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High Desert Museum, Scalehouse among 55 Oregon recipients of ‘Arts Build Communities’ grants

Instructors rehearse for Umpqua Symphony Association outreach event
Oregon Arts Commission
Instructors rehearse for Umpqua Symphony Association outreach event

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Using the arts as a means to address community need is the focus of 55 projects awarded a total of $221,535 through the Oregon Arts Commission’s FY2022 Arts Build Communities grant program. The Arts Build Communities program targets broad geographic impact and arts access for underserved audiences in Oregon. 

Funded projects include: the implementation of four 2022 arts and culture events in Cornelius and Hillsboro by Centro Cultural del Condado de Washington County; Lane Arts Council’s Fiesta Cultural, an ongoing program that celebrates, empowers and connects Latino/a/x cultural producers and artists across Lane County; and Ex-peer-ience, a three-week Outside the Frame filmmaking intensive for 12 homeless and marginalized youth in Portland. 

“This program provides financial support to arts and other community-based organizations for projects that address a local community problem, issue or need through an arts-based solution," said Arts Commission Vice Chair Harlen Springer, who led one of two review panels. “Local citizens employ creative thinking and collective response to identify a local need and provide an arts-based solution.”

The grants also spark and leverage many other investments and resources, serving as a catalyst for greater economic and civic impact, said Springer. 

In recent years Arts Build Communities projects attracted more than $600,000 in additional investment, much of it representing salaries paid to artists and others as well as products and services purchased in the funded communities. 

Arts Build Communities grants are made possible through a funding partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

The FY2022 recipients are:

Anima Mundi Productions, Phoenix: $4,113

To support “We Cannot Walk Alone,” a multi-phased project that comprises: a) commissioning seven new works by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) composers; b) premiering these works on a series of concerts featuring world-class Black classical musicians; and c) coordinating community outreach events across the state to connect BIPOC children with these performers. Requested funds will be used to produce the outreach events, including staff costs.

APANO Communities United Fund, Portland: $5,523   

To develop a community print studio and exhibition space at the Orchards of 82nd (O82), a mixed-use development that includes APANO’s 5,000 sq. ft. community space and 48 units of affordable housing. The project will increase access to community-led artmaking and exhibition opportunities for residents of East Portland’s Jade District. Funds will support artist fees, participant stipends and exhibition materials over the next year.

Art Now, Ashland: $3,000  

To support The Secret Storyworld Map, a printed and digital guide that bridges the special places and landmarks of Ashland with the 12 imagined realms of our Secret Storyworld. This illustrated map, created in collaboration with Ashland digital artist Xan Drake, Book Designer Shannon Bodie and programmer Matthew Beers PhD, can be used as a digital and analog map to send citizens and visitors out into our community to engage in guided quests of personal and community discovery. The Map leads to multimedia experiences with Time Travel, preparing for Wizard School, training at the Superhero Bootcamp, solving clues at the Mystery Sleuthing and so much more.

Bridgeworks Oregon, Portland: $3,918   

To support the production of the anthology “Voices from the Inside: 15 Men Describe Life Inside Oregon’s Oldest Prison.” Requested funds will be used to support the production, design and printing.

Caldera, Portland: $4,875

To support Caldera’s inaugural Hearth Festival in June 2022 at its 119-acre Arts Center near Sisters, Oregon. Caldera and Michelle Fujii of Unit Souzou are co-commissioning the festival's cornerstone, an art performance titled Constant State of Otherness, which was created in response to community feedback and need. Across multiple days, the community will engage with high-quality art and explore Caldera’s campus. Funding will support artist fees and project equipment.

Cartm, Manzanita: $4,226

To produce the annual Trash Bash Art Festival in May of 2022, which includes three major arts events: Rehomed Art Show; Trash Art Gallery; and Trashion Fashion Show. Requested funds will be used for overall event advertisement and video documentation and Trashion Fashion show musical performances.

Centro Cultural del Condado de Washington, Cornelius: $4,929

To create a stronger network of artists through the implementation of four arts and culture events in 2022 held across different locations in Hillsboro and Cornelius, Oregon: Dia del Nino in April; El Grito in September; Dia de los Muertos in November; and Centro’s Holiday Baskets in December.

Clackamas County Arts Alliance, Oregon City: $5,560

To support Youth Arts for Change, which provides vulnerable and underserved youth with unique opportunities for artistic expression. Driven by community demand, they are adapting activities for ongoing COVID safety concerns and collaboratively growing the program to connect more youth with hands-on arts experiences. The requested funds will support teaching artists and art supply kits for 100 participating youth.

Dallas Downtown Association, Dallas: $3,000

To support the DDA Murder Mystery Pilot Project. Requested funds will be used to film, edit and distribute a community written, performed, distributed movie of what were once original live performances of Murder Mysteries. The project will be filmed over a four-month period. The outcome is to build community spirit, vitality, placemaking and invited tourism. The DDA has a reputation for six prior successful Murder Mysteries but needs to re-invent these productions in the current culture of COVID 19. 

Enlightened Theatrics, Salem: $5,318

To support the first ever All Abilities Camp. Sarah Olbrantz, a current candidate for a master's in drama therapy, will be hired to create a project specifically made for students in the neurodiverse community. Requested funds will be used for artist fees, space rental, art supplies and scholarships.

Eugene-Springfield Youth Orchestras, Eugene: $5,537

To support the String Academy program, which provides accessible, affordable beginning strings classes in strategically placed elementary schools to give children of all backgrounds the benefits of learning an instrument. Requested funds will be used to support artistic staff fees for free, in-person classes taking place at six of the lowest-income schools in the Eugene 4J School District.

Eugene Symphony Association, Eugene: $4,094

To expand the Symphony’s Private Lesson Program, which provides free access to individual music instruction for low-income Eugene/Springfield and Bethel students in grades 6-12. Requested funds will subsidize fees for private music lessons with teaching artists; student stipends for sheet music, instrument-specific maintenance, or related supplies; and instrument rental for students.

Fishtrap Inc, Enterprise: $3,000    

To support the 14th year of Fishtrap’s NEA Big Read. Requested funds will be used for presenter honorariums, purchasing books and supplies, and promotional efforts.

Four Rivers Cultural Center, Ontario: $3,395

To support Wonder Boxes, an original idea to inspire creativity and positive family engagement in the Center’s underserved community. Requested funds will be used to create 140 themed Wonder Boxes, filled with art projects, games, books, historical learning and treats to give sheltering families an opportunity to get creative and spend fun, quality time together.

Golden Road Arts, Hillsboro: $4,416

To partner with the Hillsboro Library to engage elementary students, parents and teachers in free live art and literacy activities and to promote online and in-person lessons through community events. The funds provide art experiences and supplies during Library events to underserved community areas, including two Migrant Camps, and support development, staff, supplies, stools, tables, tents and a give-away backpack of art supplies.

Grande Ronde Symphony Association, La Grande: $3,164

To support SOAR, String and Orchestral Arts Revitalization. SOAR is an after-school string instrument instruction program with the La Grande School District and the Symphony. The requested funds will be used to assist in supplementing four instructor consultants serving over 60 students, 3rd through 8th grades, and the Grande Ronde Student Symphony. The project timeframe is January through December 2022

Hand2Mouth, Portland: $3,000

To support “Lora and the Grasshopper: To Tell, To Hear, To Heal,” a series of engagement activities that culminate in two weeks of public events and community conversations centered on performances framing Portland author Lora Lafayette’s personal story of mental illness, struggles with suicide and her will to live. Funds will be used for artist fees, outreach to mental health community members, facilitated writing workshops and community conversations.

Joint Forces Dance Company, Eugene: $3,476

To support a collaborative dance/music project between DanceAbility and Orchestra Next. Requested funds will be used to provide admission and access to the project's performances for those, disabled or otherwise, who would be otherwise unable to see the project, at all scheduled performance locations (TBA) during the performance period of September to December 2022.

Josephy Center for Arts and Culture, Joseph: $3,000

To support “Rez Ball and More,” an exhibit featuring Nez Perce Indian athletes and contests through art; and a three-on-three basketball weekend with high school boys and girls from Colville, Lapwai and Umatilla reservations and local Joseph, Enterprise and Wallowa schools. Some 50 students and coaches will play ball and socialize with students and coaches from other schools. Requested funds will be used to offset Tamástslikt expenses in copying material for exhibit; paying artists and writers to prepare materials for exhibit; curating the exhibit; travel and other expenses for athletes; and other costs associated with ball games and related activities.

Juniper Arts Council, John Day: $4,085

To support “Painted Sky Center for the Arts” World Tour Summer 2022, which includes arts-focused summer camps and free community events that celebrate different cultures from around the globe. Requested funds will be used to purchase art supplies, provide art instruction and other event-related costs.

Kazuyo Ito, Portland: $3,000                                                     

To support “Cross Cultural Project” including a concert with Gloria Bendi Flamenco and saxophone artist Patric McCulley. The requested funds will be used for artist travel cost, venue and stage crews.

Keizer Creative Art Association, Salem: $3,049

To support local community art instruction by paying art instructors, venue costs including rent, wifi, phone and insurance plus promotion for art instruction in three local newspapers and via social media. Art education at KAA is free or reduced to Oregon Trail card holders.

Keizer Homegrown Theatre, Keizer: $3,000

To support the All City Musical “Music Man.” Requested funds will pay for royalties, scripts and scores. Funds will also cover items needed to jump-start the entire production and give the Theatre time to raise the rest of the funds. 

Lane Arts Council, Eugene: $5,673

To support Fiesta Cultural, an ongoing program that celebrates, empowers and connects Latino/a/x cultural producers and artists through professional development and cultural programming across Lane County. Requested funds will be allocated to production and artist fees for community cultural events, professional development trainings and expanding presenter and participant networks in Fiesta Cultural programming.

Literary Arts Inc, Portland: $3,067

To support Woodburn High School’s participation in Literary Arts’ Youth Program activities. Requested funds will be used to cover ticket costs for students to attend Portland Arts and Lectures author talks and fees surrounding Writers in the Schools residencies and other youth program activities.

McMinnville Short Film Festival, McMinnville: $3,000

To support the 11th annual film festival. The funds will be used for a hybrid virtual and in-person event. The virtual platform is an annual subscription; the in-person is venue rental, filmmaker networking events, screenings, keynote speaker and an awards dinner.

MetroEast Community Media, Gresham: $3,395

To support “Food Foray,” a community-focused television program highlighting the role of ethnic groceries in addressing food security in East Multnomah County. Requested funds will be used for video production and editing, translation services, community engagement and food and supplies.

Miracle Theatre Group, Portland: $5,464            

To support a Teatro Milagro UNIDAD Residency in providing bilingual arts education with an LGBTQ+ focus to students and communities in Bend in April of 2022. The primary locations will be the OSU Cascades campus and the Latino Community Organization. This residency will highlight both the LatinX and the LGBTQ+ communities and raise awareness for marginalized populations. The requested funds will be used for artist fees and travel expenses.

Music Education and Performing Artists Association, Eugene: $4,108        

To serve low-income families, youth musicians and artists in need of connection. As families and arts organizations return to in-person learning, the center will provide access to instruments, art supplies, instruction, community and support in a safe space working with volunteers and mentors who are trained to create positive arts experiences for all. Requested funds will be used for rent payments for the property that allows for proper distancing to enforce COVID precautions and to create and manage an all-inclusive music and arts center enabling diverse, artistic youth and their families to re-connect with peers and mentors in a safe environment with room to grow as restrictions are lifted.  

My Voice Music, Portland: $5,426

To launch “MVM Across Oregon,” a network of teaching artists in rural communities who are equipped to provide trauma-informed music instruction in residential and outpatient treatment programs across the state. Requested funds will be used for teaching artist training and fees.

Old Town Community Association, Portland: $3,000

To support "First Thursdays in Old Town," a public arts neighborhood initiative that began in the summer/fall of 2021 and will continue to expand in scope beginning in spring 2022. Requested funds will be used to directly support artists who provide interactive large-scale installations for these monthly gatherings, in the amount of $1,400 per month in March, April, May, June and July. 

Oregon Ballet Theatre, Portland: $4,151

To support the OBT After School project during the 2022 school year. Requested funds will be used to support salaries and teaching artist wages as OBT seeks to expand the program from two schools to four schools as well as offer an online option.

Oregon Children’s Theatre Company, Portland: $4,568

To support community engagement, educational programming and educational lobby displays for a production of “Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.” Funds will support panel discussions, workshops for youth and collaborations with partner organizations from Portland's Asian American/Pacific Islander community.

Oregon Coast Youth Symphony Festival, Newport: $3.000

To support the Festival’s activities and expand the size and scope of its statewide music community. The requested funds will be used to pay the expenses (food, housing, etc.) for visiting high school students and their teachers, eliminating financial barriers to participation. The high school orchestras will only need to pay their bus transportation to and from Newport.

Oregon Potters Association, Portland: $4,784

To support an Artists in Residence Program that provides ceramic artists to K-12 Title 1 schools to lead children in arts education through clay. Requested funds will be used to purchase art supplies and pay for artist stipends.

Outside the Frame, Portland: $5,571

To support Ex-peer-ience, a three-week filmmaking intensive for 12 homeless and marginalized youth, creating original films that dramatically shift public conversation about housing, poverty and the inherent worth of all people. Requested funds will be used for intensive instructors.

Portland Area Theatre Alliance, Portland: $3,000

To support GROW Awards for the Fertile Ground Festival. Requested funds will be used to encourage and support Black, Indigenous and other artists of color, LGBTQIA artists, other-abled artists and other underrepresented artists to present their work in the festival despite the financial burdens of self-produced work.

Portland Indigenous Marketplace, Portland: $3,000

To support the Marketplace’s Global Indigenous Reliance by matching funds that have already been secured for 2022 to allow building on current momentum. Funds will be used to commission two to four mobile art installations to represent various global indigenous cultures. Funds will also be used for installation materials and equipment to transport and store the installations. Each artist will receive a stipend for each installation completed. 

Portland Playhouse, Portland: $5,083

To support POP-UP AFRO-TOPIA: CELEBRATING THE PAST & FUTURE OF LOWER ALBINA, a pop-up city full of arts and storytelling that is rooted in the area’s rich Black history and committed to a future where Black and Brown Portlanders feel like they belong. Requested funds will be used for artist fees and supplies.

Portland State University Foundation, Portland: $5,174

To support educational, community-based programming associated with the upcoming Black Lives Matter Artist Grant Exhibition. Requested funds will be used for speaker honoraria, marketing, event infrastructure, educational materials and staffing.

Port of Bandon, Bandon: $3,526

To engage Bandon School District students, volunteers, visitors and local artists in multi-faceted experiences in arts, culture and science education beginning in the spring of 2022. It will culminate with the completion of a 512-square-foot educational mural, information panels and a walking mural in Old Town; a public art show on the Bandon Boardwalk; and a moveable mural at the elementary school depicting the underwater kelp forest ecosystem, endemic to the South Coast. Public lectures and presentations will be held throughout 2022.

Rogue Valley Choral Association, Medford: $3,000

To support a concert series for Rogue Valley students in partnership with Medford School District 549c. Funds will be used to pay for production expenses and to hire buses to transport students from their schools to the concert venue. 

Salem Art Association, Salem: $5,523

To support the Community Arts Project, which provides in-school monthly arts literacy programming to approximately 500 students in Tillamook County through Nestucca Valley and Girabaldi schools. Funds will be used to support art literacy instructors, a program coordinator and art supplies for students.

Scalehouse, Bend: $3,000

To support The Warm Springs Community Action Team/Scalehouse Tin Pan Alley Mural Project to provide a platform for Indigenous artists to share their lived experiences, both past and present, through artistic expression. The project includes a revolving mural project supported by additional creative programming (art exhibition, spoken word, dance, food, etc). Requested funds will be used for artist fees, art supplies, outreach and food.

Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, Otis: $4,513

To support the 2022 Tillamook County Youth Art Education Project, providing hands-on art education and cultural access to more than 500 rural youth living in the Oregon coastal communities of Tillamook County. Sitka’s youth art education course is provided as part of the regular school day, providing individual access to high quality supplies, techniques, concepts and instruction. Requested funds will be used to support instruction and supplies.

The Circus Project, Portland: $5,523

To support the 2022 Voice Project, a year-long circus arts training program for young adults to transform their experiences of marginalization into performance that incites social change. Requested funds will be used for participants to access tuition-free circus classes and private lessons, and artist stipends.

The Dalles Art Association, The Dalles: $4,981 

To support the Migrant Mural, a public art project created by migrant workers with the facilitation by artist Melissa Chavez and John Vance. It will be located in downtown The Dalles at the corner of Second and Jefferson Streets. Requested funds will be used for artist fees. 

The Geezer Gallery, Portland: $3,000

To support the therapeutic art program, Moment to Moment, in partnership with memory care facility Emerson House Portland. The program is designed to facilitate artistic expression and socialization among older adults with cognitive impairment. The program will run from February through September 2022, serving an estimated 15 to 20 residents of Emerson House. Funds will be used to pay facilitator fees and purchase art supplies.

The High Desert Museum, Bend: $4,049

To support the Creando en Comunidad, a community art project in partnership with the Latino Community Association to empower Latino youth to engage with community to design and create a mural in the Association’s new building. Requested funds will be used for the creation of the mural, including materials and supplies, stipends for youth participants, food for community members and youth, and staff time.

The Vanport Mosaic, Portland: $4,987

To s support the 7th Vanport Mosaic Festival, three weeks of memory activism to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the building of Vanport City and amplify Oregon’s silenced histories through art performances, oral history screenings, exhibits, tours and dialogues. Tentative dates are May 20-June 5, 2022. The grant will be used to pay artists fees.

Third Rail Repertory Theatre, Portland: $3,111

To support #ENOUGH: Plays to End Gun Violence. #ENOUGH is a theatre activism campaign that sparks conversations and action through the creation of new plays by teens. Third Rail will produce a reading of the selected plays as part of a nationwide reading on April 20, 2022, the 23-year remembrance of the shootings at Columbine. Requested funds will be used for artist fees and venue and/or virtual platform fees, depending on COVID protocols.

Umpqua Symphony Association, Roseburg: $3,630

To support the Douglas County Youth Orchestra in providing both group and individualized music instruction for youth. The funds will be used for instructor fees.

Venzuela’s Voice in Oregon, Portland: $3,000

To support A Cultural Afternoon/Una Tarde Cultural from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 19, 2022. The event will feature the art, music, history and culture of Venezuela and will help build awareness and community. Requested funds will be used for artist stipends, art materials and supplies, venue fees, event insurance and refreshments.

Vibe of Portland, Portland: $3,243

To support Lift Youth Voices: Vibe of Portland Mural Project, which will offer four months of mural-making classes and construction for youth in Brentwood Darlington who have struggled with stress caused by the pandemic and fear caused by east Portland's skyrocketing gun violence rates. The requested funds will be used primarily for artist fees, supplies and project-related administrative costs.

Willamette Jazz Society, Portland: $4,307

To support two educational outreach and mentoring programs: Jammin’ with the Pros and Sunday Learners Jam. Requested funds will be used for nominal stipends for 12 accomplished instructors/performers, in three-member teams, who will conduct 40 affordable clinics at the Jazz Station from January to December 2022. Instructors will partner with band teachers at middle and high schools in underserved communities to encourage participation of low-income students.

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.

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