By Karen Lotts | CNA Media Team
Cerimon House turns 10 this month and, to celebrate, the arts and humanities organization is hosting “The Ten Spoke Wheel” anniversary fundraising gala Saturday, May 11.
Festivities include a formal dinner, music and storytelling entertainment, art installations, a silent auction, and a surprise announcement, according to Randall Stuart, founder and artistic director.
He promised the building will be bedazzled with current and past art exhibits. The art gallery will transform into an auction hall that extends through the end of the month, along with a musicenhanced performance about Cerimon House’s journey. The month’s festivities also include a new art exhibit.
Cerimon House’s mission is to foster the four Cs: community, curiosity, creativity and ceremony. It accomplishes this with events that spark conversation, togetherness and inspiration, such as art exhibits, talks, discussions, plays, music and crafting.
The Creative Path Walk features a labyrinth that offers a variety of contemplative walking patterns and suggests a different theme for contemplation each month.
The building also offers rental space when available, and it’s used by community groups and nonprofits whose missions align with its own.
The idea for the organization took root in 2009 when Randall, a professor and theater artist, envisioned a space where education, the humanities and arts could mingle and be showcased in a supportive community environment. He presented his vision to friends and peers who then joined him in creating the nonprofit.
Not wanting to wait for funding for a location, they spent the next five years hosting events in shops, book stores and rental spaces throughout Portland. In 2014 they found a home in a large building in the heart of the Alberta Arts District.
The 95-year-old hall at 23rd Avenue and Sumner Street has a history as community space – first a Masonic lodge and then a Baptist church – that inspired Randall. He and the others involved in Cerimon House saved it from the wrecking ball, restored it with a vivid terra cotta color scheme and reunited it with its original purpose.
Cerimon House’s gala is an opportunity to celebrate with the community and thank the ensemble of artists, volunteers and social investors who have supported it along the way.
“We believe that, if our patrons and neighbors convene together for live events, performances and celebrations, they strengthen not only their immediate community, but really the world,” Randall pointed out.
For event tickets and to learn more about the online auction, visit CerimonHouse.org. All proceeds benefit the nonprofit.
Karen Lotts is a local freelance writer who helps local small businesses and nonprofits connect with their audiences through copywriting. She can be reached at KarenLotts.com.