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109 arts organizations statewide, 3 in Bend, to receive FY 2022 small operating grants

OperaBend performs 'Thank You Notes' concert in 2020
Oregon Arts Commission
OperaBend performs 'Thank You Notes' concert in 2020

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) – Small grants that often make a large difference in ensuring arts access for Oregonians, especially in rural areas, have been awarded to 109 statewide arts organizations by the Oregon Arts Commission for FY2022. Twelve more small arts organizations qualified than in FY2021.

Awarded to arts organizations in virtually every region of the state, Small Operating Grants are designed to provide support to arts organizations with budgets under $150,000. Eligibility is limited to organizations who have operated as an IRS recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit for two years or more and provide ongoing, sustained artistic programming and outreach programs. Each organization received $2,178, slightly more than twice the amount awarded in FY2021. 

“The Arts Commission’s Small Operating Grants allow minuscule, all-volunteer organizations to have an outsized impact,” said Erin Scheessele, executive director of Orgelkids USA. “It frees us up to dream bigger and to bring a bit of wonder to our communities. For Orgelkids, that meant we could focus resources on designing and building a bike for our pipe organ so that we could continue our outreach and education through the pandemic.” 

“Although the Drexel H. Foundation and our community is rural and small compared to other parts of Oregon, our impact is HUGE,” said Sandijean Fuson, president of the Drexel H. Foundation. “Operating costs during COVID increased when we could not rely on our traditional volunteer base. This grant enabled us to keep an unbroken existence of programs we have had for over 25 years, reminding our community they are important.” 

“This grant program was developed to increase the Arts Commission’s support of Oregon’s small but mighty arts providers,” said Arts Commission Chair Jenny Green. “These organizations frequently represent the only arts presenter for remote and underserved regions of the state.”

For more information about the Small Operating Grant Program, contact Liora Sponko at (971) 345-1641 or via email at

FY2022 Small Operating Grants were awarded to:

Airlie Press, Portland

Anima Mundi Productions, Phoenix

Applegate Regional Theatre Inc., Veneta

Art Accelerated, Tillamook

Art in Oregon, Oregon City

Arts and Business Alliance of Eugene, Eugene

Ashland New Plays Festival, Ashland

Astoria Arts and Movement Center, Astoria

Astoria Visual Arts, Inc., Astoria

Bach Cantata Choir, Portland

Ballet Folklórico Ritmo Alegre, Medford

Bandon Showcase, Inc., Bandon

Beaverton Symphony Orchestra, Beaverton

Blueprint Ensemble Arts & Theatre Initiative, Portland

Boom Arts, Portland

Bridgetown Conservatory of Musical Theatre, Portland

Bump in the Road Theatre, Portland

C.C. Stern Type Foundry, Portland

Cannon Beach Arts Association, Cannon Beach

Cascadia Center for Arts and Crafts, Government Camp

Cascadia Chapter of National Association of Composers, Portland

Cascadia Concert Opera, Astoria

Cathedral Park Performing Arts Collective, Portland

Ceili of the Valley Society, Salem

Choro in Schola, Portland

Classical Up Close, Tigard

Columbia Arts Guild, Columbia City

Columbia Gorge Orchestra Association, Hood River

Conchords Chorale, Tualatin

Corvallis Guitar Society, Corvallis

Corvallis Repertory Singers, Corvallis

CymaSpace, Portland

Dance Wire PDX, Portland

Drexel H. Foundation, Vale

Eastside Theater Company, Gresham

Emerald Empire Art Association, Springfield

Experience Theatre Project, Beaverton

Fear No Music , Portland

Festival Chorale Oregon, Salem

Future Prairie, Portland

Gallery Calapooia, Albany

Grande Ronde Symphony Association, La Grande

Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre Northwest, Portland

High Desert Chamber Music, Bend

Hillsboro Symphony Orchestra, Hillsboro

Hoffman Center for the Arts, Manzanita

Inland Northwest Musicians Inc., Hermiston

Integrated Arts (DBA Harmonic Laboratory), Eugene

Keizer Creative Art Association, Salem

Klamath Film, Klamath Falls

Live On Stage, Portland

Media-Rites, Portland

Michael Allen Harrison's Play It Forward, Beaverton

Mid-Valley Prelude Sinfonia Inc., Albany

Montavilla Jazz Festival, Portland

Morpheus Youth Project, Portland

Music Education & Performing Artists Association, Eugene

North Coast Chorale, Astoria

Opal Center for Arts and Education, Cottage Grove

Open Hearts Open Minds, Portland

OperaBend, Bend

Orchestra Next, Eugene

Oregon Artists Series Foundation, Salem

Oregon Arts Watch, Portland

Oregon Brass Society, Eugene

Oregon Children's Choir Association, Eugene

Oregon Coast Children's Theatre, Toledo

Oregon Coast Youth Symphony Festival Association, Newport

Oregon Spirit Chorus, Salem

Oregon Symphonic Band, Beaverton

Orgelkids USA, Corvallis

Partners for the PAC, Astoria

PDX Contemporary Ballet, Portland

Performance Works NorthWest, Portland

Peruvian Cultural Festival and Events, Beaverton

Piano Santa Foundation, Portland

PlayWrite, Portland

Portland Chamber Music, Portland

Portland Chamber Orchestra, Portland

Portland Festival Symphony, Portland

Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble , Portland

Portland Taiko , Portland

Portland Wind Symphony, Portland

Rasika Society for Arts of India, Hillsboro

Resonance Vocal Ensemble, Portland

Risk-Reward, Portland

Riverbend Live!, Winston

Salem Philharmonia Orchestra, Salem

Salem Pops Orchestra, Salem

Salem Symphonic Winds, Salem

Salem Youth Symphony Association, Salem

Scalehouse, Bend

Southern Oregon Guild, Cave Junction

Steps for Youth, Portland

The Dalles Art Association, The Dalles

The Geezer Gallery, Portland

The Verona Studio, Salem

Tolovana Arts Colony, Cannon Beach

Tualatin Valley Community Band, Tigard

Tualatin Valley Creates, Beaverton

Twilight Theater Company, Portland

Umpqua Symphony Association, Roseburg

Valley Art Association , Forest Grove

Willamette Jazz Society, Eugene

Willamette University, Salem

Willamette Valley Symphony, Albany

Women in Film-Portland, Portland

Wordcrafters in Eugene, Eugene


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:

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