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The Art Inspector: Saving the Earth by Changing Art

Danielle Siembieda-Gribben

Originally Posted at the Huffington Post: 02/27/2013 3:23 pm…But more relevant than ever today! Originally reposted by SOAR on 2/28/2013.

Creative industries have changed standards and best practices to adopt sustainable and environmental techniques in design and production. Architecture has adopted LEED Performance design into standard practice, and Industrial Design begins with thinking about the end of life of a product and how to leave the least amount of impact on the environment. Both of these industries fought for decades, since the 1970s, against changing habits, systems and academic content. Resistors during the transformation proclaimed they would all go out of business; it was impossible to get all stakeholders on board; and they didn’t want to be creatively strangled.

This shared history of transforming creative industry leads us to a problem we are facing within the Art world. Can artists change the way they create work to make a healthier planet? Personally, I believe so, however, with the inclusion of all key players from the art world, including: art institutions, art media, academia, retailer/manufacturers, collectors and artists. Art seeds culture and influences public behavior. If artists can change their standard of practice then the rest of the world will follow.

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Art Inspector assessing quilters studio. Photo by Wendy Crockett.

How is this transformation possible? Incorporating a triangle approach to such transformation is The Art Inspector, a social practice artwork I founded during my candidacy for a Masters in Fine Arts at San Jose State University, uses a Healthy Art Program (education), Legislative Reform (advocacy) and Third Party Inspections (studio assessments). This project started a few years ago when I noticed fellow studio mates as well as the art school itself seemingly unconsciously teaching and using harmful applications and techniques, disposing of waste, and ineffectively ventilating rooms. I noticed piles of plastic thrown into dumpsters, studio lights left on for what seemed 24 hours at a time, and complete negligence when using harsh chemicals. In my studio, a rusty cabinet labeled “Store Harsh Chemicals Here,” written upon faded masking tape, hosted a dusty plastic binder labeled MSDS Sheets. Taking a closer look, I realized no one had taught me what Material Safety Data Sheets meant and how they might apply to what I do. I asked around to other artists what they might know about these sheets and what they thought about what they were using and how they were disposing of extra material. Many artists noted that they knew someone, or had experienced themselves, long term health problems from misuse of chemicals in the creation of artwork. Most artists intuitively believed that there was a better way to develop their work and acknowledge the harm of some of the materials, but did not know what to do about it or did not see change as a high priority.

Inspired by artworks using methods of Intervention Art which take on the roles and aesthetics of corporations and disrupt systems in unexpected ways, such as the Yes Men and Luther Thie, I decided to become an Art Inspector. Within construction and manufacturing, unaffiliated auditors determine if a building or product can be certified as sustainable. If deemed so, doors open for prospective buyers and subsidies. I wanted to take this method to the Art World.

But how does a third party inspection work? There are at least two inspections to take place. The initial inspection starts with an intake form that asks questions to each artist about their studio environment, materials they are using, and the type of machines or equipment that use power. During this process a series of tests are conducted using similar equipment used for energy audits in residential homes. The Art Inspector tests power outlets, lighting and occupancy, ventilation and Volatile Organic Compounds. Once the inspection process is finished, The Art Inspector will write up a report based on the data collected and make suggestions for alternatives and improvements to artists studios and the working process. If the artist makes the recommended modifications, The Art Inspector will return for a re-inspection and award a Healthy Art Certification if the artist passes.

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Paint waste from inspection of painter’s studio. Photo by Wendy Crockett.

Artists who fail inspection or those who are interested in diving deeper into changing their habits can join the Healthy Art Program. Various workshops ranging from green materials, sustainable wood products, energy efficiency, lighting and safety are available to artists at varying partner institutions. If the artists are supplied with resources and knowledge, they will be empowered to change. The final part of The Art Inspector is to advocate for change in policy and curriculum on both an institutional and government level. Working with academic and museum institutions to adopt new values and requirements for artworks to be created sustainably will create a shift in the resources for production of art. If a major contemporary art museum such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art sets a standard for new works to be exhibited using a significant amount of low impact materials and works with third party agents such as The Art Inspector, then other practitioners will follow. With this same concept, Public Art Programs can adopt LEED standards into creation of artworks in the public realm.

Even today these concepts of change in the Art World are seen as radical and frightening to some. However, many artists are willing to do what they do best, experiment with new ideas. With the vision of The Art Inspector, we will open up the avenues to sustainable living, healthy living, and simultaneously, changing the way we make art.

Follow Danielle Siembieda-Gribben on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Art_Inspector

Visit the Art Inspector website here: http://artinspector.org/

Vision Quilt Images for Atlanta and Boulder Mass Shootings

Dear Friends of Vision Quilt, I imagine your hearts are heavy with the tragedies of the last two weeks.
My nephew taught and coached one of the Boulder young women and my son’s friend lost her sister in the same shooting. Vision Quilt is determined to honor these blessed loved ones and to continue to do our part to amplify the Call For Change. Let us know if you want to be involved in any way.

Thanks to a new wonderful volunteer in Oakland, Janine Grossman, I am sharing the blog Janine has written about Nancy Bardos’ commitment to honor these lives. 

Feel free to share these images on social media.

Ever onward, Cathy DeForest, Vision Quilt

Nancy Bardos is a dear friend and a long-time supporter of Vision Quilt. Ever since the Charleston shootings, Nancy felt a strong inner calling to express her grief and pain in a creative way, much like many of our young people who make the quilts. She uses her iPad and the image of hands to memorialize and honor the names of the victims. The number of hands corresponds with the names. 

Before COVID, we printed Nancy’s images on canvas and now we show them digitally. In 2019, we were invited by Moms Demand Action to showcase these panels in Sacramento, at California’s State Capitol. When the pandemic is over, we look forward to showing these panels live. In the meantime, check them out at https://www.visionquilt.org/view-quilt.html

Thank you Nancy, and together with you, we reach out our hands and hearts to those who are left with the pain of the aftermath.


TOGETHER WE CAN PREVENT GUN VIOLENCE

Vision Quilt empowers communities to create solutions to gun violence through the power of art and inclusive dialogue.www.visionquilt.orgInstagram, Twitter, Facebook Pinterest.
DONATIONS made here are tax deductible.

More from Nancy Bardos:

You may recall when Cathy DeForest operated her lovely gallery in the Railroad District years ago.  She has stepped aside from all that and for the past 6 years or so has devoted herself to the cause of gun violence and gun safety measures through the 501C3 she started, Vision Quilt.  I was part of one of the first teams formed but eventually stepped away because of the time commitment.  However, I could not step away from the cause itself…and when the shooting occurred at the church in Charleston I knew what I wanted to do.  I have made 24 of these banners since then…way too many for a civilized nation…and I am sure I have missed some.  I recall the banners I made for Orlando and Las Vegas had so many victims I didn’t have room to add the names…though, as in all the others, there is a hand for every single victim filling those banners.

I guess the point of my writing is to let you know that this is an instance of an artist’s artmaking for the sake of acknowledging and documenting important and shattering events as well as a recognition and honoring of the innocent people who became the victims. Perhaps there is a healing of sorts, too.

I did NOT create the original art of the hand silhouettes.  I saw it in a blog post years ago and ended up emailing the author (a woman Episcopal priest as I recall) on the East Coast.  She had used it and I knew I wanted to use it so she gave me the name of the artist……who happened to live in England.  The artist had offered it upon one of those sites artists and photographers use to post things that people can use without attribution and can “buy them a cup of coffee” as payment if one wants to.  Which I did.  I also emailed her and told her how they were going to be used and she was quite touched I think.

I can’t recall how many hands were in the original piece I downloaded from the site but I adapted it over and over and over again as every massacre consisted of a different number of victims.  It has been a sad task to do.  And a small task to do…..but I still feel this is a quiet and meaningful and powerful way for VISION QUILT, as people as well as an organization fighting for change, to honor them.

2021 Oregon Fringe Festival International Artists!

2021 Oregon Fringe Festival Includes International Artists!

WHEN:
Thursday, April 29 – Saturday, May 1, 2021

WHERE:
This year’s festival will take place online and feature outdoor art installations located on the SOU campus.
https://oregonfringefestival.org/2021-off

This is a free, virtual, and in-person event. Submission fees do not apply.

(Ashland, Ore.) Each spring, the Oregon Center for the Arts produces the Oregon Fringe Festival (OFF), a multi-day event bringing together emerging creators and real-world artistic practitioners to share their respective experiences and to engage with each other’s work. The festival’s mission is simple: to provide a boundary-breaking platform for free expression and to celebrate unconventional art and unconventional spaces.

This year, we are excited to announce that the OFF will feature over 50 acts from over 40 different artists. From live virtual performances to artist lectures/workshops, an extensive virtual gallery, and outdoor art installations, viewers will have the opportunity to interact with a variety of creative work.

Even more exciting, and as a result of incorporating virtual platforms more, the OFF will also include the work of international artists.

Carlos Fernandez Gianni and Manisha Sondhi (Theatre), London

Carlos Fernandez Gianni, London

Carlos Fernandez (they/them) is a London-based actor and writer from Paraguay. They’re currently studying a B.A. in Acting at St. Mary’s University. They have worked with theatres such as Theatre Royal Stratford East and Soho Theatre.


Manisha Sondhi, London

Manisha Sondhi (she/her) is a director currently studying her M.A. She is the Artistic Director of the City Lighthouse Theatre Company. City Lighthouse Company was established in 2020 and is committed to providing a platform for underrepresented voices.


Teatro Patalò (Theatre), Italy

Teatro Patalò is an independent group of theatre artists based in Italy and founded by Isadora Angelini and Luca Serrani, both actors, playwrights, and directors. The group has created and produced performances that have toured at festivals and programs around the country. Specifically in this production, both artists collaborated with Dorin Mihai, a documentary and stage photographer, and Luca Fusconi, a sound engineer, electronic composer, and sound designer.

GayInnocentHeartless Theatrics (Theatre), United Kingdom

GayInnocentHeartless Theatrics is a theatre company based in Oregon, California, and the U.K., focusing on new writing and devised works about adventure, delight, and the uncanny. From fringe festivals to youth theatre, the company’s work ranges from interactive experiences to devised vignettes and traditional plays. Their most recent COVID-era work has been digital, including PANOPTICON and Telegraphy; Or, the Fastest Way to Communicate in the Modern Age.

FMG Productions (Theatre), Italy

FMG Productions is an independent theatre company based in Italy, whose main goal is to bring economically accessible theatre to young individuals while continuing to provide contemporary language. The company was founded in 2017 by Federico Maria Giansanti, an author and director, his brother Francesco Maria Giansanti, and his best friend, Gabriele Grassi.

Malena Pennycook and Evangeline Cullingworth (Theatre), United Kingdom

Malena Pennycook is a theatre artist and educator based in Brooklyn, NY, who makes work about women with unusual impulses. Malena has performed in, and developed new plays with The Public’s Under the Radar, Santa Cruz Shakespeare, The Flea, New Georges, Fresh Ground Pepper, Dixon Place, Queer|Art, The Brick and more. She is a recipient of the Richie Jackson Artistic Fellowship and received her BFA from New York University/Tisch Experimental Theatre Wing.

Evangeline Cullingworth is a director and dramaturg based in the UK, who is passionate about collaborative and adventurous theatre. Her work has been seen at The Hampstead Theatre, Orange Tree Theatre, and the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith. Evangeline is an alumni artist of the Gate Theatre and her training includes a Master of Arts in Directing from St. Mary’s University and a BFA from New York University Tisch/Berlin.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend our events. If you are a person with a disability who requires accommodation(s) in order to participate in this festival, then please contact Disability Resources at [email protected] in advance.

The OFF is committed to providing a boundary-breaking platform for free expression that amplifies the voices of those who are all too unrepresented in the creative arts industry. A lens focusing on equity, diversity, and inclusion will filter our selection process for all projects submitted.

OCA at SOU –

About the Oregon Center for the Arts:

The Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University serves as a creative catalyst for the mixture of students, educators, and artists from the state, the nation and the world. The beautiful Southern Oregon mountain setting provides a special place to learn, explore and train in all of the arts disciplines.

Visit: oca.sou.edu

About Southern Oregon University:

Southern Oregon University is 175 acres of beautifully maintained campus with outstanding facilities, occupied by a committed and well-respected faculty and talented students. SOU’s vision is to be an inclusive, sustainable university for the future. Faculty, staff and leadership collaborate to achieve those ideals, and are united in their dedication to the students who will create lives of purpose and fulfill our region’s promise. SOU enhances the economic, cultural and social well-being of southern Oregon, and helps its students learn the skills to work both independently and collaboratively, be adaptable and embrace creativity. Its diversity gives SOU both texture and strength. Students’ thoughtfully shared points of view are valued and respected.

Visit: sou.edu

Oregon Fringe Festival 2021

For Further Information Contact:

Paige Gerhard, Director of the Oregon Fringe Festival, [email protected],

oregonfringefestival.org

2021 Oregon Fringe Festival Honorarium Recipients Announced!

WHAT:

2021 Oregon Fringe Festival Honorarium Recipients Announced!

WHEN:

Thursday, April 29 – Saturday, May 1, 2021

WHERE:

This year’s festival will take place online and features outdoor art installations located on the SOU campus.

https://oregonfringefestival.org/2021-off

This is a free, virtual, and in-person event. Submission fees do not apply.

(Ashland, Ore.) Each spring, the Oregon Center for the Arts produces the Oregon Fringe Festival (OFF), a multi-day event bringing together emerging creators and real-world artistic practitioners to share their respective experiences and to engage with each other’s work. The festival’s mission is simple: to provide a boundary-breaking platform for free expression and to celebrate unconventional art and unconventional spaces.

This month, we are excited to announce that the OFF will feature over 50 acts from over 40 different artists. From live virtual performances to artist lectures/workshops, an

extensive virtual gallery, and outdoor art installations, viewers will have the opportunity to interact with a variety of creative work.

Even more exciting, the OFF has selected and awarded honorariums to artists whose work is boundary-breaking, unconventional, excites discussion, and explores different perspectives of a held position, principle, or belief. This year’s selections include work from local artists, national artists, and international artists.

  • Carlos Fernandex and Manisha Sondhi (Theatre), London
  • Neila Miller (Dance/Movement), Chicago, IL
  • Aurelia Grierson (Theatre), Ashland, OR
  • Cody Clark (Magic/Comedy), Louisville, KY
  • Nat Allister (Theatre), Minneapolis, MN
  • Derek Keller (Music), Ashland, OR
  • Ginger and Johnny (Theatre), Los Angeles, CA

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend our events. If you are a person with a disability who requires accommodation(s) in order to participate in this festival, then please contact Disability Resources at [email protected] in advance.

The OFF is committed to providing a boundary-breaking platform for free expression that amplifies the voices of those who are all too unrepresented in the creative arts industry. A lens focusing on equity, diversity, and inclusion will filter our selection process for all projects submitted.

– OCA at SOU –

About the Oregon Center for the Arts: The Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University serves as a creative catalyst for the mixture of students, educators, and artists from the state, the nation and the world. The beautiful Southern Oregon mountain setting provides a special place to learn, explore and train in all of the arts disciplines. Visit: ​oca.sou.edu

About Southern Oregon University:

Southern Oregon University is 175 acres of beautifully maintained campus with outstanding facilities, occupied by a committed and well-respected faculty and talented students. SOU’s vision is to be an inclusive, sustainable university for the future. Faculty, staff and leadership collaborate to achieve those ideals, and are united in their dedication to the students who will create lives of purpose and fulfill our region’s promise. SOU enhances the economic, cultural and social well-being of southern Oregon, and helps its students learn the skills to work both independently and collaboratively, be adaptable and embrace creativity. Its diversity gives SOU both texture and strength. Students’ thoughtfully shared points of view are valued and respected.

Visit: ​sou.edu

Oregon Arts Commission News & Updates

February 2021


News & Updates

Words of gratitude from Artist Relief recipients and evidence that the arts are important to economic recovery, plus the upcoming Poetry Out Loud Virtual State Contest and lots of grant news! Visit our Website

Artist Relief grant recipients share gratitude, inspiration Before I even opened the email, I exhaled a sigh of relief,” says Eryk Donovan of Portland, one of 646 Oregon artists to receive an Artist Relief Program grant award from the Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Community Foundation and the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation. “When you are weighed down, and every step is a struggle, anything that lightens the burden is an immeasurable gift,” adds Donovan, who is one of dozens of awarded artists who have shared stories of impact and gratitude with the Arts Commission.

“These funds give me hope,” says Joni Kabana. “I promise to utilize them for the benefit of community in some way. I am trying to find an old abandoned building near my home in the Fossil/Spray area to open an art studio and if I can get this to happen in this rural area, I will make sure I use the funds in some way that brings art to residents who live in remote areas. Thank you from the bottom of my heart and the tips of my toes.”
“The notes are so heartfelt and inspiring,” says Brian Rogers, executive director of the Arts Commission. “They remind us how far a little relief can go in bringing hope right now.”
Read more artists comments.

Spray art students gather in front of the old Spray General Store Feb. 17. Artist Relief recipient Joni Kabana will use her award to support transforming the store into a community art center. Photo by Rosie Day. Arts and culture investment boosts economic recovery  Here in Oregon and across the nation, arts and culture have a critical role to play in stimulating economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. That is the conclusion of a recent study commissioned by the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA).  

The Arts and Culture Sector’s Contributions to Economic Recovery and Resiliency in the United States reveals that the arts are an agile and resilient sector with the capacity to ignite job growth, reduce economic risk, stimulate commerce and attract tourism.   Among the key findings is that the arts and cultural sector can improve – not merely reflect – the health of the broader economy. The arts offer economic diversification and can rapidly recover from economic downturns. This was evidenced in the years following the Great Recession of 2008-2009, when states’ arts economies grew much faster than the general economy – and states with larger arts economies showed faster recovery.   Learn more about the study.

A scene from Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s 2020 production of “The Copper Children.”Poetry Out Loud goes virtual March 13 As Oregon’s Poetry Out Loud contest will be fully virtual this year, anyone with internet access can help celebrate our state’s talented youth presenters via a live Facebook streaming event starting at 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 13.

Featuring special remarks from Oregon Poet Laureate Anis Mojgani and other poets from around the state, the event will be streamed on the Arts Commission Facebook page. Sign interpretation will be included.
Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, in cooperation with state arts agencies, Poetry Out Loud encourages high school students to memorize and perform highly regarded poems.

Students from the 2020 Salem regional contest who qualified for the Poetry Out Loud State Contest were (left to right) Faith Palma; Christina Brennan; Jamila Walker (alternate), Olyvia Oeverman; Sevyn South; Gabriella Shirtcliff; and Alejandra Ortega.

247 arts organizations receive operating support awards A total of 247 Oregon arts organizations have received FY2021 operating support grant awards through the Arts Commmission’s Operating Support and Small Operating Grant programs.

Awards totaling $910,568 have been distributed to 150 arts organizations through FY2021 Operating Support Program, 12 more recipients than last year due to a growing number of eligible organizations with budgets over $150,000. Another 97 organizations with budgets under $150,000 received Small Operating Grants. Awards reached organizations in virtually every Oregon region.

“We often hear that operating support is the most important type of award,” says Arts Commission Chair Anne Taylor. “Especially now, as arts organizations continue to suffer great losses due to the pandemic, these awards can help relieve a bit of the economic pressure.” 
Operating Support grant award recipient Ballet Fantastique, Eugene. 2021 Individual Artist Fellowships announced Leading a group of five Oregon performing artists awarded 2021 Individual Artists Fellowships, Okaidja Afroso and Michelle Fujii will share the Oregon Arts Commission’s honorary 2021 Joan Shipley Award. The three additional performing artists awarded 2021 Fellowships are Michael Cavazos, Heidi Duckler and Darryl Thomas. All 2021 Fellows receive $5,000 awards.

The Arts Commission’s Fellowship program is open to more than 20,000 artists who call Oregon home. Applications to the program are reviewed by a panel of Oregon arts professionals who consider artists of outstanding talent, demonstrated ability and commitment to the creation of new work(s). The Arts Commission reviews and acts on the panel’s recommendations for fellowship recipients. A total of 113 applications were received for 2021 Fellowships. Performing and visual artists are honored in alternating years.
Read the full release including artist bios.

Okaidja Afroso. Photo by Jacob Jonas, The Company.

Arts Build Communities grant awards announced Forty organizations using an arts-based solution to address community need will share $180,000 in FY2021 Arts Build Communities grant awards from the Oregon Arts Commission.

Projects funded include Applegate Regional Theatre’s drive-in venue where audiences can enjoy musical concerts and theater performances from the comfort and safety of their cars; Portland Playhouse’s live-streamed performances and trauma-informed talkbacks that break down cultural norms about Black masculinity; and The Next Door’s metal art sculpture project with local youth in The Dalles.
Read the release listing all recipients and projects.
A student happily receives her violin and music during the Eugene Springfield Youth Orchestras’ recent Instrument Pickup Day. Arts Access Reimbursement grants now available Organizations may now apply for grants to fund expenses related to providing access to arts activities and programs, including virtual events.
Access reimbursement grants fund: offset of expenditures for specific access expenses; public access to all individuals who want to participate in arts activities offered by Oregon arts nonprofits; activities to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act; and the identification of best practices in accessibility throughout Oregon.
For more information contact [email protected].
Sign language at Portland Playhouse courtesy of Oregon Art Beat.
Behind the scenes
Caring for the Oregon State Hospital Memorial Eleanor Sandys, the Arts Commission’s interim visual arts coordinator and registrar/research specialist, recently shared her experience documenting the condition of a memorial installation at the Oregon State Hospital in an Oregon Heritage blog post. The Memorial was designed in 2014 by artists Annie Han and Daniel Mihalyo of Lead Pencil Studio.

“It is has been an honor to spend time with these canisters – to witness their beauty and know their story, ” says Sandys. 
Cremains canisters honored at the Oregon State Hospital Memorial. Upcoming grant opportunities Career Opportunity Grants Application deadline: Thursday, March 4 Operating Support Program Application deadline: Monday, March 29 Small Operating Grants Application deadline: Monday, March 29 Shuttered Venue Operator Grants Application to go live soon; read FAQs and prepare now.
Oregon Arts Commission | Phone 503-986-0082 | www.oregonartscommission.org STAY CONNECTED
Oregon Arts Commission | Oregon Cultural Trust | 775 Summer Street NE #200, Salem, OR 97301

Oregon Cultural Trust News

News and Updates November 2020
“You literally saved Camelot”


Gratitude pours in for Coronavirus Relief Funding for Cultural Support Tears of joy. That was the response from many cultural leaders when they learned they were among the 621 recipients of $25.7 million in Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) Cultural Support grant awards distributed by the Cultural Trust. The funding not only saved, but also gave needed hope, to many organizations. Below are just a few of the heartfelt notes the Cultural Trust has received from across the state.

“Thank you and the Trust for the award. You literally saved Camelot,” Dann Hauser, executive director, Camelot Theatre, Talent.

“This grant made us all SMILE for the first time in over a month!!!” Sue Densmore, executive director, Friends of Oregon Caves and Chateau, Grants Pass.

“We are grateful beyond words. Your work has meaning, it is inspirational/aspirational and has impacted our community. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.” Maureen C Ter Beek, vice chair, Curry County Cultural Coalition.

“You all make me believe that when you do good, good happens eventually.” said Sushmita Poddar, founder, Bollywood Movez, Portland.

“The award notice brought us close to tears of relief… this grant is a lifeline. Without it, I’m not sure we would have survived.” Ruth G. Shelly, executive director, Portland Children’s Museum
Read more notes of gratitude


Cate O’Hagan (far left) from the Deschutes County Cultural Coalition presents Coronavirus Relief Fund Cultural Support checks to Sisters cultural organizations: (left to right) Chris Schaad of Sisters Rodeo; Marla Manning of Silent Echo Theater Company; Dawn Boyd of Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show; and Crista Munro of Sisters Folk Festival.



Talent’s Camelot Theatre miraculously survived the fires that destroyed buildings just across the street. Year-end campaign focused on protecting Oregon culture Despite the incredible impact of the CRF Cultural Support relief funding, the continued ban on large gatherings means a majority of cultural organizations are still suffering losses. The focus of the Cultural Trust’s fall fundraising appeal is to urge more Oregonians to contribute to cultural nonprofits and then to leverage those dollars by participating in the cultural tax credit program to ensure funds for next year’s cultural grant programs.

Ads for the campaign will build on the shared anticipation for a return to in-person events while encouraging donors to help protect culture. As always, support from the cultural community in spreading the word is incredibly appreciated.

One easy way to support the fall campaign is to invite a Cultural Trust representative to make a presentation at a virtual board meeting. The 10-minute presentation ensures understanding of how the cultural tax credit works and how easy it is to claim.

“This has been a challenging year for cultural organizations,” says Aili Schreiner, trust manager, “but we know that when Oregonians support each other, we succeed.” To schedule your board presentation, email Schreiner at [email protected].


Annual grants also awarded $2.7 million awarded to 128 cultural organizations Amidst the flurry of news about the CRF Cultural Support program, the Cultural Trust hasn’t yet properly congratulated the 128 organizations that shared $2.7 million in grants awarded through our annual grant programs.

The awards include a total of $676,760 to the Cultural Trust’s five statewide partners (Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Heritage Commission, Oregon Humanities, Oregon Historical Society and the State Historic Preservation Office); $676,760 to 45 County and Tribal Cultural Coalitions – for regranting in their communities; and $1,353,520 in competitive Cultural Development Program awards to 78 cultural organizations serving most geographic regions of the state.

Many of the Cultural Development grant awards support engagement efforts during social distancing. Highlights include: preserving and sharing Hawaiian traditional cultural practices online and in person by first-time grant recipient Kapi Oanuenue in Ashland; cultural programs to reengage the community by the Tower Theatre Foundation in Bend; “From the Streets to the Symphony,” a documentary of new music by houseless young filmmakers and Oregon Symphony creative chair Gabriel Kahane by Outside the Framein Portland; and the development of the first Oregon Online African American Museum by Oregon Black Pioneers in Salem.

First-time Cultural Trust grant award recipient Kapi Oanuenue of Ashland.


A 1953 photo of the Bear-Sleds Ranger Station, to become the new home of the Wallowa History Center, supported by a FY2021 Cultural Trust grant award. Giving guides go live in Portland, Central Oregon In addition to its longstanding sponsorship of the Willamette Week Give!Guide in Portland, this year the Cultural Trust also is participating in the Central Oregon Gives Guide presented by The Source Weekly in Bend. The Portland Give!Guide is live now. Central Oregon Gives, which raised more than $500,000 for local nonprofits in its first year (2019), goes live on Nov. 14.

Both guides showcase local arts and culture organizations and promote the cultural tax credit opportunity. They also offer donor incentives and prize opportunities, including a Give!Guide McMinnville Wine Country Package on Dec. 29, sponsored by the Cultural Trust. Check them out!
Oregon Arts Commission | Oregon Cultural Trust | 775 Summer Street NE #200, Salem, OR 97301

NY Times Article on Joe Biden’s Support of the Arts



              

Joe Biden and the Arts: No R.B.G. but a Loyal Promoter of Culture

The former vice president has been an intermittent consumer of the arts, but cultural leaders credit him as a key source of government financial support. 

By Graham Bowley

Oct. 30, 2020, 11:21 a.m. ET

Joseph R. Biden Jr. is no aesthete. Not many presidential nominees have been, though some, after a stint in the White House, have decided to take up painting — with varying degrees of success.

But if Mr. Biden’s tastes run to 1967 Corvettes, Grisham novels and “Crocodile Rock,” he is, nonetheless, someone arts leaders say has always embraced the practical usefulness of the arts as an economic engine, political action trigger and community builder.

Mr. Biden’s attitude is “less from a consumer point of view and more about the inspirational value and transformational value of the arts,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and chief executive of Americans for the Arts, a national arts advocacy organization, who has tracked Mr. Biden’s support for the arts for decades. “It’s not, ‘Look, I loved this piece, or this song.’ It’s more about the bigger role of the arts in society.”

America already has a good idea of President Trump’s approach to the arts, which largely regards the world of culture as the habitat of effete liberalism and relies instead on promoting his support from celebrity performers like Ted Nugent, Lil Wayne or Kid Rock.

Mr. Trump’s signature cultural policy directive has been an effort to strip all funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, two grant-giving agencies that have, nonetheless, survived despite conservative views that their missions are outside the core responsibilities of government.

But Mr. Biden’s perspectives on the arts, and what sort of impact his presidency might have on cultural organizations, has received little attention, particularly in a rancorous campaign dominated by the pandemic, health care and other contention issues.

The leaders of cultural organizations say that as a Democratic Senator from Delaware, and then as vice president, Mr. Biden was a consistent advocate for government funding for the arts. Last month, he won the endorsement of the Actors’ Equity Association, the union for actors and stage managers, only the second time in its history it has made a presidential endorsement. (It backed Hillary Clinton in 2016.)

“Vice President Biden understands that the arts are a critical driver of healthy and strong local economies in cities and towns across the country,” said Kate Shindle, president of Actors’ Equity, in a statement.

Jane Alexander, the actress who was chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts from 1993 to 1997, recalled walking with Mr. Biden from Union Station to Capitol Hill shortly after the Republicans had taken both houses of Congress in the 1994 elections and some were assailing the organization she ran. He was not making fiery speeches, but she said she knew she could count on his support.

“He said, ‘You have a very tough job,’” Ms. Alexander said. “I remember him being very sympathetic with the work that I had to do, and he had been supportive of the N.E.A. all along.”

So even though he never made culture a focus of his legislative legacy, like Edward M. Kennedy, who was one of the founders of the Senate’s arts caucus, Mr. Biden has received high marks for his voting record from arts executives. As a senator, Mr. Biden co-sponsored the bill creating the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, supported initiatives for cultural diplomacy, and in 2001, was one of the original co-sponsors of legislation establishing the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. He attended the opening as vice president in 2016.

“Everything we hoped for, he voted for,” said Mr. Lynch of Americans for the Arts.
In comparison to a public figure like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose attendance at the opera was routine, Mr. Biden’s profile as an arts aficionado is modest, his regular trips with his family to see Broadway shows notwithstanding. As vice president for eight years, he attended at least seven events at the Kennedy Center, including a National Symphony Orchestra program, a Washington National Opera gala, a theater master class, a ballet performance and the opening concert for the 2016 Ireland Festival, according to Eileen Andrews, a spokesman. The Bidens also hosted a reception for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at the vice president’s residence in Washington.

Cultural officials at the Delaware Theater Company, the Delaware Art Museum and Wilmington’s Grand Opera House describe him as a supportive presence, if an infrequent visitor. In 2012, a museum official recalled, Mr. Biden and his wife, Jill, attended the opening of an exhibition of works by the Delaware artist Mary Page Evans, a friend, whose works they hung in the vice president’s residence in Washington, the official said. And Mr. Biden appeared at the Grand Opera House for political events with Barack Obama, spoke on a tribute video for the theater, and in 2018 spoke onstage during his “American Promise” book tour.

“If you are unable to show up at a museum every week, or every month, we are going to figure it’s because you are out there doing what you do best,” said Tina Betz, director of cultural affairs for the city of Wilmington. “We need him in Washington banging his fist, stamping his feet, making sure the N.E.A. and the N.E.H. stay intact.”

As vice president, Mr. Biden is credited with helping negotiate the 2009 stimulus bill in the wake of the financial crisis that included $50 million for the arts that many institutions viewed as critical.

“We had a lot of resistance from members of Congress, especially on the Senate side to get this money in there,” said Nina Ozlu Tunceli, executive director of the Americans for the Arts Action Fund. “The only way it got in there was an agreement between Nancy Pelosi and the White House, and Joe Biden was the lead negotiator for the White House and Nancy Pelosi was the lead negotiator for the House. It was handwritten into the deal in the last minute.”

The Obama administration was the first to enter office with a presidential arts platform. So far, Mr. Biden’s current campaign has not come forward with a similar program of specific policies for the arts, though the Democratic platform acknowledges the economic worth of the arts and in an interview in August with Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mr. Biden went further.

“The future of who we are lies in the arts,” he said. “It is the expression of our soul.”
The White House of John F. Kennedy, who had Robert Frost read a poem at his inauguration, is often cited as one where the importance of the nation’s cultural life was made manifest with the routine celebration of artists at state dinners and other events. But the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum suggests in its presentations that J.F.K. was not a cultural sophisticate but rather a person who preferred Broadway show tunes over Beethoven. It quotes Jacqueline Kennedy as quipping that his favorite song was “Hail to the Chief.”

Mr. Biden’s taste in music, based on his playlists, runs toward the Beatles, Springsteen, Coldplay and Rod Stewart. The band he would like to play with, he has said, is the Chieftains, the Irish folk group. (He said he would sing “Shenandoah.”) His favorite film, he has said, ​​​​​is “Chariots of Fire.”

James Joyce is among his favorite writers, an affinity for Irish culture that links up with Mr. Biden’s heritage. His taste in poetry also runs toward the Irish. He quoted from“The Republic of Conscience” by Seamus Heaney, the Irish poet, when President Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2017.

Poetry has had a great impact on Mr. Biden’s life. As a boy, he has often recalled, he stuttered badly and was bullied at school. To cope he memorized long passages of works by writers like Emerson and Yeats, reciting them alone to his bedroom mirror so he would learn to relax his face and gain confidence. “Meek young men grow up in libraries,” was a favored Emerson quote.

Today, as a politician now known for his loquacity, he regularly quotes from Heaney’s “The Cure at Troy.” He recited some of it during his acceptance speech in August at the Democratic National Convention.

Politics, of course, is not poetry. Constrained by the realism of budget deficits, the will of Congress and competing claims for other projects, a new president may not be able to put arts at the forefront of his thinking.

But a poem can be a powerful campaign tool, as Mr. Biden made evident again Thursday when a favorite stanza from Heaney’s “Cure at Troy” went out on the candidate’s Twitter feed.

Graham Bowley is an investigative reporter on the Culture Desk. He also reported for The Times from Afghanistan in 2012. He is the author of the book “No Way Down: Life and Death on K2.”

Thanks to Americans for the Arts – Arts Action Fund for bringing this article to our attention.

Oregon Arts Commission


News & Updates
Deadline coming right up for the Artist Relief Program, plus a pitch for the new Artists Sunday movement and a shout out to an Oregon artist who just won a big award! Visit our Website

Artist Relief Program deadline Tuesday, Nov. 10
As the Nov. 10 deadline looms, more than 700 Oregon artists have already applied to the Oregon Arts Commission’s new Artist Relief Program, offered in partnership with Oregon Community Foundation and the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation. Awards ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 will be distributed until the program fund, totaling just over $1.25 million, is depleted.

“Without our artists, there would be no art in Oregon,” says Brian Rogers, executive director of the Arts Commission. ”We are very grateful to our funding partnership to help artist through this difficult time.”

The program supports professional artists from specific disciplines who have experienced or anticipate experiencing loss of revenue of $1,000 or more between March 1 and Dec. 31, 2020.

Watch a KGW story featuring Governor’s Arts Award recipient Darrell Grant and Corvallis theater artist Tinamarie Ivey.
Performing artists such as members of Third Angle New Music Ensemble have been hit particularly hard by the ongoing ban on large gatherings.


Join us to celebrate Artists Sunday on Nov. 29 The Arts Commission is one of 12 Oregon partners in a new national movement to support artists as entrepreneurs – Artists Sunday. Think of it as Black Friday or Small Business Saturday except the focus is holiday shopping for art! Search on the website to discover Oregon artists who have joined the movement.
Scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 29, Artists Sunday celebrates artists and craftspeople and helps local artists sell more of their work. Members include 650 individual artisans as well as 125 state art agencies, municipalities, counties, chambers of commerce and non-profit organizations, representing thousands of additional artists.
Artists who would like to join can register here.


19 organizations receive FY2021 Arts Learning grant awards
Nineteen arts organizations received $10,000 grant awards to support their educational projects in partnership with Oregon schools through $190,000 in FY2021 Oregon Arts Commission Arts Learning funding announced today.

“Given the challenges Oregon communities are facing, due to the pandemic and the devastating wildfires, this is an especially important time to protect our students’ social and emotional well-being,” says Arts Commission Chair Anne Taylor, who chaired the review panel. One of the organizations receiving funding is Rogue World Music, to support virtual arts instruction for students in the Phoenix Talent School District – recently devastated by wildfires. Rogue World Music is working creatively with teachers to ensure those students will still have access to the program.
See the release listing all awards.


Students at Talent Elementary School learn an African gumboot dance as part of the Rogue World Music Songbirds project in fall 2017. Rogue World Music pledges to begin the program online with a FY2021 Arts Learning Grant award from the Arts Commission.

Arts Access Reimbursement grants now available
Organizations may now apply for grants to fund expenses related to providing access to arts activities and programs, including virtual events.

Access reimbursement grants fund: offset of expenditures for specific access expenses; public access to all individuals who want to participate in arts activities offered by Oregon arts nonprofits; activities to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act; and the identification of best practices in accessibility throughout Oregon.

For more information contact [email protected].


Sign language at Portland Playhouse courtesy of Oregon Art Beat.
Watch on demand

2020 Governor’s Arts Awards Celebration now posted
The 2020 Governor’s Arts Award Virtual Celebration, held Thursday, Oct. 15, is now available for on-demand viewing on the Arts Commission’s YouTube Channel . Oregon’s highest honor for exemplary service to the arts, the 2020 Governor’s Arts Awards were presented to: Darrell Grant, a jazz musician and educator from Portland; Roberta J. Kirk, a traditional artist and educator from Warm Springs; John Laursen, a writer, designer, editor and typographer from Portland; Toni Pimble, the founding artistic director of the Eugene Ballet; and Portland Gay Men’s Chorus in Portland.


“Wanderers Delight,” one of the 2020 Governor’s Arts Award objects created by wood artist Jim Piper. Metal artist Sara Thompson wins national honor Oregon congratulates Sara Thompson of Portland on winning the prestigious Eric Berg Memorial Prize for Excellence in Metal at the 2020 Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show.

Thompson has been working on her craft since she was a child. Apprenticing for a bench jeweler from age 11 to 16, she learned metalsmithing while gaining experience in making a living as a jeweler. She received a bachelor of fine arts in craft with a metal specialty from the Oregon College of Art and Craft in 2017.

Thompson is drawn to the simplicity of taking a flat, two-dimensional sheet of silver and hammering it into her three-dimensional utilitarian objects and vessels, which she does by using an ancient metalsmithing technique

.

Silver nesting bowls and serving tray by Sara Thompson.

Oregon Arts Commission | Phone 503-986-0082 | www.oregonartscommission.org
Oregon Arts Commission | Oregon Cultural Trust | 775 Summer Street NE #200, Salem, OR 97301

2020 Congressional Arts Report Card

   
              
                                                 ​​​​​October 19, 2020


Election Day is November 3rd and early indicators show 2020 will reach historic voter turnout levels in every state. As a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, the great majority of states have encouraged mail-in/absentee voting and expanded in-person early voting.

While the national headlines focus on the presidential election, it’s important to note that all 435 U.S. House of Representative seats and one-third of the U.S. Senate are also up for election. Thousands more state and local office holders will be on the ballots as well.

The Arts Action Fund Political Action Committee (PAC) is pleased to provide you a copy of our 2020 Congressional Arts Report Card, analyzing and scoring the arts support (or lack thereof) of incumbent candidates looking to get re-elected to Congress. The Arts Action Fund PAC relies on this report to choose which pro-arts Congressional incumbents to support financially.

This Congressional Arts Report Card is also your one-stop guide to learn if members of your Congressional delegation support (or not support) the arts and arts education. I’m pleased to say that the majority of House members (252) received a passing pro-arts letter grade and a majority of Senators (54) received a “Thumbs Up” in our Report Card.

Can you help us raise $30,000 by Election Day to support our ArtsVote: Make Your Vote Count campaign?

CONTRIBUTE TO THE PAC
Thank you and be sure to make your vote count!
Nina Ozlu Tunceli
Executive Director P.S.  Be Sure to download your ArtsVote State Voter Factsheet!    
 

NEW Oregon Artist Relief Program!

Oregon Arts commission logo

Oregon artists may now apply to a new Artist Relief Program created by the Oregon Arts Commission in partnership with The Oregon Community Foundation and the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation. Awards ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 will be distributed until the program fund, totaling just over $1.25 million, is depleted.

“Without our artists, there would be no art in Oregon,” said Brian Rogers, executive director of the Oregon Arts Commission. “We feel strongly that, in addition to the significant relief we were able to provide to arts and cultural organizations through federal CARES Act funds allocated to the National Endowment for the Arts and the Oregon Cultural Trust, we need to offer relief funding to struggling Oregon artists as well. We are extremely grateful to The Oregon Community Foundation and the Miller Foundation for joining us in that effort.”

The purpose of the Artist Relief Program is to provide relief funding to Oregon artists who have experienced financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic due to cancellations of exhibitions, performances, rehearsals or other activities with a stipend, events, teaching opportunities, book signings or other professional presentation opportunities. Guidelines are now posted on the Arts Commission website.

“In times of crisis, artists help us make sense of our world and stay connected to one another,” said Martha Richards, executive director of the Miller Foundation. “The Miller Foundation stands with Oregon artists in this difficult time because we recognize the critical roles they play in our communities and our lives–they are the foundation of our state’s arts ecosystem.”

“Oregon Community Foundation is thrilled to be a partner in this new Artist Relief program,” added Jerry Tischleder, Oregon Community Foundation’s program officer for arts and culture. “We recognize that independent and freelance artists are vital to the recovery of our communities, bringing hope and inspiration to the world while using their creativity to help process the collective trauma, grief and loss we’ve all experienced in these unprecedented times.”

The program supports professional artists from specific disciplines who have experienced or anticipate experiencing loss of revenue of $1,000 or more between March 1 and Dec. 31, 2020.

The artistic disciplines supported are: Literature (creative non-fiction, fiction, play writing and poetry); dance (including choreography); music (composition and music performance); theatre and performance art; folk and traditional arts; visual arts (crafts, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, mixed media and new media); design arts; and media arts.

Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 10. Awards must be spent by July 31, 2021.

Artists from underserved communities, including (but not limited to) rural communities and communities of color, as well as artists with disabilities, are especially encouraged to apply.