Tears of joy. That was the response from many cultural leaders when they learned they were among the 621 recipients of $25.7 million in Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) Cultural Support grant awards distributed by the Cultural Trust. The funding not only saved, but also gave needed hope, to many organizations. Below are just a few of the heartfelt notes the Cultural Trust has received from across the state.

“Thank you and the Trust for the award. You literally saved Camelot,” Dann Hauser, executive director, Camelot Theatre, Talent.

“This grant made us all SMILE for the first time in over a month!!!” Sue Densmore, executive director, Friends of Oregon Caves and Chateau, Grants Pass.

“We are grateful beyond words. Your work has meaning, it is inspirational/aspirational and has impacted our community. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.” Maureen C Ter Beek, vice chair, Curry County Cultural Coalition.

“OCT has always been there for us and our community. You folks do a sometimes wonderfully unappreciated job (by the general public), and that is too bad. But I say kudos!” Bob Hart, Lane County Historical Society.

“Thank-you again for helping us get through this,” Jessamyn West, executive director, Astoria Arts and Movement Center and 1015 Theatre.

“I was deciding how best to go about shutting down everything that I worked so hard for for the last 12 years,” said Sushmita Poddar, the founder of Bollywood Movez in Portland. “You all make me believe that when you do good, good happens eventually.”

“This lifeline is so gratefully appreciated — I only have superlatives in my head right now but thank you, thank you. As I always like to say when we receive funding, my job is to make the community proud of our work. This funding helps so much for us to better achieve our mission.” Judy Margles, director, Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education

“Thank you so much for this fantastic news! What you have all done to help cultural organizations stay alive is amazing. We so appreciate all of the hard work and efforts!” Shannon Talbo, Sionna Productions

“The award notice brought us close to tears of relief. With the state of Oregon guidance not allowing us to reopen (there’s a prohibition on interactive exhibits), this grant is a lifeline. Without it, I’m not sure we would have survived.” Ruth G. Shelly, executive director, Portland Children’s Museum

“This money will keep us alive as an organization.  We are working to create a show with other Portland Artists to present to our community in January.” Kraig Mead, artistic director, Tempos Circus

“Wow, this is an enormous help. We are launching our first ever virtual orchestra season, and this grant will be critical to continue to provide our students with a full music education and orchestral experience. We appreciate your support more than ever during this uncertain and unusual year!” Holly Spencer, Executive Director, Eugene-Springfield Youth Orchestras

More to come!!