Last Thursday on Alberta

 

Rose City Vaudeville

Artists, musicians and performers line the street from 15th through 30th Avenues, galleries hold their monthly openings and restaurants and bars hang new artwork for sale. Last Thursday is the largest art event in Portland as well as the most entertaining place to buy local art.

Last Thursday, the monthly Alberta Arts District festival, is now in its 17th season.

Last Thursday happens year round but during the peak summer months the street is closed from 6:00-9:30 to all vehicle traffic (May-September).

Last Thursday is a community grown event, free to all artists and art vendors, musicians, performers & visitors.

ALERT: Charley Hales office is planning to charge all vendors. Concerns? Questions? Please contact Chad Stover, contact info below.

If you would like to vend on Last Thursday, grab your handmade wares, a table and head on out to Last Thursday on Alberta.

Currently, there are no fees, registration or designated spots. (As of August’s Last Thursday, 2014.)

 

Last Thursday is for creatives, artists, musicians and performers.

Last Thursday is not for re-sales, garage sales, imported goods, corporate promotions or retail.

 

Parking can get difficult so please ride your bike or use public transportation to cut down on the congestion and we’ll see you out there!

 

Friends of Last Thursday is no more.

The spirit remains but the name has reverted back to the Mayor’s Office. FoLT has disbanded with the knowledge that we do so with never backing down to the Mayor’s uninformed demands.

Thank you to the vendors, supportive businesses and community members and all the City agencies we have worked with for the past four years.

We direct you to the mayor’s office as our community is no longer ‘authorized’ to manage this event.

For livability/community impact concerns and questions we refer you to Chad Stover.

Chad Stover, Mayor’s Office: chad.stover@portlandoregon.gov  503-823-4120

UPDATE: LAST THURSDAY

October 8, 9:30 a.m. we will be at the City Council meeting to voice our concerns and demand better political associations regarding Last Thursday and it’s current governing by Mayor Charlie Hales.

Fees, registration and placement become barriers. They do not invite the public to freely participate. It denies the child, restricts creative movement for happenings and bars those that cannot afford. It eliminates spontaneity and stifles interactions.

LT is, and has been, the only free stage for artists for 17 years. This free platform has fostered the most creative, unusual, exciting and unsterilized event in Portland, landing it into travel guidebooks, international magazine articles and exploding in popularity bringing over 80,000 people to the Alberta District during it’s 5 monthly evenings.

Now, understanding it’s popularity and what a special gem this event could be (although currently a tad bit rough on the edges) is the true trick. Why is this mayor denying giving the event ‘special designation’ for street vending such as permitted for the Rose Festival? Why is he not supporting the Alberta community to sustainably be the rightful hosts and owners of LT? Why not provide financial support rather than declaring governance? The former community group of volunteers asked for financial assistance with the festival that had been allowed to reach such a peak without ever needing to become a ‘legitimate’ permitted event. They were stuck holding a very large bag that had never needed to follow the rules. The offer was for a non-profit to run the event with their help of $5000 per event that would have been enough support to bring about an arts focused, cultural tourism diamond.

Alberta is a true model of a downtrodden neighborhood’s success in bringing people and commerce to the street. That attempt soon became the economic engine for businesses before becoming the iconic urban festival of Portland. What a story of grassroots urban process and change. Your support of this neighborhood in preserving the true nature of LT would have been a nice feather to put into your hat Hales but, at the very least they deserve a more respectful political association.

Count the number or restaurants and bars on Alberta and note that it was LT that brought a lot of business to their doors. Bartenders could reportedly make rent at at least three of the summer’s LTs. This trend has had a boomerang effect leaving Alberta Street with over 50 liquor licenses in a 20 block strip. This of course, has added to the alcohol related problems. Although when you look at the statistics and ratios it hasn’t been bad in the face of abundance. This ratio is a question for the OLCC and how it does it’s business but instead has prompted Hales to create the Late Night Tax.

LT is a public gathering. Business owners started LT as an attempt to take back the street and invited the public to share it with them and this has continued for seventeen years. Last Thursday produced a public space that has crossed cultural boundaries, backgrounds, values and associations. From their struggles came Alberta’s artistic cultural identity. They used their creative resources to build community and it is inclusive. This is something honorable, inspiring and truly grassroots in a neighborhood that has had to do it themselves having survived discrimination by zoning and accustomed to being forgotten, separated and disinvested. It is a marginalized community using urban space to redefine their economic and cultural well-being.

No. Now is the time to listen to the “200 phone calls” made in the past 2 years that have now made your policy to take the event and govern it into the ground, making it manageable enough to place under your thumb. The lies have been spun and there is no eating crow. I just want to remind our readers why Friends of Last Thursday stepped down last year; they refused to comply to closing the street only to 27th, excluding four Alberta galleries. Nor were they prepared to pay for the newly required count of 80 toilets, a 200% increase of costs placed on the organization a week before the event. They were open to the 3rd requirement, to end the event at 9:30 but would not “be a party to reopening the streets with street cleaners carrying pressurized water hoses”. I have seen photos of the amount of city vehicles used that evening to clear the streets. It was obviously due to your fear of a riot, again proving your misguided understanding and heavy hand of this whole affair.

Were those added requirements in parallel with other street fairs?

Insurgent Citizenship. We are citizens and citizens serve constitutive role in shaping the political and physical spaces in our city. It is our counter identity in this urban landscape and we claim it as ours. Other examples of insurgent citizenship that worked to create new ideas in policy is the Dias De los Muertos festivals in Southern California or the Puerto Rican Day parade in New York City.

Last Thursday demands a novel approach in order for the Alberta District to keep their cultural identity. The challenge is put forth for you to mediate between those with and without power with a broader perspective for both citizens and the city. This will take initiative by both the community, it’s artists and government leaders. It is placemaking at it’s finest. Nourishing creative culture is the answer.

Get the Hales out of our neighborhood!

Arts and culture are vital to community life. We also believe that community is vital to arts and culture. We’ve seen that the organizations who thrive are the ones who understand and connect with their communities. -National Arts Strategies

 

55 Comments

  1. I am looking for a market to sell my paintings and hand made necklaces , bracelets , keychains and ect. . My number is 541-321-**** someone please call me with info .Thankyou . James

    • All the info you need is on the website: LastThursdayonAlberta.com
      Are your necklaces, keychains, etc. handmade? Then look under artist vendors, if not look under non-art vendor.
      Please ask if you have further questions.

  2. Can’t wait for Last Thursdays and Summer to come!!

  3. I’ve heard tell….that this year 2014 Last Thursdays is officially “cancelled” and anyone setting up on Alberta on the coming monthly LTs
    ie: May-Sep. will recieve fines and or “removed” from the street!…is there any truth to this? and if so, how can we tax paying citizens that rely heavily on Last Thursdays for a major part of their income continue to participate?

    should we start a community “fine fund” or bail fund?

    • No way.
      Although Friends of Last Thursday is no more, Last Thursday lives on. The Mayor’s Office has ‘informed’ us that they will be sending out a press release stating that they will be providing the services for LT this summer. They will be paying for the trash/toilets/security etc. but we have yet to see any management or any action towards community impact. (Which is the reason they site for taking it from the community volunteer group, FoLT.)
      They have taken the management away from our neighborhood but the people own the event, which has become the 2nd largest event behind the Rose Fest, and it will continue for it’s 17th year.
      Questions or concerns? Contact Chad Stover, Mayor’s Office: chad.stover@portlandoregon.gov 503-823-4120
      Let him know you want LT to stay in the hands of this hosting neighborhood’s hands.

      • I have emailed the mayors office with my support for this event. PLEASE DO THE SAME PEOPLE!!!
        Don’t just say “I support this event”, but say WHY. :-)
        WE are the ONLY ones who can make a difference.

  4. Is Last Thursday still alive? I am new to Portland and am looking to make my paintings available to the public, any reccomendations? Thanks this event is a dream come true! http://www.RoosterHouse.org

  5. I’m so happy to learn that the event will go on! Thank you, Chad, for clearing up any confusion about the cities involvement. Looking forward to selling my woodworking, art. See you in May!

  6. is last thursday still going on next month

  7. Hi, I’m vising Portland and am very excited for this event! I just wanted to let you know that for someone new to Portland and new to this website, it’s a little unclear that FOLT is separate from Last Thursdays. When I saw above that FOLT was “no more” I thought that meant the whole event wasn’t happening any longer. It’s clarified in the comments, but it might be good to clarify it above in the text too. :)

  8. I recently emailed a request for Last Thursday for this month. May 28th. I have yet to get a reply. That being said, after viewing this web page I guess it’s best that I continue to do as I’ve always done, enjoy my paintings at home and remain hopeful that one day something may come of it. I recently was invited to the first annual Multnomah County HIV/AIDS clinic art and craft show last month. There was a great turn out and a new art group was formed for the HIV/AIDS community that is inclusive to all. My artwork was well received and I sold some paintings as well. I unfortunately had to decline participating in that group as well as it comes down the the same old song: Why does someone or some group have to spoil a good thing? Its a shame that Last Thursday and the other art group must suffer such an ordeal. I guess the common good and doing a good thing are tossed to the wayside.
    I was working on some new paintings to show at Last Thursday this month, guess I have to make more room on my living room wall. Good luck everyone and God Bless.

    Don

  9. My apologies to all. Most of the posts did not download before I posted my previous comment. I look forward to participating as I just recently found out about this event. Still sort of new to Portland via New Orleans. I look forward to meeting you!

    Don

  10. All things do change, but I am so very glad to see this event continue. It can be a pain in the A. for those of us that live in the hood but it is a wonderful way for artists of all forms to share wares, skills and interests. My only wish is that people get a bit more involved and keep this unique event in the hands of the people as it was created. See you out there!

  11. Hi I was just wondering is Last Thursday happening this month and do I need to RSVP to be a vendor?

    Thank You

  12. Will last thursday b happening tomorrow may 29 2014 i make shaved ice how do i go about getting a spot for my trailer?

  13. Nobody in the neighborhood enjoys last Thursday. My front yard becomes a toilet – literally – for the type of person who shows up. Something needs to change because the caliber of attendant and blatant disregard for the people who live here is appalling. I have enjoyed 13 years in Portland and tonight was again an affirmation that there is no value this event brings to the Alberta community. It is a reason for people to trash our community in every sense of the word.

    • Our community no longer is authorized by Charley Hales to run Last Thursday. It is now being handled by his project manager, Chad Stover, the self proclaimed Port-o-Potty King. It was his plan to provide more toilets than we provided the past 3 years but I guess that didn’t work. Please send all comment to him: Chad Stover, Mayor’s Office: chad.stover@portlandoregon.gov 503-823-4120
      p.s. There are many people in our neighborhood that love LT! It needs direction and from our community not the misguided mayor.

      • It’s not about the toilets, it’s about what Last Thursday has become – an excuse for teens and twenty somethings to get sh*tfaced. Just last night – trash in the garden, car blocking my driveway for over two hours, two separate cars that parked, let out a load of pot smoke, and then rolled on.

        Make it about ART (like the yearly weekend street fair) and you’ll get support from the neighborhood. Until then, I’m fully fed up, as an Alberta resident for 10+ years will fight to get this shut down.

        • You do understand that the Mayor has taken the event from the community’s hands and has governed the event since June 2013 without public or City Council input. We too have seen the event quickly go downhill in the time they have been ‘managing’ the event. Please call Chad and tell him it’s getting bad.

  14. Hi there! I am wondering about our family band being able to perform at this event. How do we go about applying?

    • You show up. That’s Last Thursday which has been free for all creatives, artists, musicians and buskers. No registration either. Well, until Mayor Charlie Hales tries to ruin this 17 year old event. But for now, no registration and no fee.

  15. Hi!
    I would like to attend Last Thursday on June 26, just found the info on a Meet-Up site last night. Is there a vendor fee and what time can vendors set up? I have my own 9×9 tent and two tables. I sell my own handmade jewelry: necklaces, earrings and bracelets.

    Check out my blog. I am adding new items daily. My resell rack is available online only.

    NOTE: do not type .com in the web address, it is .co

    Thank you,

    CA Cruz
    Cruz Creations, LLC
    cruz1706@gmail.com

    • Come on down and bring your creative self and your wares. It’s still free (for now)! You may set up anytime in the afternoon, street closes at 6.

  16. I am planning to bring some of my paintings and other art down for June last Thursday. Can I use a conopy over my wares just in case of raib? Or are tables the only option? Thanks for the info!!

    • You may use a canopy, please just make sure there is clearance down the middle of sidewalk for wheelchair access.

  17. Me and a few friends are coming down tomorrow with our seperate crafts, and, though I am aware the street is closed was unclear of the parking rules. Do here’s the dealio: we have a van with a fold-out canopy and were hoping we could park it there and set up that way. Please get back to me on this! Thank you

    • You may park on Alberta if you are actively vending from your van. Otherwise set up and park off Alberta by 6:00. Happy Last Thursday!

  18. I GREW UP IN THE SABIN AREA & THAT’S SEVERAL BLOCKS BEFOR PRESCOTT STREET AND NOW I LIVE IN THE GRANT AREA BUT I WILL VISIT THE LAST THURSDAY FESTIVAL THIS EVENING BUT IT’S SAD THAT IT’S GETTING SO POLITICAL THAT THE NEIGHBORS ARE COMPLAINING THAT THE MUSIC AT THE FESTIVAL IS WAY TO LOUD & THE POLICE WILL BE HANDING OUT TICKETS FOR LOUD MUSIC IT’S A ONCE A MONTH EVENT WHERE EVERYONE COMES OUT & HAVE A GREAT TIME TALKING/MEETING FRIENDS/EATING AT RESTAURANTS/BUYING MERCHANDISE/LISTENING TO GOOD MUSIC NOT WHERE YOU’RE HANDED A TICKET AT A FESTIVAL FOR PLAYING YOUR MUSIC TOO LOUD BUT I’M LOOKING TO HAVING A GREAT TIME THIS EVENING AND THIS IS JUST MY OPINION ONLY!!!

  19. I received this email today from Chad Stover:

    I have to be perfectly honest with you, and disagree. There are dozens of street fairs that happen all over this city and all of them except Last Thursday go through the proper channels of developing a management body through a non-profit, they work with business associations and neighbors in order to develop the right funding mechanism and logistical support to run the event. Portland taxpayers have been handling the bill at Last Thursday for 17 years. If you know someone who has the right financial support and means to manage this, we would love nothing more than to hand it off. But when 20,000 people congregate in the street, the City has no choice but to put resources toward managing the event (Police, Fire, ONI, toilets, garbage, recycling, security, etc). All of these things cost money.

    If you have ideas for addressing the livability concerns, handling the logistics, covering the costs, downing the noise, enforcing open-container drinking and marijuana use, and all the while keep the nuance of the event to be about the artists (which is what I hear from people most of the time), then I would love to hear your thoughts. We’re trying to keep the event going, but the status quo hasn’t worked for everyone.

    • So untrue. The City has NOT, I repeat NOT, paid the bill for Last Thursday for 17 years!
      No one did, it was just a thing that happened in our downtrodden neighborhood and was ignored by the City for the same fact.
      The community couldn’t even get the City to help shut down the street when the size of the crowds became so large they spilled into the streets. We the people, pushed abandoned cars into the street to start blocking it off in 2007. The City stepped in in 2009 and then charged the Alberta District to take over the event and Friends of Last Thursday was born and began to run the event in 2011. FoLT paid for all services and did everything he mentions in that last paragraph.
      Actually, FoLT members now have a non-profit and have offered to run the event but they refused That would mean they would have to eat crow. These politicians will do anything to not admit they were wrong. Look how they keep spinning this story!

  20. Hi,
    With general food prep and handlers cards aside, are baked goods required to be prepared in a commercial oven? My mom and I are pretty ‘small-time’ right now and would like to share our dairy free cakes with the world and I think LT would be a great way to.
    Thank you to anyone with information.

    • All food vendors are required to hold a temporary restaurant license or have a licensed domestic kitchen.
      Here is the link:
      http://public.health.oregon.gov/HealthyEnvironments/FoodSafety/Pages/FoodCode.aspx

      A Domestic Kitchen license allows you to wholesale your goods or sell-direct at venues like Last Thursday or Farmer’s Markets.
      If you are interested in licensing your kitchen or learning more, please contact the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Food Safety Division @ 503-986-4720; http://www.oregon.gov/oda/fsd
      BUT WAIT!
      There are some foods that are exempt from licensure:
      -cookies, confections, cotton candy, popcorn, nuts, and candied apples
      -commercially packaged items: ice-cream, frozen desserts, potato chips, pretzels and crackers
      -commercially processed pickles and jerky
      -coffee (not espresso) and tea (no powdered creamers) and canned or bottled pop
      -food samples

  21. My e-mail to the Mayor’s office:

    Dear Mr. Stover,
    I am writing this in support of the continuation of the Last Thursday on Alberta event. I live in California but I always (every year) vacation in Portland. My vacation centers around events like Last Thursdays. I spend 100% of my vacation dollars in PDX enjoying everything LA does not have. Like friendly respectful people, best and safest city biking in the country, best food on every level, the best coffee and of course great breweries. So why not continue with the best art festival? While I am not up to speed with PDX politics, I’m sure it has a lot to do with money. Money the city would like to collect from artists, who are for the most part, poor. Last Thursday is a demonstration of the city’s tolerance for free thinkers and free expression. Whatever the cost to the taxpayers, the benefits are manyfold in successful businesses along Alberta (whom I’m sure pay taxes as well). Businesses I now frequent because of Last Thursdays. Instead of stifling these types of events, they should be expanded to other neighborhoods. So please, keep Portland weird and wonderful.
    Sincerely,
    Karl Garabedian
    Tujunga, CA

    His reply:

    Hi Karl,

    Thanks for your message. Glad to hear you are in support of Last Thursday. So is the Mayor’s Office. Happy to talk if you would like, but this has little to do with politics, and more to do with equity and basic City law. We are in support of the event and want to see it continue, but it needs proper management and the right kind of funding mechanism. Also, the livability concerns as expressed by neighbors need to be addressed. We believe that good government stands for listening to all sides of the equation and finding the best path forward. I appreciate your speaking up.

    Best,

    Chad E. Stover
    Project Manager
    Office of Mayor Charlie Hales
    1221 SW 4th Avenue, Suite 340
    Portland, OR 97204
    E: chad.stover@portlandoregon.gov
    Office Phone: (503) 823-4027
    Cell Phone: (503) 823-8736

  22. As for this months Last Thursday (July) is there any update on if there is going to be a charge? How or when will vendors be notified about the permanent changes being made?

    • The mayor has not said anything as of yet about fees beginning this month.
      He usually just puts it out in a press release.

  23. Great festival looks like a lot of fun.

  24. Friends have suggested that we put Portland on our “places to go” as we drive from Victoria, BC to the redwoods in California. They marvel at the concept of the “Last Thursday” event as a free event, no fees for vendors as it allows smaller artists to participate. That is what drives the interest, how the city supports and allows this type of wonderful ingenuity…. please don’t change it, keep embracing it…. people travel to Portland for this unique event :) Jean

  25. I really want to be a part of the street fair to sell my photos. How do I sign up? Please get back to me.

    • Get your photos and head out to Alberta St. for Last Thursday!
      No signing up, no placement, no fees. This is radical self reliance.
      Happy Last Thursday!

  26. Went tonight, 7-31-14, and it was so amazing and it reminded me of why I continue to feel grateful to call the NW home.

  27. Hey, I am interested in August 2014. Any fees yet for this month and is it happening in September as well?

    My other suggestion is: even though everyone hates fees, I would not mind handing over a small amount of fee to hold a place as long as the fee go towards maintenance to keep Alberta’s Last Thursday clean and safe.

    I also suggest that if the Mayor doesn’t want to really take charge in this, that he should have a small committee formed that will handle all inquiries concerning the residence and those that are selling plus consumers. They will also be in charge of cleaning up once it is over.

    I think having these two things will definitely make Last Thursday go well. I will be happy to forward my comments to the email provided as well. But for financial reasons, I need to know what I am putting out for August and if I can for Sept 2014.

  28. Hello, I am an astrologer and would like to give free 20 minute readings to get more exposure, can I be a participant in this event with a table? If yes, is there a better area than not for setting up my table, lastly, is there free hotspot wireless areas as my set up involves the internet for astrology reads. Thanks, Patsy

    Thanks, Patsy

  29. Generally speaking, what is good time to arrive and begin setting up? I know the street closes at 6 but when do vendors start showing up?
    Thanks!

  30. I have heard many great things about LT, but unfortunately ave never been! Is it still going on this week (September 15, 2014) ?

    If so, what is some advice of what I need to hit up for my first time with friends?

  31. Hi there,
    I was just wondering if Last Thursday is going to be held tomorrow or has it been cancelled?
    Thanks so much!

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