aka AAMC   |   Astoria, OR   |


The Astoria Arts and Movement Center’s mission is to offer dance, performing arts and physical education classes that enhance, inspire and involve the local community.

Notes from the nonprofit

To our supporters, On behalf of our instructors, our students, and those who believe in the Astoria Arts and Movement Center, I wish thank-you deeply for the opportunity to receive funding in support of what we do. Your contributions make it possible for arts and cultural organizations, as well as the buildings that house them, to thrive which is profoundly essential to the well-being of any community. By giving us this opportunity, you are also giving the Astoria Odd Fellows Building the chance to serve the community that deeply cares for it for generations to come in the way it was historically intended to do. These are endeavors we take directly to heart. With great reverence, Jessamyn West Executive Director, Astoria Arts and Movement Center

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Jessamyn Grace West

Main address

342 10th st

Astoria, OR 97103 USA

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NTEE code info

Dance (A62)

Performing Arts (A60)

Arts Service Activities/Organizations (A90)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The AAMC was founded in 2011 out of a direct need for a culturally diverse dance, performing arts, and physical education studio inclusive to all ages and abilities. We offer a range of affordable classes, events and workshops that would otherwise not be available on the North Coast. On an individual level these activities have statistically been shown to dramatically improve self-esteem, motivation, physical health, emotional well-being, social skills, cultural sensitivity, and the ability to learn. Communally these things benefit local economies, encourage diversity, and strengthen local infrastructures and other organizations (source: We KNOW there is a need for individuals to express creativity in a healthy way and we take this to heart. The AAMC seeks to meet this essential need, as it is our main objective that everyone has access to these vital things that strengthen us on both an individual and communal level.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Ongoing Curriculum

Founded in 2011, the AAMC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to offering dance, performing arts and movement classes that enhance, inspire and embrace the community. Since its formation, the AAMC has grown to over 30 instructors offering over 40 classes a week and averaging 3 workshops and events a month. Classes include: Contra Dance, Argentine Tango, Hula, Ballroom, Zumba, Tai Chi, Women's Gatherings, Tap, Jazz, Drag, Belly Dance, Choreography, Qigong, Ballet, Burlesque, Yoga, Chaos + Art Creative Movement for Teens, Tiny Dancers, Meditation, Wellness, Pilates, Butoh, Fitness, Exotic Dance, Tarot, AfroCaribe, Rumba, Poi, Ecstatic Dance, Dream Workshops, Theater, Improv, Baby and Me, Doula Workshops, Hip Hop, Cardio Funk, Bhangra, Giddha, Bollywood, , Bachata, Crystal Bowl Sound Healing Ceremonies, Swing, Latin, Ballroom, Country, Salsa, Contact Improv, Contemporary, Modern and more.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
LGBTQ people
Women and girls
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We aim to educate, foster, connect and facilitate the Astoria arts community by:
• Maintaining a dedicated facility in which to offer dance, movement, physical education and performing arts classes and workshops
• Holding public events, recreational activities, and performances that enhance and involve the local community
• Supporting our instructors and their students in their efforts to foster health, creativity, diversity, affordable studio space, and other arts centered initiatives conducive to maintain a vibrant and strong community
• Collaborating with existing non-profit organizations, schools, individuals and businesses

In addition to the broad multiyear goals listed above, the AAMC has 5 board adopted goals for FY20:
BEGIN historic studio renovation
• Repair ballroom windows with the assistance of Clatsop Community College’s Historic Preservation Program (2
AAMC board members are required to enroll in this program. The college also has a student workshop area in the Odd
Fellows’ basement)
• Replace the studio hardwood floors and install soundproofing
ENHANCE what the AAMC currently offers
• Add additional classes and workshops that have never been offered at the AAMC
• Welcome new instructors to teach on a weekly basis
• Host visiting instructors from outside of the area to teach workshops
EXPAND community outreach
• Increase registration of young (18 and under) individuals
• Volunteer at events or for organizations that work with underrepresented populations
• Improve our scholarship program
STRENGTHEN existing partnerships
• Participate in more local events, performances and fundraisers
• Collaborate with more organizations and schools
INCREASE sources of funding
• Write additional grants in order to support many of the goals listed above
• Hold an additional annual fundraiser

The AAMC studio is the original Odd Fellows ballroom, encompassing the entire 2nd floor of the iconic 1923 building centrally located in downtown Astoria. It is a grand space with curved Italianate windows, 20-foot ceilings, 4,000 square feet of maple flooring, imperial Grecian arches and pillars, a stage, original woodwork, dramatic lighting and much of its historic integrity remarkably intact.

When the Odd Fellows building was placed on the market over two years ago it was almost lost to developers which would have resulted in the displacement of all tenants, including the AAMC. With this heartbreaking possibility at its doorstep, AAMC founder and Executive Director Jessamyn West, board president Andrea Mazzarella and board member Nancy Mazzarella-Tisch formed Astoria Odd Fellows LLC and placed an offer to purchase the building with the promise of protecting the tenants and historically restoring the building itself. Backed by an incredible amount of community support the women were able to raise enough money to close the sale on March 28th of 2018. This landmark effort has resulted in securing an affordable space for local art organizations and their students to thrive, not to mention the local businesses that contribute directly to Astoria’s vital economy. All of the organizations and businesses housed in the building have deep roots in the community and are integral to the character and authenticity of Astoria. As many commercial buildings in town remain vacant, the Odd Fellows building has maintained full occupancy through the change in ownership- including the AAMC in the 2nd floor ballroom and painter Meghann Hanour’s art studio on the 3rd floor mezzanine as well as street level tenants Pier Pressure Productions (Astoria’s only non-profit black box theatre), Sea Gypsy Gifts and Gallery (selling the work of over 20 local artists), Twelfth House Alchemy (selling locally made skin care products) and Astoria Coffee (selling local coffee and food) . Our intention as the new owners has been to improve the building without rolling the cost of deferred maintenance on to the tenants resulting in unaffordable rents. The AAMC, as well as all of the tenants, are committed to being exemplary stewards of the building so that it may continue to inspire hope and the importance of community as it has for nearly a century.

The Executive Director, current/past board members and the AAMC's instructors reflect diversity in the community which is critical to remaining adaptable, relevant and successful with regards to its mission as well as the goal of serving the community. Since 2011 the AAMC has grown to over 20 instructors and over 25 volunteers, offering almost 30 classes a week and 3 workshops/events a month. Instructors and classes include: Dave Ambrose (Contra Dance), Estelle Olivares (Argentine Tango, Ballroom), Joy Sigler (Zumba), Margaret Murdock (Tai Chi), Melissa Henige (Tri Dosha Yoga, Women's Gatherings), Marco Davis (Tap, Jazz, Drag), Jessamyn West (Belly Dance, Choreography, Qigong), Trixie Kerfuffle (Ballet, Burlesque), Jen Miller (Ballroom, Latin, Country, Swing), Terrie Powers (Gentle Yoga, Meditation), Angela Sidlo (Wellness, Tai Chi for Arthritis), Jude Matulichall (Yoga, Pilates), Kestrel Gates (Butoh), JL Gillikin (Tango Practica), Kim Postlewaite (Zumba Fitness), Kelli Daffron (Yin Yoga, Yoga Workout, Vinyasa Yoga), Erika Hawkins (Fusion Belly Dance), Shanna Gillette (Guided Conscious Movement, Dance Church), Joyce Senior (Zumba), Ashlee Della-Franca (Pole, Twerk, Sensual Dance), Julia Hesse (Tarot), Kimberly Miguel Mullen (AfroCaribe, Rumba), Julie Kovatch (Poi, Improvisational Tribal Style Belly Dance), Kimberly Hazel (Ecstatic Dance, Dream Workshops), Tammy Loughran (Zumba Dance Fitness), Rachel Lionheart: Physical Theater, Character Dojo, Improv), Rebeckah Orton (Doula Workshops), Nate Boozer (Hip Hop) and Anjali Hursh (Bhangra, Giddha, Bollywood), Leigh Anne (American Tribal Style Belly Dance), Rich Small (East and West Coast Swing, Latin, Ballroom, Salsa), Zachar Sollars (Contact Improv) and Julia Gingerich (Contemporary Modern, Sparrow Dance Company). All AAMC instructors are certified professionals passionate about teaching their craft. Each and every one is dedicated to their personal practice while committed to providing quality education and training to the community. Our instructors are continually inspired by their students, learning as much from them as they do from us. The AAMC extends ALL classes to every age, ability, gender, ethnicity, race, national origin, religion, sexual orientation and economic class.

The stability of an owner-occupied situation has not only strengthened the organization’s position in the community, but has also resulted in a newly adopted 5-year strategic plan by the AAMC’s 6 member board. True to the organization’s mission, the board is heavily involved in community outreach and financially supportive of the AAMC, resulting in a measured increase in volunteer hours, donations, fundraising efforts and awarded grants, particularly over the last 2 years. During that time the AAMC has:
1. Increased its workshop and class offerings by 37%.
2. Added 6 new instructors
2. Expanded its communal reach in order to be more accessible to under-served populations that are often under represented (or misrepresented) in artistic collaborations, classes, and performances.
3. Strengthened existing partnerships with other organizations, individuals, schools, and businesses as well as cultivated new ones.
4. Held additional public performances, therefor becoming more visible to the community while concurrently offering students the
opportunity to perform in local theaters and venues.

From its humble beginnings, the AAMC has grown into the sustainable organization it is today because of mindful decisions, fiscal responsibility, measured growth, careful determination, a dedicated board, engaged partnerships, great care and an emotionally overwhelming amount of community support. With a strong foundation and continued steady growth we are confident this organization will continue to serve the local community as it has for several years. It has always been part of our mission to provide everyone with access to arts and culture. Now that we intend to be good stewards and caretakers of the Odd Fellows building, we believe improving this historic treasure will only ensure and increase this access for generations to come.



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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Board of directors
as of 05/19/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Lorie Meyer

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes