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Salem, OR - On February 11, Legacy Cancer Institute’s Nathalie McDowell Johnson, MD., FACS., of Portland was officially confirmed by the Oregon State Senate for her appointment to the Oregon Cultural Trust Board by Governor John A Kitzhaber, MD. Her service on the Board begins March 1.
A surgical oncologist and Medical Director of the Legacy Breast Health Centers, Johnson started her professional life as a dancer with the Ballet Theatre of the Virgin Islands. She remembers a summer with the company in New York City, which included time with dancers from Alvin Alley’s theatre. “Watching those men and women’s lives, the rigors, tryouts, rejections… I decided medicine was probably easier,” she said with a smile.
A graduate of Howard University, she went on to attend medical school at The University of Virginia and do residency and surgical internship at University of Southern California. And, though she says she still dances, “at a good party,” Johnson’s medical practice, women’s breast health, and education about breast cancer has become her professional crusade.
Johnson’s own mother, Lucy George, survived breast cancer in Johnson’s childhood, an experience that had a profound influence on her.
George also instilled in young Nathalie the importance of the arts. Growing up on St. Thomas, Johnson recalled that her mother, “enrolled us in ballet, took us to plays, the opera, musicals. She made sure to expose us because, as the daughter of a domestic and a railroad worker in the 40s, these were things she dreamed of but could not access.”
Johnson comes to the Cultural Trust Board with a goal of increased accessibility for under-served populations. “I would love to make sure all Oregonians have the opportunity to take part in the culture, art and heritage that is available,” said Johnson. Young people, in particular, need access to the arts, she said. “My mother taught us that, with imagination and creativity, there is no time for boredom.”
Johnson has a keen eye on the intersection between her two passions, art and medicine. The Legacy Cancer Institute incorporates art therapy into its programs for children and adults. “Being able to express yourself through art or music is healing,” said Johnson.
Music is also played in the institute’s Intensive Care Unit, which Johnson says, “slows the heart rate and improves the breathing,” for critically ill patients and those at the end of life. “Music actually decreases their need for pain medication,” she said. The peace and tranquility the arts provide, “can make a big difference in health outcomes.”
Trust Board Chair Bob Speltz was intrigued by Johnson’s perspective as a physician. “Dr. Johnson understands the very tangible ways in which access to culture ties directly to improved quality of life,” said Speltz. “Her steadfast commitment to expanding access to and participation in culture in Oregon is extraordinary, and her earlier life as a dancer gives her a context for culture as a viable career choice.”
Oregon Arts Commission/Oregon
Cultural Trust Joint Board Meeting
Monday, February 24, 2014
8:00 am – 9:00 am
Conference Call: 1-877-848-7030 passcode: 584 309
8:00 am - Brief Welcome
am - Executive Director Recruitment Information and Discussion.
Public Session (Open to the Public): This public session is called pursuant to ORS192.660(2)(a)(Consideration of employment of a public officer). The Boards will review and adopt hiring standards, criteria, and policy directives. The public will have the opportunity to comment at the end of this discussion. Speaker: Twyla Lawson, DAS, Chief Human Resources Office, SR. HR Consultant.
8:10 am - Public Comment*
Immediately following Public Comment- VOTE to adopt hiring standards, criteria, and policy directives for the selection of the next Executive Director.*
9:00 am - Adjourn
*Pursuant to ORS 192.660 the Board will review and adopt hiring standards, criteria and policy directives. This is primarily accomplished through the Recruitment Plan and the Job Posting. The public will have the opportunity to comment prior to adoption of the documents.
Thanks to you, our donors, the Oregon Cultural Trust had a record fundraising year in 2013. The Trust raised over $4,131,520 last year, a 4.3% increase in donations over the $3,960,094 raised in 2012. The $4.1million is the most money the Cultural Trust has raised in any single calendar year.
A busy New Year’s Eve and an ongoing partnership with Willamette Week Give!Guide helped put the Trust over the $4million mark. “It was all hands on deck the last week of 2013,” said Trust Administrative Assistant, Raissa Fleming, who oversees donation processing, several thousand each year. “We were answering phones until 5pm on the 31st and donations came in online until just about midnight.”
Willamette Week Give!Guide contributions to the Trust showed a 25% increase in 2013 over 2012, for a total of $243,240 (2012 donations came in at $195,058). “The Give!Guide added a feature prompting contributors to our partner nonprofits to match with a Trust gift on the same website and qualify for the state cultural tax credit. That made a big difference,” said Trust Communications Manager, Meryl Lipman.
Trust partner nonprofits also benefitted from the Give!Guide, including an FY14 Trust grantee, the Independent Publishing Resource Center, which took in almost $25,000 from the site in 2013, compared to $17,000 in 2012. IPRC Executive Director, Justin Hocking said the number of donors also increased in 2013, from 220 in 2012 to 245.
Another Trust nonprofit partner, the Salem Chamber Orchestra, a FY14 grantee of the Marion County Development Corporation, saw a jump from approximately $6,000 in their 2012 year-end campaign, to $23,000 in the same period of 2013. Outgoing Executive Director, Noreen Murdock can’t point to any one reason for the gain, but lauded “an aggressive development effort, a great, responsive audience, and a general vibe in the arts community that seems pretty positive.”
A highly visible ad and social media campaign helped the Oregon Cultural Trust recruit new donors and increase awareness of the Trust’s grant programs and the tax credit that makes it all possible.
The Trust awarded $1.6million in grants during its 2013-14 cycle, many to underserved communities and small nonprofits. Trust grants were given for a range of projects and programs, from education programming to restoration of theaters and outdoor venues. As part of that funding, the Trust gave grants in every county and to five of the nine federally recognized tribes. Each county and tribal cultural coalition then re-granted to local projects. In several counties, most of that money went for education programming, including author, visual artist or music in-school residencies, after-school classes and summer camps. At least one tribe used its grant to fund workshops in traditional arts and customs, to ensure that the younger generations are able to continue their tribal heritage.
The Cultural Trust distributes $.42 of each donor dollar in grants and puts $.58 away in an 11-year old permanent cultural fund for Oregon, which topped $20 million thanks in part to a growth investment strategy adopted in 2013 through the State Treasurer’s Office. Trust Board Chair Bob Speltz was thrilled when he read the 2013 donation report.
“This puts the Cultural Trust in a position to potentially award more in grants, do more programming, and save more in Oregon’s permanent cultural fund,” said Speltz. “It shows that we, as Oregonians, increasingly support the arts, heritage, and humanities, for ourselves and our children.”
Most cities and towns have disaster plans for their residents. But in the scramble to save lives during a fire or flood, an entire town’s history can get left behind.
Oregon Heritage, a statewide partner of the Cultural Trust, has been awarded a Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services grant to launch Heritage MentorCorps, a program that allows regional mentors statewide to help libraries and archives prepare for natural disasters.
According to Oregon Heritage Coordinator Kyle Jansson, many smaller libraries and archives do not have disaster plans. In light of that, Oregon Heritage has recruited 35 mentors across the state, professionals with experience in collections care, including disaster preparedness. These professionals will be available by phone, email, and often in person, to offer training and advice to their colleagues, from John Day to Coos Bay and everywhere in between. “We are going statewide from Day One,” said Jansson.
The world of collections care is a fascinating one. “If an item from the Salt Lake Valley hasn’t seen much moisture and it’s in great shape, you want to keep it that way,” said Jansson. “Paper can be a challenge in Western Oregon because of the moisture, which can equal mold. And a general rule for storage is 30-50% humidity.” While more sophisticated operations can afford state-of-the-art storage systems, others cannot. That doesn’t mean they can’t employ simple solutions to keep damage at bay. “As an example,” said Jansson, “Don’t keep boxes on the floor. Even moving them up to a shelf, you’ve made a major step toward saving them in a flood.” Jansson emphasizes planning ahead. “Getting cultural institutions to talk with disaster management folks in their areas, that’s a goal,” he said.
Oregon Heritage receives an annual partnership grant from the Cultural Trust, funding which was instrumental, said Jansson, in providing the infrastructure for the project. “The regional technical assistance partners use Cultural Trust funds to provide assistance in underserved areas. These folks will be involved with this project too.” Without the Trust funding, Jansson said the agency might have still been competitive for the federal grant, “but it would have felt unsustainable to serve the whole state.”
Oregon’s cultural sector accounts for 19,000 jobs and $272 million in wages statewide. Between that income and the sale of tickets, merchandise and more, state and local governments bring in $52 million in taxes and fees. So, the Oregon Legislature had no problem passing HB3232, “Connecting Students to the World of Work,” with generous funding for underserved students, grades six-12, to explore and gain professional experience at some of the state’s most powerful arts organizations.
Administered and led by the Oregon Arts Commission, in partnership with the Cultural Trust, “World of Work” (WOW) grants were awarded to eight organizations, in amounts ranging from $22,000 to $50,000, for projects up to 18 months long, from Gresham to Ashland.
According to Deb Vaughn, the arts education coordinator for OAC, the WOW program provides a welcome addition to cultural education funding. “A strong body of research demonstrates that culture and the arts contribute to academic success for high school students from low socio-economic backgrounds, English language learners and students with special needs. Some of the positive results have included improvement in state test scores, increased attendance and participation, reduced dropout rates and higher likelihood of completing a post-secondary degree,” said Vaughn. Student interns will not only job shadow and acquire hands-on skills, they will also learn how to transfer what they have learned to resumes, mock interviews and professional presentations.
WOW is part of a comprehensive STEM to STEAM initiative that allocates more than $12 million to strategic investments in education, including high school to community college bridge programs. Connecting Students to the World of Work has a long term goal of increased high school graduation rates and post-secondary education enrollment, as per the State’s 40-40-20 initiative.
The WOW grants are as follows: Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Eugene - $27,325 to support the ArtWorks internship program for students grades 9-12, providing instruction in arts education, working collaboratively with museum educators and curators and assisting with teaching art lessons for younger students.
Lane Arts Council, Eugene - $22,000 to support the Arts Apprentice Program with 20-30 students in grades 6-8. Students will connect with professional artists and arts organizations, be mentored and create hands-on art projects.
Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ashland - $26,000 to support an expansion of PEEPS (Professional Education and Experience Program for Students) to include formal skills instruction, more students, travel stipends and more OSF company members as mentors.
Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland - $39,360, to support the creation of a Creative Conservation Corps, consisting of project-based design and craft activities from publication design, fabrication of objects and systems design for sustainable products and services.
PDX Pop Now, Portland - $40,000, to support Beats Lyrics Leaders, audio production training aligned with state education and Career Tech Education standards. Native American youth will participate in seasonal week-long workshops on music production skills and receive year-round professional mentorship in a studio environment.
Peter Britt Gardens Music & Arts Festival Association, Medford - $28,500 to support the extension of existing internship program to include up to 12 high school juniors and seniors in a year-long sequential program culminating in a student-curated performance in June 2015.
Techstart Education Foundation, Portland - $48,350 to support expanded opportunities for underserved students in STEAM education and careers through Youth Game Camps.
The Center for Advanced Learning, Gresham - $50,000 to support student development of an ad campaign and promotional website celebrating the 100 year anniversary of the Historic Columbia Highway on behalf of the Troutdale Historical Society.
Click here to read more in-depth coverage about the WOW grants.
Leave a Legacy THE OREGON CULTURAL TRUST IS UNIQUE.
• No other state in the nation offers a 100% tax credit for cultural giving
• No other state has a county-by-county network of cultural plans, specific to the assets and needs of each county
• No other cultural funding plan integrates humanities, arts and heritage in a single, comprehensive program
• No other cultural funding agency treats tribal governments in parity with city, county and state governments
No other state allows its citizens to create the money for cultural funding themselves. When you contribute to the Oregon Cultural Trust through your will, trust or annuity plan, you make sure that the Cultural Trust can give future generations the same quality of Oregon culture that we enjoy today. We're thrilled to welcome you into the special group of people who have made a commitment to the future of the Oregon Cultural Trust. Your gift is unique...and powerful.
Planned giving is a means by which donors can achieve significant tax benefits both now and at the distribution of their estates, and such planning can make a positive difference for the future of the Oregon Cultural Trust.
One of the simplest ways to plan a gift to the Oregon Cultural Trust is through a bequest. Your financial advisor can make the best planned giving recommendation for your individual situation. If you would like to learn more about how to support the Oregon Cultural Trust now or in the future, please contact Interim Director Shannon Planchon at Shannon.email@example.com or Trust Manager Kimberly Howard at Kimberly.firstname.lastname@example.org
(L-R Chris Van Dyke, Senator Elizabeth Steiner-Hayward, Mike Golub. Not pictured: Greg Fitz-Gerald)
This fall four new appointments to the Oregon Cultural Trust Board have been made by Governor John Kitzhaber and the Oregon Senate.
Greg Fitz-Gerald of Eugene was confirmed by the Oregon Senate in September; he began his term on November 1 as a voting member, having previously served a year as a special advisor. On November 21, Portland Timbers Chief Operating Officer Mike Golub of Portland and long-time athletic and outdoor industry executive Chris Van Dyke of Bend, both cultural supporters, were approved by the Oregon Senate.
On November 20, Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward MD was appointed by Senate President Peter Courtney as the Oregon Cultural Trust Board representative from the Oregon Senate. Senator Steiner Hayward, a family physician at OHSU, represents Senate District 17 (Northwest Portland/Beaverton). Appointed to the Oregon Senate in 2011, she also serves as president of the Oregon Academy of Family Physicians (OAFP) and Director of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute Breast Health Education Program. She is a long-time advocate for small business and education.
Said Cultural Trust Board Chair Bob Speltz, “These are outstanding additions to Oregon’s innovative Cultural Trust. Senator Steiner Hayward has been an enthusiastic supporter of the Trust and a vocal proponent of the cultural tax credit’s renewal. I’m excited to have her as part of our work going forward.”
Senator Steiner Hayward has taken a world view in expressing her enthusiasm. "There has been a centuries long tradition of state sponsored support and engagement with arts and culture. I’m honored to be a part of this and looking forward to serving Oregon in this new way," said Steiner Hayward.
Mike Golub, who brings over 25 years experience in sports marketing, including work with Nike and the Portland Trail Blazers, has also served on the board of Portland Center Stage. He currently serves on the board of Portland Business Alliance and Regional Arts and Culture Council, among others.
Chris Van Dyke has extensive experience in global, cross-cultural branding, marketing and product development in US and Asia Pacific region. His background includes senior roles at outdoor apparel and footwear companies Nau, Patagonia, and Nike. He returned to Oregon in 2011 after serving as the Senior Vice President of Communications at the World Wildlife Fund in Washington DC for two years; he now heads a communications firm in Bend and serves on the board of Caldera, among other Central Oregon organizations.
Fitz-Gerald, a former investment banker is an important advocate for Oregon culture through his work with the Cultural Advocacy Coalition and Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. Fitz-Geraldserved as a special advisor to the Trust Board through during the successful 2013 renewal of the state cultural tax credit through 2020, and during a change in investment strategies for the Cultural Trust’s permanent fund, through State Treasurer Ted Wheeler’s office.
Trust Board Chair Bob Speltz acknowledged that brand-new members Golub and Van Dyke’s work and service history made them attractive candidates. “Chris and Mike have a combined 55 years of experience leading Oregon businesses,” said Speltz. “They both have extensive marketing and brand management, and a proven track record of partnering successfully across the nonprofit, business and government sectors, which will serve the Trust well.”
The Holiday Season is upon us and, with 14 days left in 2013, the time for giving is now!
Much has been written and said this year, locally as well as nationally, about the link between culture and innovation, the way culture can move a society forward – economically and, even more important, socially.
This year, thousands of Cultural Trust dollars were granted to projects engaged in exploration, discovery and invention:
• OMSI’s development of community spaces for maker activities;
• Pendleton Center for the Arts’ ArtsZoom program, which runs art classes statewide, by Skype;
• Use of new, state-of-the-art preservation specific storage devices to protect vulnerable collections at Eugene’s Museum of Natural and Cultural History,
• An ode to Oregon’s long and evolving relationship with rail transportation – restoration of the Medford Corporation (Medco) No. 4 Willamette geared steam locomotive.
Invention has literally shined a light in the darkness. It has harnessed the power of sun and wind to heat our water and homes. It has sent humans to the moon. It allows us to send messages around the world in seconds.
Innovation and culture are circular. Invention happens because of culture, and culture is influenced by innovation.
Oregon’s spirit of discovery and our history as explorers define our state’s culture. The creative economy is thriving in Oregon, in part because of our cultural treasures and reputation as an “incubator” for creativity.
The Cultural Trust has provided seed money to more than 1,000 cultural organizations statewide since 2003, this year granting more than $1.6million to nonprofits that spark curiosity in our children, inspire creativity in our workforce, and make lifelong learners out of every Oregonian. Please be part of the cultural evolution! Give to the Cultural Trust today!
It is a rare occasion when Oregon Heritage Commission declares a certain day, month or year a statewide celebration.
Such notables include the 100th anniversary of the Lewis & Clark expedition, 2003-2006, and the Sesquicentennial Birthday of Oregon Statehood, 2005-2009.
In a move that embraces the arts and humanities as well as history, the Heritage Commission, one of five statewide Cultural Trust partners, declared 2014 a statewide celebration of William Stafford’s Centennial birthday.
William Stafford was born on January 17, 1914, in Kansas, and attended University of Iowa for his PhD. He settled in Lake Oswego in 1956, taught at Lewis & Clark College and wrote stunning poetry that made him – and Oregon - famous. Every January dozens of celebrations are held across Oregon and nationwide to honor Stafford, who died in 1993, having written 22,000 poems.
Current Oregon Poet Laureate Paulann Petersen remembers her first year organizing a William Stafford birthday celebration. “We organized two events, in Lake Oswego and West Linn, and I was astonished,” said Petersen. “Both had standing room only. People were out in the hall, or standing outside peering in – and this was in January.
The next year we organized six events, the next year ten.” Over 40 events are currently planned in 19 states and six countries, including NATO Headquarters, Joshua Tree National Park, and Nevada Correctional Institute.
The intent of Oregon Heritage Commission’s declaration is to “put a spotlight on an important cultural heritage anniversary,” said coordinator Kyle Jansson, who noted that “the State’s declaration gives cache to communities; it can be used by organizations in their publicity.”
The arts, heritage and humanities are often intertwined, and William Stafford provides a prime example. “When arts, heritage and humanities overlap, each brings a different color to the palette,” said Jansson. “When you have a full palette, more people will pay attention, will try to understand the significance of what they are seeing and doing.”
The Cultural Trust is fortunate to have wonderful media partnerships, including our Days of Culture partnership with Pamplin Media/Community Newspapers, which resulted in a widely distributed special insert last month, and Willamette Week Give!Guide, which launched November 6.
The Give!Guide is an extraordinary mechanism for year-end giving. Nearly 40 Cultural Trust partner nonprofits participate in the guide, in print and online. The website giveguide.org allows donors to give online then make their Cultural Trust matching gift in the same easy transaction.
Once a gift has been made through the Give!Guide to any Trust partner nonprofit, a message pops up suggesting the donor match with a gift to the Trust, and it mentions the cultural tax credit.
Portland Metro Area-based Trust partner nonprofits such as Independent Publishing Resource Center, The Library Foundation, Fear No Music, The Circus Project, A-WOL Dance Collective, Hand2Mouth Theatre, Miracle Theatre, LiveWire! Radio, OMSI, Portland Gay Men’s Chorus, Friends of the Columbia Gorge and the Classroom Law Project are among the many that can be matched.
The time has come! Take a look at giveguide.org and let the giving begin!