Grand fête signals Rosewood’s reopening

Take a look at the event that showed off the newly-remodeled community center – headquarters for the outer East Portland Rosewood Initiative …

Outside Rosewood, in Centennial neighborhood, the community center doesn’t look much different that it did before the remodel. But inside, there’s a world of difference.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

What started out years ago as an idea to help improve neighborhoods bordering Gresham grew – as the Rosewood Initiative created a community center, and later leading to the designation of a City of Portland Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative area.

From a small space – around the corner of the shopping center on SE Stark Street west of SE 162nd Avenue, featuring the Su Casa Super Mercado – Rosewood took over the large but well-used space formerly housing Cue’s Billiards.

In December, the organization revealed its remodeling plans.
See “Rosewood kicks off remodeling effort”: CLICK HERE.

This spring, East Portland News checked in on the revitalization efforts.
Read “Rosewood remodel continues”: CLICK HERE.

In the background are new offices, and a computer lab – and the community space with new flooring makes this an inviting space for community groups to meet.

On the evening of May 25, Rosewood held a “re-opening party” to celebrate its new space.

“We really wanted to invite people to come in. Rosewood is all about community, and knew we wanted to celebrate with everyone, together, when the space was finished,” smiled Rosewood Initiative Executive Director Jenny Glass.

Rosewood Initiative Executive Director Jenny Glass spends a moment with Multnomah County District 4 Commissioner Lori Stegman.

Some 250 people accepted the invitation to enjoy the evening, which featured food and refreshments, music and dancing, and several speakers.

“Some of our speakers included Mustapha from New Avenues for Youth, Multnomah County District 4 Commissioner Lori Stegman, and Portland Commissioner Amanda Fritz – as well ‘Delicias Chihuahua’ Chef Jossana Michel, who credits Rosewood for helping to ‘incubate’ her business,” Glass said.

Portland Parks & Recreation Community Music Center Executive Director Gregory Dufay invites budding musicians to take lessons in their new music studio, which is now situated in Rosewood.

“What I took away from the event was that people are really excited about what we’re doing, and really supportive,” Glass noted. “All of our partners and our supporters and our neighbors showed up in good numbers. Everybody’s really excited about where we’re going as a community.”

Many of those at this event contributed financially to the remodeling effort.

Hundreds of people contributed to the fundraising campaign to help complete the remodel, Glass pointed out. “It shows incredibly wonderful broad support for the project. And also, we had dozens of people who volunteered for painting days – and 75 volunteers worked on the mosaic mural, alone.”

As far as the future of Rosewood is concerned, “We’re ready to do some big things!” Glass exclaimed. “With this remodel, we feel more legitimate and sophisticated and we have in the past, having a proper space from which to work and also make available for community programs.

Here’s a look in the new computer lab, where people can gain IT skills necessary to succeed in today’s society.

This office area provides a modern, quiet place for Rosewood partners to work.

“We’re now ready to ‘look outside of our walls’, and really grow and help the neighborhood achieve the full positive potential that it has,” concluded Glass.

Find out more about all the activities and resources available at Rosewood by exploring their website: CLICK HERE.

© 2017 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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