Portland’s Congress Square Plaza came alive Wednesday with a full day of activities made possible by a Heart of the Community grant from Southwest Airlines – funds meant to revitalize a public space and transform it into a vibrant and vital place for community interaction.

Working with the nonprofit Project for Public Spaces, the Friends of Congress Square Park assembled a program that included tai chi in the morning, a community picnic, live music from the Polaroid Garden Jazz Band, expressive Argentine tango with the dancers of PortTango, children’s activities with the Children’s Museum and Oak Street Studios, and performances of African drum and dance.

David LaCasse, president of the Friends of Congress Park, described working with the organizations as “a game changer for Congress Square Park.” More art and community events are planned in the coming months.