Last Thursday on Alberta

 

Rose City Vaudeville

Artists, musicians and performers line the street from 15th through 30th Ave.s, 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 19th 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) and runs from 15th to 30th Avenues.

Last Thursday is a community grown event, free to all artists and art vendors, musicians, performers & visitors that continues into the future despite the Mayor’s attempts to squeeze the event into a homogenized package.

Want to be an Artist Vendor? There is no fee, no registration and no assigned spaces. See more info on the Vendor pages.

ALERT: Mayor Hales will be telling police to clear vendors from Alberta St. in May. The City cannot allow some vendors to vend, tell others they cannot and to leave the street, tell vendors when they can vend and tell the police to remove them at other times. The City does not own Last Thursday.

The City does not hold a permit for Last Thursday!

Showing (not selling) your artwork in a public place is protected under your right to Freedom of Speech. Do not put prices on your art, give people an estimate of what others have paid for your work and have a basket or jar for ‘donations’.

 

If you would like to participate grab your handmade wares and a table and head on out to Last Thursday on Alberta. Please make sure to read the how-to set up portion on the Artist or Non-Art Vendor pages.

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

Last Thursday is not for re-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 the Alberta community is no longer ‘authorized’ to manage this event and Mayor Hales refuses to support any local groups to handle the event.

For livability/community impact concerns and questions we refer you to Chad Stover: chad.stover@portlandoregon.gov  503-823-4120

UPDATE: LAST THURSDAY

Mayor Charlie Hales & Chad Stover,                            May 15, 2016

Friends of Last Thursday (FoLT) was a volunteer group of business owners and neighbors that managed Last Thursday (LT) until Charlie Hales placed unobtainable requirements for the event’s permit, effectively ousting the group.
The former leaders of FoLT began a non-profit in order to continue to support the artistic culture of the Alberta Arts District and in turn support local artists. Alberta Art Works (AAW) is art driven and continues to work with neighbors, businesses, and city agencies to create public works of art. Their first project is a series of six mural panels depicting the history of the Alberta area on the Black United Fund of Oregon building. Other projects include a public art walking map and tours with Know Your City. With an Adopt a Landscape agreement, AAW has replaced graffiti covered bus benches with art, enriching our environment.
The former director of FoLT’s Street Ops, has also continued the work he started during his time with FoLT. “Dancing Don” as he became known, teamed up with a friend to create a street closure business for community events. They employ teens who can also earn credits towards school scholarships. FoLT’s community built barricades are still put to good use.
These individuals have been working within our community for many years now. They have proven capable, having brought LT back from the brink of self destruction to a manageable event. They proved this by obtaining Last Thursday’s, first ever, event permits.
This group wrote the event production book for Last Thursday. The group held monthly meetings with every city agency involved during those 4 years, to create a working plan for all involved. They interfaced with neighbors, neighborhood associations, businesses, and vendors.  They continue to host the website and Facebook page for LT.
Last year you reported your cost of LT to be $10,000 per event. Hales has asked for a budget of $315,857 to start a pilot plan for the Mayor’s office to become event organizers for LT and the proposed pet project, Old Town Market. Our plan is still on the table and is achieved at far less cost and returns control to the community that hosts the event.
Last Thursday is Placemaking at its finest. We ask Mayor Hales to honor his offer to support a community group to take over the management of this event. LT is this once redlined district’s cultural identity and with a restructured relationship, respectful discourse, better political association and a revised grant program to address the changing demographic of LT, we can help drive this festival and keep it as a significant public art event for the city of Portland.

 

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

10 Comments

  1. 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. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Last Thursday happens year round with the street closed off during the busiest summer months. Alberta has been traditionally closed for Sept. but our Mayor Hales is not planning on closing the street this year. You are still welcome to come and set up for LT in Sept. Vending will be on the sidewalks only.

  5. Peter Fitzwilliam

    My wife and I are Brits and have invested in and own a second home here in Portland, close to Alberta. We spend around 5 months a year here. One of the attractions in our decision was Last Thursday and we are sad and disappointed in how its spontaneity, vibrancy and originality has declined and the fact that it’s limited to just a few months. Last month I counted close to 30 members of the Police before stopping the count. This is gross overkill as is the huge number of “honey buckets”. At the growing trend, there’ll soon be more police, wardens and honey buckets than people setting up stalls. Wake up and remove the mayor’s heavy hand. Don’t drag yourselves down with bureaucracy as have so many European cities.

  6. I am glad to see Last Thursday is still going strong!

  7. Once Last Thursday became large enough, the city decided that it could be made profitable by eliminating Friends of Last Thursday and taking away all the benefits that allowed the poorer artisans to participate.

  8. I started going to last Thursday in 2008 and at the time it was completely different. There were NO corporate vendors, it had a very small town vibe to it. It was down to earth and and so authentic to the “weird” artsy vibe here in inner NE Portland. It’s changed for the worse, unfortunately. I still go and enjoy it but it pales in comparison to it’s early years. And every time I pass a corporate sponsored booth, or people selling mass produced items from China, I cringe a little. I guess that’s how it goes.

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