“Badass Broads Do It Better.” Those five words—emblazoned on the pink backgrounds of stickers, pins, and patches—make up the motto of Portland's new women's art and work collective, Broad Space.
The two badass broads who started it—Kristin Goodman and Amy Nieto—say they were inspired by a shared vision to create “a feminist space to empower women in business, life, and arts.” Broad Space opened its doors last July, right in the thick of the politically tumultuous year that was 2016.
“We wanted to make space, and create space for women,” Goodman says, adding that they were inspired in part by the Perlene, another local social club and workplace for ambitious women.
The end of 2016 brought a series of challenges. Urban development and a spike in rent prices caused two art studios in Goodman and Nieto's neighborhood to shutter, threatening to claim their studio next. To keep Broad Space financially afloat, they launched a Kickstarter campaign. During the campaign, another unexpected challenge arose: a series of break-ins to the studio, spurring the women to find a new—and safer—space.
In just one month, the Kickstarter campaign exceeded its $5,500 goal. Uprooting from their spot on SE 6th and Ash, the ladies settled into a more ideal location in the Oak Street Building just blocks away.
“We are so happy here,” says Goodman of the new space, which offers a better layout for studio spaces—in a safer building—for about half the price.
Now renting six 8-by-10 monthly studio spaces to local women—including painters, a writer, and a fiber artist—Broad Space aims to offer drop-in hourly spaces for women seeking a workspace away from the home or typical coffee shop.
Broad Space will celebrate the new digs with a silent auction fundraiser and dance party on Saturday, April 15, with auction donations from Darling Distraction and Carter & Rose, and food from Por Que No? and Mississippi Pizza. Proceeds will benefit Broad Space's studio costs, including workshop programming, with 15 percent donated to Rose Haven, a Portland-based women's day shelter and resource center.
Other upcoming events include a SHETalks WETalk workshop about racism hosted by Catrice M. Jackson, a summer workshop series featuring sex education, sex positivity, and self-love hosted by She Bop's Amory Jane, and an ongoing Sunday craft night.
“We have a balance of some fun craft classes, and some very serious workshops that benefit the art community directly,” says Nieto. In addition to the workshops, Broad Space also plans to host a variety of gallery exhibitions featuring local artists.
“We are actively doing the work to make a difference in our community,” says Goodman.“We consider ourselves a place where women can come learn, skill share, and do some real work in feminism.”
6–11 p.m. Sat, Apr. 15, $10 suggested (sliding scale)