Rockwood Stories

ROCKWOOD STORIES is a collection of the stories produced in collaboration between the students and residents of Rockwood and the Friendtorship project. These outlets are a small, complex, and hopeful snapshot of Rockwood as seen by its current residents and high school students.

Want to connect? Want to share a story? Want to collaborate?

Contact Lis Charman,

friendtorship is funded by the Regional Arts and Culture Council, the Jackson Foundation, and Rockwell Collins. Our goal is to increase access to design and arts learning for Rockwood's underserved high school students, empowering them to engage in experiential creative processes that improve their communities.


Throughout spring 2016, PSU students served as mentors for Rockwood's high school students, encouraging lifelong learning by having fun and building strong relationships.

In addition to being fun, these workshops addressed the very real challenges raised by the tension between gentrification and revitalization, safety and crime, access to resources and education, disconnection and personal investment within the community. Through these creative exercises, Rockwood students were invited to share their perspectives and stories about their complex relationship to their home, Rockwood.

shadowbox workshop
cyborg workshop

Robots, Cyborgs, and Sonochromatism Workshop video by Cody Cheng and Alexandra Smith, State of Mind Studio

ROCKWOOD STORIES is a collection of the complex stories and perspectives that were produced in collaboration from the students and residents of Rockwood via the Friendtorship project

Catherine Nicewood

Catherine Nicewood
One determined president of the Rockwood Neighborhood Association is battling the stereotypes of Rockwood by promoting, preserving, and enhancing it's quality of life. Where others are overwhelmed with complacency, she sees a quest for improvement, a chance for an ethnically-diverse community to thrive and grow.

Ricki Ruiz

Ricki Ruiz
One hopeful 21 year old turned the cracked cement of the neglected roller skating rink into the clean asphalt of the new Snake Park futsal court. In Rockwood, people tend to live in their separate neighborhoods, but the futsal court is the great leveler. It’s where the borders disappear, and the communities meet face to face, shake hands, and compete.

Lee Dayfield

Lee Dayfield
One visionary called upon the magic of the people to turn a forgotten park hidden by an 8-foot-tall fence and barbed wire into an accessible public land called Nadaka Nature Park. This magical jewel now shines in the middle of the neighborhood for the benefit of everyone.



Rockwood Stories visual arts exhibition was held at Tillamook Station on June 3rd 2016.

Thanks to Nate Emerson and Yvonne Perez Emerson.


Thanks, love, and appreciation to Rockwood, Oregon.

This project made possible by grants from the Regional Arts and Culture Council, Rockwell Collins and the Jackson Foundation.

Respect and Gratitude

Rockwood community members, leaders, supporters, principals, and teachers: middle and high school students from Centennial Park School, Emily Bower, Erin Cunningham, Lee Dayfield, Yesenia Delgado, Dina DiNucci, Jenny Glass, Joe McFerrin II, Ajai Huja, Laura Hyer, Nancy Karmiller, Brian Monberg, Catherine Nicewood, Gennie Nguyen, Ricardo Ruiz, Tyler Wagner, Emily Zerbe.

Portland State University: Friendtorship students, School of Art + Design, Beverly Borgman, Katharine Reed, Sinnamon Tierney, Ethan Seltzer, Pat Boas, Kate Bingaman Burt, and Robert Bucker.

Tillamook Station: Nathan Emerson and Yvonne Perez Emerson.

Friendtorship Founders

Elisabeth (Lis) Charman, professor, School of Art+Design, Portland State University.

Conrad Schumacher, academy art, language arts and culinary arts teacher at Centennial Park School, adjunct professor at Portland State University.


Zachary Schomburg

Quotes about the Rockwood neighborhood written by Centennial Park School students.


Hallie Walker


Peter Le

Karalie Juraska

Adrian Minnis


George Barberis

Kyle Charlson

Cody Cheng

Christine Dong

Ethan Allen Smith

Regional Arts and Culture Council
The Jackson Foundation
Rockwell Collins
Tillamook Station