East Portland– and the Jade District in particular– needs more community space. For the next year and a half, we’ll have our very own 8,000 square foot community space at the intersection of SE 82nd and Division. As a result of the Jade District visioning process, and the upcoming Powell Division High Capacity Transit project, Metro, our regional planning authority, purchased the building in December 2014 to increase ridership along the future public transit route. We’re thrilled to announce the opening of the Jade District Community Space on May 7th, 2015.

This development is a major success for the community as it provides a space for neighbors to come together. Opening a community center, and improving the SE 82nd and Division intersection were major community priorities across all the cultural groups that participated in the Jade District Community Visioning. This organizing project was conducted in Chinese, Vietnamese, Russian, Spanish, and English and has served to build an inclusive vision for future development in our environment. The Jade District is excited for another aspect of our shared vision to become reality. For full visioning results, please visit http://www.jadedistrict.org/About.html.

The Jade District Community Space will be the site for APANO’s Voices of Change Celebration, center our creative placemaking project, and be part of the Jade District International Night Market opening in August 2015. We will also be sharing the space with a Taiko group, Chinese cultural performers, and a social justice theatre group. Other programming may include regular Tai Chi classes and neighborhood ping pong tournaments. The lot outside the building will become a model garden for local conservation ecology efforts in the Jade District, and support our work around environmental justice. We hope that this energy and excitement around the space allows us continue to build a more connected Jade District community.

In the long term, our community leaders are helping shape the future development of the site. As the site is redeveloped, the community has high hopes for community-serving projects to be built into that key location including affordable housing, and for the site to serve as a transportation hub. Projections currently show that this site could hold up to 40 to 60 housing units with commercial space on the ground floor.

The grand opening of the Jade District Community Space coincides with the 5th Annual Voices of Change Celebrationfor APANO on May 7th from 6:30-9:30PM. This event will take full advantage of the different areas within the space. One section of the building will serve as our performance and banquet space, having a full slate of cultural performances including a taiko group, slam poetry, Cambodian dance, and a Nepalese band. The central area will provide room for food from a locally owned Jade District restaurant: Thai Fresh. The fianl space, meant to appeal to youth of all-ages, will have a DJ, ping pong tables, and other games. All proceeds from this spectacular event will be used to support our community programming, so please join us in building something truly wonderful!

For tickets, please go to Voices of Change: Celebrate APA Heritage Month.

To volunteer for the event, please email Emily Lai at emily@apano.org.