PUSH FOLDArtistic Director | Samuel Hobbs | Portland, Oregon USA
push/FOLD's artistic director Samuel Hobbs inverts on their shoulders with long legs while looking up at Tempos Circus Studio in Portland, Oregon | Photography: Gregory Bartning

Mission & Vision

Community Power through the Arts


push/FOLD fosters community power through arts education, interaction, support, and advocacy. Our primary purpose is to provide training and educational opportunities to promote health and art in communities through classes, workshops, and performances.


Through our artistic practices and service work, we seek to challenge established norms around identity, identify barriers to success built within systems, and create Story and Change through movement and sound. We envision communities that generate sustainability because education and platform resources are proximal, local, and diverse. We want access to Opportunity evenly spread across our communities so that income, location, education, culture, and identity are access points for artists, not barriers. Addressing these issues starts at the audience and tax-payer level and includes the boards of foundations and city council members, granting applications, panel training, compensation, and our collective language around art, education, and scarcity-based models. Our goal is to generate abundance-thinking that centers service so that it is understood that when we all give more than we receive, everyone is fed.

In our practice, we bring these issues to the surface and out in the open to hold dialogue with audience members, council members, artistic directors, artists, students, educators, and facilitators. We can only change our community with a community.


Culture & Values


Our culture is in our community. We seek communion with those devoted to service, learning, and growth, and who face the necessities and demands of high caliber professional performance and education with thoughtful resolve and resilience. We maintain open and honest dialogue within our family of dancers, artists, professionals, partners, and neighbors, and we foster the health, well-being, and utility of our bodies so that we may achieve, together, something greater than ourselves.


We value honest, open, and transparent communication. If transparency is not present, honesty and dialogue cannot be achieved. This is central to how our work gets made. Anything we create must come from that space so that what we create transcends individualism.


Artist Statement

Samuel Hobbs — Multi-Disciplinary Artist, Composer, Choreographer, Filmmaker

As a multi-disciplinary artist, I seek to refine the messages of our bodies to find grace and make change. I am a lover of the human form in both design and potential, fascinated by the honesty and power conveyed by simple gestures. My practice encompasses composing music, choreographing dance, paint, sculpture, films, providing manual therapy, and programming computers. As the founder and Artistic Director of push/FOLD and the Union PDX - Festival of Contemporary Dance, I am committed to developing Dance, Art, and movement education that centers around the concepts of Strength and Power.

Informed by a synesthetic perception of sound and movement in space, where music and forms merge and interplay in my creative process, I wield abstract storytelling to craft deep moodscapes and probe the complexities of identity, relationships, self, and gender dynamics. push/FOLD is the vehicle and vision for my work, which centers around the themes of Community, Power, and Identity. Dichotomy is an essential element in my artistic expression.

For me, achieving "Art" means creating transcendence—the unification of disparate elements to convey a powerful message through abstraction, which can be individually decoded and interpreted to foster change. As humans, we have a responsibility to uplift our communities. If a specific sound or movement can inspire someone to think differently, even once, we can change the world. It is our duty, and I wish it to be my Art.

Gregory Bartning | Artistic Director: Samuel Hobbs
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