(The triumphant cast of the Elgin Opera House’s 2022 School of Rock production | Photo courtesy of Oregon Cultural Trust)
The number of donations to the Oregon Cultural Trust increased by 227 in 2022, resulting in 10,839 donations totaling $5.2 million for the calendar year. The funds will support grant awards to cultural organizations across the state this summer and continue to build the Cultural Trust’s permanent fund, now valued at more than $31 million.
“Once again more generous Oregonians stepped up to support our state’s arts, heritage and humanities by using the Cultural Tax Credit,” said Cultural Trust Board Chair Niki Price. “We are incredibly grateful for their steadfast support in allowing the Cultural Trust to be a stable source of funding for our cultural community.”
“After adjusting for a significant bequest received in 2021, the campaign finished just $55,000 below last year’s record results,” said Cultural Trust Executive Director Brian Rogers. “We consider that a major success given the incredible rise in donations during the pandemic and the challenging economic climate.”
The $5.2 million fundraising total includes donations from 1,155 new donor households, representing approximately 1,452 new donors. It also includes a record $590,686 raised through an ongoing partnership with the Willamette Week Give!Guide.
“Our partnership with Give!Guide continues to be a cornerstone of our campaign,” said Rogers. “It is a great way for people to learn about the Cultural Trust and the tax credit, bringing in 527 new donors this year alone.”
More than half of the money raised will be distributed directly to Oregon’s nonprofit cultural community 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 Cultural Coalitions, who regrant the funds in their communities, and directly to cultural nonprofits via Cultural Development Grants.
The 88 projects supported by Cultural Development Grants in FY2023 include:
- Enlightened Theatrics, Salem: $17,983
To support a holiday family production of Seussical the Musical comprised of professional, community and student artists.
- Friends of the Opera House, Elgin: $12,599
To support the Friends of the Opera House in offering specialized training for its actors by inviting acting coaches, vocal instructors, choreographers and visual artists to workshop with the community theater.
- Friends of Santiam Pass Ski Lodge, Sisters: $29,080
To support the restoration of historic Santiam Pass Ski Lodge through the repair and restoration of its iconic stone foundation, chimney and fireplace.
- Josephine Community Library Foundation, Grants Pass: $31,175
To support the purchase of a centrally located piece of property for the future home of the new Grants Pass library branch and a community common that will more fully meet the information, culture, technology and community gathering needs of local residents.
- Music Workshop, Portland: $22,623
To support access to free, multicultural music education resources for Oregon K-8 music teachers and their students by creating inspirational and culturally relevant music history and appreciation programming, then working with school administrators and music teachers to implement the programming into their curriculum.
- PassinArt: A Theatre Company, Portland: $37,336
To support the 2023 Pacific Northwest Multi-Cultural Readers Series & Film Festival Aug. 18 through 21. The Festival will include live theatre, readings, films, youth workshops, artist development workshops and panels showcasing the new work of BIPOC storytellers from Oregon and across the country. The hybrid festival also will include a gala and cultural and civic celebrations, creating city-wide access and enthusiasm for this exciting body of work.
- Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals, Hillsboro: $13,613
To support the creation of activity sheets, maps, brochures and trail signs available on-site and online, as well as staff training for how to best use the new resources with the visiting public.
- Talent Historical Society, Talent: $8,451
To support the Talent Historical Society in documenting the Almeda Fire, its impact on the community of Talent and the town’s recovery to preserve and share. The Historical Society has been collecting stories, images and videos in the voices of residents in two languages. The history with be shared with the public in a book, an exhibit in the museum and a portable “Fire Remnants” exhibit.
For a full list of Cultural Trust grant projects, including links to Cultural County Coalitions and several hundred county projects they are funding this year, visit culturaltrust.org.
The contracted partners for the Cultural Trust’s 2022 fundraising campaign were Bell+Funk of Eugene and Watson Creative of Portland.
The Oregon Cultural Trust was established by the Oregon Legislature in 2001 as a unique means to reward Oregonians who invest in culture. Oregonians who donate to a cultural nonprofit and then make a matching gift to the Cultural Trust receive a 100% state tax credit for their gift to the Trust.