Oregon Cultural Trust Donations Up 3.1% in 2012

Happy Birthday to Oregon (February 14, 1859)! Thanks to your generous support of the arts, heritage and humanities in 2012, the Oregon Cultural Trust received gifts totaling $3,959,462.43 last calendar year, an increase of $119,126.60, or 3.1% over 2011.

These numbers attest to the value that Oregonians place on our creative economy, historic spaces and power of culture to transform us.

Donations to the Cultural Trust have increased every year since the Trust's inception in 2002, with the exception of 2008, when the US and Oregon economies slowed dramatically. This trend indicates that Oregon residents value culture as a community builder, an educational priority, and as part of the Oregon way of life.

"These contributions support not only things that bring beauty into our lives but challenge us to think in innovative new ways. I am delighted that Oregonians have stepped up their support of the Cultural Trust," said Executive Director Christine D'Arcy.

In 2012, the Trust again enjoyed a productive relationship with Willamette Week Give!Guide. More than $195,000, an 18% increase over 2011, was contributed through the Give!Guide. The Give Guide linked the Trust to 36 cultural groups, from the Library Foundation to Rock N' Roll Camp for Girls, reinforcing the opportunity to give to an Oregon arts, heritage or humanities group and then to the Trust, to take advantage of Oregon's cultural tax credit.

Cultural Trust Board Chair, Bob Speltz was pleased with the year-end results. "I am gratified to see thousands of fellow citizens support culture - the arts, heritage and humanities in Oregon, in spite of our challenging economy. I'm inspired by their generosity. Our state is enriched because of them."

Increased giving to the Cultural Trust over the last 10 years has allowed for continued grant making in all corners of Oregon, to such organizations as the Coos Art Museum; Linfield College; Oregon Bach Festival, and Libraries of Eastern Oregon, and for projects as diverse as the Head to Toe exhibit on Native American dress at Bend's High Desert Museum, the Carrie Mae Weems retrospective at Portland Art Museum, and increased capacity at Ross Ragland Theatre. The 42 county and tribal cultural coalitions will also be making Trust-funded grants to community-based projects this summer. In addition to more than $1.5million given in grants by the Oregon Cultural Trust last year, the Trust's permanent fund for culture in Oregon continues to grow, standing at almost $20 million.

So why wait until December to make your 2013 charitable gifts? Show some love for Oregon culture and consider a gift to the Trust in honor of Oregon's birthday today. Or set up monthly donations, helping the Trust create a steady stream of income for the permanent fund and increased capacity for grant giving. Happy Birthday to our beautiful state, and thank you to all who support the Cultural Trust.

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