In early 2012, the building known since the late 1920's as the Mallory Avenue Baptist Church was in poor shape and no longer in use. A pair of Portland developers with an appreciation for history decided to give it new life, and turned it into a performance venue that also provided workspace to artists and arts organizations.
In December 2018, the Abbey was purchased by Community Development Partners (CDP)—an affordable housing developer. In January, Alberta Abbey Foundation became a subsidiary of Engaged Aging (EngAGE)—a nonprofit that provides wellness and arts programming to residents of affordable housing developments.
In July 2018, Grains of Salt (GoS) came onboard for one-year to serve as interim Executive Director and drive operational and capital improvements. Next spring, GoS will recruit long-term leadership to fuel the Abbey's continued success.
This 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization was created in 2015 in response to an opportunity created by the Abbey. Artists have expressed difficulty finding work, exhibition, and performance space in Portland, particularly in the Northeast. Many have concerns about affordability and the future viability of their chosen art. Building on these concerns, the Alberta Abbey Foundation formed with the following mission and vision:
To nurture the arts in NE Portland by providing affordable education, gallery, studio, and performance space to community members of all ages.
We envision a local arts ecosystem where community members of all demographics can thrive.