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Our History
Celebrating 40 Years in Portland!

11:01 a.m. Sunday July 30, 2017

She was the first customer in the store that day because she knew it wasn’t just any day. It was Artichoke Community Music’s first day at its new, fourth location. Flavia Moshofsky had been singing, playing ukulele and loving music for years. She’d been a loyal Artichoke supporter through the years, and she wanted to be part of the next chapter in its history.

We’re grateful to Flavia and all of the many, many others who’ve helped write our history.

Flavia Moshofsky 2017

The Beginnings

Judith Cook-Tucker founded the store in 1971, naming it Artichoke Music because "artichokes are all heart." During its first ten years, the company passed to Jim Fuller, Gary Haggerty, Bill Bulick and Jamie Haggerty.

The Kate Power & Steve Einhorn Years

Steve Einhorn took over stewardship in 1981. After a few more years at its original home on NW 21st Avenue, Steve moved the shop to SE Hawthorne Blvd. near 35th. The relocated store helped set the tone for the emerging Hawthorne neighborhood. For the next 26 years, he and his wife, Kate Power, grew and nurtured Artichoke into the wonderful community gathering place it is today.

In 1997 Kate and Steve moved Artichoke a few blocks west to a larger space at 3130 SE Hawthorne. Artichoke became more than an instrument store. The larger space allowed for the development of our Music School and the launching of Artichoke’s performance venue (originally called the Backgate Stage, now Cafe Artichoke).

Artichoke’s stage has hosted folk music legends (e.g. Odetta, Dave Van Ronk, Tom Paxton, Kevin Burke and David Grisman) and more than a thousand local, regional and touring performers.

In 2006 Kate and Steve decided they wanted to spend more time performing, teaching and recording. They announced that they were closing Artichoke.

The announcement shook Portland's folk music community.

But it was not the end of Artichoke.

The Richard Colombo & Jim Morris Years

Artichoke teacher, Song Circle leader and professional musician Richard Colombo stepped forward to take Artichoke into the next phase of its journey.

Richard and his partner Jim Morris (an organizational development professional) took over operation of the store, school and cafe.

They transitioned the organizational model from a private business to a non-profit entity, receiving 501(3) c tax-exempt status in August 2007.

Under Richard and Jim’s leadership Artichoke expanded its Music School and launched an outreach program to bring music to students, elders and underserved populations.

Richard and Jim worked with a dedicated volunteer board of directors to fulfill Artichoke’s mission of "building music community one heart at a time."

Milestones and Transitions

  • 2011 was marked by a year-long celebration of Artichoke Music’s first 40 years. One highlight was the recording and release of Artichoke Nights Volume 1, a compilation CD featuring Portland singer-songwriters who frequented Cafe Artichoke.

  • Richard Colombo and Jim Morris handed off the leadership of Artichoke in 2014. They left a legacy of passionate commitment to building community through music.

  • From that point forward Artichoke evolved into being a non-profit arts organization led and managed primarily by its volunteer Board of Directors, with crucial support from a talented team of volunteers handling an array of tasks.

  • Artichoke then faced a major challenge with the impending end of its lease on the 3130 SE Hawthorne property. The situation became a rallying point for the Artichoke community.

  • The team of dedicated volunteers and board members put their hearts, minds, muscles and wallets into action to create a new home for Artichoke Community Music.

  • The effort resulted in the successful relocation of Artichoke to 2007 SE Powell Boulevard in the summer of 2017.

  • That’s where Artichoke continues a nearly half-century tradition of building community through music—one heart at a time.

  • Judith Cook-Tucker 1971

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