xhurch /pronounced: church/ noun. 1.: a former church, one which has been adapted to a new use, and is no longer used for religious congregation. 2.: an “ex” church
Our passion for the arts and church conversion stems from first hand immersion in both subjects. Since moving into a former church in NE Portland in 2010 and founding the arts venue ‘Xhurch’ (a precursor to Xhurches) our small artist consort has grown to encompass an expanding community of talented musicians, painters, dancers, performance artists, and community builders. Whether the abundance of disused churches in America reflects a broader decline in church attendance or religiosity is the subject of many reports and statistics, one thing is certain—an opportunity exists for artists, entrepreneurs and the like to adopt these often beautiful spaces (some of them representing our most inspired architectural aspirations) and reuse them in ways which continue to serve the surrounding community. Yoga studios, concert halls, rock climbing gyms, communal living spaces, all ages venues, museums, all are potential new uses. By showcasing the trend and providing a platform for continued dialogue surrounding repurposed churches and related themes, Xhurches can help engender healthy reuse patterns while revealing a network which is yet to be charted.