Oregon Cultural Trust Announces $1.45 Million in Grants

Nice to see the Oregon Cultural Trust Back in Action:

Oregon Cultural Trust Announces $1.45 Million in Grants

Cultural Grants Benefit 48 Heritage, Arts & Humanities Nonprofits,

39 County and Tribal Coalitions and Five Statewide Partners

Day of Culture 2009, a Statewide Celebration, Confirmed for Thursday, October 8, 2009

July 27, 2009. Salem, ORE The Oregon Cultural Trust announces $1.45 million in fiscal year 2010 (July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010) grants to humanities, heritage and arts nonprofits across Oregon.  This year’s granting represents a 12% reduction from the prior year’s $1.65 million due to a slight decrease in donations and a drop in interest earned by the Trust’s endowment.

Each year, the Trust distributes as grants 42% of the prior fiscal year’s revenues; 58% remains in the endowment.  In FY 2009, Trust revenues totaled $3,737,526:  $3,515,643 in contributions and $221,883 in interest.  The Trust’s permanent fund is invested conservatively in an interest bearing instruments and did not suffer the recent steep losses experienced by other endowments.  At $11.3 million on June 30, 2009, it remains strong to support Oregon culture in the future.

Norm Smith, Chairman of the Cultural Trust Board, commented, “The past 10 months have presented extraordinary challenges for Oregon’s cultural nonprofits and for the Oregon Cultural Trust.  But the Cultural Trust is working the way it was intended to – providing cultural funding in good times, and bad.”

Executive Director Christine D’Arcy added, “The Cultural Trust is the only fully integrated cultural funding mechanism in the country.  The grants announced today not only fund major efforts at OPB and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, which received the largest awards of $35,000, but increased grants to local coalitions for grassroots cultural activity in virtually every county and tribe in the state.”

Trust Manager Kimberly Howard observed, “The Trust received 144 eligible applications. The 48 funded projects represent important efforts, from preserving our history and celebrating our heritage, to bringing Oregon writers and artists to communities across the state, and fostering creative expression in towns large and small.  Donors to the Oregon Cultural Trust should take pride in this year’s grants; they are made possible by the generosity of thousands of Oregonians.”

D’Arcy also announced that Oregon’s second statewide Day of Culture would take place on October 8, 2009, marking the seventh anniversary of the effective date of Oregon’s unique cultural tax credit.  The annual event draws attention to the breadth and vitality of Oregon culture and invites Oregonians to celebrate, participate in and donate to Oregon culture.

By law, the Trust awards grants through three programs.  The FY 2010 awards comprise:

  • Competitive Cultural Development grants of $484,010 to 48 cultural non-profits in 17 counties
  • Cultural Participation grants totaling  $484,010 to 39 county and tribal coalitions
  • Cultural Partner grants of $484,010 to the Trust’s five statewide cultural partners:  Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Council for the Humanities, Oregon Heritage Commission, Oregon Historical Society, State Historic Preservation Office

The competitive Cultural Development grants provide state recognition and support to significant cultural programs and projects, preserving and enhancing Oregon’s diverse arts, heritage and humanities programs.  After a rigorous process that included five review panels before a decision by the Trust board, 48 of 144 eligible applicants received funding in the areas of Access, Capacity, Creativity or Preservation.

The projects unfolding over the next year in 17 counties include preserving historic buildings like the Whiteside Theatre (Corvallis), the Brown House (Stayton) and the Liberty Theater (Astoria); building community through White Bird’s Asian dance programming (Portland) and The Museum at Warm Springs’ regional “The Baskets Tell a Story” exhibition  and supporting creative enterprises such as Portland Opera’s Northwest premiere of Philip Glass’ Orphée and the world premiere of Craig Wright’s The Grey Sisters by Third Rail Repertory Company (Portland).  Twenty-one percent (10 of 48) of the awards are to first-time grant recipients.

Cultural Participation grants provide Trust funding to cultural coalitions in Oregon’s counties and  federally recognized tribes.  With the addition of carry-over funds, 39 cultural coalitions will receive a total of $618,029 to re-distribute to local projects according to cultural plans specific to their area’s assets and needs.  These grants, factored on a base of $6,000 plus a multiplier based on population, range from $6,095 to Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw to $78,641 in Multnomah County.

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