All good things come to an end: The Beatles, love letters... and now, Last Saturdays at The Workhouse. While The Workhouse, an artist's studio and retail space, is not going anywhere, its regular monthly event—which provided a place for local musicians and artists to connect and share their work—will take place for the last time Saturday. Whether the event involved musicians playing folk songs or electronica, eclectic media artists with stunning visuals, or dancers who glided across every inch of the large workspace table, Last Saturday has been a respite from the often overcrowded and commercial feeling of First Fridays, allowing the community to come hear poets and philosophers speaking in words or pictures, relating the issues of our times.
Over the last two years, business owners in The Old Iron Works buildings have not been spared the trend of rising rents, with Armature closing permanently and Stuart's of Bend moving to 9th Street Village. That left fewer venues helping to bring Last Saturday to life. These venues have been replaced by a garden shop, a fly fishing store and a tent shop, with The Workhouse and Cindercone Clay Center being the last of the artist's studios that once filled the area.
Still, life shows us that endings can be ripe opportunities for new things to begin, and that is exactly how Cari Brown, The Workhouse founder and owner, views it. "We decided to let go of the regularity of these events because we want to be able to bring relevant offerings to the community that are really dynamic and collaborative. We really want to focus on more content-driven opportunities for engagement—artist talks and lectures, dinners, literary events, as well as even a spring or summer craft style arts bazaar. We're looking forward to the freedom this change will give us to truly be more creative with our space."
So stop in for one more hurrah. There will be dancing. There will be libations (it is Bend, after all). There will be magic—but, as always, that part depends on you.