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Friends of Noise Wants to Bring a New All-Ages Music Venue to Portland

The nonprofit group will throw a series of fundraising pop-up shows during the year.

A coalition of nonprofits is banding together to bring a new all-ages music venue to Portland.

A joint project involving My Voice Music, PDX Pop Now, KBOO and Willamette Week's Give!Guide has launched an "all-ages advocacy group" called Friends of Noise, with the goal of eventually opening a multipurpose concert and arts space, modeled after Seattle's volunteer-run Vera Project and Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.

"It's a hybrid vision we have for that space," says Holocene booker Gina Altamura, a member of the group's Board of Directors, "with room for related nonprofit tenants, and potentially music organizations in town—maybe XRAY someday—with a cross-pollination of programming informed by those nonprofit tenants."

With the exception of D.I.Y. spaces such as Anarres Infoshop, Portland has lacked a dedicated all-ages venue since the closure of Backspace in 2013.

But a brick-a-mortar venue is the longterm goal. In the meantime, Friends of Noise—through a grant from the Multnomah County Cultural Commission—will be throwing a series of pop-up concerts throughout the year, beginning with an official launch party on May 22 at Los Prados Event Hall in St. Johns, featuring performances from the Doo-Doo Funk All-Stars, rapper Neo G-Yo and others.

"It's very much a matter of letting people know we exist," Altamura says, "getting supporters, raising awareness, raising funds, seeing what community and city support we can get."