By Nancy Varekamp, CNews Editor
Soon this month, 4520 N.E. 42nd Ave. will be the latest place for people who want to move.
Call it exercise, fitness or movement. Our 42nd Avenue sponsors the new business and calls it “community in motion,” (com)motion for short. The parentheses are silent.
Collaborative efforts between Our 42nd Avenue, Theresia Munywoki and community members are funding the build out. Once open, Theresia will manage the space and oversee its operation while acting as liaison between teachers.
Classes may range from quiet, gentle yoga to the less quiet voguing, Zumba, dance and martial arts. Although no one will be turned away, the emphasis at (com)motion is on teachers and students of diverse backgrounds.
“We want underrepresented teachers to have a place to teach and for underrepresented people to have a place to come to learn,” Theresia explained. “Portland has a shortage of diverse spaces and a shortage of spaces for diverse people.
“So I’m reaching out to teachers of color, body inclusive teachers, teachers with disabilities and queer teachers,” she explained. “This is a place for diverse people to be seen, and to see each other.
“It’s important to make space for that. Our goal is for everyone to think this is a place where they fit in.” A longtime yoga practitioner – and now certified yoga instructor – plus a 16-year veteran of various dance styles, Theresia is enjoying the job.
“I’ve worked as a manager before, but never on a project like this,” she said with a laugh. Now she and business partner Laura Voss are involved with the process from meeting teachers, to inspections, to convening with Nick and Risa Boyer, the builders/owners of Makers Row.
And she’s learned to be patient with delays. “The rain slowed down the beginning of construction. Even the ash impacted us because construction workers were released early a couple of days when the air quality got bad, and when we were nearing completion.”
Makers Row is a three-story project, with (com)motion as one of two businesses – along with Rawdacious Desserts – on the ground floor. Nineteen apartments share the rest of the building.