In 2013, the Trust launched its The Pioneer Circle, a new effort to encourage support from donors who give above the limits of Oregon’s innovative cultural tax credit.

Membership in the Pioneer Circle is open to any household contributing at least $1,500 per year and to any S-Corp contributing more than $2,500.

With an original goal of 120 charter-year members, the Pioneer Circle now stands at 126 members. Charter members include businesses like Ninkasi Brewing Company, PGE, Rogue Ales, The Standard and Sterling Bank, as well as nearly 120 donors – 55 couples and nine individuals from across Oregon – Corvallis, Klamath Falls, Lebanon, Monmouth, Newport, Powell Butte, Scappoose, Sisters, Talent and The Dalles, as well as the Portland Metro Area, Lane County, and Medford. These are generous households, individuals and businesses that have made Oregon culture a priority in their charitable giving plans.

“As Chair of the Cultural Trust Board and a personal Pioneer Circle member working for a Pioneer Circle member corporation, I am overwhelmed at the positive response to this new initiative. It has been an absolute pleasure to meet several Pioneer Circle members throughout the last year and to hear about their passion for the arts, heritage and humanities. This has opened a door for donors all over the state to do more than ever to enhance our cultural quality of life,” said Bob Speltz, Trust Board Chair and Public Relations Director for The Standard.

As a thank you from the Trust and its partners, Pioneer Circle members are eligible for CulturePass, offering discounts and unique experiences sponsored by cultural groups like the Ross Ragland Theatre, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Northwest Dance Project, Mt. Hood Museum and Cultural Center, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, High Desert Museum, Museum at Warm Springs, Willamette University and others.

Photo: (left image) Damaso Rodriguez, Pioneer Circle Charter Members David & Christine Vernier with Margaret & Gordon Noel; (right image) Kay Abramowitz, with Pioneer Circle Charter Members Susan Cox & Greg Fitz-Gerald, and Sarah Horton