(The Delgani String Quartet, one of the Oregon Arts Commission’s Arts Build Communities grant recipients, will collaborate with DanceAbility International for Body of Sound in April. Photo Courtesy of Oregon Arts Commission)
Using the arts as a means of addressing community need is at the heart of 36 projects awarded $205,386 by the Oregon Arts Commission’s Arts Build Communities grant program for FY2020. The Arts Build Communities program targets broad geographic impact and arts access for underserved audiences in Oregon. Four of those projects are based in Bend.
“This program provides financial support to arts and other community-based organizations for projects that address a local community problem, issue or need through an arts-based solution,” said Arts Commission Vice Chair Jenny Green, who led the review panel. “Local citizens employ creative thinking and collective response to identify a local need and provide an arts-based solution.”
The grants also spark and leverage many other investments and resources, serving as a catalyst for greater economic and civic impact, said Green.
In recent years, Arts Build Communities projects attracted more than $600,000 in additional investment, much of it representing salaries paid to artists and others as well as products and services purchased in the funded communities.
Arts Build Communities grants are made possible through a funding partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.
The FY2020 recipients are:
Cascade School of Music, Bend: $6,079
To support the continuation and expansion of the CSM Outreach Program. Funds will support the Awesome After School Orchestra program at three elementary schools, a Youth Enrichment class at Boys & Girls Club Bend, an intergenerational Kindermusik (ages one to five) class at Mt. Bachelor Assisted Living & Memory Care and a bi-lingual Kindermusik class for the Latino Community.
Central Oregon LandWatch, Bend: $6,450
To support the second phase of #ProjectUnderpass to co-design and install a mural with Latinx students for the south pedestrian railroad tunnel of the Franklin underpass in Bend. Funds will support artist fees, paint and supplies, safety equipment, interpretation and/or translation services, facilitation and participant incentives.
Deschutes Public Library Foundation, Bend: $4,293
To support the Library’s community read program, A Novel Idea. Residents are encouraged to read, discuss, create and explore the selected book together. A Novel Idea broadens cultural, social, educational and economic areas of community life by ensuring wide access through partnerships with local artists, organizations and businesses. Grant award funds will be used to purchase books and to assist in paying the author’s honorarium.
The High Desert Museum, Bend: $7,000
To support the Natural Wanderment: Stewardship. Sovereignty. Sacredness exhibition and an accompanying Native youth workshop series. Grant award funds will support the exhibition, which will explore Native identity through contemporary art, as well as artist fees and supplies for the workshop series, which will connect Native youth to professional Native artists and enable them to apply Indigenous methodology to contemporary art forms to construct positive self-identities.
Delgani String Quartet, Eugene: $7,000
To support Body of Sound, a statewide tour and collaboration with DanceAbility International, the world’s leading organization for mixed ability dance. Body of Sound will feature both classical and contemporary works for string quartet all choreographed for mixed-ability dance; performances will take place April 3-7 in Portland, Bend, Ashland and Eugene. Grant award funds will support artist fees.
Applegate Regional Theatre Inc, Veneta: $3,276
To support a local history writing competition for youth in two local school districts resulting in a show celebrating seven winners. The award will fund printing flyers, performance advertising and a videographer as well as props, sets and costumes for the production.
Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon, Portland: $5,832
To create a cultural event series at the Orchards of 82nd (O82), a multi-use development comprising 48 units of affordable housing and APANO’s new community space. The series will include four to six events and be grounded in the recently completed Orchards of 82nd Art Plan. Funds will be used for programmatic expenses such as artist fees and supplies. The primary audience will be O82 residents and neighbors in East Portland.
Bay City Arts Center, Bay City: $5,158
To support the 2019-20 Youth Art Education Integration Project. Arts instructors provide art education at K-8 Central Tillamook schools with emphasis on math, science, social studies and humanities-themed art projects. The grant award will support art instructor labor, art supplies and tools.
Boom Arts, Portland: $4,973
To support the Acting Out Festival, a three-day festival with a mix of contemporary outdoor theatre, promenade and circus performances plus try-it-yourself workshops in partnership with The Circus Project and Portland Parks and Recreation. Funds will support artist fees and travel.
Chinese Friendship Association of Portland, Tigard: $5,195
To support the 2020 Lunar New Year celebration Gala in Portland 5 (Keller Auditorium). The celebration included traditional Chinese arts and crafts typical of Chinese New Year, performances that demonstrate Chinese dance, song, martial arts and traditional Chinese instruments, Chinese fashion show, Chinese Opera singing and a magic show. The funds support artist fees, facility and equipment rental.
Eugene-Springfield Youth Orchestras, Eugene: $6,003
To support the Orchestras’ String Academy project, which brings free and low-cost beginning strings classes (violin, viola, cello and string bass) to nine low-income schools in the Eugene 4J School district, giving children of all backgrounds the benefits of learning an instrument. Grant award funds will support project management and artistic staff, scholarships, instrument purchases and repairs.
Eugene Symphony Association, Inc., Eugene: $6,741
To launch “Vets Connect.” Through an enhanced partnership with the national nonprofit Veteran Tickets Foundation (Vet Tix), the Symphony will double its current offering of free tickets to 40 for every subscription concert for veterans and their family members, supplemented by opportunities for participation, music enrichment and social bonding. Grant award funds will help defray costs of free concert tickets, the Symphony Connect ensemble and a contracted music therapist.
Fishtrap Inc, Enterprise: $7,000
To support The Big Read, an annual event designed to bring communities together to celebrate one work of literature. This year’s selection is “When the Emperor Was Divine” by Julie Otsuka, which tells the story of a Japanese-American family separated and incarcerated after the outbreak of World War II. Grant award funds will support free books for schools, libraries and community members in addition to guest lecturer fees, supplies, promotion and personnel.
Harper’s Playground, Portland: $5,977
To support Anna & Abby’s Yard in Forest Grove, an accessible playground in Rogers Park, Forest Grove, with a culturally responsive design that supports inclusion for children with disabilities and benefits all children through access to outdoor activities, nature and open-ended play. Grant award funds will support artist fees, signage and installation.
Hollywood Senior Center, Portland: $6,541
To support one year of Poetry Power, a therapeutic poetry writing program for older adult survivors of elder abuse. Poetry Power supports healing and growth through compassionate listening and facilitating creative expression in a safe and supportive environment. Grant award funds will support wages for key personnel, recruiting/training volunteer writing mentors, outreach to participants and materials for Poetry Power sessions.
Josephy Center for Arts and Culture, Joseph: $5,868
To support Women Celebrate 100 Years of Voting & Art, a multi-disciplinary six-week celebration of women through art, theatrical performances, music, history, current affairs and more. Grant award funds will support musical and theatrical performances; an historical exhibit that will be printed on special panels and an open call for the women’s art exhibit.
Klamath Basin Senior Citizens’ Center, Inc., Klamath Falls: $3,000
To support What I Know for Sure, a writing/performance series featuring seniors from both the Senior Citizens’ Center and EagleRidge High School aimed at demonstrating the value of intergenerational relationships. Grant award funds will support fees for a project facilitator, a director and a videographer, as well as a facility rental fee and stipends for four senior citizen participants and seven high school seniors.
Lane Arts Council, Eugene: $7,000
To support Celebrating Latinx arts and culture in Springfield and rural Lane County. Grant award funds will support artist fees for community cultural events; promoting cultural events and expanding our community outreach; and connecting Latinx artists and organizations to much-needed resources, such as professional development opportunities, potential event venues and more.
Literary Arts Inc, Portland: $5,459
To support the Oregon Book Awards Author Tour, which will connect Oregon authors with small communities across the state. Grant award funds will support author travel and expenses.
Materials Exchange Center for Community Arts, Eugene: $4,382
To support the Object Afterlife Art Challenge, which uses the arts to solve an environmental problem. Artists receive a mystery material and two months to create fine art out of scraps; the event culminates in a public exhibition at Oregon Supported Living Center’s Lincoln Gallery in conjunction with Eugene’s First Friday ArtWalk. Grant award funds will provide scholarships and a venue rental while offsetting marketing, supply and reception expenses.
Miracle Theatre Group, Portland: $6,922
To support a UNIDAD environmental arts residency for the Nixya’awii School and community in Pendleton. Grant award funds will support artist fees, transportation and curriculum development.
My Voice Music, Portland: $6,568
To support a 2020 Transition Age Artist Mentorship Program. The program will provide 25 young musicians (ages 18-24) with musical mentorship, teaching-artist training, paid internships and career counseling to help them realize their musical visions and successfully navigate independence. Grant award funds will support staff and artist fees, youth participant teaching wages and performance stipends.
Northwest Classical Theatre Collaborative, Portland: $7,000
To support the tour and West Coast premiere of Canadian poet and classicist Anne Carson’s modern language translation of Antigone, accompanied by live cello music, to culturally under-served populations in Multnomah, Clackamas, Umatilla, Marion, Coos, Washington, Wallowa, Yamhill and Lake counties. Grant award funds will support artist fees, transportation and lodging.
Open Hearts Open Minds, Portland: $5,083
To support Theatre at Coffee Creek at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility. Two theater professionals will meet twice weekly with approximately 18 women inmates for dialogue groups and creative exercises. The women will adapt a play and write an original play to be performed in front of live audiences.
Oregon Children’s Theatre Company, Portland: $6,827
To support production of The Journal of Ben Uchida: Citizen 13559, which tells the story of the imprisonment of Japanese American citizens during World War II. The show will run at Portland’s Winningstad Theater from February 29 to March 20. Grant award funds will support wrap-around community engagement activities (including panel discussions, performances and historical/artistic displays).
Oregon Coast Aquarium, Newport: $4,973
To support artist commission fees for scientific illustration and graphic production of murals for three indoor galleries. The murals will provide a visual narrative connecting Oregon’s coastal shores to ocean depths and will depict marine life for interpretation.
Oregon Coast Youth Symphony Festival Association, Newport: $4,268
To support Festival activities and expand the size and scope of its statewide music community. Grant award funds will support expenses (food, housing, etc.) for visiting high school students and teachers to ensure access for participants.
Outside the Frame, Portland: $7,000
To support Cameras for Change, an expansion of film training and equipment access for youth experiencing homelessness. Grant award funds will support film instructor fees, film supplies, youth meals, youth transportation and post-production expenses.
PlayWrite, Portland: $6,541
To support PlayWrite Youth Workshops. Grant award funds will support fees for coaches, actors and staff for four playwriting workshops as well as supplies and facility rental.
Portland Community College Foundation, Portland: $4,729
To support the 30th Annual Cascade Festival of African Films, the longest continuously running annual African film festival in the U.S. The Festival runs for five weeks around Black History Month, bringing films from every region of the African continent to approximately 5,000 attendees free of charge. Grant award funds will support community outreach, community master classes with visiting filmmakers, speaker fees and film screening fees.
Portland Lesbian Choir, Portland: $5,535
To support an open rehearsal for the Choir’s June concert, A Roof and a Bed. The June 7 concert will feature two new commissions and three new arrangements and will be presented with video footage and narration relating the experience of being homeless with hope for change. Community partners will invite 200 homeless clients and 200 friends and donors to the event. The open rehearsal will take place on June 5.
Portland Taiko, Portland: $3,623
To support the People of the Drum concert featuring four percussion-based music and dance groups representing different ethnic and cultural traditions. Grant award funds will support artist fees, venue costs, project management and promotional materials.
Rogue Valley Chorale Association, Medford: $4,019
To support Spring Sing, three concerts performed by students for their peers to motivate them to seek out musical opportunities. Grant award funds will be support transportation, stipends for conductors and accompanists and promotional materials.
The Circus Project, Portland: $6,670
To support the second year of the Voice Project, a recurring yearlong program for youth from marginalized identities who create and perform an original ensemble circus performance focused on a social justice theme of their choosing. Grant award funds support classes and private lessons, production opportunities, participant stipends, athletic wear, food, bus tickets and access to showers and hygiene items.
University of Oregon Foundation, Eugene: $5,497
To support a Community Music Institute pilot outreach program in partnership with Chamber Music Amici. Violin Instruction for Pre-K Students at Whiteaker Head Start will provide chamber music performances and developmentally appropriate instruction to students and their families. Grant award funds will support the purchase of string instruments for in-class instruction.
Write Around Portland, Portland: $6,904
To support Respect, Writing and Community: Empowering Youth Voices, eight free ten-week writing workshops for 70 to 100 underserved youth in partnership with social service agencies. Following the workshops the youths’ writing will be published in two anthologies and showcased during free public readings. Grant award funds will help expand the workshops’ reach, build new partnerships, train volunteers, provide materials and support the publications and readings.