Bulgarian-Macedonian Association
Portland, OR est.1939


Podkrepa is a Bulgarian and Macedonian cultural/social organization in Portland, OR

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We offer a varierty of literature, dance, and other cultural programs for all ages.

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Upcoming Events

Kabile @ Podkrepa Hall

October 12, Thursday 7: 30 PM

Potluck - $20 at the door

Please join us and help support live Bulgarian music and dancing!

One of Bulgaria's premier wedding bands is returning for another U.S. tour this fall! This multi-talented group of musicians from Thrace, in southern Bulgaria, played together for nearly 20 years until two key members immigrated to the U.S.in 1995. In late 2007, the two émigrés returned to Bulgaria to record a reunion CD - Kabile - Traditional Music From Thrace with their former band members. Kabile was formed in 1978 and became one of the most popular bands in Thrace. Based in the city of Yambol, the group took its name from the village of Kabile, where they performed one of their earliest gigs.The group specialized in performing native music on traditional village instruments. During its heyday, the band played almost every weekend at weddings, baptisms and cultural festivals in Thrace.

The members of the band are Dzhenko Andreev(gaida), Ivan Handzhiev(vocals, accordion), Nikolay Doktorov(kaval), Nikolay Kolev(gadulka), and Donka Koleva(vocals).

We warmly welcome them back to Portland!

For more info, check our facebook page.

Playing ‘Til Your Soul Comes Out - A Smithsonian Folkways Recording
Photographs and recordings by Martin Koenig

Artist Talk and Dance: Saturday, October 21, 2017, 6:00pm

Over fifty years ago, Martin Koenig embarked on a trip to the Balkans that would transform his life. Armed with letters of introduction from Margaret Mead and Alan Lomax, he went to learn more about the Balkan folk dances that he loved. However, his mission changed when he found societies in rapid transition, and soon felt compelled to document the disappearing agrarian life-style and village culture. In this initial trip and on the dozen additional trips made between 1966 and 1987, he filmed, recorded, and photographed traditional music, dance, and ceremonies.

These historic films, recordings, and black and white photographs memorialize a way of village life that has since been transformed by modernization, globalization and emigration.


Podkrepa began in 1939 in the home of Radi & Petia Cherkezov as a social gathering for Bulgarians and Macedonians new to the United States. Following the suggestion of Bishop Andrei, of Sofia, Bulgaria, on his visit to Portland, Podkrepa was registered with the State of Oregon as a fraternal organization.

Within a year, the social organization grew from 25 to 93 official members (at that time, only men were listed as members but, counting women and children, total membership was roughly 250). Because of their size, the group started looking for a lot to build a community building on.

They chose Podkrepa’s current location because many members lived nearby. In 1946, the first round of pledges to raise money for the land brought in $3,750. The lot was then purchased in 1950 and construction began. In 1952 the second round of funding collected $2,531 to build the building. Members and local businesses in the area, that were supported by the members, donated to Podkrepa. The members did as much as of the work as possible to help to keep costs down.

On June 8, 1952 the current meeting hall on Killingsworth was dedicated with Rev Nicholas Levko, Pastor of Russian Orthodox church officiating.

1950s the group decided to meet twice a month, once for business and the other purely social. Later, they opted for monthly meetings and a variety of special events. Podkrepa has grown, throughout the years, to include events like annual fundraising teas, holiday bazaars, folk dancing, concerts, holiday celebrations, other celebrations, frequent socials, and regular meetings. That format has continued to the present day.

In 2011 Podkrepa officially became a non-profit charitable organization in the State of Oregon.


Object and Purpose of Podkrepa Association: The purpose of association is to unite all Bulgarians and/or Macedonians, and their descendants, in the Portland Metro area. We provide education and cultural activities that support the above-mentioned persons and strive to educate the general public about this community. This organization is non-political and non-religous in character, and no discussion of political candidates shall occur in open meetings.

We also welcome anyone of any descent who is actively interested in Bulgarian or Macedonian culture, language or history to join us here at Podkrepa. Please contact us if you're interested in joining, we'd love to meet you.

Members: 80+ as of January 2016

Board Members:

  • Bob Bouneff, President
  • Julia Meyer, Secretary
  • Blazo Mitasev, Vice President
  • Lilia Raytcheva, Treasurer
  • Luba Nenchev
  • Linda Adams
  • Nikola Lessov
  • Vanya Karachobanova

Requirements for Membership:

Any Bulgarian/Macedonian, their descendants or spouses, or persons interested in supporting the promotion of Bulgarian and Macedonian culture may apply for membership in this association. The application form and membership dues may be submitted to any member of the association. The Secretary will give the Board of Directors' recommendation for acceptance prior to the vote for membership approval at an open meeting.

Join Us:

Meetings are usually the 3rd Saturday of the month at 4:00 pm at Podkrepa.

Annual dues are $60 per individual as of January 21, 2015.



Picture of children dancing in class

Българче - Cultural and Educational Program

Every Sunday from 1:00pm to 4:00pm the program offers kids a chance to learn or improve their ability to read, write, and speak Bulgarian. This class includes a mixture of reading, wirting, history, and Bulgarian folk dances.

Our teachers are highly skilled and great with the kids!

Krojok Group

Литературен Кръжец "Бугарски искрец" - Literary Club

A monthly gathering to read and discuss Bulgarian literature. We get together to share our love for poetry, prose, and critical thinking. We also enjoy a delicious potluck and our time together never feels long enough!

Everyone is welcome!

Rosna Kitka Group Dancing

Rosna Kitka

Rosna Kitka is a group of people with a mutual love for traditional Bulgarian folk music and dance. We’re always happy to welcome new people, learn new dances, and dance to our favorite tunes. We listen and dance to Bulgarian, Macedonian, and other balkan music. While dancing is a part of the evening, you don't have to participate and can instead socialize, listen, and watch. This event includes at potluck and has a $5 suggested donation. All donations go towards the operations of the club.

No dancing experience necessary.

This group meets every 4th friday of the month from 7:00pm-9:00pm.


Language Classes

For Adults

Sundays from 4:30pm-5:30pm we hold language classes for adults who wish to learn Bulgarian. All skill levels are welcome, no preview expereince is required.

For Teenagers/Young Adults

Bulgarian grammar classes that teach reading, writing, and grammar basics. This class is for teenagers/young adults with existing Bulgarian language skills. Class is held one Sunday a month from 2:00pm-3:00pm

Macedonian School Project

Macedonian School Project

The Macedonian School Project is a non profit tax exempt 502(c)(3) charitable organization established to assist schools in southwest Macedonia. Visit www.makschools.info for more info.


Contact Us

Visit us: 2116 N Killingsworth St. Portland, OR 97217

Email us: podkrepapdx@gmail.com

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