Salem, Ore. – Cultural organizations across Oregon will receive more than $2.7 million in funding from the Oregon Cultural Trust in FY2021 thanks to the generosity of citizens who invested in the state’s cultural tax credit.

The awards include a total of $676,760 to the Cultural Trust’s five statewide partners (Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Heritage Commission, Oregon Humanities, Oregon Historical Society and the State Historic Preservation Office); $676,760 to 45 County and Tribal Cultural Coalitions – for regranting in their communities; and $1,353,520 in competitive Cultural Development Program awards to 78 cultural organizations serving most geographic regions of the state.

“We are incredibly grateful to the loyalty of our donors for their steadfast support of culture during very challenging times,” said Chuck Sams III, chair of the Cultural Trust board. “Our collective culture is the glue that binds us together as Oregonians, especially during difficult times. Arts and culture cross all boundaries and inspire us to celebrate our diversity and resilience as a people.”

The amount of overall grant awards is virtually even with FY2020, he added, due to a slight increase in fiscal year donations coupled with a slight decrease in interest earnings on the permanent fund.

“Although the value of the permanent fund has increased to $31 million, market fluctuations during the health crisis led to a small decrease in interest earnings,” said Brian Rogers, the Cultural Trust’s executive director. “Thankfully our donors rallied this spring prior to the end of the fiscal year to ensure our support of Oregon’s cultural community remained strong at a time when they need it the most due to losses suffered during the COVID-19 health crisis.”

Many of the funded projects support engagement efforts during social distancing. Highlights of grant projects funded include:

  • The preservation and sharing of Hawaiian traditional cultural practices online and in person by Kapi Oanuenue in Ashland;
  • The development of an interactive digital media channel for nonprofits and independent mediamakers by Open Signal in Portland;
  • A series of cultural programs to reengage the community after months of COVID shutdown by the Tower Theatre Foundation in Bend;
  • The production of “From the Streets to the Symphony,” a documentary about the collaborative composition of new music by houseless young filmmakers and Oregon Symphony creative chair Gabriel Kahane by Outside the Frame in Portland;
  • The restoration of Native American access to First Foods and other cultural plants of significance in Southwestern Oregon by the Indigenous Gardens Network at Southern Oregon University in Ashland;
  • The development of the first Oregon Online African American Museum by Oregon Black Pioneers in Salem; and
  • Access to media arts for historically underserved Black students to exercise their imaginations, develop a voice and prepare stories for public dissemination through the Journalistic Learning Initiative in Eugene.

The 78 Cultural Development Grants include 44 grant awards outside of Portland and first-time awards (marked with *) to 14 organizations, 57 percent of which are also located outside the Portland Metro area. The grant awards range from $5,000 to $36,201 with an average grant award of $16,849. Sixty-three percent of the eligible applications were funded.

Cultural Development Program awards fund projects that address access, capacity, creativity and preservation. Applications were reviewed and scored by peer panels; final award amounts were determined and approved by the Cultural Trust Board of Directors at its Aug. 6 meeting. Close to half of the grants in this program were awarded to organizations outside of the Portland Metro area; overall more than 60 percent of Cultural Trust funding (including awards to County and Tribal Coalitions) is awarded outside of the Portland Metro area.

Cultural Development Grants, organized alphabetically by geographic region (see end of release for region key), were awarded to:

Central Region

Deschutes Public Library Foundation, Bend: $12,032

To support the “A Novel Idea” community read program in its mission to broaden culture and dialogue and ensure free and open access to all residents.

Friends of Santiam Pass Ski Lodge, Sisters: $22,684     

To support the restoration of historic Santiam Pass Ski Lodge as a multipurpose community center through the repair and restoration of the lodge’s external shell (foundation, siding, windows and roof.), and thereby complete Phase One.

The High Desert Museum, Bend: $10,370

To support the exhibition “Dam It! Beavers and Us,” which will raise awareness of the significant role of the beaver and natural landscape in shaping our history and help preserve a lesser known and often misunderstood aspect of Oregon’s heritage.

Tower Theatre Foundation, Inc., Bend: $15,587

To support the “Local at the Tower” programs: a series of seven cultural programs created/presented collaboratively with community partners to reengage the community after months of COVID shutdown while still operating under stricter standards.

Greater Eastern South Region

Four Rivers Cultural Center, Ontario: $7,945

To support the Center’s efforts to serve at-risk kids, underwriting programming so targeted children (particularly those in poverty, of color, with special challenges, in trauma or who have entered juvenile justice or foster care) have access to the arts.

Portland Metro Region

All Classical Portland, Portland: $34,376

To support the recording of classical music by composers from underrepresented communities with the N M BODECKER FOUNDATION for broadcast and distribution, and a nationwide challenge for public radio stations to do the same in their communities.

Bag & Baggage Productions, Inc., Hillsboro: $8,287

To support the commission and world premiere performance of “TROY, USA,” an original adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Troilus and Cressida,” and the third show of Bag&Baggage’s Problem Play Project.

Bosco-Milligan Foundation, Portland: $6,994

To support the second phase of the organization’s three-year communications/outreach strategy with a redesign of the website to engage a broader population through participatory, inclusive experiences and to strengthen internal capacity.

Broadway Rose Theatre Company, Tigard: $33,195

To support a building expansion to enable Broadway Rose to effectively respond to increased demand for our services and community programs.

Caldera, Portland: $13,529

To support artist stipends for, and administration of, Caldera’s Residency Program, which annually provides approximately 40 artists an opportunity to build skills, relationships and creative projects at the Arts Center in Central Oregon.

*Cascadia Chapter of National Association of Composers, Portland: $5,000

To support Cascadia Composers, the Northwest chapter of the National Association of Composers USA, in bringing NACUSA’s biennial conference to Portland in March of 2021. The conference will include six concerts and five presentations.

Chamber Music Northwest, Portland: $12,790

To support the production of “The Anchoress,” a creative production highlighting the inaugural season of new artistic directors and the future of Chamber Music Northwest.

CoHo Productions Ltd, Portland: $8,173

To support the installation and implementation of a three-camera live streaming set-up in the CoHo theatre to allow for the continuation of CoHo’s season and artistic offerings throughout the pandemic and beyond.

Confluences, Portland: $5,000

To support a series of online community gatherings that provide an Indigenous cultural context for current events, and draw visitors to Confluence’s digital library and art landscapes along the Columbia River.

*Corrib Theatre, Portland: $9,907

To support the relaunch of Corrib’s live performance season within the context of the new COVID-19 reality, with a season including three shows with community talkbacks focusing on marginalized communities.

Disjecta Contemporary Art Center Inc, Portland: $13,371

To support the 10th Curator in Residence Season curated by Lucy Cotter to include multiple solo and group exhibitions as well as talks, performances and more.

Imago the Theatre Mask Ensemble, Portland: $8,394

To support the writing and composition of an original music-theatre/new opera work, “The Velvet Gentleman,” inspired by the life and music of Erik Satie. The work provides insight into Asperger’s syndrome.

Japanese Garden Society of Oregon, Portland: $26,248

To support access to perspectives on the Japanese-American experience during WWII through works by world-renowned photographers Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange and Toyo Miyatake for the exhibition “Art and Gardens: Healing Nature at Manzanar.”

*MetroEast Community Media, Gresham: $20,755

To support a revamp of the long-running MetroEast talk show “Community Hotline” in order to create a more engaging experience for viewers and provide better marketing and promotion opportunities for the many nonprofits that appear on the show.

Miracle Theatre Group, Portland: $16,260

To support the production of the play “Veronica Princesa,” Milagro’s first mainstage children’s musical play. “Veronica Princesa,” by Alicia Dogliotti and Federico Roca, will be an Oregon Premiere and an opportunity to work with colleagues from Uruguay.

Montavilla Jazz Festival, Portland: $12,057

To support Portland jazz artists at the highest level of their craft in performance of new works performed and filmed at unique locations within the Montavilla neighborhood, and presented as a series of concert films for 2021 screenings.

My Voice Music, Portland: $16,195

To support My Voice Music’s Outreach Programs to bring trauma-informed music classes to youth living in residential detention and treatment centers and support youth with ongoing music mentorship as they transition out of such facilities.

Northwest Children’s Theater & School Inc, Portland: $35,577

To support development of online programming, including broadcasting Mainstage plays and the creation of classes and outreach that can be disseminated through interactive frameworks. New equipment ensures clear communication and broad participation.

Northwest Film Center, Portland: $24,056

To support expanding into a pioneering media arts and storytelling incubator sharing NW stories with the world by growing NWFC’s Artist Services to reach more people, bring in new voices and connect artists and audiences (virtually and in-person).

Northwest Professional Dance Project, Portland: $13,846

To support the development and launch of a dynamic new website with enhanced visibility, accessibility and navigation that strongly features multiple streaming portals for classes, in-studio and remote activities, and performances (archival + new).

Open Signal, Portland: $32,929

To support the development of an interactive digital media channel for nonprofits and independent mediamakers in the Portland area to share videos, livestream events and classes, and raise funds.

Oregon Arts Watch, Portland: $7,113

To support stories about Indigenous history and resilience in Oregon that will explore the shift from the intended erasure of tribal culture in the past to groups that are claiming, fostering and celebrating Indigenous identity in the present.

Oregon Ballet Theatre, Portland: $18,807

To support the work of OBT’s Education Department through the creation process of “OBT Moves,” a digital dance resource to sustain and enhance OBT’s education services to school and community partners across the 2020-21 year and beyond.

Oregon Public Broadcasting, Portland: $20,984

To support the production of OPB’s award-winning historical documentary series, “Oregon Experience.”

Outside the Frame, Portland: $22,805

To support the production of “From the Streets to the Symphony,” a documentary about the collaborative composition of new music by houseless young filmmakers at Outside the Frame and Oregon Symphony creative chair Gabriel Kahane.

Pacific Railroad Preservation Association, Portland: $12,869

To complete the federally mandated 15-year repair of the boiler of the SP&S 700 steam locomotive. This project would return the SP&S 700 to steam for full operating condition for public education and enjoyment including the annual Holiday Express.

Phame Academy, Portland: $19,316

To support the creation and performance of a new musical written and designed by adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), which will tour rural areas after its Portland premiere.

*Play It Forward, Beaverton: $15,001

To support the expansion of Play It Forward’s music education and piano gifting program to include an inclusive and equitable on-line, interactive, virtual learning component for the 2020-2021 School Year.

*Portland 5 Centers for the Arts Foundation, Portland: $15,101

To support seven culturally relevant performances, along with educational materials, focused on serving 8,900 youth in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties, a majority of whom will identify with a traditionally marginalized community.

Portland Playhouse, Portland: $36,201

To support the six-week production of Black playwright Robert O’Hara’s “Barbecue,” and the community engagement activities associated with the project, in the spring of 2021.

Red Door Project, Portland: $26,158

To support a new development manager position and related hiring activities. The position will grow the development department, continue successful grant activities and build major donor contributions, increasing organizational stability.

Regional Arts & Culture Council, Portland: $34,910

To support the research, growth and development of RACC’s financial and capacity building support to arts organizations serving under-represented populations and whose leadership is majority under-represented individuals.

Risk-Reward, Portland: $7,714

To support the 13th Annual Festival of New Performance and creation of supporting “virtual” performances.

*Shaking the Tree Theatre, Portland: $8,687

To support the development of an installation and immersive performance designed to help ease audiences and theatre makers back into public life in order to collectively process the pandemic.

SMART Reading, Portland: $11,673

To support increased access to “Mirror and Window” literature, meaning children’s books that represent diverse cultural perspectives. Children receive 14 books a year as part of the SMART Reading programs around the state of Oregon.

Tualatin Valley Creates, Beaverton: $14,384

To support the Arts & Culture Leadership Incubator, a professional development intensive for mid-career and historically underrepresented individuals working to advance their creative practice and impact within Washington County.

*Vanport Placemarking Project, Portland: $23,501

To support design and installation of signage and the development of an Augmented Reality app which will enhance the signage. This project will preserve the history and heritage of Vanport, once Oregon’s second largest city and destroyed in a 1948 flood.

*Willamette Falls Trust, Portland: $31,737

To support the development of a Native/Non-Native collaborative engagement model to inform hardscape design, landscape and programming plans at the Willamette Falls Riverwalk.

Write Around Portland, Portland: $5,677

To support the hiring of a staff position to support fundraising needs during COVID-19, sustain organizational growth and support 2021-2024 strategic initiatives.

Young Audiences of Oregon Inc, Portland: $33,993

To support Young Audiences of Oregon and SW Washington’s suite of responsive professional development activities for teaching artists and classroom educators in order to increase young peoples’ (K-12) access to the arts.

Mid-Valley Region

Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, Grand Ronde: $34,660

To support the development of two Chinuk preschool immersion classrooms for 24 students.  The Tribe currently has a rented trailer for one classroom but always has to turn away children.  In 2019, there was room for only six of 16 enrollments requested.

Huitzilopochtli, Woodburn: $5,000

To support access to the Aztec Dance Circle’s cultural programming for underserved Latino students and their families and strengthen the organizations’ mission to teach indigenous Aztec culture and traditions throughout Oregon.

*Jefferson Historical Society and Museum, Jefferson: $11,465

To support the restoration of the historic 1854 Jacob Conser House for the purpose of expanding the local Museum and providing events for the community of Jefferson and to ensure the building reaches a safe and habitable standard.

Oregon Black Pioneers, Salem: $17,151

To support the development of the first Oregon Online African American Museum. This new vehicle will be a dedicated space for sharing stories of African American culture and history across Oregon.

Willamette University, Salem: $5,058

To support the Hallie Ford Museum of Art’s museum quality storage solutions and digital access for 577 artworks that comprise Rick Bartow’s print archive. Bartow was a nationally recognized Native American artist and Oregonian.

Willamette University, Salem: $5,000

To support the Willamette Pro Musica production of and access to a professional recording of a new orchestral work,  “Birds in this Woman,” featuring the Native American poetry of Elizabeth Woody, former poet laureate of Oregon, and music by composer Robert Nelson.

North Coast Region

Astoria Scandinavian Heritage Association, Astoria: $27,034

To support research, design, fabrication and installation of interpretive panels at Astoria Nordic Heritage Park (ANHP), a $1.2 million project in Astoria’s Downtown Historic District on the RiverWalk celebrating Astoria’s Nordic roots.

Northeast Region

Josephy Center for Arts and Culture, Joseph: $22,733

To support planning costs related to the purchase, safety and expansion of the Center. The project will enhance the stability of programs, increase capacity to carry out the mission and secure the organization’s future.

Maxville Heritage Interpretive Center, Joseph: $17,640

To support expanded capacity by hiring a part time development director to support the success and growth of MHIC, which works to highlight the African American contribution to Oregon’s logging industry.

*Wallowa History Center, Wallowa: $12,725

To support the preservation of the historical Bear-Sleds Ranger Station, the new home for Wallowa History Center. The grant award will support the preservation of the ranger’s office for the visitor’s center and the purchase of PastPerfect.

South Central Region

PLAYA, Summer Lake: $5,238

To support increased stability and improved sustainability by increasing organizational capacity in presenting virtual programming, developing new investments in online resources to promote and provide access to PLAYA’s programming to a wider audience.

Ross Ragland Theater, Klamath Falls: $31,456

To replace the theater’s leaking roof to maintain a safe, functional and welcoming performing arts center, assure the ongoing function and integrity of the historic building, and continue to deliver arts and education programs.

South Coast Region

Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians, Coos Bay: $36,124

To support the recovery, preservation and sharing of artifacts and documents celebrating and documenting the Tribe’s heritage and history.

Little Theatre on the Bay, North Bend: $14,820

To support the expansion and enhancement of North Bend’s historic Liberty Theatre to allow for a greater range of performances and audience experience.

South Valley/Mid Coast Region

Corvallis Arts Center Inc, Corvallis: $21,349

To support a smooth succession plan for incoming and outgoing Curators that embeds equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) goals and activities into the organization’s Exhibition Program Plan for outreach and community-building activities.

*Corvallis Multicultural Literacy Center, Corvallis: $6,472

To support building an organization-wide planning process that will increase the capacity and sustainability of CMLC’s activities and programs to be implemented in a hybrid in-house/remote format, thus increasing access and expanding community.

Creswell Heritage Foundation, Creswell: $7,899

To support the creation of architectural plans for the interior restoration of Creswell’s old schoolhouse and the architecture consultation during the restoration.

Delgani String Quartet, Eugene: $5,000

To support the first recording by an American quartet of the string quartets of Portland-based composer Tomas Svoboda and to help promote his music through a statewide CD release tour.

Joint Forces Dance Company, Eugene: $21,283

To support the collaboration of DanceAbility International with Eugene’s Orchestra Next to create an evening-length concert featuring  musicians and dancers with and without disabilities, also to allow low cost or free admission to the performances.

*Journalistic Learning Initiative, Eugene: $7,044

To support Lane ESD in providing access to the media arts for historically underserved Black students who will exercise their imaginations, develop a voice and prepare stories for public dissemination during an eight-week after school program.

Lane Arts Council, Eugene: $11,607

To support Lane Arts Council as it grows and diversifies income through community-led fundraising strategies and fundraising training for board, staff and community champions to sustain programming while responding to growing community need.

Lincoln City Cultural Center, Inc, Lincoln City: $30,951

To support expanded service and program capacity of the Lincoln City Cultural Center, the underutilized grounds around the historic building will be converted into a cultural plaza celebrating the arts, culture and community.

Pacific International Choral Festivals, Eugene: $5,245

To support a Commissions Project to be launched at the TURN THE MUSIC UP and LIFT EVERY VOICE festivals in 2021.

*Siletz Tribal Arts and Heritage Society, Siletz: $35,222

To support development of a traveling VR exhibit on the culture of the Siletz Indians to build support for, and to eventually become a part of, the permanent collection at the Siletz Tribe’s future cultural heritage center, Ghii Dee-Ne Dvn.

University of Oregon Foundation, Eugene: $25,172

To support the Oregon Folklife Network’s sixth annual “Culture Fest” celebration of folklife by publicly showcasing Oregon’s diverse cultural arts in six counties, while helping organizations reach diverse artists and engage the public in exploring Oregon’s evolving traditions.

Southern Region

Anima Mundi Productions, Phoenix: $15,880

To support the creation of “Corona: Stories of Resilience,” an exploration of Oregonians’ responses to COVID-19 with music by Ethan Gans-Morse, poetry collected/composed by Tiziana DellaRovere, and two premiere performances by the Resonance Ensemble.

Josephine Community Library Foundation, Grants Pass: $29,727

To support the preparation, planning and launch of the first phase of a library building campaign for library stakeholders to raise $2 million to purchase downtown property for a future Grants Pass library and community commons.

*Kapi Oanuenue, Ashland: $5,000

To support the preservation and sharing of Hawaiian traditional cultural practices: music, dance, arts and values. Activities will be online via digital gatherings and in person via classes and in the Ashland Aloha Festival.

Rogue World Music, Ashland: $9,622

To support the cultural liaison responsibilities of a new program director who will conduct a focused outreach project to increase the organization’s cultural competency through building relationships of mutual understanding, trust and benefit.

Southern Oregon Historical Society, Medford: $10,377

To support the re-housing, cataloging and digitization of 3,000 glass plate negatives for the purposes of preserving and making them accessible to the public.

Southern Oregon Repertory Singers, Ashland: $6,493

To support the commissioning of a major new choral work by renowned British composer Will Todd and its performance by Southern Oregon Repertory Singers as the centerpiece of the fourth annual First Light Festival of New Choral Music in March 2021.

Southern Oregon University, Ashland: $35,483

To support the restoration of Native American access to First Foods and other cultural plants of significance in Southwestern Oregon by the Indigenous Gardens Network in a place-based Indigenous-led partnership.

The Hearth, Ashland: $22,601

To support the development and expansion of creative online settings accessible to a diversity of people where through the practice of personal storytelling local participants can deepen their appreciation, compassion and commitment to one another.

*First time grant recipient

Region key:

Central (Jefferson, Deschutes and Crook Counties)

Greater Eastern South (Grant, Harney and Malheur)

Portland Metro (Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas Counties)

Mid-Valley (Yamhill, Polk and Marion Counties)

North Coast (Clatsop, Columbia and Tillamook Counties)

Northeast (Wallowa, Union and Baker Counties)

South Central (Klamath and Lake Counties)

South Coast (Douglas, Coos and Curry Counties)

South Valley/Mid-Coast (Lincoln, Benton, Linn and Lane Counties)

Southern (Josephine and Jackson Counties)

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Created in 2001 by the Oregon Legislature, the Oregon Cultural Trust is a testimony to how much Oregonians value culture. No other state provides a 100 percent tax credit to inspire cultural giving. As uniquely Oregonian as public beaches and the bottle bill, the Oregon Cultural Trust was established 18 years ago by the Oregon Legislature as an ongoing funding engine for arts and culture across the state. Oregonians fund the Cultural Trust. We, in turn, fund the artists, potters, rappers, acrobats and dreamers who make Oregon, Oregon. In 2017 Oregonians gave $4.9 million to the Cultural Trust, our all-time record. Sixty percent of that went straight back to the field. The remaining 40 percent helped grow our permanent fund. Our three grant programs fund our five Statewide Partners, 45 County and Tribal Coalitions and qualified cultural nonprofits through competitive Cultural Development Grants.