Participants in a My Voice Music workshop gather for a group photo.

Salem, Ore. – Oregonians invested more than $4.55 million in the Oregon Cultural Trust in 2016, topping the $4.5 million mark for the second straight year. The funds will support cultural organizations across the state.

“Once again Oregonians have shown their commitment to protecting our famous quality of life,” said Cultural Trust Executive Director Brian Rogers. “We are deeply grateful for their commitment to our shared cultural values.”

“It’s another exciting year for the Cultural Trust as our visibility and impact in communities across the state continues to grow,” said Carole Morse, chair of the Cultural Trust Board of Directors. “We appreciate our donors making culture a priority during a very eventful year.”

The total includes $395,787 raised through the Willamette Week Give!Guide, an 11 percent increase over 2015. It also includes an increase in corporate giving, including donations from Intel employees and a subsequent matching gift from the company totaling $38,575, and continued online giving growth.

The donation total for 2016 comes within a few thousand dollars, less than half of one percent, of matching record fundraising results for 2015.

More than half of the money raised will be distributed directly to Oregon’s cultural groups this summer; the remainder will grow the Cultural Trust permanent fund. Cultural Trust grants are distributed through five Statewide Cultural Partners – Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Heritage, Oregon Historical Society, Oregon Humanities and the Oregon State Office of Historic Preservation – as well as to 45 county/tribal coalitions and directly to cultural nonprofits via Cultural Development Grants.

The more than 100 projects supported by the Cultural Trust in 2017 include:

  • Boom Arts’ Portland presentation of “Spiritrials,” a timely, imaginative theater production about racial profiling and drug sentencing laws;
  • South Coast Folk Society’s creation of a permanent folk orchestra on the Southern Oregon Coast to enrich cultural life and bring new resources to local communities;
  • Four Rivers Cultural Center’s preservation and digitalization of about 50,000 photographs of Japanese Americans taken between 1945 and 1985 by two local photographers, essential to the history of the Ontario community;
  • Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s development, rehearsal, premiere and surrounding community partnerships for “Off the Rails” by Native American playwright Randy Reinholz;
  • A statewide tour by Literary Arts’ 2017 Oregon Book Award-winning authors;
  • Musical instruction, leadership opportunities and positive adult mentorship for marginalized youth at Portland’s My Voice Music;
  • OperaBend’s performances of Puccini’s “La Boheme” in rural Oregon communities;
  • Chetco Historical Memorial Committee’s preservation of the remains of a prehistoric Native American site at the Port of Brookings Harbor;
  • Construction of a new gallery and performance venue at Portland’s Japanese Garden; and
  • A dedicated teen programming room and digital media lab at The Dalles-Wasco County Library.

View a full list of 2017 Cultural Trust grant projects.

# # #