The Independent Publishing Resource Center has received a stay of execution—and a new, even larger location.
Until a couple months ago, the situation at the 20-year-old IPRC was looking a little grim. Their lease had already run out in April 2017, and they'd been told by their landlords, Joe and Stacy Squires, they weren't going to be able to renew without a 300-percent rent increase.
"Initially it was 5 years with the possibility of moving it out another five years," says program director Hajara Quinn. "We definitely we were pretty surprised/ shocked."
Over a year later, in June of this year, they still hadn't found a new location, and their executive director AM O'Malley had moved to Alabama.
"We were looking at having to put things in self-storage," says interim director Brian Tibbetts, a former board president at the nonprofit. "We were going to have to do a pop-up version of the IPRC in another space. We were looking at Milepost 5 out on 82nd, it'd be a much smaller space."
But after failing to find a spot after 15 months of searching, says Tibbetts, their future landlord found them instead.
"She got our newsletter," Tibbetts says of their new landlord at Edy Morton and Edy, "and realized we were looking for a space, and knew that this worked out." While worrying about where they could possibly house the nonprofit, Tibbetts says they received the phone call offering the space pretty much out of the blue.
As Tibbetts put it in an e-mail today, the IPRC was "more than relieved."
The new spot is in the old Italian Gardeners and Ranchers building at 318 SE Main along MLK Jr. Blvd.—it's even bigger than the previous location.
The landlord is no stranger to arts and publishing tenants. Portland publisher Oni Press, hot on the heels of their Atomic Blonde hitting theaters, had just vacated the space to move into the offices upstairs. The IPRC's screenprinting equipment will go in the location of a former screenprinting company.
"After 15 months of scouring every real estate listing, it just kind of fell in our lap" says Tibbetts, who stepped in as interim executive director while the nonprofit squares away the change of locations.
"I used to be the board president," he says. "I got the board to OK me to step in, that way the new director doesn't have to manage the moving process. We plan to do a nationwide search for a permanent ED."
The IPRC has been moving equipment, zines and boxes since the last week of June, and though there are still a lot of boxes to unpack, they're already softly open and scheduling screenprinting and letterpress classes.
The grand opening party will be September 9. There'll be wine, and Fort George beer, and—as pretty much always at the IPRC—it's free and open to the public.