Council considers two-year contract on Wednesday

Ethos Inc. has been selected to occupy and manage the Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center in North Portland.

Portland Parks and Recreation reached agreement last week with the group to run the center at 5340 N. Interstate Ave.

Portland's City Council will consider Wednesday a two-year contract with the non-profit arts organization.

Ethos Music Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of music and music-based education for youth in underserved communities.

'This is an excellent fit for the IFCC and for the residents of North and Northeast Portland,' said Parks Commissioner Nick Fish. 'Ethos has a long history of fostering multi-ethnic, multi-cultural programs, education, and performances, which is exactly what we hoped to be able to continue at IFCC.'

The city began looking for a new tenant for the firehouse after the theater group that occupied it for years went under. Ethos was one of four organizations that submitted proposals to operate the historic center.

'Ethos is looking forward to reinvigorating the arts in the IFCC building,' said Charles Lewis, Ethos' founder and executive director.

Founded in 1998, Ethos has an annual budget of $1 million, with nine full-time staff members, eight full-time AmeriCorps members and 47 part-time instructors.

Ethos serves more than 700 students a week in its North Portland buildings, and an additional 1,300 students in schools and community centers throughout Oregon.

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