Sean Andries

Salem, Oregon – Sean Andries, the executive director of the Chehalem Cultural Center in Newberg, is the new chair of the Oregon Cultural Trust Board of Directors. Andries, elected unanimously at the Board’s Feb. 22 meeting, succeeds Niki Price, who had served as chair since 2021. George Kramer of Ashland continues to serve as vice chair.

Andries, who lives in Tigard, first fell in love with art through the theater while growing up in the Rogue Valley amongst the audiences at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Over the years, he has worked for arts organizations of all shapes and sizes in just about every role imaginable and is proud to serve currently on the Board of Directors at Portland Center Stage and as the President of the Yamhill County Cultural Coalition.

“Culture is how we show who we are,” said Andries. “It’s how we carry histories forward and pass our stories onto the future; all Oregonians deserve to express their cultures in ways significant to them. The Oregon Cultural Trust works hard to ensure that all of us get that chance. To be asked to serve in this way, at this moment, is a tremendous privilege, and one I will work hard to make count for people and communities across the state.”

Andries holds a degree in Theatre and Arts Administration from the University of Oregon and a Professional Training Certificate from the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre. He is a trained clown and also, for a time, ran a circus school. As a performer he has worked locally for many companies and toured his own original work from coast to coast. These days, however, he works to reduce barriers to accessing the arts in the many communities he is a part of and finds his greatest joy in helping set the stage for others to stand upon. Someone once told Sean that ”theater is the last great magic” and he has believed it ever since.

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The Oregon Cultural Trust was established by the Oregon Legislature in 2001 as a unique means to reward Oregonians who invest in culture. Oregonians who donate to a cultural nonprofit and then make a matching gift to the Cultural Trust receive a 100% state tax credit for their gift to the Trust. The Cultural Trust’s  three grant programs fund  five Statewide Partners, 45 County and Tribal Coalitions and qualified cultural nonprofits through competitive Cultural Development Grants.