News & Events

2015 ‘Conversations with Funders' scheduled

Salem, Ore. – Trust Manager Aili Schreiner will join with colleagues from the Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Heritage, Oregon Humanities and the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office April 1-7 for “Conversations with Funders,” a five-stop state tour to discuss how cultural nonprofits may apply for more than $4.7 million in collective grant funds this year.

Among the grant opportunities discussed will be the Cultural Trust’s 2016 Cultural Development Grants; grant guidelines are now posted for an application deadline of May 15 (see details below).

Organizations encouraged to attend include libraries, arts organizations, museums, cultural centers, historical societies, arts alliances, literary groups and heritage organizations.

“There are more than 1,400 cultural nonprofits serving Oregonians,” said Schreiner. “We want to make sure they know about the grant funds that are here to support their activities.

“Conversations with Funders” begin Wednesday, April 1, in Springfield and conclude April 7 in The Dalles. Conversations also are scheduled in Coos Bay, Bend and Oregon City. The schedule, with participants, locations and registration links, are:

Wednesday, April 1

9:30-11:30 a.m.: Richard E. Wildish Theatre, Springfield Register

2-4 p.m.: Cedar Room, Coos Public Library, Coos Bay Register

Presenters: Oregon Cultural Trust, Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Humanities and State Historic Preservation Office.

Thursday, April 2

10 a.m.- 12 p.m.: Art Station, Bend Register

Presenters: Oregon Cultural Trust, Oregon Arts Commission and Oregon Humanities.

Tuesday, April 7

10 a.m.- 12 p.m.: Ainsworth House & Gardens, Oregon City Register

3 pm- 5 p.m.: The Dalles Art Center, The Dalles Register

Presenters: Oregon Cultural Trust with Oregon Humanities, State Historic Preservation Office, and Oregon Arts Commission

Registration is encouraged but not required. Information on all grant programs will be available at all events.

Oregon Cultural Trust Cultural Development Grants

The Oregon Cultural Trust’s Cultural Development Grants recognize and support significant cultural programs and projects through four grant categories: access; preservation; creativity; and capacity. New guidelines posted for 2016 also encourage applicants to consider how their projects might help broaden awareness of the value of culture.

As 2014 was a record fundraising year for the Trust, a record amount will be available for grants, which last year totaled more than $600,000. Cultural Development Grants represent one third of the annual funding the Trust provides to Oregon's cultural nonprofits. Other funding includes grants to the Trust's five statewide partners - to support their projects and respective grant programs - and to 45 county and tribal cultural coalitions that fund local initiatives and grants.

2016 Cultural Development Grants are for projects and activities that will occur between August 1, 2015 and July 20, 2016.

The deadline to apply is 5 pm on Friday, May 15.

Note: Schreiner will lead a webinar for prospective Cultural Development Grant applicants from 3 to 4 pm on Wednesday, April 8.

Oregonians invest a record $4.3 million in culture in 2014

Salem, Ore. – Oregonians increased their investment in culture by more than 4 percent in 2014, donating a record $4.3 million to the Oregon Cultural Trust.

“It’s an incredible outcome given it was a year of significant transition for the Trust,” said Executive Director Brian Rogers, who assumed his role in July. “We welcomed new Trust Manager Aili Schreiner in August and were without a full-time communications manager until October. We worked very hard to ensure all was in place for year-end giving, and these results are really rewarding for all of us.”

“This speaks to the strength of the relationship donors have with the Cultural Trust,” added Trust board member Bob Speltz, who completed three years as chair in December. “While we are constantly refining our marketing, the loyalty of our donors is unquestioned.”

It will be a couple of weeks before full analytical data is available, said Schreiner, but staff is hopeful the increase – the largest in the Trust’s history – is due to growth in new donors and online giving. “We diverted more of our marketing dollars to digital advertising and creating a mobile application for our website,” she said. “We also focused the campaign exclusively on the last three months of the year, which is historically when the donations come in.”

A total of $678,331 in donations was received on Dec. 31, more than 15 percent of the total dollars raised. There also was a significant increase in donations received through the Willamette Week Give!Guide, which raised $295,680, more than $50,000 more than the year before.

The Cultural Trust distributes $.42 of each donor dollar in grants and puts $.58 into a permanent fund, currently valued at just over $25 million. In 2014 the Trust awarded $1.8 million in grants to its statewide partners, 45 county/tribal cultural coalitions and 51 cultural nonprofits through a competitive grant program.

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Chuck Sams and Gayle Yamasaki appointed to Oregon Cultural Trust board; Carole Morse succeeds Bob Speltz as chair

Salem, Ore. – Chuck Sams of Pendleton and Gayle Yamasaki of Klamath Falls are the newest members of the Oregon Cultural Trust board. The appointments were announced at the Dec. 11 Cultural Trust board meeting; Sams and Yamasaki were nominated by Gov. John Kitzhaber and confirmed by the Oregon Senate. At the same meeting, board member Carole Morse, the former longtime president of the PGE Foundation, was unanimously approved to succeed Bob Speltz as chair of the Cultural Trust board.

“We are excited by these appointments,” said Kendall Clawson, Gov. Kitzhaber’s deputy chief of staff and arts and culture policy adviser. “Chuck is a recognized leader in Native American conservancy efforts and Gayle has tremendous experience, passion and influence in the state’s education field.

“We also are extremely proud and grateful to have Carole Morse agree to serve as the Trust’s next board chair. Her track record as a cultural advocate and fundraiser is unparalleled. For her to make the Trust one of her priorities is a tremendous gift. We thank Bob Speltz for his leadership and service and are fortunate to have the mantle passed between two such steady hands.”

Sams, the director of communications for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, grew up on the reservation where he is enrolled Walla Walla and Cayuse, with family ties to the Yanktonia Sioux and Cocopah Tribes. After graduating from Pendleton High School he joined the U.S. Navy, graduating with honors from the United States Navy Intelligence Training Center A School. He spent several years in Naval intelligence, then returned home in 1992 to begin a dedicated conservancy career. In 2000 he received a U.S. President’s Service Medal from the White House and the Points of Light Foundation for his work on salmon restoration in the Columbia River basin. He also was honored as a 2011 Ecotrust Indigenous Leadership Award finalist for his dedication to the repatriation of conservation and cultural lands to tribes.

“Oregon’s diverse culture is to be celebrated and the Cultural Trust supports visionary Oregonians and cultural organizations that keep our heritage alive,” said Sams. “Being able to serve as a member of the board is an honor and privilege and I look forward to sustaining the great work happening across our state.”

Yamasaki is an education and cultural leader in Klamath Falls and southern Oregon. She is currently the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program coordinator for the Klamath Falls City School District and an advocate for the arts, culture and heritage through her role as a “story catcher.” Most recently, she has led two projects focused on intergenerational and cross-cultural education programs. In 2007, Gayle worked with the Oregon Institute of Technology on “Voices: A Legacy of Hopefulness” to connect students and tribal elders through a photography project. In 2013, she led “Breaking the Silence: The Power of Voice,” an interpretive student visual art project using Japanese American experiences/stories from the Tule Lake Segregation Center.

“My goal is to increase access for rural and at-‘promise’ youth to the arts,” said Yamasaki, “to have them take part in the richness of culture, art and heritage that is not only reflective of who they are but what they can be.”

Morse retired as president of the Portland General Electric Foundation in May after almost 19 years of service. Her work with PGE’s Foundation and as its community investments manager received national and regional attention, including a Business for Culture and the Arts Top Ten award -- recognizing the top 10 companies in the country that support the arts -- and a 2001 Oregon Governor’s Arts Award. Morse serves as immediate past chair on the board of All Hands Raised and currently chairs the 50th Anniversary Gala for Portland Opera (scheduled for June of 2015). She has been honored for her arts advocacy by Oregon Children's Theatre, Young Audiences of Oregon/SW Washington, the National Association of Counties and Multnomah County. In 2013, she received the Ron Schmidt Community Involvement Award from the Public Relations Society of America and the John Hampton arts leadership award from BCA.

"Having been a Trust advocate since its inception, I am thrilled to be working with an incredible staff and board to encourage many more Oregonians to take advantage of the tax credit so that we can achieve our goals of robustly supporting arts, culture, humanities and heritage in our beautiful state," said Morse.

Sams and Yamasaki begin their four-year terms immediately. Morse assumes her role as chair of the Trust board on Jan. 1. # # #

2014 Days of Culture to celebrate how Oregonians experience culture; Prizes awarded daily Oct. 1-8 for social media posts

A good meal, attending a quinceañera, or a visit to the museum: Days of Culture 2014 will celebrate the diverse ways Oregonians experience culture with an Oct. 1-8 social media campaign inviting Oregonians to share snapshots of their own cultural experiences.

Traditionally a weeklong celebration of events and activities presented by Oregon’s 1,300 cultural organizations, coalitions and tribes, Days of Culture commemorates the Oct.8 anniversary of the Cultural Trust, established in 2001. The decision to expand the 2014 celebration to feature individual experiences came from a desire to demonstrate how interwoven our culture is with everyday life.

“Many people think culture is exclusively about art, humanities and history,” said Aili Schreiner, Cultural Trust manager. “Certainly going to a concert, reading a book or visiting a monument are cultural experiences, but so is celebrating a birthday by eating cake or landing your first salmon on the Columbia River. Our culture is defined by who we are, what we do and how we experience life.”

All Oregonians are invited to share their culture by capturing a photo of a cultural moment (anything from a sporting event to a backwoods hike) and posting it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #thisisculture. The goal is to digitally showcase a range of cultural experiences from around the state. Everyone who posts will be eligible to win a daily prize; prizes include: a Portland Trail Blazers package; a stay at The Lodge at Kah-Nee-Ta; Oregon Symphony tickets; passes to the Oregon Coast Aquarium; and lodging at the historic Balch Hotel in Dufur, Ore.

Days of Culture also launches the Trust’s fundraising season; those who gave or give a 2014 donation to one of Oregon’s designated 1,300 cultural nonprofits are eligible for a tax credit if they make a matching gift to the Cultural Trust.

For details on Days of Culture 2014 and the tax credit, visit

Aili Schreiner named Oregon Cultural Trust Manager

Salem, Ore. – Aili Schreiner, an experienced leader and project manager in the non-profit and heritage community, is the new manager of the Oregon Cultural Trust. Schreiner succeeds Kimberly Howard, who recently accepted a position with PGE’s social responsibility team.

“We’re delighted to welcome Aili to the Oregon Cultural Trust,” said Bob Speltz, Trust board chair. “Her work over the past eight years in support of Oregon’s cultural organizations will enable to her to successfully strengthen partnerships and invest in creative place making through collaborations that build and celebrate the creative economy.”

“We are incredibly fortunate to have found someone as qualified and energetic as Aili to manage the Oregon Cultural Trust,” added Brian Rogers, executive director of the Trust and the Oregon Arts Commission. “Her experience working with heritage and history organizations, as well as her proven track record in fundraising and coalition building, makes her an exciting addition to our team.”

Schreiner’s most recent position was program director for the Confluence Project, a nonprofit dedicated to restoring public lands at heritage sites along the Columbia River. During her four-year tenure, she raised more than $6 million in capital and programming funding and created and implemented “Gifts from Our Ancestors,” a cross-cultural and interdisciplinary K-12 education program working with tribal artists, elders and tradition keepers. She also led strategic marketing and communication plans.

From 2006 to 2009 she served as the senior project manager for Oregon 150, the state commemoration of Oregon’s sesquicentennial, where she developed and oversaw project budgets, sponsorships and grant applications. She also secured and developed government, nonprofit, business and partner relationships and created Oregon Stories, a signature project to collect and distribute more than 600 written, audio and visual first-person narratives from and about Oregonians.

Schreiner’s experience also includes editing “Reflections on the Presidency” for the Oregon Historical Society Press and serving as a visitor services representative for the Oregon Historical Society. She graduated with honors with a bachelor’s in history from Lewis and Clark College, where she focused on Native American history and gender studies. She is a member of the Estonian Society of Portland and served on the advisory board of the Chinook Nation Website Project and the planning board for the 2012 centennial commemoration of Oregon women’s suffrage.

"I am thrilled to join in the great work of the Oregon Cultural Trust,” said Schreiner. “Our culture is the face of Oregon – one increasingly recognized nationally. The strength of our arts, humanities, heritage, preservation and tourism initiatives are points of entry for all Oregonians, both new and old. I am proud that Oregon is the home of this unique enterprise – cultural funding for the people, by the people. How very Oregonian!”


Schreiner begins her duties as trust manager on Wednesday, Aug. 20.

2014-15 grants to coalitions, partners and organizations total $1,808,796; $602,932 awarded to each of three grant categories

Grants totaling $1,808,796 for fiscal year 2014-2015 were approved at the Cultural Trust Board’s quarterly meeting July 17. Awards of $602,932 were made in each of the Trust’s three grant categories: competitive cultural development grants (to arts and culture organizations); cultural participation grants (to county and tribal coalitions); and partner grants to the Trust’s five statewide partners (Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Heritage Commission, Oregon Humanities, Oregon Historical Society and the State Office of Historic Preservation).

“Cultural Trust dollars, by design, support broad statewide cultural programming in the areas of the arts, heritage and the humanities,” said Executive Director Brian Rogers. “Distributing the funds through cultural partners, county/tribal coalitions and individual arts and culture organizations ensures the impact is felt by as many Oregonians as possible. “

Projects to be funded through cultural development grants include: Josephy Center for Arts and Culture’s multi-dimensional program to celebrate the unique culture and history of Wallowa County and the surrounding region; “Entertain the Future,” a capital campaign to enhance and expand the Newport Performing Arts Center; and Portland nonprofit PHAME’s development and production of a newly commissioned full-length musical theatre work that will feature performers with and without developmental disabilities, including both PHAME artists and local professional actors.

Competitive Cultural Development grants, by region, were awarded to:

Columbia River Maritime Museum, Inc., Astoria - $31,400
To help convert a former modern retail hardware store and lumber warehouse adjacent to the Columbia River Maritime Museum into one of the finest secure and climate-controlled conservation and collection storage facilities of any maritime museum in the country. The grant matches funding from the Collins Foundation for the installation of a sprinkler system, upgrades to the fire and security systems, and modest remodeling so that the buildings will meet state building codes and modern collections storage standards.

Egyptian Theatre Preservation Association, Coos Bay - $12,600
To hire an Executive Director/Theater Manager for the newly renovated Egyptian Theatre in downtown Coos Bay. With the completion of more than $1 million in improvements, the theater reopened to the public in June. The new position will leverage the community engagement created by this successful local fundraising effort as a means of expanding cultural programming and activities at the theatre.

Neskowin Coast Foundation/Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, Otis - $34,500
To replace two of the key facilities used for Sitka’s artist-in-residence programs, the Tree House residence and the Bunk House writing studio, with a single purpose-built facility combining both functions in a single new, energy-efficient and compact 550 square-foot building. The existing facilities are beyond repair due to mold, mildew and decaying wood. The new facility is planned for multiple uses and will be built to high environmental sustainability standards.  It will serve Sitka's programs for many years.

Oregon Coast Council for the Arts, Newport - $15,000
To support “Entertain the Future,” a phased-approach capital campaign designed to enhance and expand the Newport Performing Arts Center. The signage and lighting initiatives reflect the third and fourth initiatives of this effort. Completion of these initiatives will enhance the market awareness of the theater by upgrading exterior signage and lighting. In addition, by upgrading the lighting in the Alice Silverman Theater, the performance capacity of the center will increase by increasing lighting flexibility and reducing the set-up time associated with lighting design.

Trail’s End Art Association, Gearhart - $17,000
To repair or replace old growth beams, siding, windows and an accessibility ramp for the Trail’s End Art Association's home, a 103-year-old, turn-of-the-century annex to the original Gearhart School. The structure has great value to the community in that it houses a community gallery and art studio.

Yaquina Lighthouses (Friends of), Newport - $6,000
To restore the historic garden at Yaquina Head Lighthouse. The garden existed in the 1880s and light keepers tended it as part of their daily duties. The project will restore the site to a functional vegetable garden and native plant nursery to enhance visitor appreciation of the life and daily activities of a keeper maintaining a homestead as well as the light. Visitors and students will be engaged with a new facet of lighthouse history, nutrition and gardening education, and community service. This will increase youth and community access to and engagement with a historic site.

Central Oregon
The High Desert Museum, Bend - $24,000
To stage two exhibitions and companion programming: "Painting Oregon’s Harvest" and "Brewing Culture" (working title).  “Painting Oregon’s Harvest” presents whimsical and vibrant paintings of Oregon’s diverse agricultural landscapes, created by native Oregonian Kathy Deggendorfer and exploring rural Oregon with a focus on the cultural significance of century farms. “Brewing Culture” focuses on the historic framework for brewing and the significance and impact on contemporary Central Oregon culture.

Eastern Oregon
Chief Joseph Days Rodeo, Inc., Joseph - $11,300
To build a dance arbor on the Native American encampment at the Chief Joseph Days Rodeo at Joseph, Ore. The rodeo attracts more than 5,000 people per night; the dancing has become a significant part of the event. Dancing is currently performed under a worn canopy supported by uneven poles. Many attendees stand or sit on the ground or on the few wooden benches. A permanent structure with seating will also be used year-round for community events.

Crossroads Carnegie Art Center, Inc., Baker City - $4,480
To bring PARC Resources, a consulting firm, to Baker City for a three-day board training and outreach to build the Legacy Giving Program called the Fleetwood Circle.  In Crossroads' 51 years, no formal Legacy Giving Program has been created.  With PARC Resources' assistance, Crossroads will not only build the program but develop the policies and procedures, roles and responsibilities and vision of its legacy giving program to create a sustainable future.

Fishtrap, Inc., Enterprise - $11,900
To support Fishtrap's Capacity Enhancement project to strengthen staff capacity to create  and administer robust marketing, data management, and outreach efforts - the key infrastructure that supports programmatic accomplishments and makes them possible. The aim is to create a strong, stable foundation so that Fishtrap can thrive and continue to advance clear thinking and good writing in and about the West for decades to come.

The Josephy Center for Arts and Culture, Joseph - $15,000
To support a multi-dimensional program that will celebrate the unique culture and history of Wallowa County and the surrounding region. The Center has scheduled a series of four themed art exhibits and associated events dedicated to important elements of its community. They will offer four month-long exhibits, each dedicated to a specific theme: Art and Agriculture, Women in Art, Native American Art, and Art and Natural Resources. Several related events will be staged with local and regional community partners including lectures, music and classes.

Liberty Theatre Foundation, La Grande - $7,500
To replace the missing historic canopy – a distinctive, character-defining feature on the theater's front facade. The restoration will match the design seen in historic photos of the Liberty from the 1920s and 1930s.

Southern Oregon
Jefferson Live!, Ashland - $18,000
To restore the Holly Theatre – listed on the National Register of Historic Places – for use as a nonprofit performing arts center. The intent is to create a facility that is both historically authentic and capable of supporting a wide range of contemporary cultural events. As a part of this larger project, Oregon Cultural Trust funds will be used to recreate and install the unique and character-defining carpeting that was installed when the theater first opened in August, 1930.

Josephine Community Libraries, Inc., Grants Pass - $16,600
To support The 21st-Century Library Outreach Program to help community members discover how the library can enrich their lives. The program will send ambassadors into the community and host events in the library; both will be supported by print and online materials. Libraries are dynamic community centers where people log in, download and borrow digital and print resources that improve their lives and broaden their cultural understanding; many in Josephine County are unaware of the wealth of resources available for free. 

Willamette Valley
Corvallis Parks and Recreation (Friends of), Corvallis - $20,000
To complete phase I improvements to the Knotts-Owens Farmstead Rehabilitation Project.  Phase I consists of stabilizing the farmstead buildings, which are currently unstable due to deferred maintenance, time and weather. Without intervention, these buildings would decay beyond the point of rehabilitation, resulting in costly reconstruction activities. The grant funds will stabilize the most critically deteriorated building components.

Eugene-Springfield Youth Orchestras, Eugene - $15,200
To partner with the Eugene Symphony and Eugene School District 4J to evolve its after-school strings instruction classes (String Academies) into a sequential music program that includes in-school enrichment activities, a curriculum aligned with in-school initiatives and intensity of instruction and performance. The once fee-based program will now be free of charge and will reach 95 students in the first year from five high-poverty 4J schools in Northwest Eugene.

Eugene Symphony Association, Inc., Eugene - $7,500
To support the 2014-15 Florence/Roseburg Residencies and Concerts, providing unique professional and artistic development opportunities for aspiring and student musicians in rural and lower-income communities. Over the past four years, ESA has sought to increase its impact in these communities through residency activities designed to enhance the capacity of local music education programs, support the development of young musicians, and raise public awareness of the value of youth participation in the arts.

Joint Forces Dance Company, Eugene - $4,250
To create an hour of new choreography, featuring two performers with disabilities and two without. The new, perspective-changing performances will inspire and educate audiences about the abilities of people usually labeled ‘disabled.’ The dance pieces will be performed for 2,700 children, and 2,400 adults in Lane, Multnomah and Jackson Counties. About 300 audience members will be people with disabilities. Artistic Director Alito Alessi and independent Dance Ability Teacher Laura Hiszczynskyj will choreograph.

Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Eugene - $6,400
To create a customized visitor evaluation system that can be readily implemented by staff to help gather valid, reliable and meaningful data from museum visitors. The project will enhance our internal capacity to collect and use information to assess the impact of exhibitions and public programs, inform subsequent exhibition and program planning, and ensure the highest quality visitor experience. The final product will be made available online and without charge to Oregon cultural organizations that may wish to use it.

Linn-Benton Community College Foundation, Albany - $10,300
To produce an original play focusing on the lives, experiences and challenges of Latino families in the City of Independence. “Bridges” will be developed through a community-engaged play-making process with information obtained from story-circles, interviews and public forums. This project is a collaboration with the City of Independence, Department of Latino Outreach and the residents of Independence. “Bridges” will be performed with and for the citizens of Independence at the Riverview Park Amphitheater.

Oregon Contemporary Theatre/ Lord Leebrick Theatre Company, Eugene - $9,400
To present Nathan Alan Davis' “Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea” in 14 public performances and two shows for middle and high school students. Oregon Contemporary Theatre will collaborate with three theatre companies from across the United States to create a Rolling World Premiere for Davis' modern day hero's quest. Davis' play blends poetry, wordplay and ritual to explore issues of race and cultural history in personal identity. 

Salem Art Association, Salem - $35,600
To address critical issues of access and organizational capacity by (a) installing an elevator that will provide, for the first time, ADA access to the second-floor gallery at the historic Bush Barn Art Center in central Salem; and (b) renovating the Bush Barn Annex to provide a functional cultural and community space for art education, art creation, workshops, lectures, artist-residencies and more.

Santiam Heritage Foundation, Inc., Stayton - $9,000
To restore the original 1902 pass-through cupboard and period reproductions of the historic Brown House kitchen, including a new beveled glass period door and cabinets, new wiring and period lighting. A staging area for kitchen activities will be built in the adjacent utility room and a mop sink, counter and storage shelves and cabinets will be installed. Electrical outlets, period lighting and used appliances (electric range, dishwasher and refrigerator) will be installed until period reproductions can be purchased in the next phase of restoration.

Upstart Crow Studios, Eugene - $5,000
To present seven special theatrical performances for children involved in local service organizations, including CASA (Count Appointed Special Advocates), the Relief Nursery and Head Start. One of the seven performances will be a Spanish translation of “The Cat In The Hat.” The project will include Conversations over Cookies with the youth casts and backstage tours. 

Portland Metro Area
Caldera, Portland - $14,200
To support Caldera's Artists in Residence Program in the development of visual, literary and performing artists from Oregon and around the world. The program includes two-week and one-month residencies at Caldera’s Central Oregon Arts Center, where artists will receive accommodations, studios, stipends, professional development and a supportive community. The artists will present their work in free, public Open Studios and 1st Thursday exhibits as well as activities related to Caldera's Youth Program. 

Cappella Romana Vocal Ensemble, Portland - $10,900
To strengthen Cappella Romana’s infrastructure to match its level of program activity. The ensemble currently operates with only two part-time employees (1.0 FTE) while maintaining an increasingly intense schedule of cultural activities. Funding will expand the hours of the Operations Coordinator to full-time, improving patron and donor services and education-outreach activities, leading to increased earned and contributed revenues and a more stable organization.

CoHo Productions, Ltd. Portland - $6,700
To support a capacity building project, including the hiring of a Producing Artistic Director and supplemental staff to strengthen the organization’s infrastructure and programming. Support from the Trust allows CoHo to increase its season from three shows to four and dedicate both human and financial resources in support of individual theatre artists, providing greater service to the community.

Chamber Music Northwest, Portland - $11,400
To support Chamber Music Northwest’s 2014-15 season, featuring seven world and regional premieres commissioned and co-commissioned by the group. Included is a comprehensive season-long initiative to enhance audience understanding of, appreciation for and comfort with the new works by hosting a number of education and outreach events and community engagement activities.

The Circus Project, Portland - $5,100
To support the High Flyers, a 2014-15 project that integrates underserved populations of youth, particularly homeless youth, into a wider community of peers and professional performing artists. The Circus Project conducts eight-week introductory classes with partner organizations and offers continued practice in public classes, open gym time and intensive training programs at no cost to High Flyers youth.

Concordia University Foundation, Portland - $8,000
To support the Center for Volga German Studies’ preservation of valuable archival items and collections of the Volga Germans through a major digitization effort. The goal is to provide access to digital resources for multiple communities, allowing the center to increase knowledge and public awareness of the rich history, culture, and traditions of the Volga Germans and their descendants. 

The Confluence Project, Portland - $12,000
To support "Gifts from Our Ancestors," a K-12 art-based educational program, in Oregon schools along the Columbia River system in 2014-2015. The program supports arts and cultural education for students, professional development and opportunity for Tribal artists, and infrastructure and professional development for teachers to integrate art and indigenous culture into interdisciplinary curricula.

Jewish Theatre Collaborative, Portland - $5,000
To adapt and produce a world-premiere theatrical production of Nathan Englander’s novel “The Ministry of Special Cases” in a style that preserves the narrative voice of the author, activating it as dialogue. The production will serve as the culmination of the Page2Stage season and will take place at Milagro Theater in March and April 2015. It will be adapted and directed by Sacha Reich, executive director of the collaborative. Set in Argentina during the Dirty Wars, the play explores themes of cultural identity, erasure of identity, totalitarianism, dehumanization and loss.

Lan Su Chinese Garden, Portland - $13,100
To celebrate Lan Su Chinese Garden’s 8th Chinese New Year in 2015, one of the most anticipated activities at Lan Su and within the Portland community. New Year is the most important festival in Chinese culture, celebrated wherever Chinese people live. Lan Su marks the holiday with two weeks of lively and culturally appropriate programming for new and returning visitors and members. It enlivens the garden and the city at a time of year when plants are dormant, out-of-town visitors are at the lowest and area families typically stay home.

Live Wire Radio, Portland - $7,200
To support capacity-building for marketing and enhance Live Wire’s ability to support staff and leverage the consulting expertise needed to further grow audiences, build stronger roots in the community and market shows to other stations across the country. 

Miracle Theatre Group, Portland - $15,600
To produce “American Night: The Ballad of Juan José” by Richard Montoya in the spring of 2015. “American Night” centers on the character of Juan José, who has left work as a police officer in Mexico, disillusioned by corruption, to create a better life for himself and his family. With bold comedic flair, the play provides a variety of viewpoints about what it means to become an American. Reflecting and contextualizing immigration in historic terms, “American Night” gives a human face to this political issue.

Northwest Children’s Theatre and School, Portland - $9,900
To support the expansion of accessibility efforts through additional promotion and equipment, as well as free performances to all families during designated showtimes. In 2014, NWCT became the first theater in Oregon to offer sensory-friendly productions for autistic and sensory sensitive children, due in part to a grant from the Oregon Cultural Trust. 

Oregon Center for Photographic Arts/Blue Sky, Portland - $5,700
To support Blue Sky’s two-pronged endeavor to build leadership capacity through strategic planning and board training and development. The organization is ideally poised to create an actionable and measurable plan, having recently bolstered its administrative capacities through new full-time staff positions, and is looking to cultivate board membership in ways that increase outreach and grow both earned and contributed income. 

Oregon Children’s Foundation/SMART, Portland - $5,000
To increase equity and representation in the literature children experience by providing additional high-quality, culturally-relevant literature to the SMART program. This will serve 9,000 PreK-3rd graders participating in the SMART reading program in 250 sites in 28 Oregon counties. SMART builds literacy in Oregon by engaging volunteers to read one-on-one with young children. 

Oregon Children’s Theatre, Portland - $5,000
To support commissioning an original script and world premiere of “Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made,” as well as free education services to advance in-school learning, and free outreach services to ensure access for children that would not be possible otherwise. The project will use multimedia technology as a live player on stage, and a portable design that will enable touring to diverse outlying locations following its premiere in Portland.

Oregon Jewish Museum, Portland - $5,700
To support the merger of the Oregon Jewish Museum with the Oregon Holocaust Resource Center, to become a single, unified organization. The goal is to develop a new, shared future during a facilitated 12-month strategic planning process that will help create a solid foundation for the unified cultural organization. 

Oregon Symphony Association, Portland - $24,000
To support the Oregon Symphony's Waterfront Concert, a tradition that dates back to 1926 and brings together an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 people of all ages from all communities around the Portland metro area. 

Oregon Zoo Foundation, Portland - $20,000
To commence the restoration and conservation of the “Continuity of Life Forms” Willard Martin mosaic. The mosaic greeted Oregon Zoo visitors for 40 years and is one of the earliest remaining designs by noted local architect Will Martin. The Oregon Zoo Foundation will contract an art conservator and restoration artist to ensure the accurate restoration and conservation of this splendid artwork for future generations.

PDX Pop Now!, Portland - $5,000
To improve Portland music's accessibility (particularly for those under 21), facilitate creative exchange among artists and audiences from disparate music communities, and connect Portland artists with new audiences. The PDX Pop Now! Festival is a local, all-age, free, and geographically accessible showcase of Portland's thriving, diverse music scene. Since 2004, the annual event has grown into the city's premier local-music happening, presenting performances by approximately 45 local acts to an estimated 7,000 festival-goers who attend over three days. 

PHAME Academy, Portland - $7,500
To support development, workshops and pre-production of a commissioned full-length musical theatre work tentatively called “The Journey.” Written by acclaimed singer-songwriter Laura Gibson and playwright Debbie Lamedman and produced by PHAME, “The Journey” will premier Aug. 14-16, 2015 with three performances at the Gerding Theater Armory at Portland Center Stage. The cast of “The Journey” will be performers with and without developmental disabilities, including both PHAME artists and local professional actors.

Pittock Mansion Society, Portland - $6,000
To support the Pittock Mansion Visitor Experience Project, a new curatorial vision designed to make a unique Portland cultural resource more engaging, accessible and meaningful for approximately 100,000 visitors per year. Support of the Visitor Experience Project will enhance learning opportunities and inspire interest in our region's history, its people and culture. Grant support from the Cultural Trust will specifically support fabrication and installation of exhibit panels and interactive exhibit elements.

Portland Community College Foundation, Portland - $7,300
To support the 25th anniversary of Cascade Festival of African Films, the college’s free signature event, in February of 2015. Included will be a number of special events and programs above and beyond the usual feature and documentary films made by African filmmakers -- showing an unprecedented number of feature/documentary films while bringing a record number of film directors from Africa for local/global cultural discussions.

Portland Piano International, Portland - $3,000
To support a pilot program that introduces audiences - especially youth - to exceptional, up-and-coming pianists. Selected by Artistic Director Arnaldo Cohen, each artist will play at least four recitals in multiple locations. The artist will introduce the works, answer audience questions and converse directly with the audience following the performance. The recitals will give the pianist invaluable experience and offer direct contact with some of tomorrow’s rising stars

Portland Playhouse, Portland - $15,600
To support “How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes:” an opportunity to challenge a different audience every performance with the question: how do you attack the problem of poverty in America - with a lens specifically focused on Multnomah County? Audiences will listen, explore, and ultimately choose how to spend $1,000 from ticket sales. It's an experiment in collective decision-making and the potential for art to make the world a better place.

Regional Arts & Culture Council, Portland - $5,000 
To support Work for Art with three new campaign videos, a mobile-friendly website, campaign documentation and a comprehensive program evaluation. These projects will enable expansion of the number and volume of workplace campaigns, educate a wider constituency and further streamline the program infrastructure.

Write Around Portland, Portland - $13,400
To support the Community Publishing Project, producing three publications of participants’ writing between August 2014 and May 2015. Each book will be professionally-designed and connect Oregonians with the rich and powerful writing of people who too often go unheard.

Write Around Portland changes lives by bringing creative writing workshops to homeless and senior centers, hospitals, prisons and treatment facilities.

Young Audiences of Oregon, Portland - $7,500
To implement and expand The Teaching Artist Studio, a comprehensive training program to develop the teaching and evaluation skills for teaching artists. The program will position Young Audiences as the leader in teaching artist quality and training. It will improve Young Audience’s financial position, raise the quality of work by teaching artists and improve student learning outcomes. The 20 participating teaching artists will teach a multi-session residency at a local school as part of this six-month program.



‘Folk Arts in the Parks’ brings folk artists and performers to Oregon state parks

Six Oregon artists will deliver special presentations about the history and cultural significance of their crafts and traditions at state parks across Oregon during the month of June. “Folk Arts in the Parks” is sponsored by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) along with the University of Oregon’s Oregon Folklife Network (OFN), the Oregon Arts Commission and the Oregon Cultural Trust.

“The program is a great opportunity to work with heritage and arts organizations to showcase cultural traditions in Oregon while also bringing people out to enjoy scenic state parks,” said Roger Roper, deputy state historic preservation officer with OPRD.

Each artist will appear with a folklorist from the OFN, the state’s designated folk and traditional arts program, in collaboration with a local arts organization. The featured events and presenters are:

“Cowboy Stories, Songs and Sing-alongs.” Award-winning singer and guitarist Barbara Nelson will perform cowboy poetry and songs. A horse lover and rider since childhood, Nelson grew up loving the cowboy movies and songs of Gene Autry and Roy Rogers. In 2013, the Academy of Western Artists named Nelson as the female western singer of the year and presented her with the Will Rogers award. Presented in collaboration with Arts East. 7-9 p.m., Saturday, June 7, Blue Mountain-Emigrant Springs State Park.

“Latino Folk Music.” The trio Grupo Condor will perform a variety of Latino-based folk music. Through concerts and school programs, Grupo Condor blends the styles of Spanish, African and Native American influences that have created this tri-cultural art form. The performance also will feature an instrument petting zoo and discussion of the group’s instruments and their origins. Presented in collaboration with the Hillsboro Arts and Culture Council. 7-9 p.m., Saturday, June 14, at Stubbs Stewart State Park.

“Lutes and Flutes: Music of the Andes.” Andean musician and instrument maker Alex Lluminquinga Perez will perform traditional charango (lute) and quena (flute) music. Raised in Quito, Ecuador, Perez was a child when he first started playing music. In Oregon since 2001, he has performed in a range of venues, including schools, colleges, public libraries and music festivals. This program will include a display of Alex’s instruments and a make-and-take flute workshop (limited to 25 participants, 8 years and above). Presented in collaboration with Columbia Arts. Noon – 2 p.m., Sunday, June 15, Vista House at Crown Point.

“Warm Springs Regalia: Traditional Wasco Beadwork.” Roberta Kirk will demonstrate and explain how to create traditional Wasco beadwork, used to adorn powwow regalia and other ritual items. A member of the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation, Kirk – whose Wasco name is H’Klumaiyat – started sewing and beading as a young girl. She continues to do beadwork and to design traditional clothing for men, women and children. Her program will feature a display of her intricate and beautiful handiwork. Presented in collaboration with the Estacada Area Arts Commission. Noon – 2 p.m., Saturday, June 21, Milo McIver State Park.

“Jingle Dancing of the Paiute.” Julie Johnson of the Fort McDermott Paiute Shoshone Tribe will demonstrate traditional jingle dancing and beadwork. Julie makes Native American dance outfits for her family and friends who wear their regalia for powwow, dances and other special occasions. Julie, who also is an accomplished dancer, performed in the opening ceremony of the Salt Lake City Olympics. This event will also include a display of her handiwork. Presented in collaboration with the Josephy Center for Arts and Culture. 7-9 p.m., Saturday, June 21, Wallowa Springs State Park.

“Hip Hop with Mic.” Mic Crenshaw will entertain visitors with a hip-hop performance, stories and discussion. One of the most respected hip-hop artists in the Northwest, Crenshaw is a world-class MC and poet also prominent on the national and international scene as a performer and community activist. His debut solo CD, "Thinking Out Loud," spent 10 weeks in the top 10 on College Music Journal's (CMJ) National Radio Hip Hop Charts, peaking at number 4. Presented in collaboration with the Arts Council of Lake Oswego. 2-4 p.m., Sunday, June 29, Tyron Creek State Park.

All events are free and open to the public, and all ages are welcome—no registration is required. Some parks may charge for day-use parking permits. For more information about the Oregon Folklife Network, visit For directions to the parks, visit

Grant Deadline is May 15. What Happens Next?

Trust Cultural Development grant applications are due this Thursday, May 15, at 5pm and, as many cultural nonprofits put finishing touches on their proposals, others are asking, “What's next?”

The process of reviewing, evaluating, scoring and recommending proposed Trust Cultural Development grant projects will take place over the next two months and culminates in final approval by the Cultural Trust Board at its July 17 meeting.

Prior to that, staff and five independent subject expert panels will be busy reading, meeting, discussing, and ultimately ranking applications in the four categories supported by the Trust's Cultural Development Grant program: creativity, capacity, access and preservation.

After staff organizes the online applications, panelists will have three weeks to read, review and individually score the proposals in their category.

Panel meetings are scheduled in Salem, at 775 Summer St. NE, 97301, Conference  Room 201.

Creativity:  Tuesday, June 24, 8:30am-4pm

Capacity: Thursday, June 26, 8:30am-4pm

Access: Wednesday, July 9, 8:30am-4pm

Preservation: Friday, July 11, 8:30am-4pm

During those meetings, panelists will discuss the applications and score them collectively, moving the high-ranking proposals forward in the competitive process. These meetings are open to the public and can be accessed by attending the meeting in person or by webinar connection.  Information on how to access the webinar connection will be made public in advance of each panel meeting. Proposers are encouraged to attend the meetings, but will not be able to speak about their applications unless the panel asks a direct question.

After all panels have met, the Trust will convene a “Super Panel” of board members and statewide cultural partners, who will review the top ranking proposals in each category to make final recommendations to the Board, based on available funding.  After final recommendations are approved by the Trust Board on July 17, grant awards will be announced by the last week of July.

For more information, please call 503-986-0088 or email

Trust manager transition

Kimberly Howard, trust manager, recently accepted a position with PGE's Corporate Social Responsibility Team. Kimberly's last day with the Trust will be Thursday, May 15.

While we will be very sorry to lose Kimberly, this is an incredible opportunity for her and is a testimony to the great work she has done for the Trust during her five-year tenure.

At PGE, Kimberly will play a key role in helping develop and execute community investment strategies, with an emphasis on education and workforce development programs. She will work in collaboration with the human resources team to build collaborative partnerships with nonprofit organizations and higher education institutions. 

Kimberly's energy and enthusiasm will be missed but will be a great asset to PGE's work in the community. We wish her well.

We will begin a search for a new trust manager as soon as possible.

Peter Sears Named Oregon Poet Laureate

headshot of peter searsCorvallis poet becomes seventh to hold position

Governor John Kitzhaber has named Peter Sears of Corvallis to a two-year appointment as poet laureate of Oregon. Sears will be Oregon’s seventh poet laureate since 1921. He succeeds Paulann Petersen, who has held the post since 2010.

Sears came to Oregon in 1974 as writer-in-residence at Reed College. In the succeeding years he served as community services coordinator for the Oregon Arts Commission and director of the Oregon Literary Coalition, which he founded in 1993. He also taught in the Master’s of Fine Arts program at Pacific University.

"The selection committee was moved not only by the quality of Peter's poetry, but also by his record of working with communities across Oregon and supporting writers at every stage of their engagement with words,” says Adam Davis, executive director of Oregon Humanities. “I think Peter's selection--and the commitment and reach of the people who reviewed the many strong nominations--attest to Oregon's exceptionally vital and hopeful literary landscape."

Sears’ poems have been published in many periodicals, and he is the author of three full-length collections of poetry—Tour (1987), The Brink (1999) and Green Diver (2009)—and two supplementary textbooks. A fourth collection, Small Talk: New and Selected Poems, will be published by Lynx House Press this year. Among other awards, Sears received the Stewart A. Holbrook Award for Contribution to Oregon Literary Life from Literary Arts in 1999 and the Western States Book Award for Poetry from the Western States Arts Federation in 2000. In 2009, The Brink was named one of Oregon's 150 best books by the Oregon State Library.

“I would like to broaden the range of the Poet Laureate’s role to include the voices of diverse communities,” says Sears. “I call this ‘Expanding Voices.’ ”

The Oregon Poet Laureate fosters the art of poetry, encourages literacy and learning, addresses central issues relating to humanities and heritage, and reflects on public life in Oregon. Sears will provide at least six and up to 20 public readings per year in settings across the state to educate community, business and state leaders about the value and importance of poetry and creative expression. 

A 20-person committee of writers, poets and cultural leaders reviewed nominations for the position in March and made its recommendation to the Governor in April. The committee was assembled by the Oregon Cultural Trust and its statewide partners—Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Historical Society, the Oregon Heritage Commission, Oregon Humanities and the State Historic Preservation Office. The process was managed by Oregon Humanities, which administers the program for the Trust.

Past Oregon Poets Laureate were Edwin Charles Markham (1921–1940), Ben Hur Lampman (1951–1954), Ethel Romig Fuller (1957–1965), William Stafford (1974–1989) and Lawson Inada (2006–2010).

A public ceremony thanking Petersen and welcoming Sears is planned for later this year.