by Simeon Jacob
APANO Operations Associate
This past year the Jade APANO Multicultural Space (or JAMS, for short) has seen an array of great feats, and continued to build its identity as a quintessential hub for communities to gather, organize, create, celebrate, and flourish.
For those unfamiliar with JAMS, it is the old furniture store located on the southwest corner of SE 82nd and Division St. Long vacant, Metro acquired the property, and APANO worked with them to begin renting the building for community use. Since then, this space has become a defacto cultural center for those that live, work, and visit the area. In 2016, over 23,800 people passed through JAMS’ double doors.
JAMS is home to 4 nonprofit organizations: Outgrowing Hunger, Passion Impact, Unit Souzuo, PACC, Portland Ultimate Frisbee, and has been an organizing space for our numerous community partners. Those include: PCHRP, City of Portland, South Tabor Neighborhood Association, Backyard Habitats, Multnomah County Health Department, Portland Public School Dual Language Department, Skate Like A Girl, Oregon Law Center, COFA Alliance National Network Healthcare Enrollment, Micronesian Islander Community.
Thematically, many events at JAMS reflected the local political landscape at a time when community dialogues, transportation safety, cultural work and organizing are centered.
CONVERSATION. 2016 saw a year of intense political climate and JAMS provided a space for the community to converse on major issues and in some cases directly with those who were in position of power. These events include Oregon Humanities “This Place Series”, Roundtable with Ron Wyden, Office of Equity and Human Rights community gathering, and a luncheon with Mayor Ted Wheeler.
CULTURAL HUB. Rooted in the core of the Jade District, JAMS acts as a cultural hub, housing Arts Placemaking: Division Street Stories Open Mic with Solomon Starr, Living Stages Puppet with Tamara Lynne, and Sabina Haque’s 2 month-long Annexation and Assimilation Art Installation. Additionally, a number of one-off cultural events took place, including the Chinese Times Morning TV Show Filming, Chinese Opera Concert, Dis/Orientated/Ed Comedy with Jenny Yang, DJ Anjali and the Incredible Kid hosting Diwali Party, and the East Portland Holiday Bazaar.
TRANSPORTATION. Located on the corner of SE 82nd and Division, JAMS sits at a High Crash Intersection and has been a key space for the groups to organize to around safety for our communities, including Bike Portland, BTA Oregon, OPAL Bus Riders Unite Campaign, and Trimet Powell-Division Transit Project.
YOUTH ORGANIZING. A number of youth groups and youth-centered organizations have called JAMS their meeting space, including Franklin Key Club, OPAL’s Youth Environmental Justice Alliance, Multnomah Youth Commission, and Momentum Alliance.
With roughly six months left until we break ground for the new development, we can’t wait to see what else happens in the old furniture store!
To book our space, fill out our rental request form. For any questions, contact Operations Associate Simeon Jacob at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also stay updated on events happening in JAMS, by liking the JAMS Facebook page!