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Bend Cultural Tourism Fund awards $300,000 in grants to 13 arts and cultural tourism projects

Visit Bend

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Bend Cultural Tourism Commission, a Visit Bend Project overseeing the Bend Cultural Tourism Fund, announced Tuesday that it has awarded $300,000 in funding to 13 grantees in arts and culture.

The funds will help local organizations leverage marketing resources to attract more cultural tourists during the shoulder seasons and winter months. Funding begins July 1, 2024 for events and projects starting as of September 1, 2024.

The Bend Cultural Tourism Fund, now in its ninth year, invests in cultural activities that draw visitors from beyond a 50-mile radius, benefiting the local economy and community, funding new activities through the Small Marketing/Research Grant program (intended to support the bold ideas that aren’t yet fully developed, but can demonstrate extraordinary potential for increasing Bend’s off-season cultural tourists), as well as long-standing cultural traditions via the Large Marketing Grant program (intended to support high quality cultural tourism activities that demonstrate a clear and measurable economic benefit in Bend).

Since its inception in 2015, the BCTF has awarded $2,332,105 for 115 projects. For a full list of past projects and funding amounts, visit the BCTF website here.

“The Bend Cultural Tourism Fund is an important way for Visit Bend to diversify tourism offerings in our city, especially during our shoulder seasons,” said Valerie Wilson, VP of Operations and Policy at Visit Bend. “We are thrilled about the grantees, all of whom will bring enriching cultural and arts experiences to Bend as long term investments into our city.”

“Support from Visit Bend’s Cultural Tourism Fund has substantially augmented Lay It Out Events’ out of area marketing for its cultural tourism attractions at the Bend Fall Festival and past Bend Winterfest events, said Aaron Switzer of Lay It Out Events. “Visit Bend’s investment in LIOE’s cultural tourism marketing has resulted in increased attendance and overnight stays during the Bend Fall Festival. LIOE continues to develop hands-on art experiences, popular music attractions and engaging art installations for Bend Fall Festival and Bend Winterfest.

The Bend Cultural Tourism Commission met on April 3 for its annual grant review meeting, scoring and ranking 24 completed applications (15 Marketing Applications, 9 Catalyst Grant Applications) with a total requested amount of $772,750. The Visit Bend board approved the grantees on Tuesday.

The following 13 applicants all scored 80 points or more (out of 100) in the scoring matrix and were recommended by the Commission, then approved by the Visit Bend Board of Directors:

Large Marketing Grants:

  • 1988 Entertainment Volcanic Arts - Volcanic Arts Concerts - $32,000
  • BendFilm - The BendFilm Festival - $30,000
  • Bend Yoga Festival - Bend Yoga Festival 2025 - $18,750
  • The Father’s Group - Juneteenth 2025 - $28,000
  • The Greenhouse Cabaret - The Greenhouse Cabaret 2025 Season - $20,000
  • High Desert Museum - Frank S. Matsura: Portraits from the Borderlands exhibit - $42,000
  • In the Pocket Artists - Parallel 44 Presents Concerts - $19,000
  • Lay it Out Events - Art in Action Avenue at Fall Festival - $32,000
  • OUT Central Oregon - Central Oregon Winter PrideFest - $28,000
  • SUS - Bendi Gras - $16,250

Small Marketing/Research Grants:

  • 4 Peaks Presents - 4 Peaks Music Festival - $10,000
  • Central Oregon Center for the Arts - Facility Modeling - $15,000
  • Central Oregon Latin Festival - Central Oregon Taco Fest - $9,000


ABOUT VISIT BEND: Visit Bend is a non-membership, non-profit economic development organization dedicated to promoting tourism responsibly on behalf of the City of Bend. We’re a leading provider of information on Bend, Oregon hotels, restaurants, activities, and Oregon vacation planning. To learn more or to order a complimentary Official Visitor Guide to Bend, contact Visit Bend at 1-800-949-6086 or visit

ABOUT THE BEND CULTURAL TOURISM FUND: The Bend Cultural Tourism Fund (BCTF) is a grant program dedicated to enhancing the local economy through the promotion and cultivation of Bend’s cultural tourism programs, with an emphasis on activities that help attract cultural tourists during the shoulder seasons and winter months. For more information, please see the website at

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