Oregon Cultural Trust

The Oregon Cultural Trust was authorized in 1999 to increase public and private support for Oregon's arts, heritage and humanities. Its visionary goal: create a sustainable $200 million permanent endowment for culture. Since 2002, Oregonians have contributed over $25 million to the Trust. The Trust has awarded over $11 million in grants to every corner of the state. Over 40,000 cultural license plates are fueling the Trust's efforts in all regions.
Aug 29, 2012

Access to Arts and Culture for Young People

When PDX Pop Now! came on the scene in 2004, the small  non-profit began fostering connections between local musicians and audiences. It also took on an important advocacy project: access to arts and culture for young people.

Last summer, PDX Pop Now! received  an Oregon Cultural Trust grant to support a free, all-ages, three-day Summer Festival of music.  The Cultural Trust is honored to support this project, as we believe Oregon is lucky to have a diverse and passionate community of musicians, and live music is something to be enjoyed by everyone - not just adults.

The Oregon Cultural Trust connects Oregonians to culture and culture to Oregonians.  We invest in Oregon’s future by supporting  cultural programs for youth.  This year the Cultural Trust also funded  the Ross Ragland Theatre in Klamath Falls, for its educational outreach - school matinees, lectures, workshops, and a four-week theatre for youth day camp. The program will reach  over 8,000 school children in 42 schools in four counties.

Our support of projects like these and others, including A Lincoln Portrait narrated by Tom Brokaw, part of a city-wide project in Eugene which explores themes of war and peace,  enhances our children’s growing experience an dincreases the vitality of our communities - creatively, intellectually and economically. 

But who is the Oregon Cultural Trust?

We are you - Oregonians sustaining, developing and participating in our arts, heritage and humanities. Together, we make culture accessible to people of all ages and walks of life. When you support the Cultural Trust you, say “Yes!” to Oregon culture.  Renew your museum or historical society membership; give to your favorite literary or performing arts group.  Answer a public radio or television pledge drive.  Support the school music boosters and library friends. 

Then, match your donations with a contribution to the Oregon Cultural Trust.  Your gift to the Trust costs you nothing – thanks to Oregon’s cultural tax credit – but its benefit to Oregon is enormous.

Cordially,

Christine D’Arcy
Executive Director

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May 29, 2012

A Local Boy's Artistic Expression Comes Home

This year Portland experienced a unique phenomenon that could well be called “The Rothko Spring.

With support from the Oregon Cultural Trust, the Portland Art Museum staged a comprehensive exhibition of Mark Rothko’s work, the first such showing in Portland since 1934.  In April, at the museum, Chief Curator Bruce Guenther spoke about Rothko’s work and legacy, and the music ensemble Third Angle performed Morton Feldman’s Rothko Chapel, a musical ode to the artist, to a sold-out hall.  The concert was also supported by a grant from the Cultural Trust.

The buzz did not stop there.  In February and March, Portland Center Stage, (a Cultural Trust grantee since 2006), adapted John Logan’s Tony Award winning play, Red, about Rothko’s struggle against the commoditization of his art.

The result?  A citywide celebration of Rothko, an artist as important for his connection to Oregon as he was for his style and grand use of color.

Mark Rothko arrived in Portland at age 10 from Northern Russia. As an adult he moved away but he gravitated back to the Northwest time and again until his death in 1970. However, his connection to Oregon’s art history was almost forgotten.

Thanks to the Cultural Trust and some of Portland’s most important arts organizations Mark Rothko has once again become a household name in the region.

What is the Cultural Trust? The Trust is you.  The Trust is Oregonians sustaining, developing and participating in our arts, heritage and humanities. 

The Oregon Cultural Trust provides support for collaborations like Rothko – and many more - that impact and change the lives of Oregonians.  You can be involved – and make culture happen in every corner of Oregon.

So, this spring, say Yes! to Oregon culture.  Renew your museum or historical society membership; give to your favorite literary or performing arts group.  Answer a public radio or television pledge drive.  Then match your donations with a contribution to the Oregon Cultural Trust.  Your gift to the Trust costs you nothing – thanks to Oregon’s cultural tax credit – but its benefit to the cultural community is enormous.

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Mar 5, 2012

Celebrating Oregonians Who Make Culture Happen

Shannon Applegate, Applegate House, Yoncalla
Shannon Applegate, Applegate House, Yoncalla

In honor of Oregon’s birthday - February 14 - we celebrate Oregonians who make culture happen every day. 

Shannon Applegate’s family walked to Oregon.  They yearned to be here, in the Eden at the end of the Applegate Trail, ultimately settling in what is now Yoncalla.   The Applegate house built in 1892 still stands to this day, as an historic home, a tourist site and the site of a pioneer herb garden that continues to flourish.   

Shannon Applegate is also an accomplished writer, winner of a 2008 Governor’s Arts Award and a singer in the Slow Ponies, a cowgirl band.  She’s one of thirteen Oregonians that the Cultural Trust featured in 2011.  Oregonians, whose ties to culture are deep and rooted; whose ties to culture are part of their everyday lives and work.  Oregonians, whose ties to culture bind us all together through our arts, heritage and humanities.

On Oregon’s birthday, we thank you again for your 2011 contribution.  Your donation, last year, together with over 11,000 Oregonians will enable the Cultural Trust to make grants in July 2012. 

Experience some of the cultural projects this spring made possible by donations like yours:

  • Celebrations of the life and work of renowned painter Mark Rothko at the Portland Art Museum, with Third Angle New Music Ensemble, and at Portland Center Stage
  • Reflections of our history and people at the High Desert Museum’s Black Impact exhibit
  • Bag&Baggage’s new take on the traditional romance of Romeo & Juliet in a new production of Shakespeare’s R&J in Hillsboro.

The impact of Oregon culture is far reaching, broad and deep.  The Cultural Trust, at its core, exists to honor the role that culture plays in our daily lives; shining light on it for all Oregonians. 

When you donate to culture in our state, you’re celebrating what it means to be an Oregonian.

Thank you!


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