• The arts and humanities are sacred: traditions that represent humanity’s search for meaning (the humanities) and expression (the arts).
  • The arts and humanities are a right: everyone without exception or constraint should have access to education in the arts and humanities.
  • All are equal, all are one: equality, fairness, and solidarity among all beings.
  • Learning from the past, working for a better tomorrow: we’ve accomplished much, but much is still left to be done.


Andrea Budde

Community Coordinator

Andrea organizes a weekly poetry group that supports poets through peer critiques, one-on-one editing, and by providing other resources. She has worked as a journalist for nearly a decade, and has received a Wisconsin Community Papers Second Place award for her work. Andrea holds a BA in Writing from the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater.

Daniel Johnson

Community Coordinator

Daniel hosts and facilitates the Portland Digital Dabblers, a nonprofit that provides free workshops and social opportunities for digital artists. He holds a BS in Energy Systems Engineering, from Oregon State University, where he also studied Communications, Business & Entrepreneurship. In his spare time he enjoys hiking, trail running, sketching, and learning Blender 3d.

Donovan James


Donovan oversees The People’s Colloquium’s finances and budget. He writes and directs plays, and muses on whether or not existence can be distilled down into utterances burped from meat holes. If not, maybe we’re just here to seek growth, embrace change, and be kind to others—and above all, reallocate all the money and resources used on war to shelter, feed, and educate every human being on this planet.

Evelyn McLean

Community Coordinator

Evelyn co-hosts the Stereoscope Workshop series, an experimental and interdisciplinary free school within the colloquium. She is a multidisciplinary artist and a member of Sundae Theory, a longstanding collective of friends who write, think, and organize events together. She has a BA in Experimental Writing from The Evergreen State College and is pursuing an MSW from Portland State University.

Hannah Herzig


Hannah oversees The People’s Colloquium’s internal documentation and communication. She also acts as a weekly poetry critique facilitator. During the day, she’s a project manager for a logistics company, and during the evening, Hannah enjoys reading and writing poetry, watching basketball, and eating any food a dear friend will cook for her. She holds a BA in English.

Ian Garlington

Community Coordinator

Ian facilitates the Portland Association of Deleuze Studies’ weekly seminar and is exploring experimental film projects with other Portlanders. He spent 15 years in Japan, where he worked as a translator and earned a PhD in American Literature at Osaka University. His dissertation investigated the influence of psychedelics on science fiction and comics.

Jared Linder

Community Coordinator

Jared hosts and facilitates The Critiquery, a weekly writer’s critique group. He’s also an editor for Typehouse Literary Magazine. He’s driven by a love of creative writing and a strong belief that all other forms of art should be accessible to all. He holds a BA in English from the University of Southern California, and a JD from Loyola Law School Los Angeles.

Kristen MacDonald


Kristen organizes The People’s Colloquium’s board of directors. She attends various creative writing critique groups and philosophy groups. She holds degrees in political science and the visual arts, has taught at the college level, and serves on the boards of several Portland-area nonprofits.

Lily Blackburn

Community Coordinator

Lily (she/her) hosts and facilitates Write to Publish, a weekly writer’s critique group for short stories and personal essays. She is an editor for Typehouse Literary Magazine and a graduate of Portland State University. She holds a BA in English with a focus in creative writing. Her work can be found in World Literature Today, Little Fictions | Big Truths, JMWW and more.

Raven Connolly

Vice President

Raven assists with organizing The People’s Colloquium’s board of directors. She’s an enthusiastic facilitator of multiple seminars in philosophy and religion on and She holds a BA from The Evergreen State College where she studied Evolutionary Biology and Multimedia Art. She is continuing her education in philosophy through a growing repertoire of online offerings.

Richard Pope

Executive Director

Rich is responsible for strategic planning for the nonprofit as a whole and for organizing its volunteers. He’s passionate about offering free educational events, including seminars and critique groups, in creative writing, philosophy, and literature on and He holds a BA in philosophy from Kent State University, and a MS in Traditional Chinese Medicine from The Oregon College of Oriental Medicine.

Shannon St. Hilaire

Community Coordinator

Shannon is a regular participant in the Write to Publish critique group. She holds BAs in English and Spanish and is a freelance writer. Her short stories and creative nonfiction have been published in The Forge, Hobart, Entropy, X-R-A-Y, and elsewhere.

Tyler Whitson

Community Coordinator

Tyler is a mediator between The People’s Colloquium and various philosophy groups. He is a co-organizer and regular participant in philosophical close-reading groups focused on, but not limited to, authors such as Plato, Kant, and Hegel. He also has an interest in the arts in general, more particularly visual art, and has participated in traditional art groups. Pen, ink, and watercolor are his mediums of choice.

Our Allies

Ink Stained Creative is a small agency that does branding, marketing and advertising for businesses and nonprofits, including the People’s Colloquium. We think Dave of Ink Stained is just about the easiest guy in the world to work with. Our highest recommendation!

John Koch is lawyer based in Portland, Or., who provides legal services for writers, artists, small businesses, and nonprofits. Also a member of The People’s Colloquium’s board of directors, John has been incredible to work with and a great value. Get in touch with him!