Summer Dance School Students, 1948

A group of summer dance school students with Recreation Director Dorothea Lensch (second from right) dancing in the park, 1948.


City of Portland (OR) Archives, A2001-013.124.


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3 thoughts on “Summer Dance School Students, 1948

  1. Dorothea Lensch was a great advocate for the arts in Portland, reaching far beyond the city parks to build collaboration across the city. She was a supporter of Portland opera companies and of the Portland Youth Philharmonic.

  2. The Portland Children’s Museum site has this information about her:

    “In 1946 visionary Portlander, Dorothea Lensch, founded the “Junior Museum and Adventure House,” as part of Portland Parks and Recreation. Lensch, who served as Portland’s recreation director from 1937–1972, was particularly dedicated to meeting the needs of Portland’s underserved communities. She developed innovative programs for children with special needs and for economically disadvantaged families, a legacy that lives on in our mission and core values.”

  3. Thanks for answering something I’ve wondered about for years! Growing up in Portland in the 1950s my family always went to the free outdoor evening performances in Washington Park’s Rose Garden amphitheater. We saw opera, symphony, folk dance,and those wonderful park bureau pageants featuring talented kids from all over Portland. I even took part one summer as a dancing beggar in the park bureau’s performance of “Aladdin”, circa 1957. And these programs were always introduced by that amazing, tall and dignified lady in a summer-white suit, Dorothea Lensch. What a cultural beacon Miss Lensch was in my boyhood! I still recall her and her with great fondness.

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