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Grand opening for Northwest Children's Theater's new home in downtown Portland

The Judy Kafoury Center for Youth Arts — or just The Judy — opened Saturday. Hundreds stopped by for two sold out shows and an open house.

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Northwest Children's Theater reopened Saturday in a new location — across the street from the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall on Broadway in downtown Portland. Performers and families called the space and location ideal. 

Even on a warm and sunny day, downtown Portland's reputation is often cast in a negative light. But while some may be moving out, or staying away — others, are moving in, with plans to come back time and time again. 

"The Judy Kafoury Center for Youth Arts, Northwest Children's Theater, has been a pillar of the community for 30 years. Our old home was in Northwest Portland and we are so excited to be bringing this new space downtown for kids and families of all ages," said Rachael Brown, the marketing and communications director for the theater. 

"In addition to our main stage shows, where kids can see some of their favorite children's books come to life, we also have classes and camps where kids can experience theater for themselves."

An open house Saturday helped drum up excitement for what's to come for audiences and performers alike.

"I started doing things at NWCT when I was seven," said Maxine Nuesa. "I took my first ever acting class at NWCT and it was so much fun. It was a really good introduction to theater, and I love the community here."

Nuesa is taking part in the upcoming show, "Cinderella." She believe the multi-venue arts center will lead to bigger and better things for children interested in all things theater in and around Portland.

"It is so cool, and being here, also looking at the other side and the shows that are happening also around the area. I just think that it shows people who go to NWCT might be a part of some thing bigger one day," Nuesa said.

To get tickets, or find out more about camps and classes, click here.

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