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State grants to four C. Oregon arts groups


Four Central Oregon arts organizations received Oregon Arts Commission grants totaling $32,000 for fiscal year 2012-13. This year’s round of grants, totaling $1,254,500 statewide, were distributed to Oregon arts organizations through Operating Support, Arts Services, and Arts Learning programs.

Arts Central received $7,500 for its arts education programs, including VanGo, its mobile community outreach project, and a $9,000 grant for operating support. Awards were also made to The Nature of Words ($6,000), The Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show ($6,000) and the Sunriver Music Festival ($3,500).

The Commission’s Operating Support grants back the operations of Oregon’s leading arts groups; they recognize artistic excellence as well as the role that arts organizations play in the broader social, educational and economic areas of community life.

Arts Learning grants support the arts as a powerful link to educational achievement and include in-classroom, after-school, and off-site curricula and workshops, thus contributing to Oregon’s development of a well-rounded 21st century workforce.

Arts Services grants provide operating funds for local and regional arts councils and other groups working to make the arts accessible in all parts of Oregon.

Ann Richardson, executive director of the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, said the Arts Commission grant “allows us to have additional staff,” including a fundraising coordinator and a small temporary staff around show time. “We went from .8 full time employees to 1.8 with our first operating support grant (and can now maintain that),” said Richardson.

The mid-July show attracts over 10,000 people to Central Oregon, from as far away as New Zealand, Australia, Japan and England. Visitors travel in groups, they use hotels, restaurants, rental car companies, and according to Richardson, “They shop.” Altogether, attendees pump $2.4 million into the Sisters economy in a single weekend. The group does not yet have statistics for Redmond or Bend, which receives thousands of overflow lodging guests.

In this vein, Chris D’Arcy, OAC’s executive director, notes that the grants help arts organizations deliver abundant services across Oregon. “Not only do the programs supported by these grants expose people to great art,… live performance and new works – they pay dividends to Oregon through job retention, community vitality and lifelong learning for our citizens.”

Quilts are purchased at the Sisters show, but mostly, says Richardson of the world’s largest outdoor quilt show, “People come to be inspired.”


The Oregon Arts Commission provides leadership, funding and arts programs through its grants, special initiatives and services. The Arts Commission became part of Business Oregon 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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