Generous spring donors lifted Oregon Cultural Trust fundraising to a new high, resulting in a record $2.94 million in grants to 136 cultural nonprofits for fiscal year 2017-18.

The awards include a total of $735,887 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); $735,887 to 45 County and Tribal Cultural Coalitions – for regranting in their communities; and $1,471,774 in competitive Cultural Development Grants to 86 cultural organizations across the state.

Funded projects include:

  • the “Racing to Change: Oregon’s Civil Rights Years” interactive exhibit and community programming by the Oregon Black Pioneers in Salem;
  • theater lighting and sound equipment upgrades for the Florence Events Center;
  • the renovation of the historic Baker Orpheum Theatre to become a community performing arts center in Baker City (pictured); 
  • exhibits and programs that highlight the LBGTQ community and Native youth as part of a Cultural Diversity Initiative by the High Desert Museum in Bend; and
  • transforming a major gallery at Portland Children’s Museum into The Studio – a clay, maker and multi-purpose art space for families.

“Our donors really are incredible,” said Carole Morse, chair of the Cultural Trust Board. “We anticipated holding the grant budget about even this year but their generosity ensured another record year of grant making. We are so grateful for their continued commitment to protecting Oregon’s treasured cultural community.”  

“When Cultural Trust funding goes up, we all benefit,” said Brian Rogers, the Cultural Trust’s executive director. “Every dollar strengthens not just our cultural economy, but the quality of life that makes Oregon so special.” 

The Cultural Development Grants include first-time awards to 37 organizations (43 percent) and the largest average grant amount ever at $17,050. Half of the grants go to organizations outside the Portland Metro area. Cultural Development Grants fund projects that address access, capacity, creativity and preservation.

FY2018 Cultural Development Grants recipients are:

Please note: Grant recipients are organized alphabetically by geographic region.

Those receiving a first-time grant are marked with an asterisk (*).

North Coast (Clatsop, Columbia and Tillamook Counties)                                                           

*Astoria Visual Arts (Astoria) Capacity $7,741

Astoria Visual Arts Executive Director – Year One Support: To support the management of AVA and build organizational capacity by increasing stability, improving sustainability and strengthening programs.     

Metro (Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas Counties)                                                         

*APANO Communities United Fund (Portland) Access  $40,000

Jade-Midway Placemaking Projects: To support the Jade-Midway Placemaking Program, which commissions local artists to create participatory, place-based projects in East Portland.       

*August Wilson Red Door Project (Portland) Creativity  $33,402

August Wilson Monologue Project: To support free arts education that fosters creative and personal development for high school students and preserves African American culture.         

Boom Arts, Inc. (Portland) Capacity  $18,764

Boom Arts Core Staff Expansion – Associate Managing Director: To support the doubling of Boom Arts’ core staff capacity to 2.0 FTE through the hiring of an Associate Managing Director.  

Caldera Portland (Portland) Creativity  $13,486

Caldera 2018 Artists In Residence Program: To support residencies for artists from Oregon and around the world who create work and lead classes for Caldera youth and the Central Oregon community.

Cappella Romana (Portland) Capacity  $32,691

Hiring a full-time marketing professional for Cappella Romana: To support the hiring of a full-time marketing professional to increase new and retain existing audiences, deepening CR’s cultural impact.

Chamber Music Northwest (Portland) Creativity  $22,320

Beyond the Cultural Revolution: To support the 2018 Summer Chamber Music Festival, including four new commissioned works and a special focus on Chinese composers.  

Circus Project (Portland) Capacity  $16,790

Upgrades to Studio Space to support full theatrical circus arts productions: To add theatrical lighting to our space in order to host productions of original circus performances and reach hundreds more audience members.   

*Clackamas County Arts Alliance (Oregon City) Capacity  $20,648

Build Capacity for Arts Alliance Programs to Meet Increased Demand for Services: To support building capacity to reach new donors and diversify income streams so services can expand to meet demands of a rapidly growing population.         

Classical Up Close (Tigard) Access  $6,165

2018 Spring Chamber Music Festival: To support the sixth annual Classical Up Close Spring Chamber Music Festival, with free concerts presented up-close and personal all over Portland.

CoHo Productions (Portland) Capacity  $18,505

Outreach Initiatives: To support the hiring of appropriate personal to staff and manage CoHo’s cultural outreach programs.

*Forest For The Trees, Inc. (Portland) Access  $27,088

Forest For The Trees: To support planning, production, and public access to arts programming highlighting local and international artists in the Portland community.

Japanese Garden Society of Oregon (Portland) Creativity  $13,815

Mirrors of the Mind-  The Masks of Otsuki Koukun: To support a multi-disciplinary presentation of Japanese Noh theatre incorporating an exhibition, performances, lectures and craft demonstrations.           

Kukatonon Children’s African Dance Troupe (Portland) Access  $9,183

Kukatonon’s Collaboration with The Portland Ballet: To expand access to higher education opportunities and dance careers for low-income African Americans by integrating the fundamentals of ballet.

*Leach Botanical Garden (Portland) Access  $25,461

Creating a Natural Stage for Arts & Culture in Outer SE Portland: To support development of Leach’s Upper Garden as a natural stage that welcomes a diverse community and inspires curiosity and creativity.      

Live Wire Radio, Inc. (Portland) Capacity     $13,442

Improving Live Wire’s Podcast for Long-Term Audience Growth: To support vital improvements to the Live Wire podcast that will enhance the on-demand, mobile consumption experience and grow audiences.

Miracle Theatre Group (Portland)  Creativity  $9,408

Astucias Por Heredar Por Un Sobrino a Un Tio: To support the production of the “lost” Spanish-language play “Astucias Por Heredar Un Sobrino A Un Tio” by Fermin de Reygadas for Milagro’s Season 34.      

*Neighbors West Northwest (Portland) Preservation  $40,000

Restoration of the Chinese Gate – Phase II: To support the restoration and preservation of Portland’s landmark Chinese Gate.       

*Northwest Children’s Theater and School (Portland) Creativity  $33,495

Chitra-  The Girl Prince: To support the presentation of “Chitra: The Girl Prince,” a world premiere original play presented in partnership with the Anjali School of Dance.

*Open Signal, Portland Community Media Center (Portland) Capacity  $36,152

Achieving Sustainability through Individual Giving: To support the center’s first sustainable individual giving program to diversify funding and set them on the path toward long-term sustainability.        

*Oregon ArtsWatch (Portland) Capacity  $5,317

Executive Director Position: To support an executive director position that will strengthen the infrastructure of the organization and its day-to-day functioning.

Oregon Ballet Theatre (Portland) Access  $21,619

Expansion of OBT2: To support broader access to ballet through the expansion of OBT2 community engagements around the state.

Oregon Bravo Youth Orchestras (Portland) Access  $8,698

Artist in Residence: To support the Artist in Residence program bringing culturally diverse, professional musicians to the underserved music students in north Portland.

Oregon Children’s Foundation dba SMART (Portland) Access  $9,107

Culturally-Specific Literature for PreK-3rd Graders: To support increased access to literature representing diverse cultural perspectives for children. 

Oregon Children’s Theatre (Portland) Capacity  $10,702

Studio Classroom Expansion Project: To furnish and equipment three new studio classrooms to increase capacity to grow Oregon Children’s Theatre classes and programs.

Oregon Jewish Museum & Center for Holocaust Education (Portland) Capacity  $13,975

Public Program Development: To support the creation and delivery of robust new public programming by hiring a full-time public program developer.

Pacific Railroad Preservation Association (Portland) Preservation  $17,818

SP&S 700 15 Year Boiler Rebuild: To support the continued operation of one of Portland’s operating steam locomotives so that the public can experience Oregon’s transportation


*Pacific Youth Choir (Portland) Access  $5,898

PYC@Neighborhood Choirs: To support year two of PYC’s neighborhood choir program to underserved communities. It will serve 150+ youth and their families in two Title 1 schools.

PHAME (Portland) Creativity  $14,128

In a Single Breath: To support a multi-disciplinary performance, “In a Single Breath,” that uses the art of adults with I/DD, curated and directed by Matthew Zrebski.

*PlayWrite (Portland) Access  $6,338

“Hear Me Now – Voices of the Unheard:” To support a series of theater workshops and performances that will engage marginalized communities with professional theater. 

Portland Art Museum (Portland) Creativity  $20,697

Animating Life-  The Art, Science, and Wonder of LAIKA Exhibition: To support the exhibition Animating Life: The Art, Science, and Wonder of LAIKA, a survey of the artistry and technology of the Oregon-based studio.

Portland Children’s Museum (Portland) Capacity  $40,000

The Studio at Portland Children’s Museum: To support transformation of a major gallery at Portland Children’s Museum into The Studio, a clay, maker, and multi-purpose art space for families.

*Portland Chinatown History Foundation (Portland) Preservation  $40,000

Chinatown Museum Installation of Expanded Version of Beyond the Gate- A Tale of Portland’s Historic Chinatowns: To support the preservation of the history of Oregon’s Chinese by remounting the exhibition “Beyond the Gate: A Tale of Portland’s Historic Chinatowns.”

*Portland Gay Men’s Chorus (Portland) Capacity  $13,370

Support the continued organizational growth and capacity of PGMC through External Relations: To support the capacity of PGMC by hiring an external relations coordinator, generating larger audiences, corporate sponsors and donor stewardship.

*Portland Jazz Festival (Portland) Access  $6,286

Portland Jazz Festival Jazz Goes to College Outreach: To support the celebration of Mexican music through jazz, with outreach to Portland, Oregon City, Gresham and Woodburn.         

Portland Playhouse (Portland) Creativity  $36,954

“Fences” by August Wilson: To support the production of August Wilson’s “Fences,” which will run for nine weeks, reaching a diverse audience (5,300+) including 500 youth.

Portland SummerFest (Portland) Capacity  $13,221

Creating a Sustainable Future for Portland SummerFest: To support an organizational planning process that will ensure the stability and success of Portland SummerFest for the next five to seven years.  

Profile Theatre (Portland) Capacity  $8,535

Capacity building to establish the position of Director of Patron and Donor Relations:

To support the creation of new staff position of Director of Patron and Donor Relations to increase annual income through ticket sales and donations.         

*Risk/Reward (Portland) Creativity  $12,210

Risk/Reward Festival of New Performance 2018: To support boundary-pushing new work by regional artists at the 11th annual Risk/Reward Festival of New Performance. 

*The KBOO Foundation (Portland) Preservation    $29,480

50 Years of KBOO Community Radio- Archiving and Exhibition: To support KBOO’s community-inclusive tribute to and preservation of 50 years of Oregonian community radio culture.      

*The Old Church (Portland) Preservation  $37,826

50th Anniversary Exterior Painting: To support the preservation-critical exterior painting of the church’s historic building.

The Portland Ballet (Portland) Capacity  $6,961

Upgrade of In-Studio Theatre: To support critical upgrading of the Ballet’s in-studio theatre, improving efficiency and flexibility while reducing operating costs and environmental impact.

*Vanport Mosaic (Portland) Access  $14,112

Vanport Mosaic Festival 2018: To support the 2018 Vanport Mosaic Festival – a four-day multi-disciplinary program to remember, preserve and learn from the history of Vanport.

*Westside Cultural Alliance (Hillsboro) Capacity  $5,000

Marketing and Outreach: To support efforts to engage diverse populations through marketing and outreach in coordination with the launch of a new cultural website.

White Bird (Portland) Access  $8,357

White Bird/Alvin Ailey 20th Anniversary Project: To support the public and student performances and educational outreach around Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in White Bird’s 20th anniversary.           

Wisdom of the Elders, Inc. (Portland) Capacity  $32,430

Discovering Yidong Xinag – Discovering the Old Wisdom in Deg Xinag dialect of Athapascan:

To support Wisdom of the Elders’ capacity to expand “Discovering Yidong Xinag,” Wisdom’s Native youth initiative and film academy in collaboration with Oregon tribes.

Write Around Portland (Portland) Access  $14,245

Expanding access through creative writing workshops and publishing: To support access to creative writing in underserved communities through 20 ten-week creative writing workshops held at social service agencies.       

Young Audiences of Oregon & SW Washington (Portland) Creativity  $21,042

The Teaching Artist Studio, 2017-18: To support the professional development of 50 teaching artists in Oregon, thus enhancing their work to promote culture in our state’s schools.

*Youth Music Project (West Linn) Capacity  $13,565       

Equity in Action- Access to Tuition-Free Early Childhood Music/Art Education:  To support tuition-free early childhood music/art education courses for low-income children, ages 1-5, and their parents/caregivers.     

Mid-Valley (Yamhill, Polk and Marion Counties)                                                              

Historic Elsinore Theatre (Salem) Capacity  $12,934

Upgrade of Stage Lighting Equipment: To support the purchase of new LED stage lighting and a movie projector to improve the visual experience of performances and reduce energy costs.

Huitzilopochtli Dancing and Teaching our Indigenous Heritage (Woodburn) Capacity   $5,000

Aztec Dance Circle: To support continued access to our cultural and artistic Aztec Dance Circle program especially for low-income, migrant and underserved communities.      

Lord & Schryver Conservancy (Monmouth) Preservation  $11,609

Restoration of historic brick pathways at Gaiety Hollow: To support restoration of the historic brick pathways at Gaiety Hollow in Salem, the personal garden of Elizabeth Lord and Edith Schryver.      

Oregon Black Pioneers (Salem) Access  $23,588

Racing to Change- Oregon’s Civil Rights Years: To support the development and implementation of the 2018 Racing to Change: Oregon’s Civil Rights Years interactive exhibit and community programming.          

Salem Art Association (Salem) Access  $8,510

Arts & History Immersion Project: To increase access for underserved fourth graders to experience Oregon history and art through free field trips to a house museum and art gallery.

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

Ballet Fantastique (Eugene) Access  $6,525

Passport to Dance: To support the expansion of Ballet Fantastique’s Passport to Dance outreach program of dance matinees for underprivileged and rural students.

Chetco Historical Memorial Committee (Springfield) Preservation  $11,272

Chetco Indian Memorial: To support Oregon’s cultural heritage by preserving the remains of a prehistoric Native American site at the port of Brookings-Harbor.       

*Creswell Heritage Foundation (Creswell) Preservation  $5,000

Creswell Schoolhouse- Condition Assessment/Prioritization and Use Study: To support the creation of a Condition Assessment/Prioritization and Use Study of Creswell’s old schoolhouse by an historical architect.       

*Emerald Art Center (Springfield) Capacity  $19,700

Increasing Financial Stability through Marketing: To support strategic investments in marketing by determining and engaging target audiences to increase financial stability and sustainability.     

*Friends of the Florence Events Center (Florence) Capacity  $30,800

Florence Events Center Theater Sound and Lighting Upgrade: To support theater lighting and sound equipment upgrades to improve sustainability of cultural Events Center operations. 

Joint Forces Dance Company, Inc. (Eugene) Access  $8,663

Dance Access for Children with Disabilities: To support increased access to dance for children, primarily those with disabilities, in school and community settings through the DanceAbility method.           

Lane County Historical Society (Eugene) Capacity  $7,358

Building institutional fundraising capacity to conduct a successful capital campaign: To support the first year of board/staff fundraising capacity training, building toward a 2020 capital campaign for a much-needed new facility.  

*Newport Symphony Orchestra (Newport) Capacity  $24,345

Create paid Executive Director Position: To create a paid ED position to provide for the long term sustainability of the NSO and expansion of services to underserved community members.   

Oregon Bach Festival (Eugene) Creativity  $31,246

The Passion of Yeshua Project: To support the commission and world premiere of a new work by Richard Danielpour to engage the community in productive, cross-cultural dialogue.

Oregon Coast Council for the Arts (Newport) Capacity  $13,452

Volunteer Coordinator Demonstration Project: To support the expansion and enhancement of the use of volunteers in carrying out the programs and services of the Oregon Coast Council for the Arts.

Oregon Contemporary Theatre (Eugene) Creativity  $13,391

Oregon Contemporary Theatre produces Annie Baker’s Pulitzer Prize Winning “The Flick:” To support the production of Annie Baker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play “The Flick” in Oregon Contemporary Theatre’s 2017-18 season.  

Upstart Crow Studios (Eugene) Access  $13,215

Support for continued access for all children in an inclusive theatre environment.

South Coast (Douglas, Coos and Curry Counties)                                                             

Egyptian Theatre Preservation Association (Coos Bay) Preservation  $13,230

Rigging and Linesets: To support the preservation of historic (circa 1925) hand painted theatrical backdrops and improve the operational safety of related theater rigging.

*Little Theatre on the Bay (North Bend) Capacity  $18,453

Capital Campaign to Expand and Enhance North Bend’s Historic Liberty Theatre (Phase III):

To support upgrades to the historic theatre that will enhance patron enjoyment and overall operational sustainability.

Southern (Josephine and Jackson Counties)                                                                     

*Jackson County Library Foundation (Medford) Access  $11,432

Baby’s First Book: To support the promotion of early childhood literacy by providing newborns with a keepsake book and local library information, in English or Spanish.     

*Rogue World Music (Ashland) Creativity  $5,000

“Triple Play” Cultural Performance and Participation Events: To support a music and dance event series in Ashland Oregon featuring cultural traditions of Mexico in partnership with Ballet Folklorico of Medford.

Southern Oregon Film Society (Ashland) Access  $11,567

Regional Filmmakers Project: To support regional filmmaking, giving access to youth and adults throughout rural Southern Oregon to produce and experience local films.

*Southern Oregon Guild (Cave Junction) Capacity  $6,326

Upgrading the Art Center: To support professional level art and creative processes by upgrading our Artist Center to a viable place to work, store needed materials and hold meetings.

Southern Oregon University Foundation (Ashland) Access  $20,124

Southern Oregon University Young Artists Institute: To support at-risk and low-income students’ participation in the Young Artists Institute, a multidisciplinary 10-day residential summer program.

*Talent Historical Society (Talent) Capacity  $6,109

Talent Museum Makeover: To support a capacity building project meant to improve the function of collections and exhibits in the Talent Museum and increase museum attendance.

North Central (Hood River, Wasco and Sherman Counties)                                                        

Columbia Center for the Arts (Hood River) Access  $17,294

CCA Children’s Theatre: To support the creation of a local children’s theatre in a rural area.

The Dalles Art Association (The Dalles) Capacity  $8,203

Facilities’ Use and Preservation: To support the preservation and community utilization of the historic Carnegie Library that houses the Art Center and all of our programs.

 Central (Jefferson, Deschutes and Crook Counties)                                                                      

*BendFilm, Inc. (Bend) Access  $7,382

Access to Artists at the 14th Annual Bend Film Festival: To support travel costs for filmmakers to attend the 2017 Bend Film Festival, providing the community increased access to learn from working artists.           

Deschutes Public Library Foundation (Bend) Creativity  $13,070

“A Novel Idea:” 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. 

High Desert Museum (Bend) Access  $16,971

Cultural Diversity Initiative: To support exhibits and programs that highlight the LBGTQ community and Native youth, increasing access to underrepresented perspectives and cultures.

 South Central (Klamath and Lake Counties)                                                                     

*Friends of Lake County Library (Lakeview) Creativity      $11,211

Rural Voices on Changing Landscape: To support two artists working with community to generate a potent voice on climate change using photos, oral/written reflections, and interactive map.

 *Klamath Film Makers Group (Klamath Falls) Creativity  $5,000

2017 Klamath Independent Film Festival: To support our local/regional filmmaking industry through exhibition and to introduce filmmakers and the community to statewide film culture.

Greater Eastern North (Umatilla, Gilliam, Morrow and Wheeler Counties)                               

*Athena’s Gem, Inc. (Athena) Capacity   $39,120

Gem Theatre HVAC Project: To support the restoration of the Gem Theatre and Star Saloon in Athena, Oregon through the purchase and installation of a new HVAC system.  

Northeast (Wallowa, Union and Baker Counties)                                                 

*Eastern Oregon Regional Theatre Inc. (Baker City) Preservation  $24,706

Baker Orpheum Theatre Pre-construction Phase: To support the renovation of the historic Baker Orpheum Theatre building for use as a community performing arts center.     

Josephy Center for Arts and Culture (Joseph) Creativity  $21,842

Exhibits & Complimentary Programs 2017-18: To support the JCAC’s upcoming exhibits and their complimentary programs that will engage audiences with a diverse array of arts and culture events.           

Wallowa Band Nez Perce Trail Interpretive Center, Inc. (Wallowa) Access  $27,657

Wallowa Band Nez Perce Homeland Project: To support expanding the interactive exhibits, programs and visitor’s experience at the visitor center and Nez Perce Homeland Project.

*Wallowa Valley Music Alliance (Enterprise) Creativity  $8,542

Summer Arts Classic- “The Geography of Music:” To support a multi-media concert in Enterprise, featuring classical music, spoken word and visual arts inspired by the geography of Wallowa County.           



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