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Bend Cultural Tourism Commission announces 10 grants


The Bend Cultural Tourism Commission on Thursday announced 10 grant awards for Bend Cultural tourism focused activities taking place July 2019 through June 2020, awarding a total of $200,000.

The funds will help organizations leverage marketing resources to attract more cultural tourists during the shoulder seasons and winter months – a time of year when the city’s tourism industry is down yet the vibrant cultural activities so central to Bend’s character are still going strong.

Many of these events will be recognized by Bend residents, and these organizations have identified strategies that will attract people into Bend during the winter months when tourism is down, ready to enjoy the great shops, dining and cultural activities.

Funding will support a variety of cultural programing, including a development of a new Burning Man exhibit at the High Desert Museum and Muse Conference, a four-day event hosted by World Muse celebrating the power of women. The Commission included two Catalyst Grant awards this year, supporting cultural initiatives in the development phase. One is to support the development of a new Pacific Northwest Photo Summit in October 2020, and another grant to the Central Oregon Film Office will help support hosting location scouts on a familiarization trip to Bend.

“Bend’s vibrant arts and culture scene is part of what makes our community special, and it’s been wonderful to watch it become such an integral part of our city’s economic development,” said Visit Bend CEO Kevney Dugan. “The Bend Cultural Tourism Fund is doing amazing things to help balance out the seasonality curve of the tourism industry, and we’re proud to be part of the great work that’s being done.”

Following is the complete list of grants awarded:

BendFilm Inc., $33,500

The 16th annual BendFilm Festival will be held October 10-13, 2019. Each year the Festival is Bend’s premiere fall shoulder season event drawing thousands of visitors from across the region, nation, and world to Bend.

High Desert Museum, $39,000

To support Vast, Loud and on Fire: Art at Burning Man exhibition and associated programs will recreate the art, community and environment of Burning Man at the High Desert Museum.

The Light Ice & Fire Exposition at Oregon Winterfest , $20,000

The Light Ice & Fire Exposition serves as a major artistic statement at the entrance of Oregon Winterfest featuring pyrotechnics in the form of the Fire Pit & Fire Sculpture event, showy ice carving by skilled artists, mystical light art creations created by the Central Oregon Light Artists and the large Gallery and Gathering heated tent.

Out Central Oregon, $17,500

Winter PrideFest is a multi-day event celebrating diversity and inclusivity through various winter activities, social gatherings, and fun.

ScaleHouse , $27,000

BEND DESIGN is a series of talks, conversations, workshops, films and exhibits by and for creative innovators everywhere. This is not a conference just for designers– it is for entrepreneurs, educators, civic leaders, students, trade professionals, and everyone curious about how we can apply creative problem solving to better connect people to ideas and each other.

Sunriver Music Festival, $12,000

The Sunriver Music Festival is teaming up with the Tower Theatre to present the 4th Annual Piano Showcase on March 27 & 28, 2020 at the Tower Theatre in downtown Bend. The showcase will feature three acclaimed pianists performing on two Steinway grand pianos over two days of performances, master classes, workshops, recitals and panel discussions.

Tower Theatre Foundation, $19,000

The Tower Theatre Foundation will hold the fifth annual ” Bend A Cappella Festival ” February 21-23, 2020. The Festival is designed to provide a cappella groups with personal access to the highest level of performers, group coaching from industry icon, Deke Sharon, and opportunities to perform.

World Muse, $17,000

Muse Conference is a four-day event hosted by World Muse, a non-profit that believes women and youth can be powerful catalysts for change in our community and in our world. Muse Conference connects attendees from near and far with locally and internationally recognized artists, activists, authors, athletes & social change leaders of all ages to celebrate International Women’s Day and kick-off Women’s History Month.


Bend Photo Tours, $9,000

Bend Photo Tours is launching the Pacific Northwest ( PNW ) Photo Summit in October 2020 at The Riverhouse on the Deschutes in Bend, Oregon. The 3-day conference would be comprised of a 2-day speaker series, tradeshow floor, photo portfolio reviews, product launches and photo contests.

Central Oregon Film Office, $6,000

Central Oregon Film Office is researching and developing a new program to bring in approximately six to eight leading location scouts who focus on the West Coast. In turn, their awareness of Bend as an alternate destination to the East Coast, Colorado, Northern California or Washington may be the impetus for a production crew to choose to film in Bend.

ABOUT THE BEND CULTURAL TOURISM FUND: The purpose of the Bend Cultural Tourism Fund is to enhance the local economy through the promotion and cultivation of Bend’s cultural tourism programs. The awarded grant funds will be used to: help attract cultural tourists during the shoulder seasons and winter months, when cultural tourism organizations are most active; diversify Bend’s tourism offerings; and build on efforts to establish Bend as a premier year-round cultural tourism destination.

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