This year I traveled Oregon’s 98,000 square miles to meet with our most committed cultural champions. From the Harney County Cultural Coalition in Burns to Ashland’s Shakespeare Festival, I was amazed by our incredible leaders of creative expression, cultural exchange and inspired innovation. The artists, tradition keepers, preservationists, writers and performers – and the donors who support them – energize, empower, and commit themselves to fueling Oregon culture every day.

Thanks to our donors, statewide cultural organizations received a record $2.6 million in Cultural Trust grants this year, up a full 30 percent over 2014 and surpassing $2 million for the first time. Among the hundreds of projects funded, we supported:

Ethos- a Portland-based music education program that collaborates with AmeriCorps volunteers to bring music education to nine communities in rural K-12 schools. For a recent student in Fossil, a guitar placed in his hands by Ethos resulted in admission to the Berklee College of Music;

Huitzilopochtli Dancing- The Aztec Dance Circle project teaches dance, music and Aztec culture through weekly gatherings, free of charge, to families throughout Woodburn and surrounding rural communities; and

Oregon Humanities- Oregon’s seventh Poet Laureate, Peter Sears, traveled all over the state presenting readings and workshops, exposing audiences to the work of poets who write in languages other than English.

It’s clear that the Oregon Cultural Trust tax credit is a uniquely powerful tool that fuels the cultural vitality of our state. Our donors pick up this tool and fuel the passion and creativity that makes Oregon, Oregon.

A tax credit for gifts to the Trust before December 31st doubles YOUR investment in Oregon- for free! Will you join us in supporting Oregonians across the state to achieve our vision of 98,000 square miles of YES?

Yours for culture,

Aili Schreiner, Trust Manager,and the entire Trust team —  from Astoria to Brookings, Joseph to Burns, and Sisters to The Dalles!