Ending the experiment: Rising costs prevent XOXO Outpost from continuing in 2017

In late 2015, the folks behind the XOXO festival announced an effort to provide an affordable collaborative workspace for independent artists by finding thoughtful patrons and members of the community who could help subsidize rent for those artists. It was an experiment called the XOXO Outpost.

But with Portland’s rising rent costs, sadly, roughly a year later, that experiment will now come to an end.

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Earlier this year, we opened the doors to the XOXO Outpost—a shared workspace for independent artists working on the internet.

The Outpost is home to a rich and diverse community of writers, game designers, filmmakers, cartoonists, musicians, creative coders, and more. Everyone pays only what they can afford—an experiment made possible by the support of our patrons.

Unfortunately, we aren’t immune to Portland’s rising costs. Our rent is increasing significantly in January 2017 to bring it closer to fair market value, and despite our best efforts, we’re unable to afford a long-term lease on the space.

This is yet another sad reminder that the continually rising costs assailing our community—and the growing popularity of what was once a town that boasted affordable cost of living as one of its most compelling features—are severely impacting those among us who make our community most interesting. It’s one of the many things beginning to plague Portland that I’m sincerely hoping that we, as a community, can strive to fix. Before it becomes completely irreparable.

I’m really happy that the XOXO folks took a risk and embarked upon this experiment. And I’m really sad that it wasn’t able to continue—for both the experiment and those who called the space home. I remain hopeful that we’ll see something more from each of them soon.

To stay up-to-date on the latest efforts around XOXO and the Outpost, visit XOXO Outpost.

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