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Ensuring Oregon’s Arts and Culture Are Protected

Hello Advocates,

We have good and bad news this week as some major legislation we’ve been advocating for has passed, but other important bills are hanging in the balance.

Most of our legislative work is contained in the larger omnibus budget and program changes bills that are assembled and passed in the last few days of session. If the Legislature does not resume its business before June 30th, the date by which the body must adjourn—many of our priorities might be lost. Right now, there’s not much we can do since the political breakdown is occurring between the governor and the legislative leadership.

In good news, the Oregon Cultural Trust and the Oregon Arts Commission budgets were passed. Both agencies are funded at the governor’s recommended levels. We are working to find other ways to cover growing administrative costs estimated by agency leadership that were not approved and thus will impact the grant budget. Other good news—the House passed a tax credit package yesterday that includes renewal of the tax credit and extension of the special assessments for historic preservation. But this still needs to be approved by the Senate.

These bills were all moving along positively, so if the legislature resumes business, we expect good results:

— Renewal of the Cultural Trust tax credit for 6 years
— Extension of special assessments for historic preservation for 2 years
— 5 capital projects targeted for lottery bonding or General Fund contributions (Oregon Nikkei Center, Patricia Reser Center for the Arts, Cottage Theatre, High Desert Museum, and the Lincoln City Cultural Center)
— Lifting the expiration of license plate revenue for marketing of the Trust

If you’ve been an advocate or used your voice in any way this year, THANK YOU. This year’s work in Salem is evidence that our Coalition and its supporters are crucial in ensuring Oregon’s arts and culture are protected. Please stay tuned for more news in the coming days. 

Thank you.

Cultural Advocacy Coalition
Executive Director
Sue Hildick

Cultural Advocacy Coalition of Oregon  

Your Voice Is Needed to Continue the Cultural Trust Tax Credit!

Your Voice Is Needed to Continue the Cultural Trust Tax Credit!

Hello Friends of Arts and Culture in Oregon!  The time to engage with policymakers is now!

We’ve been preparing for all the action in the 2019 legislative session and the opening move is coming on Monday, February 18th when the House Committee of Economic Development will hold a hearing on HB 2052 — a bill to extend the sunset on the cultural tax credit for the next ten years.  We hope you will contact your legislators to encourage them to support HB 2052 and to share with them the priority that you and other Oregonians put on access to creative expression in this state. 

Oregon is unique in the Nation in having the Cultural Trust but we are far from the $200 million fund that was originally envisioned.  We need to collectively raise our voices in support of building this fund and using tax incentives to help do it — remember dollars in the Cultural Trust are distributed to every county and to tribal partners.  This tax credit is an important engagement tool for this state and critical to our cultural ecosystem.  Please add your voice!  Best — Cultural Advocacy Coalition

Send your support letter for HB 2052 in by Friday, February 15th to:  [email protected]

Cultural Advocacy Coalition of Oregon  

Staff Update from Arts Commission and Cultural Trust November 2018

November 2, 2018
Dear Arts and Culture Colleagues,
It is with both great pride and some sadness that I share with you that Arts Commission and Cultural Trust Assistant Director David Huff has resigned effective next week to accept the new position of City Arts Manager with the City of Portland.
While we will miss him tremendously, we are very excited for David and wish him the best. He is a truly positive force in supporting artists and arts/cultural organizations across Oregon and the city will be lucky to have him.
During his five years as assistant director, David has provided invaluable input to our planning and implementation of grant programs, helping to ensure we are having the greatest possible impact with our limited funding. He has also made important contributions to our financial oversight systems and has been a strong advocate for accessible service to underserved groups.
David has been a great colleague to our team and has always brought forward ideas to respond to the changing environment. I greatly appreciate his work, thoughts and service, and I look forward to working with him in his new capacity.
As the city’s Arts Manager, David will work in partnership with the Commissioner of Arts and Culture, city bureaus and the Regional Arts and Culture Council to build on Portland’s long-standing commitment to a thriving arts and culture ecosystem.
David’s last day in the office will be Tuesday, Nov. 6. We are working with Business Oregon to develop an interim plan to cover his responsibilities while we consider opportunities to fill the position. In the meantime, please send your grant inquiries to [email protected] and all other concerns to [email protected]. You are also welcome to contact another member of the Arts Commission or Cultural Trust team.
Please let me know if you have any questions and join us in wishing David the best in his new position.
Brian Rogers
Executive Director
Oregon Arts Commission | Oregon Cultural Trust,775 Summer Street NE #200, Salem, OR 97301

Cultural Advocacy Colatition to Fight for Arts Funding in Salem on Arts and Culture Advocacy Day 2017

Cultural Advocacy Coalition Advocacy Day 2017

By now we have all heard about President Trump’s push to eliminate federal funding for a host of cultural agencies and nonprofits. Last week, President Trump doubled down, and proposed additional cuts the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)—in the current budget year. These cuts would hit in the final six months of the budget cycle, crippling grants and programs that are planned and approved this year.

Oregon Humanities depends on the NEH for almost half of our funding. Thanks to this funding, we are able to work with hundreds of organizations around the state in communities large and small, urban and rural. The federal dollars that come to Oregon Humanities from the NEH make it possible for people from Klamath Falls to Portland and Enterprise to Astoria to do the ongoing work of building trust and strengthening community.

In addition to my work as Executive Director of Oregon Humanities, I serve on the board of the Cultural Advocacy Coalition. The Coalition is Oregon’s only statewide advocacy organization that lobbies legislators on behalf of the cultural community, and defends funding for the Oregon Cultural Trust, Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Heritage Commission, State Historic Preservation Office and Oregon Humanities.

So, while we continue to pressure Congress to reject budget proposals which harm community-based programs like Oregon Humanities’ Conversation Projects and others, we are also in the midst of a challenging session here in Oregon—and we need your help!

We hope you will consider taking a few hours out of your day on Monday, April 24, 2017 to join us in Salem for Arts and Culture Advocacy Day 2017, at the Oregon State Capitol.

By visiting right now you can sign up–and then immediately request a constituent meeting with your own legislators. If you have already registered, be sure you take a moment to request your constituent meeting, then help spread the word by sharing the link with friends and colleagues!

If you can’t make Advocacy Day, and are not yet a Coalition member, please consider joining with a membership gift of $50, $100 or $250 today to help preserve arts, heritage and the humanities, promote the creative economy and protect Oregon’s cultural life.

With your help, the Cultural Advocacy Coalition will continue to speak to those in power on behalf of our values; protecting and amplifying the voices of artists, historians, storytellers, community-builders and creatives whose essential work enriches our lives. With your help, we will withstand these very real threats to veterans’ programs in Central Oregon and North Portland, education programs for low income adults and the rich exploration of individual and community values facilitated by Oregon Humanities through community conversations throughout our state.

Can we count on you to join us April 24, 2017 for Advocacy Day, and to join the Coalition with a membership gift today?

It will take all of us working together, participating in the legislative process and communicating with our elected representatives to protect arts and culture in Oregon and across the nation. Please take the time to join us.

With gratitude,
Adam Davis
Executive Director, Oregon Humanities
Board Member, Cultural Advocacy Coalition

Click the link below to register for the event:

Caldera Honored at the White House

Dec. 29, 2015
Caldera Executive Director Tricia Snell (right) and youth representative Alena Nore (center) visit the White House Nov. 17 to accept an award from First Lady Michelle Obama.
Caldera Honored at the White House with national award

Congratulations to Caldera, one of 12 national creative youth development organizations to receive the 2015 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from First Lady Michelle Obama. Caldera Executive Director Tricia Snell and youth representative Alena Nore accepted the award at a Nov. 17 White House awards ceremony.

Caldera is the first Oregon organization to ever receive the award, the nation’s highest honor for creative youth programs. It recognizes the country’s best programs while highlighting the positive role that arts and humanities play in youth academic achievement, graduation rates and college enrollment.

In addition to the national recognition bestowed by the prestigious award, Caldera will also receive $10,000 to support its programming and build the long-term sustainability of the organization.
Former Arts Commission Chair Ron Paul passes

It was with heavy hearts the arts community learned of the passing of former Arts Commission Chair Ron Paul.

Ron was best-known as a chef and restaurateur, with the artistry and sustainability of food defining his professional identity. His work with the City of Portland engaged him at the intersection of politics and policy. As chief of staff to former Portland City Commissioner Charlie Hales, he helped shape plans to develop a year-round, food-focused Public Market. He also led the city’s lobbying for the creation of the Oregon Cultural Trust.

Ron recently served as executive director of Portland’s forthcoming James Beard Public Market.
Ron Paul
Oregon’s White House tree features recycled ornaments

Another feather in Oregon’s environmental cap — It is the only state to have its President’s Park (White House) tree decorated with recycled garbage!Incredibly beautiful marine garbage, transformed into art by Angela Haseltine Pozzi, the founder of The Washed Ashore Project in Bandon.

Trees representing all 56 states and territories are annually displayed at the White House park and each year different artists are invited to create the ornaments.

Arts Commission on tour
The Arts Commission took a tour of Northwest Portland galleries, including the Elizabeth Leach Gallery (pictured), following its Dec. 4 meeting at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. Pictured (left to right) are: Vice Chair Libby Tower; Public Art Coordinator Meagan Atiyeh; Commissioner Avantika Bawa; Community Art Coordinator Brian Wagner; Commissioner Christopher Acebo; Chair Julie Vigeland; Commissioner Anne Taylor; and Executive Director Brian Rogers.

Upcoming grant deadline


Applications for the Oregon Media Arts Fellowship are due by 5 p.m. on Monday. Feb. 1.

John Tess Matches Donations to Oregon Culture Made Before June 30

Dear friends,

As a board member of the Cultural Advocacy Coalition for nearly 10 years, I have seen how the Coalition’s dedication to our future has made a difference in protecting funding and reinvesting in culture and preservation in Oregon.

Right now we need your help. Our Coalition is working for passage of critical legislation and increased funding. Funding for arts and culture is precarious in the best of circumstances and we know some would eliminate our funding entirely if given the chance. I feel so strongly about the importance of our work, right now, that I will match the first $1,000 in new or increased membership donations received through June 30, 2015.

Until this session closes, we will have funding and policy issues at stake. Legislation we are supporting will significantly strengthen culture in Oregon and legislation we oppose could have long-term devastating effects.

  • SUPPORT – SB 441 Increases arts and culture grants to nonprofits, allows for greater investment return and adds much needed Trust staff
  • SUPPORT – HB 2962 Designates Cultural Trust as exclusively for arts & culture purposes
  • SUPPORT – HB 3526 Creates and funds Oregon Main Street Revitalization grant program
  • SUPPORT – HB 5525, HB 5528, HB 5502, HB 5030 Funds a range of cultural activities and agencies
  • OPPOSE – HB 2137 Taxes art valued above $250,000 (including art sold or temporarily stored in Oregon)

Our Coalition is entirely member-funded and cannot advocate effectively without our support. I have seen firsthand how important effective advocacy is in our state legislature–to protect the Oregon Cultural Trust, preserve Historic Preservation incentives, defend Oregon’s landmark percent for art program and the Oregon Arts Commission. This work is vital to all of us. I hope you will take advantage of my offer to match the first $1,000 in new or increased membership donations received through the end of this month. Join us, support our work, become a member of the Cultural Advocacy Coalition and protect our future.

John Tess
President, Heritage Consulting Group
Board Member, Cultural Advocacy Coalition
Trustee, Oregon Cultural Trust

PS. Building our coalition to advocate on behalf of the cultural community is so important that I have committed to match the first $1,000 in new and increased membership gifts received before June 30, 2015. Take advantage of my offer to match your gift, and help us protect arts and culture–and finish the session strong!

100% Tax Credit for Donations to Oregon Cultural Trust

Donate to The Oregon Cultural Trust for a 100% Tax Credit!
bkgd_donate_match_header 2

Town Meeting with Oregon Arts Commission and Oregon Cultural Trust

Town Meeting with Oregon Arts Commission and Oregon Cultural Trust hosted in the Rogue Gallery’s Main Gallery on November 3rd from 1:00 – 4:00pm. 

If you are involved in the arts in Southern Oregon, we encourage you to attend this important meeting to give your input to these organizations.

Registration is not required but does help in planning. Register at:

The Oregon Arts Commission is a vital resource for the Oregon arts. Each year the Arts Commission awards millions of dollars to Oregon artists and arts organizations. The Oregon Cultural Trust works with five partners: Oregon Arts Commission; Oregon State Historic Preservation Office; Oregon Humanities; Oregon Heritage Commission; and the Oregon Historical Society to promote and preserve Oregon culture.

oregon arts commission logo 2

Oregon-Cultural-Trust 2

Building a Cultural Tourist Destination Presentation, Nov. 5, 12 -1pm
Please join us on Thursday, Nov 5th from 12:00 to 1:00 pm at the Rogue Studio for the presentation “Lessons from Appalachia: Leveraging the Arts & Crafts as a Major Economic Development Strategy for Southern Oregon” by Jerry Works.
Cammy Davis, local artist and Edgy in October organizer says, “I saw a presentation by Jerry Works about how Appalachia converted poverty to a multi-million dollar economy through the arts.  There were so many similarities between that region and the Rogue Valley, I wanted to bring it to the Medford business and arts community as well.  I think this short presentation will inspire you and give you insight on how to help build cultural tourism in our area.”
Exhibit your artwork at Rogue Gallery!
membersgallerydropoff 2Members’ Gallery Drop-off
All members are invited to bring in three new pieces to be juried into the Members’ Gallery. The work will be displayed from November 15, 2014 – March 10, 2015. Drop-off days:
  • Friday, November 7, 10-5
  • Saturday, November 8, 11-3

Accepted work can be posted on our website. For pointers about e-mailing photos of your work, register for the free class taking place Thursday, October 30, 4-5pm in Rogue Studio.

Annual Members Show Drop-off
Be a part of our annual members show in the Main Gallery! Members are encouraged to bring in one piece of art inspired by this year’s theme “The Sky is the Limit”.  All media welcomed. Maximum size is 40 x 40 inches. This is a non-juried show and all exhibit ready work will be included. The show runs November 21- December 19, 2014.
Drop-off days:

  • Friday, November 14, 10-5
  • Saturday, November 15, 11-3

2016 Main Gallery Submissions
Whether you are an artist that would like your work shown in our Main Gallery, or know one who would be a great addition to a show, remember that we are currently accepting Main Gallery proposals. Artists working in all media are encouraged to apply. Reserved for work of the highest quality, the Main Gallery features emerging, mid-career, and established artists from the region and beyond. The deadline for the Main Gallery 2016 exhibition series submission is December 2, 2014.  Submission guidelines available HERE.

Community Art Events
Ashland Art Center’s annual event Art Inspires Ashland is coming up November 14, 15 & 16. For information see the website

The Annual Clayfolk Pottery Show & Sale is coming up Nov. 21-23 at the Medford Armory. For more information visit

Call to Artists from Artists in Action for the downtown Salem show Something Red. For more information and entry form go their website:

Arts Alliance Update, Oregon Cultural Trust Town Hall Meeting

Arts Alliance of southern Oregon logoGreetings! We will be announcing the next Arts Alliance of Southern Oregon public meeting soon. It will be held in late November or early December in Grants Pass.
Until then, you are encouraged to attend a town meeting in Medford hosted by the Rogue Gallery & Art Center and presented by the Oregon Arts Commission and the Oregon Cultural Trust: Monday, 11/3 from 1-4pm.
Thank you for supporting arts & culture in our community!
Come one, come all! 

Brian Rogers and the staff of the Oregon Arts Commission and the Oregon Cultural Trust will hold 14 statewide town meetings between now and Dec. 12 to hear from Oregonians about arts and culture issues. The information gathered will develop independent plans to guide each organization over the next five years.

“Hearing from our stakeholders, which include every Oregonian, is a vitally important part of the planning process,” said Rogers. “The themes that emerge from these meetings will form the framework of our plans.” 

Each of the three-hour meetings, which kick off in The Dalles Oct. 20 and conclude in Eugene Dec. 12, will be hosted by a local arts and culture partner. Registration is encouraged but not required. The meetings are free and open to the public.

For more information to register:
Town Meeting-Medford 

Monday, November 03, 2014 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM (Pacific Time)

Rogue Gallery
40 S Bartlett St
Medford, Oregon 97501
United States
Map and Directions
The Oregon Arts Commission and the Oregon Cultural Trust are pleased to announce a series of 14 town meetings across Oregon to gather information about local, regional and statewide issues in arts and culture. We encourage you to attend, participate, share and learn in this important process.  The Commission and Trust will use the information we gather to develop independent plans that will guide each organization over the next five years.
We also would like you to help spread the word and invite your board members, people you serve and community leaders to these town meetings.
Registration is not required, but encouraged to help us in our logistics.  Each town meeting will be hosted by a local partner who are helping make these important meetings possible.
We also invite you to submit written testimony, especially if you are unable to attend a town meeting.
You may email testimony to [email protected] or mail to:

OAC / OCT Planning Process
775 Summer Street NE Suite 200
Salem OR 97301

Brian Rogers named Executive Director of Oregon Arts Commission and Oregon Cultural Trust

Brian Rogers, New Executive director of the Oregon Arts Commission and Oregon Cultural Trust
June 3, 2014
Brian Rogers of Pennsylvania named Executive Director of Oregon Arts Commission and Oregon Cultural Trust 

Brian Rogers –  an accomplished painter, arts and culture consultant and the former deputy director of the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts – has been named the next executive director of the Oregon Arts Commission and Oregon Cultural Trust. Rogers was appointed today by Business Oregon Director Sean Robbins following a months-long search that culminated with community forums in Portland and Salem Monday.

“The strength of the arts and culture throughout Oregon not only drives economic impact on its own, but is critical to attracting talent for our growing companies and providing a quality of life that we all value in our communities,” said Robbins. “This extensive and inclusive search process has provided a candidate that has a demonstrated track record of moving state arts initiatives forward, and I am eager to work with him.”

“We’re delighted by this appointment,” said Julie Vigeland, chair of the Arts Commission, and Bob Speltz, chair of the Cultural Trust board of directors. “Brian is an experienced leader and arts administrator who is clearly adept at systems and strategy. We believe he will be a persuasive and compelling advocate for the arts, heritage and humanities.

“Rogers also was the choice of the Oregonians who participated in the process,” they added. “We are very grateful to those who took the time to attend the forums and share their feedback.”

During his 21 years with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA), Rogers also served as deputy director of administration, program director for art museums and fellowship manager. Since leaving the council in 2013, he has consulted with state arts agencies across the country about grant programs and funding.

Rogers played the key leadership role in the development and implementation of the “Cultural Data Project (CDP),” the public/private partnership of an innovative and groundbreaking data collection and reporting tool. He also served on the governing body for the CDP and as the state’s task force manager. In addition, he implemented several PCA programs and services including Picture Pennsylvania, a state-wide traveling exhibition program.

Among Rogers’ accomplishments in Pennsylvania were decentralized funding partnerships and initiatives for alternative funding options. He also implemented four strategic planning processes, one of which resulted in the nationally recognized re-organization of PCA’s responsive funding programs, providing a higher level of service and more than doubling the number of applicants funded.

Rogers holds a bachelor’s in fine arts from Tyler School of Art at Temple University, where he majored in painting, and a masters in fine arts from the Graduate School of Art at the University of Arizona.

He will begin his new role in July.