Cultural Trust awards more than $3.4 million to 138 cultural organizations in Oregon

Salem, Ore. – A new library for Grants Pass, the restoration of a legendary ski lodge in Sisters, the 10th Montavilla Jazz Festivalth Anniversary celebrations and multimedia documentation of the talent community’s rise from the ashes of the Almeda fire are just a few of the important arts, heritage and humanities projects supported by the Oregon Cultural Trust’s FY2023 grants.

A historic $3,422,748 in fiscal 2023 grants will be distributed to 138 arts, heritage and humanities departments across the state, the Cultural Trust announced today. Made possible by generous Oregonians who invested a record $5.7 million in the Cultural Tax Credit in fiscal 2022, this year’s awards bring the Cultural Trust’s cumulative total of grants since its inception in 2001 to nearly $40 million -Dollar.

Awards for fiscal year 2023 total $855,687 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); and $855,687 to 45 County and Tribal Cultural Coalitions — which receive an average of 450 additional awards in their communities annually.

In addition, $1,711,374 in competitive cultural development program grants goes directly to 88 cultural organizations serving most of the state’s geographic regions.

“It is amazing and gratifying to see our funding for culture in Oregon grow each year,” said Niki Price, executive director of the Cultural Trust. “During the pandemic and unstable economic times, Oregonians remain committed to sustaining and strengthening organizations that bring such beauty and meaning to our lives.”

“We have now surpassed 10,000 grants since the Cultural Trust was founded,” said Brian Rogers, Executive Director. “And thanks to the incredible success of the new Celebrate Oregon! License plate funding Cultural Tax Credit sponsorship, we stand ready to engage more Oregonians in the future. We are confident that the best is yet to come for Oregon’s arts, heritage and humanities.”

Recipients of the FY2023 Cultural Development Program include 11 organizations receiving their first-ever Cultural Fund award, 65 percent of which are based outside of Portland. First-time recipients include:

  • Enlightened TheaterSalem: $17,983

In support of a holiday family production of “SEUSSICAL THE MUSICAL” comprised of professional, community and student artists.

  • Friends of the Opera HouseElgin: $12,599

To support the Friends of the Opera House in offering their actors specialized training by inviting acting coaches, singing teachers, choreographers and visual artists to workshops with the community theatre.

  • PassinArt: A theater groupPortland: $37,336

In support of the 2023 Pacific Northwest Multi-Cultural Readers Series & Film Festival, August 18-21. The festival includes live theater, readings, films, youth workshops, artist development workshops, and panels showcasing the new work of BIPOC storytellers from Oregon and around the country. The hybrid festival will also include a gala, as well as cultural and civic celebrations, creating citywide access and excitement for this exciting work.

  • Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and MineralsHillsboro: $13,613

Supporting the creation of activity sheets, maps, brochures and signposts available onsite and online, as well as training staff on how to best use the new resources with the visiting public.

Other highlights of culture development recipients include:

  • Friends of Santiam Pass Ski LodgeSisters: $29,080

Supporting the restoration of the historic Santiam Pass Ski Lodge by repairing and restoring its iconic stone foundation, chimney and chimney.

  • music workshop, Portland: $22,623

Supporting access to free, multicultural music instructional resources for Oregon K-8 music teachers and their students by creating inspirational and culturally relevant music history and appreciation programs and then working with school administrators and music teachers to implement the programs into their curriculum.

  • Talent History SocietyTalent: $8,451

Assisting the Talent Historical Society in documenting the Almeda Fire, its impact on the Talent community and the city’s recovery for preservation and sharing. The Historical Society has collected stories, images, and videos featuring residents’ voices in two languages. The story will be shared with the public in a book, an exhibition at the museum, and a portable “Remnants of Fire” exhibition.

  • Josephine Community Library FoundationScholarship Passport: $31,175

Assisted in the purchase of centrally located land for the future home of the new Grants Pass Library branch and community facility that better serves the informational, cultural, technological and community needs of local residents.

The 88 cultural development grants range from $5,000 to $38,000 with an average award of $19,396. Sixty-six percent of the 133 eligible applications were funded.

The Cultural Development Program Awards fund charitable projects that increase access to culture, invest in organizational capacity, support community creativity, and ensure historical preservation. Applications were reviewed and evaluated by peer review panels; The final award amounts were determined and approved by the Cultural Trust Board at its July 28th meeting. More than 60 percent of the Cultural Trust’s funds (including district and tribal coalition awards) are awarded outside of the greater Portland area.

View a complete list of County and Tribal Cultural Coalition allotments.

View a list of the 88 cultural development recipients, alphabetically by region.

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Created by the Oregon Legislature in 2001, the Oregon Cultural Trust was established as an ongoing funding machine for the arts, heritage, and humanities statewide. Funding comes from the Cultural Tax Credit, which allows Oregonians to use a larger portion of the taxes they pay to support cultural opportunities for all. Oregon is the only state in the country that gives its citizens that choice. 60 percent of the money goes directly to cultural organizations and agencies in the form of grants. The remaining 40 percent contribute to the establishment of a permanent cultural fund. The Oregonian describes it as “a way of making the payment of state taxes satisfactory.” Oregon residents used a record $5.7 million of their state taxes to fund the arts, heritage, and humanities in fiscal 2022. Fund the Trust’s three grant programs five national partners, 45 district and tribal coalitions and qualified cultural non-profit organizations through competitive culture development grants. Learn more at