Chinese style - come eat with us.
See our Current Season description and images from completed programs HERE.
See what we're up to on our Facebook page HERE
Our instructive programs are developed in collaboration with PSU’s Institute for Asian Studies, and are free and open to the public. For further information on our upcoming presentations, go to our Current Season Schedule page.