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Santiam Pass Ski Lodge restoration project among FY2023 Oregon Cultural Trust grant recipients

New entry of the Santiam Pass Ski Lodge undergoing restoration
Oregon Cultural Trust
New entry of the Santiam Pass Ski Lodge undergoing restoration

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- A new library for Grants Pass, the restoration of an iconic ski lodge near Sisters, Montavilla Jazz Festival’s 10th anniversary celebration and multimedia documentation of the Talent community’s rise from the ashes of the Almeda Fire – those are just a few of the important arts, heritage and humanities projects to be supported by grant allocations from the Oregon Cultural Trust.   

FY2023 grant awards totaling an historic $3,422,748 will be distributed to 138 arts, heritage and humanities organizations across the state, the Cultural Trust announced Monday. Made possible by generous Oregonians who invested a record $5.7 million in the Cultural Tax Credit in FY2022, this year’s awards bring the cumulative total of Cultural Trust grants to almost $40 million since its founding in 2001.

The FY2023 awards include a total of $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 – who regrant an annual average of 450 additional awards in their communities.

In addition, $1,711,374 in competitive Cultural Development Program grants will go directly to 88 cultural organizations serving most geographic regions of the state. 

“It is astounding and so gratifying to see our funding for Oregon culture grow every year,” said Niki Price, chair of the Cultural Trust board. “Through the pandemic and unstable economic times, Oregonians remain committed to preserving and strengthening organizations that bring such beauty and meaning to our lives.” 

“We have now surpassed 10,000 grant awards since the Cultural Trust was formed,” said Brian Rogers, executive director. “And thanks to the incredible success of the new Celebrate Oregon! license plate, which funds promotion of the Cultural Tax Credit, we are poised to engage even more Oregonians in the future. We are confident the best is yet to come for arts, heritage and humanities in Oregon.” 

The FY2023 Cultural Development Program recipients feature 11 organizations receiving their first-ever Cultural Trust award, 65 percent of which are located outside of Portland. First-time recipients include: 

  • Enlightened Theatrics, Salem: $17,983

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

  • Friends of the Opera House, Elgin: $12,599

To support the Friends of the Opera House in offering specialized training for its actors by inviting acting coaches, vocal instructors, choreographers and visual artists to workshop with the community theater. 

  • PassinArt: A Theatre Company, Portland: $37,336

To support the 2023 Pacific Northwest Multi-Cultural Readers Series & Film Festival Aug. 18 through 21. The Festival will include live theatre, readings, films, youth workshops, artist development workshops and panels showcasing the new work of BIPOC storytellers from Oregon and across the country. The hybrid festival also will include a gala and cultural and civic celebrations, creating city-wide access and enthusiasm for this exciting body of work.

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

To support the creation of activity sheets, maps, brochures and trail signs available on-site and online, as well as staff training for how to best use the new resources with the visiting public.

Other Cultural Development recipient highlights include: 

To support the restoration of historic Santiam Pass Ski Lodge through the repair and restoration of its iconic stone foundation, chimney and fireplace. 

  • Music Workshop, Portland: $22,623

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

  • Talent Historical Society, Talent: $8,451

To support the Talent Historical Society in documenting the Almeda Fire, its impact on the community of Talent and the town's recovery to preserve and share. The Historical Society has been collecting stories, images and videos in the voices of residents in two languages. The history with be shared with the public in a book, an exhibit in the museum and a portable "Fire Remnants" exhibit. 

  • Josephine Community Library Foundation, Grants Pass: $31,175

To support the purchase of a centrally located piece of property for the future home of the new Grants Pass library branch and a community commons that will more fully meet the information, culture, technology and community gathering needs of local residents.

Along with $33,386 to the Deschutes County Cultural Coalition, other Central Oregon grant recipients include:

Central Region

BendFilm, Bend: $16,584

To support the 2022 BendFilm Festival’s Indigenous & Women Filmmakers Initiative, which provides a venue for Native American and female filmmakers to reach a large and diverse audience. Specific activities include screenings and artist discussions in Bend, Warm Springs and Madras. The Initiative is constructed to unite Central Oregon audiences and address the film industry’s gender and indigenous representation disparity.

*Ellipse Theatre Community, Bend: $5,000

To support the world premiere of an original work, “Craig Fox Had a Wife,” written by local playwright Beverly Allen. The play recounts the story of how a veteran, a widow and a Vietnamese tour guide found healing decades after the Vietnam war and is the centerpiece of the 2022 PTSD Awareness Project, a multi-faceted program intended to promote community understanding of the effects of war on military personnel, families and communities.

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

Cultural Development Program awards fund nonprofit projects that increase access to culture, invest in organizational capacity, support community creativity and provide historic preservation. Applications were reviewed and scored by peer review panels; final award amounts were determined and approved by the Cultural Trust Board of Directors at its July 28 meeting. More than 60 percent of Cultural Trust funding (including awards to County and Tribal Coalitions) is awarded outside of the Portland Metro area. 

See a full list of County and Tribal Cultural Coalition allocations.

See a list of the 88 Cultural Development recipients, alphabetical by region

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Created in 2001 by the Oregon Legislature, the Oregon Cultural Trust was established as an ongoing funding engine for arts, heritage and humanities across the state. Funding comes through the Cultural Tax Credit, which empowers Oregonians to direct more of the taxes they pay to supporting cultural opportunities for all. Oregon is the only state in the country that gives its citizens this choice. Sixty percent of the money goes directly to cultural organizations and agencies in the form of grants. The remaining 40 percent helps grow a permanent fund for culture. It’s described by the Oregonian as “A way to make paying state taxes satisfying.” Oregonians directed a record $5.7M of their state taxes to fund arts, heritage and humanities in fiscal year 2022. The Trust’s three grant programs fund five Statewide Partners45 County and Tribal Coalitions and qualified cultural nonprofits through competitive Cultural Development grants. Learn more at

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