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Alder Commons hosts all sorts of programs and events that are either open to the public, or only for Members. All of the programs we host align with our Core Values, and are either free or offered on a sliding scale. If you’re interested in hosting a program at Alder Commons, either as a volunteer or paid facilitator, read about becoming an instructor.


Link to this section Affinity Spaces

Alder Commons is a multicultural space with people of all backgrounds spending time together in community. We regularly host affinity spaces for groups of specific identities including BIPOC Open Houses, LGBTQIA+ Teen Hangout, and BIPOC Homeschool Hangout. In addition to programs run by Alder Commons, many of our culturally specific Organizational Members run programs out of the space including the weekly BIPOC Free Food Pantry with Equitable Giving Circle, Promotores de Salud trainings with Edúcate Ya, and the Atlachinollinkan Aztec dance group.

Link to this section Cooking Classes

Led by our Community Kitchen Manager and other outside facilitators, Alder Commons regularly hosts cooking classes in our on-site commissary kitchen. Previous cooking classes have included a “Spice up your Life” series with Rosie of Joyful Journey to Health, and “Belly Staples: Medicinal Cooking” series with Celesté Macias of Nopalli Community Nourishment. The kitchen is also used by local groups making food for mutual-aid deliveries, and by Organizational Members like Moon & Mirror for their BIPOC Herbal Apprenticeship program.

Link to this section Woodworking Classes

Alder Commons is also home to a full woodworking studio where Members can learn the safe use of the tools from Woodshop Manager, Nathalie Owen FitzSimons, and get shop certified to use the space on their own. This is also a space where Nathalie and other facilitators teach woodworking and art classes such as the Shop 101 series, spoon carving, stool building, and more!

Link to this section Book Clubs

Using the extra copies of books that we have available through our lending library of over 2,900 books, we host book clubs both in person and online. Some of the books that we’ve read in community together include Me & White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad, Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, and The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible by Charles Eisenstein.

Link to this section Pop-up Markets

Hosted mostly in the parking lot of our building at the corner of NE 42nd Ave & Prescott, Alder Commons hosts pop-up markets with vendors selling anything from food, to clothes, to hot sauce! We have partnered with NAYA to host Native-Made pop-ups, with Living Black Cully to host Afro-Made Pop-ups, and with MESO to host Youth Markets. Our annual Alder Commons Festival will be hosted on Saturday, August 26th, 2023 – save the date!

Link to this section Interest-based Clubs

Depending on community interests and capacity, Members can host interest-based clubs that are either just for other Members, or open to the public. These tend to be pretty informal with no single facilitator, and many of them happen on a weekly basis. The Portland Go Club hosts their Learn & Play Go night every Tuesday, Astronomy Club met weekly to learn about space, and often we have folks meeting up to play Magic: The Gathering.

Link to this section Multi-week Classes

Classes are multi-session, sequential programs, more typical of conventional educational structures such as a six-week course on the Psychology of Racism. Most of our classes are run through Portland Underground Graduate School, now under the Alder Commons umbrella!

Link to this section Cancellations & Refunds

Program participants can cancel a registration for a program at Alder Commons at any time.

Refunds may be issued if the cancellation is at least one week before the start date, or if the program itself is canceled by Alder Commons.

A program may be canceled by Alder Commons if we do not meet the minimum number of participants to cover the Facilitator payment, if a scheduling conflict arises, and/or if an environmental factor (ex: COVID exposure, wildfire, etc.) means that we cannot host the class safely.