Oregon Cultural Trust

by Oregon Cultural Trust
Paulanne Peterson, Multnomah County Library
Paulanne Peterson, Multnomah County Library

Thanks to you, Oregon culture surrounds us. It reminds us of who we are, where we live and what we believe in.

Thanks to you, culture touches all of us in Oregon.

Poet Laureate Paulann Petersen logs hundreds of miles to bring the power of poetry to students and libraries in Lake and Klamath counties. This is Culture.

The Oregon Historical Society’s curator of education interprets car racing, rock and roll music and the contents of the OHS vault to museum visitors young and old. This is Culture.

The Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation will use historic locomotives to attract new visitors to Portland’s central eastside. This is Culture.

The High Desert Museum is developing the first major exhibit on the African American experience in Oregon. This is Culture.

When you donate to the Oregon Cultural Trust, you bring culture alive in every corner of Oregon. Your gift is free to you, and good for Oregon. Your investment, together with contributions from over 21,000 Oregonians, has put over $15 million in a permanent trust fund, and awarded direct funding of over $11 million to hundreds of cultural nonprofits in our state since 2002.

Your gift to the Cultural Trust this year will do even more. The Eugene Symphony will address themes of war and reconciliation, the contributions of Century Farmers & Ranchers will be recognized, and the Portland Art Museum will mount a retrospective of the work of Mark Rothko who spent his formative years in Oregon.

The Cultural Trust thanks you for your past support and invites your continued participation by giving before the end of 2011. Culture in Oregon depends on you to make sure the arts, heritage and humanities are as strong tomorrow and for our children as they are today.

Please join me in making a gift to the Oregon Cultural Trust today. Every gift counts. No gift is too small. Be generous!

Shirod Younker, Coquille Tribe, photo by Andy Batt
Shirod Younker, Coquille Tribe, photo by Andy Batt

Oregon Days of Culture is an annual celebration honoring the role of the arts, humanities and heritage in our everyday lives.  Presented by the Oregon Cultural Trust, to which Oregonians have contributed over $25 million to bring cultural moments to life across the state, Days of Culture spotlights culture in every corner of the state:  film screenings, live performances, tours, community gatherings, volunteer activities, family events…even a photo contest where entrants can win cash, digital cameras, hotel getaways and more.

Already 460 events are listed at www.OregonDaysofCulture.org.  Activities will take place statewide, from Elgin to Astoria to Brookings.

One new draw to the website: The first ever “This Is Culture: Oregon Photo Contest” begins October 1 and will run through the end of October. Of special interest to supporters of arts, heritage and humanities groups:  two entrants will win $1,000 cash to donate to any Oregon cultural nonprofit they choose.

Cultural nonprofits enjoy the unprecedented exposure that comes from listing their events on the interactive calendar at OregonDaysOfCulture.org.   With the surge of postings for this year’s event, the Cultural Trust predicts Days of Culture 2011 will exceed last year’s total of 599 posted events.

Visitors to the site can also watch a new animated short that distills the Trust’s unique donation process into a fun, 1-minute video. Produced by Sheepscot Creative, “Donate, Match, Get the Whole Match Back” features the work of numerous talented Oregonian artists and musicians. The video is available to all cultural advocates, including more than 1,300 cultural nonprofits, to post on websites and share with friends.

Get involved: celebrate culture in your community!  There’s something for everyone during Oregon Days of Culture.

2011 Days of Culture sponsors include McMenamins, Pro Photo Supply, and Whole Foods Market.

Photo credit: Shirod Younker, member of the Coquille Tribe, photographed on the Willamette River by Andy Batt


From cowboys, to youth symphonies, to plumbing . . .  

  172 Pat Owens 1928     Great Basin Sporting Goods Sign, Welcoming Portland Youth Philharmonic to Hines-Burns      Mike Blair, Civil Engineer, Whiteside Waterworks Project 

Your single gift, of any size, to the Cultural Trust, supports:   


  • Emmy Award-winning OPB-TV, "Oregon Experience: One Hundred Years of the Pendleton Round-Up,"bringing our history to life in the 21st century;
  • Portland Youth Philharmonic musicians reuniting with the town of Burns, where their orchestra began 100 years ago;
  • The renovation of the sewer system at the historic Whiteside Theatre, making it possible to reopen the theater to the public.


What was your first cultural experience? Do you remember:

  • Listening to your grandfather read fairy tales?
  • Making your own Halloween mask?
  • Marveling at the inventiveness of 19th century tools at the historical society?
  • Playing bassoon after a performance of Peter and the Wolf?
  • Making art in your aunt’s studio?

Culture brings together family, friends and community in common experience.  You know this.  That’s why you gave to the Cultural Trust in 2010.  You joined with 12,000 others in donating $3.8 million to support our common goal of sustaining and developing what defines us as Oregonians. 

Thank you!

You also enabled thousands of Oregonians to share a cultural experience. Many of them children.

The cultural nonprofits that you support directly and through your matching gift to the Trust provide enrichment that makes children’s imaginations soar, instills a thirst for knowledge and inspires a desire to achieve excellence.  Many of those programs are offered free to school groups and youth organizations but they are not free to produce.

Your gifts make it possible for

  • Literary Arts to inspire and nurture readers and writers in rural Oregon;
  • The Coos Art Museum to expand its gallery space and showcase artwork by area school children;
  • A.C. Gilbert Discovery Village to provide interactive, science-based and fun! learning to 8,000 low income children;
  • Ethos to offer music education to children in metro area and rural counties.

Your gift to the Trust supports Portland Youth Philharmonic, which grew from the Sagebrush Symphony, a youth orchestra founded in Burns 100 years ago.  A Trust grant to PYP enabled 75 student musicians to travel to Burns to participate in October’s community-wide celebration of the Sagebrush centennial.  The trip was about a lot more than concertizing.

I’d never been to a rodeo or seen Native American dances before, let alone joined one!  Going to Burns was like being away from home for thousands of years and then returning...I felt like I belonged in Burns with people who understood the joys of music.                                                                    -- Stephanie Zhao, musician

Cultural Trust donations support Portland Opera’s Opera-To-Go program, bringing opera to easy-to-get-to, comfortable settings for families and children.  The productions are sensitively abridged, translated into English and produced with humor as well as educational content.  This year, The Elixir of Love will reach 20,000 students in 70 locations across the state.

We’d never been to an opera, so weren’t sure what to expect…If your goal was to dispel the myth that opera is stuffy and unapproachable, then you certainly achieved it for…a standing-room only crowd.  What a tremendous experience!                                                                                              -- Gary M. Stein, parent

Cultural Trust donations help preserve traditional fishing boats at the Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria. The museum partnered with the National Park Service, the Library of Congress and Clatsop Community College on the project, which has deep meaning especially for the young people involved.

I believe that the documentation of historic boats - in fact any historic object - is valuable to society as a whole in that it preserves a record…of our cultural artifacts. …With modern data storage technology we have little excuse not to leave a complete record, and I trust our descendants will thank us for doing so.                                                                                                        -- Dale Espelund, student

Projects funded by the Cultural Trust have significant impact in communities across Oregon.  The enclosed list highlights this spring’s projects.  As you experience these programs and hear people talk about them, we hope you’ll take pride in knowing that you had a direct hand in making them possible for thousands of your fellow Oregonians.

Thank you!



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Organization Information

Oregon Cultural Trust

Location: Salem, Oregon - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.culturaltrust.org
Oregon Cultural Trust
Project Leader:
Christine D'Arcy
Salem, Oregon United States

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