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Sisters Folk Festival receives $195K in emergency funds to address COVID-19 impacts

Sisters Folk Festival called off until Sept. 2021

SISTERS, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Sisters Folk Festival, Inc has received $194,998 in CARES Coronavirus Relief Funds for Cultural Support through the Oregon Cultural Trust to address severe revenue shortfalls due to canceled programs and activities.

They include the postponement of the 24th Annual Sisters Folk Festival, SFF’s primary revenue generator for year-round programs in the Sisters community and in the elementary, middle and high schools of the Sisters School District.

The award represent 53% of SFF’s revenue losses incurred during the current fiscal year due to the COVID-19 health crises, which has had a significant impact on the tourism, entertainment, education and cultural services sectors.

“These funds are life blood to Oregon’s cultural community,” Chuck Sams, chair of the Cultural Trust Board of Directors said on Wednesday. “While they won’t replace all the losses suffered during the pandemic, they will ensure Oregon culture survives this crisis. We are deeply grateful to the Oregon Legislature for making this possible.”

“Many cultural organizations and institutions have closed their doors to help keep us all safe during this pandemic. These grants will mean that more than 600 Oregon arts and culture organizations across our state’s counties and Tribes will be able to keep up their vital creative work,” said Governor Kate Brown. “Everything from museums to fairgrounds to the summer events we all know and love can continue to enrich our lives—connecting us to one another and giving us the hope and inspiration we need.”

A total of $25.7 million was awarded statewide in this round to address more than $90 million in requests.

Sisters Folk Festival, Inc, producers of the annual Sisters Folk Festival, finalized the purchase of the Sisters Art Works building in December of 2019, completing a two-year, $1.4 million capital campaign that included upgrades and additions to their home office and site of their largest festival venue.

This fortuitous acquisition allowed SFF to pivot and create new, COVID-safe outdoor camps for children during the pandemic, as well as streaming and live performances by regional artists utilizing a safe and creative pod-style seating arrangement in the 10,000-square-foot of lawn behind the new building.

The new stage and upgrades provide outdoor venue spaces for safe events and educational activities for the whole community and allow SFF staff and volunteers to continue to engage the community safely until which time indoor and larger outdoor public events can resume.

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