George Kramer, a heritage executive from Ashland, and Theo Downes-Le Guin, director of Portland’s Upfor Gallery, have been appointed to the Oregon Cultural Trust Board of Directors by Gov. Kate Brown. The appointments were confirmed by the Oregon Senate on Nov. 16. They fill positions vacated by John Tess and Mike Golub, who completed their terms at the end of October.
Board members Nathalie Johnson, Chris Van Dyke and Gayle Yamasaki also were confirmed to serve second four-year terms. In other governance news, the board voted at its Nov. 9 meeting that board member Chuck Sams of Pendleton would succeed Carole Morse as chair and Niki Price of Lincoln City would become vice chair Jan. 1, 2018. Morse, who has two years remaining on her term, will continue to serve as immediate past chair.
“We are extremely fortunate that two such passionate and dedicated cultural advocates have committed their talents to the Cultural Trust,” said Morse. “We also welcome their perspective as experts in the heritage and arts communities.”
A graduate of the UofO School of Architecture, Kramer has a master’s in historic preservation. Established in 1989, Kramer & Company is based in Ashland and works with private, corporate and public clients throughout Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. Kramer’s client base includes Oregon’s largest utilities, numerous cities, engineering firms and a broad array of public and private clients on projects that have included everything from an 1852 pioneer homestead to 1930s movie palaces, the Grand Coulee Dam and the Trojan Nuclear Power Plant. Kramer serves as one of Oregon’s Advisors to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is a former board member of the National Alliance of Historic Preservation Commissions and served for a decade on the Oregon Heritage Commission, the last four years as its chairman.
“The Oregon Cultural Trust, joining support for the arts, humanities and heritage, is one of those great big ‘Oregon’ ideas, like the bottle bill or vote by mail,” said Kramer. “We are the only state to have something like the Cultural Trust and I am honored and excited by the opportunity to continue to build awareness of its incredible work.”
Downes-Le Guin is the founder of Upfor, a contemporary art gallery in Portland, Oregon. Prior to opening the gallery in 2013, he had a 20-year career in high technology marketing, social policy research and the visual arts. He currently serves on the board and executive committee for Literary Arts, having recently served as board member and president for Disjecta Contemporary Art Center. Downes-Le Guin holds degrees in sociology and art history from the University of Michigan and Columbia University.
“I am delighted to join the board of the Oregon Cultural Trust, where I am lucky to collaborate with an accomplished board and staff,” he said. “I hope my work on the board will help advance the inclusiveness of artistic experiences for all Oregonians, and further grow interconnectedness between Oregon’s artists and arts audiences, and arts communities of other regions.”
Kramer and Downes-Le Guin begin their four-year terms immediately.
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