The Trust History

A brief timeline of the Oregon Cultural Trust

July 2001: Founded by the Oregon Legislature in a near unanimous vote on HB 2923 authorizing the cultural tax credit, cultural license plate and ability to transfer state assets to build the Cultural Trust.

June 2002: Statewide cultural summit to begin designing Trust infrastructure. 

September 2002: Regional summits; 11 area groups hammered out the unprecedented structure of county and tribal cultural coalitions. 

December 1, 2002: The cultural tax credit, allowing donors to match a gift to participating cultural non-profits with a gift to the Trust, and then get the match back at tax time, went into effect

December 31, 2002: In its first month, Oregonians donated $1.5 million to the Trust.

May, 2003: the Cultural Trust awarded its first round of grants, $214,000.

2004-12: Donations and grant making continued to rise in all but one year. 

2012: The Trust turned 10 years old and faced reauthorization of its exceptional tax credit. Oregonians of all kinds came out in support of the Trust and the credit.

July 2013: The Oregon Legislature renewed the cultural tax credit for six years, until 2020, the maximum time possible, giving the Trust a vote of confidence to continue its good work.  By that time, over 24,000 Oregonians had given to the Trust, which had, in turn, granted over 1,000 grants for $14 million, and developed a permanent fund for culture of nearly $20 million.

For more information about the history of the Cultural Trust please email Trust manager, Kimberly Howard.