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Museum, tribes receive Cultural Trust grants


The Oregon Cultural Trust Board, at its quarterly meeting in The Dalles on July 26, awarded $502,552 in competitive cultural development grants, including two awards totaling $19,000 in Central Oregon.

Funded projects in Central Oregon are The High Desert Museum, which received $14,000 to support “Head to Toe,” an upcoming exhibit of Columbia Plateau Native American clothing and accessories from the Doris Bounds collection, and The Nature of Words, which was granted $5,000 to support the expansion of and increased access to its 2012 Literary Festival.

In addition, Oregon Cultural Trust awarded $38,041 in cultural participation grants to the cultural and tribal coalitions of Central Oregon, including Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson Counties and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.

Janeanne Upp, President of the High Desert Museum, was excited to hear of the museum’s grant award. “This means a lot to us,” she said of the support for the exhibit opening January 19 through May 5, 2013.

The Head to Toe exhibit, she said, “gives us an opportunity to showcase part of the Doris Swayze Bounds collection, a 7,000-item collection of Native American artifacts. Now we can share them and have conversation about them.”

The exhibit will feature clothing worn by the Native peoples of the Columbia Plateau, before and after the European explorers began changing the cultural landscape. Artifacts on display will include moccassins, headdresses/bonnets, an elk tooth dress, and a bridal veil.

The museum’s curators are working with the Tamastlikt Cultural Institute to tell a story based on Native American styles at various times in history.

Upp anticipates significant attendance at the exhibit. The High Desert Museum attracts 155,000 visitors annually and according to Upp, 80 percent come from outside Central Oregon.

“Over $1.2million is brought into the region annually from visitation to the museum,” said Upp, who has partnered with Oregon Humanities to create a lecture series on clothing as language and Native American style, which will also have an educational impact for children and adults.

Of the grant award, Upp said, “We know the review process is strict and competitive and we (appreciate) the peer recognition for the work that we’re doing in Central Oregon. We always stand pretty proud when we get a grant from the Cultural Trust.”

The Oregon Cultural Trust is a private-public partnership that raises money from private donors and Cultural Trust license plate sales, and distributes 42% of private donations as grants, while building a permanent fund with the remaining 58%.

Over the last 10 years since its inception, The Trust’s unique Cultural Tax Credit has allowed the organization to raise over $25million and grant $11million to non-profits all over the state.

Grant-funded cultural programming has served over 500,000 people, with a significant impact on education, economic development and quality of life in Oregon.

According to Cultural Trust Board Chair Bob Speltz, “Over its 10-year history, The Trust has received an increasing number of relevant, competitive proposals from all corners of the state. (And) 2012 was no exception.”

Cultural Trust Executive Director Chris D’Arcy is pleased with the outcome of the 2013 granting process.

“This year’s grants represent the variety and vitality of Oregon culture,” she said. “From Wallowa County to the Oregon Coast, the Trust is funding projects that reflect who we are, what shapes our communities and what we value.”

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