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Something new has opened to the public in the Sellwood Community House, at 15th and Spokane Street

DAVID F. ASHTON - Providing a lively soundtrack for the Sellwood Community Houses Studio Gallery Open House were the musical trio of Niamh Branigan, Nancy Jarrell, and Mark Roberts. The Sellwood Community House came alive with socially-distanced activity in the late afternoon of Friday, February 26, as its new Studio Gallery space was opened to the public for the first time.

The space, which is on the first floor, at the rear of the building – and was last known as the "mat room" – had been painted with new flooring installed, and was hosting a showing the work of watercolor artist Molly Hodge, who is also a first-grade teacher at nonprofit Community House.

A fiddler trio played music in the front "great room", serenading those who came to visit the new Studio Gallery.

"Our fiddlers this evening are a small part of a collective of fiddlers who rehearse here at the Sellwood Community House," Program Director Erin Fryer pointed out.

"We organized this open house so the community could see the improvements our volunteers and staff have lovingly contributed to caring for this historic building," Fryer explained. The building, which began as a YMCA over a century ago, had for decades been operated by Portland Parks and Recreation as the "Sellwood Community Center", at S.E. 15th and Spokane Street, before PP&R closed it for budgetary reasons and it was reopened by a community-based nonprofit.

"This particular event highlighted our new outdoor pavilion and studio space, which are both beautiful additions that we hope to provide as options for members of the community seeking party, reception, shower, and other gathering spots," Fryer told THE BEE.

Over the course of several hours, about 100 guests came through the building's common areas.

"We hope that the community will continue to recognize this treasure that is nestled right in the center of our community, Fryer said. "The Sellwood Community House remains a thriving organization, even during the COVID-19 pandemic – one where we provide care for children, provide engagement opportunities for the community, and remain a relevant and adaptive creative resource."

Stay in touch with their activities online – www.sellwoodcommunityhouse.org


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