A new report from the Oregon Arts Commission, released on April 25, 2013, highlights the results of the Commission’s investments in arts and community development during 2012. Its Arts Build Communities (ABC) grants have supported the arts in every aspect of community development and engagement for the last 17 years.
“The arts are a powerful tool for bringing people together and bridging differences, transforming the ways children learn, energizing communities and celebrating the things that matter to us,” said Christine D’Arcy, executive director of the Arts Commission. “The Arts Build Communities grants help thousands of Oregonians make a difference in their own back yards.”
In 2012, with funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Commission awarded $112,000 to 24 Arts Build Communities projects that directly benefited over 25,000 Oregonians.
Each project offered a creative response to a particular community need, many of them targeting youth. Activity occurred in all corners of
and Odell, students and teachers joined forces with area orchard owners and their migrant workers and families to document the collective nature of their work in the fruit industry. Hood River
- In Philomath and Sweet Home, artists brought a fresh perspective to downtowns and created new work for display in empty storefronts, a partnership with local economic development leaders.
- In Central Oregon, when a coalition of environmental, arts and community groups came together to clean up Whychus Creek, Sisters Middle School students pitched in and produced an arts-based conservation field guide.
- In adult care facilities in
, actors used comedy to enrich day to day living for seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia and for their caregivers. Clackamas County
, Ten Tiny Dances were performed at the Beaverton Farmer’s Market. Ranging from traditional (Native American, belly dance, ancient Nepalese) to contemporary dance, each choreographer created her or his piece to fit a 4 x 4 foot stage and less than 10-minute time frame, with each dancer or ensemble confined to those boundaries. Beaverton
The Oregon Arts Commission created the Arts Build Communities program in 1996, using federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts to better connect the arts with issues important to Oregonians: downtown revitalization, small business development, community and folk traditions, and projects engaging youth. The program provides annual grants of $3000-$7000 to competitive organizations in rural and urban underserved communities.
“These projects succeeded because community members gave generously of their time, energy, money and expertise,” said Brian Wagner, the Arts Commission’s Community Development Coordinator, noting that over 870 artists and nearly 1,000 volunteers played important roles in project planning and implementation. Grant funds were matched by more than $311,000 in support from foundations, businesses, civic agencies and individuals. Local companies and individuals also made in-kind contributions totaling $146,000. Altogether, the projects reflected more than $570,000 in spending, much of it in salaries paid to
The report chronicles the impact of ABC funding to the following:
Arts Central/Whychus Creek Field Study Project Sisters
Bonanza Community Association/Artist Residencies Bonanza
Corvallis Arts Center/Art in Rural Storefronts Philomath/Sweet Home
Curious Comedy Theater/New Memories
Fishtrap Inc/The Big Read
Gorge Grown Food Network/Sustainable Farming through Art
Linfield College/Pacific Dory Fleet Project McMinnville/Pacific City
Literary Arts/Oregon Book Award Authors Tour
Mid Valley Elementary School/Harvesting Our Stories Odell
Miracle Theatre Group/Theatre and Arts Residency
My Story/Exquisite Kids, Family Portrait Day
Riverbend Live! Winston
Salem Chamber Orchestra/Play Me, I’m Yours
Sherwood Cultural Arts Commission/Summer Musical Sherwood
Well Arts/Beautiful Minds
Write Around Portland/Writing Workshops
The Oregon Arts Commission provides leadership, funding and arts programs through its grants, special initiatives and services. Nine commissioners, appointed by the Governor, determine arts needs and establish policies for public support of the arts. The Arts Commission became part of Business Oregon (formerly Oregon Economic and Community Development Department) in 1993, in recognition of the expanding role the arts play in the broader social, economic and educational arenas of
The Arts Commission is supported with general funds appropriated by the