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Oregon Arts Commission Announces Arts Build Communities Grants

The Oregon Arts Commission announces 25 awards totaling $110,000 in the 15th year of its Arts Build Communities (ABC) grant program.  The program supports projects that broaden the impact of the arts in communities and foster community arts partnerships across the state.
“The Arts Build Communities projects use the arts to achieve results around important community challenges,” said Christine D’Arcy, executive director of the Arts Commission. “These grantees will help Oregon communities attract visitors, reach underserved youth, bridge cultural gaps and create public art.  We’re able to support these community arts development projects through our funding partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.”
“These grants reward and encourage the work, planning and innovative arts partnerships that were developed to improve lives in communities large and small across Oregon,” said Jean Boyer Cowling, Chair of the Oregon Arts Commission who led the proposal review. “The most competitive and interesting projects responded directly to challenges facing Oregonians today.”
This year, fifty proposals, requesting over $270,000, were submitted from throughout the state. Over 60% of applications came from outside the Portland region, and the distribution of awards reflects the diversity of the applicants. Arts Build Communities grants offer support to underserved communities, including those where opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability.
The list of grant recipients and a summary of the funded projects follow.
Oregon Shakespeare Festival, $7,000

To support the festival’s efforts to create a more diverse audience and company and reduce barriers to attendance for underserved communities. Activities include using culturally diverse Green Shows as a point of entry for new audiences; deepening relationships with the local Latino community; outreach to communities beyond southern Oregon; and offering career development for young theatre professionals of color.
Contact: Deborah Small, 541-482-2111 x 249, [email protected]

Artula Institute for Arts & Environmental Education, $4,000

To support Washed Ashore, a large-scale project that uses plastic detritus washed onto and collected from Oregon beaches to fabricate enormous sculptures of sea life most affected by the pollution. Under the direction of lead artist, Angela Haseltine Pozzi, community members gather, clean, sort, drill and stitch plastics into sculptures. Grant funds will support a tour of the resulting art exhibit.
Contact: Wren Farris, 760-406-1758, [email protected]

Heritage Theatre Company, $2,000

To support the expansion of after-school community arts and meals program for at-risk and homeless students in grades k-5. The project will leverage the arts as one of their “whole child” needs to bring community focus to participant’s creative spirits and abilities to achieve.
Contact: Janet Kingsley, 541-306-6751, [email protected]

The Arts Center, $7,000

To support the development of a replicable curriculum for training artists and musicians to work in rural health care settings through ArtsCare, a partnership with Samaritan Health Services. The project aims to certify a new cadre of artists, making them eligible for employment in five regional SHS hospitals and related health care facilities. ABC funds will pay for the development of the training curriculum and artist stipends.
Contact: Mary Van Denend, 541-754-1551, [email protected]

Fishtrap, Inc., $7,000

To support the 2010 Big Read of Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, in Wallowa County.  The project will distribute books to adults and students in six towns, six libraries, and to multiple reading groups and schools within the county.  Other activities include a series of lectures, five movies in three towns, a local high school production of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and an “Adventures in the Cave” game night, a cross generation Zine project, a “Blood Oath Blood Drive,” and Mark Twain-inspired cooking classes.
Contact: Kathy Sewell, 541-426-3623, [email protected]

Eugene Ballet Company, $5,000

To support outreach activities around the ballet production, Anne Frank.  A partnership between the Eugene Ballet, the Humanities Center of the University of Oregon and Temple Beth Israel will oversee the activity to be presented to students and adults in Lane, Douglas, Linn, Benton and Marion counties. Following the premiere of the production, performance and outreach activities will continue into 2012.
Contact: Riley Grannan, 541-485-3992, [email protected]

Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, $3,000
To support a constituent-driven marketing program to increase awareness, motivate visitation, and increase utilization of its free interactive Discovery Gallery. The marketing effort will use partnerships with educators and community organizations that serve children and families and traditional media to target economically disadvantaged populations of Lane, Linn, and Benton counties.
Contact: Kari Vandergust, 541-346-0972, [email protected]

Government Camp
Mt Hood Cultural Center and Museum, $2,000

To support improved fixed and portable lighting for the Arts Cabin Program which works closely with the Government Camp Marketing Council, Clackamas County planners and the community to bring art into Government Camp.
Contact: Betsy Valian, [email protected]

Jefferson Nature Center, $4,250

To support artist stipends for “Shifting Patterns: Preparing for Unsettled Days in the Rogue and Klamath Basins,” a series of 8 reading and display events featuring artist/writer interpretations of regional scientific climate change predictions. The project connects groups doing research on local climate change in the Rogue and Klamath Basins with 20 regional artists and writers from those areas. The resulting work will be shared through events and a final publication.
Contact: Susan Cross, 541-282-8577, [email protected]

Multicultural Association of Southern Oregon, $3,750
To support Ballet “Heritage Storytelling through Dance,” to enable students to discover their cultural identity and to strengthen their knowledge by dancing stories that celebrate their heritage. Participants will research family connections to the regions and culture of Mexico, then learn and perform traditional dances representing those areas.
Contact: Victoria Snow Mountain, 541-261-1906, [email protected]

Children’s Healing Art Project, $5,250

To support staffing and supplies for “7 Murals in 7 Days”, when CHAP will coordinate the painting and display of murals based on artwork of seriously ill or disabled children.  Children and teens will paint the murals under the guidance of artists.  The project coincides with the celebration of Earth Day to emphasis the role arts play in a healthy, vibrant community.
Contact: Frank Etxaniz, 503-901-7082, [email protected]

Disjecta Interdisciplinary Art Center, $2,500
To support the Open Space Project which will transform an 8,000 square foot parking lot into an outdoor gathering and performance space, providing opportunities for North Portland’s Kenton community to come together as volunteers, audience members and program organizers. ABC funds will support the free Open Spaces performance series.
Contact: Bryan Suereth, 503-913-6884, [email protected]

Literary Arts Inc., $5,250
To support the Oregon Book Awards’ Author Tour which brings the state’s most accomplished writers to 8-10 communities with limited access to unique and stimulating literary events. The tour works with local librarians, bookstore owners, literary organizations, and writing groups to develop activities that connect and inspire Oregon’s readers and writers.
Contact: Andrew Proctor, 503-227-2583, [email protected]

Miracle Theatre Group, $5,250
To support a theater residency in Hood River to include bilingual arts workshops, a community performance and ongoing post residency art experiences. The activity will be undertaken through a partnership with Hood River Valley High School, Columbia Arts and Columbia Gorge Arts in Education.  “Journeys”, a tolerance-teaching curriculum shared via workshops and a bilingual workbook will be provided to community leaders and educators.
Contact: Danel Malan, 503-236-7253, [email protected]

Mittleman Jewish Community Center, $5,250
To support JAM II (Jewish Arts Month), begun in 2010 as a collaboration between several Jewish and secular organizations. The 2011 events, to encourage the community to experience, explore and interact with the Jewish American art community, include exhibits, performances and learning opportunities.  To reach a broader audience, the JAM II planning committee included non-Jewish teens and adults as well as members of the Jewish community.
Contact: Helen Gundlach, 503-535-3594, [email protected]

My Story, $3,500
To support “We Are Portland,” in which youth from Portland’s Cully neighborhood will use a mobile portrait studio photograph up to 75 families in that community.  After a five-session photography workshop, participants will facilitate Family Portrait Days in the Cully, Sumner and Madison South neighborhoods. Each family will receive a free print package and the work will be displayed to showcase Portland’s diversity.
Contact: Alexander Ney, 503-233-1568, [email protected]

Northwest Documentary Arts & Media, $3,750
To support “Recording Resilience,” a partnership with the Dougy Center to connect teenagers suffering the traumatic loss of a family member with local documentarians to learn digital storytelling tools and create a personal documentary about their own loss. The completed projects are archived and shared in public screenings.
Contact: Julie Gliniany, 503-227-8688, [email protected]

Portland Art Museum, $5,000
To support “Object Stories,” which will invite a cross-section of communities, most of whom have never visited the Museum, to tell stories about objects – both inside the Museum and in their own communities – that matter to them. To honor the participants and their stories, the museum will host a celebratory showcase of participant’s work and a live performance at the Museum.
Contact: J. S. May, 503-276-4272, [email protected]

Write Around Portland, $5,250
To support 6 creative writing workshops for 60-90 adults and young people incarcerated in three Oregon correctional facilities: Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility and the Inverness Jail. The workshops will culminate in readings at each facility and in the publication of the writers’ work.
Contact: Robyn Steely, 503-796-9224, [email protected]

City of Redmond, $5,250

To support artistic fees and marketing for “Art Around the Clock”, a rotating art gallery aimed at increasing community awareness and appreciation for public art.  Selected artists will display work publicly for one year.  At the end of the year, the community may vote on a people’s choice, which the City will purchase to add to its permanent collection.
Contact: Heather Richards, 541-923-7756, [email protected]

Confluence: The Willamette Valley Mixed Gala Chorus, $3,500

To support the purchase of sound equipment and a keyboard for outreach to members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and allied communities in the Willamette Valley.  The activity aims to build support for and awareness of social justice issues related to the LGBT and other under-represented groups.
Contact: Brenda McComb, 541-737-6583, [email protected]

Salem Chamber Orchestra, $3,500
To support the “Gift of Music Family Concert,” at the Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center.  The orchestra will collaborate with Children’s Educational Theatre in a performance of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf at the center, which serves primarily a low income and diverse audience.
Contact: Noreen Murdock, 503-480-1128, [email protected]

Salem Family YMCA, $4,000
To support artist fees for the development of “The Peace Mural,” a 40-foot exterior mosaic mural at the Salem Family YMCA. The project will be a community-building art experience for underserved youth, adults, and low-income seniors who will also have access to intergenerational arts and poetry workshops that focus on the meaning of Salem: peace.
Contact: Jodi Blackman, 503-399-2752, [email protected]

The Dalles
Gorge Artists, Inc, $4,000

To support “Running Fruit Ladders,” a large-scale installation of brightly painted fruit ladders and Burma Shave-style signs along major highways in the Columbia River Gorge. The project celebrates the agricultural traditions in the Gorge and links its diverse communities with a unifying message.
Contact: John Maher, 541-478-0171, [email protected]

Mid-Columbia Economic Development District, $3,750
To assist the newly formed Columbia Gorge Arts and Culture Alliance promote the Columbia Gorge as an arts and culture travel destination.  CGACA will use grant funds to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy and to promote May 2011 as Columbia Gorge Arts and Culture Month. The Alliance represents 20 arts and culture organizations along the Columbia River in both Washington and Oregon.
Contact: Jessica Metta, 541-296-2266, [email protected]

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The Oregon Arts Commission provides leadership, funding and arts programs through its grants, special initiatives and services. Nine commissioners, appointed by the Governor, determine arts needs and establish policies for public support of the arts. The Arts Commission became part of Business Oregon (formerly Oregon Economic and Community Development Department) in 1993, in recognition of the expanding role the arts play in the broader social, economic and educational arenas of Oregon communities. In 2003, the Oregon legislature moved the operations of the Oregon Cultural Trust to the Arts Commission, streamlining operations and making use of the Commission’s expertise in grantmaking, arts and cultural information and community cultural development.
The Arts Commission is supported with general funds appropriated by the Oregon legislature and with federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as funds from the Oregon Cultural Trust.  More information about the Oregon Arts Commission is available online at:
Oregon Arts Commission – Oregon Cultural Trust
Oregon culture doesn’t fit in a glass case.  Learn more.  Get involved.   Give !

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