With LOVE and intention,
our vision quickly manifested...
We moved into an empty space in February 2022.
We started holding community events in March.
The Soul Restoration Center is housed within the location of the former Albina Arts Center, which was established in the 1960s after Black youth advocated for a safe gathering space where they could take free creative arts, dance and music classes, taught by Black professionals.
The building became a significant Black community hub until the 1970s. Several organizations occupied the building over the decades. Yet, it had been completely closed for about 16 months before it was temporarily reactivated by a few Black artists in late 2021 through January 30.
In February 2022, I Am MORE started transforming the neglected space into a healing-centered, arts-focused Black respite that collaborates with heart-centered individuals, organizations and other partners who value Black lives.
NOTE: In late 2023, the Oregon Community Foundation went through a months-long, community-engagement process to eventually gift this historical building to the Portland Black-run non-profit POIC + RAHS, in partnership with programming partner PassinArt theatre company. The Soul Restoration Center will continue to operate in the space and center its healing, creativity and inter-generational cultural programming.
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The Center welcomes all generations to attend our music, arts, and creative-making events. Some drop by just to sit, relax and be at peace.
Social Emotional Activation
We intentionally created a culturally relevant environment of social-emotional safety. This includes round tables, padded chairs, a sectional couch, lots of local art, colorful rugs, cultural books, water features, drums, meditation area, empowerment quotes, a fireplace for ambiance, incense diffusers, love, etc.