Bend Cultural Tourism Commission Announces Grant Awards including A6 Art Studio, BendFilm, High Desert Museum, Scalehouse, Tower Theatre, Sunriver Music Festival and World Muse


(Photo by Cascade Publications Inc.)

The Bend Cultural Tourism Commission announced the funding of seven Bend projects at its June 10 meeting, awarding $185,316. 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.

The Bend Cultural Tourism Commission knows that Bend has many cultural activities already loved by the residents – and visitors want to participate in the activities that locals love. These are marketed to cultural tourists, who are looking for an experience, a particular authentic experience that will make their visit to Bend a memorable one, and these funds will help. Last year, the Bend Cultural Tourism Commission invested $125,000 in cultural organizations, and the organizations identified over 11,000 visitors participating in cultural activities throughout the shoulder months.

Todd Looby, executive director of BendFilm says, “BendFilm is growing in popularity both locally and nationally among filmmakers and fans alike. We have an incredible opportunity now with the generous BCTF award to further engage people that know of BendFilm casually. A larger audience will make the Festival an even more celebratory event to benefit our community, presenting filmmakers and local businesses alike. With all of the other great cultural events happening in October and throughout the year, Bend will solidify its reputation as a cultural destination.”

New to the Fund this year, Sunriver Music Festival is receiving grant for a new event, presenting the Steinway Showcase Piano Festival in March 2017 as part of our 40th season serving the arts and cultural needs of this region with world-class musical experiences. Without this grant, this new event wouldn’t be possible, and they are immensely grateful for the financial support enabling them to promote this event to new audiences within and beyond this region.

Following is the complete list of grants awarded:

Atelier 6000 Grant $21,066
A6 will present a major art exhibit, “Opening Japan: Three Centuries of Woodblock Prints,” this fall. These works of art present a varied view of Japanese culture and also capture the creative and social shift that occurred when Japan opened its doors to the West in the 1850s.

BendFilm, Inc. Grant $40,000
BendFilm will host its 13th consecutive film festival, showcasing up to 90 independent narrative and documentary films.  Throughout the four-day festival, visiting filmmakers and jurors also participate in public education panels.

High Desert Museum Grant $40,000
The High Desert Museum (HDM) will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War II (WWII) with a project, ‘World War II High Desert Homefront’, examining the High Desert region’s significance to the war effort—and the war’s lasting effects on the region. An immersive exhibit and programs will connect visitors to the wartime experiences of different groups in the region. This project will be designed to have broad appeal—vividly depicting historic events and how they shaped the cultural values and beliefs held in the U.S. today.

ScaleHouse Grant $25,000
BEND DESIGN CONFERENCE 2016 is a series of conversations, workshops, tours and exhibits by and for creative innovators everywhere. Planned for October 20 + 21, Bend Design Conference takes place in a variety of venues in downtown Bend. This is not a conference just for designers—it’s also for entrepreneurs, educators, civic leaders, students, trade professionals and all of us curious about how design can interpret, connect and shape our world.

Sunriver Music Festival Grant $14,250
The Sunriver Music Festival is teaming up with the Tower Theatre to present the Steinway Artist Showcase on March 24-25, 2017 at the Tower Theatre in downtown Bend.  The showcase will feature nationally-acclaimed Steinway pianists Claire Wachter, Dean Kramer, Randy Porter, and other Steinway Artists performing on multiple Steinway pianos over two days of solo and ensemble performances, multimedia events, masterclasses, and workshops. Stylistically, both classical and jazz genres will be performed with strong emphasis on the variety of virtuosity this instrument provides.

Tower Theatre Foundation Grant $25,000
Building on the success of the 2016 Bend A Cappella Festival, the Tower Foundation will  produce a more robust 2017 Bend A Cappella Festival, enhanced with additional activities, based on feedback and experience from 2016.

World Muse Grant $20,000
Muse Conference  will present their fifth annual event, March 3rd-5th, 2017, to connect attendees from near and far with locally and internationally recognized artists, activists, & social change leaders to celebrate International Women’s Day and kickoff Women’s History Month. This three-day event  is open to all and includes panel discussions, art exhibits, live performances, interviews, keynotes, workshops, and special events.

For more information on the makeup of the Commission, and its policies and procedures, go to

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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