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State commission awards thousands in grants to OSF, other local groups

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival received almost $30K, the most of any organization in the state.

Posted: Jan 30, 2020 2:43 PM

SALEM, Ore. — A list of southern Oregon groups just received thousands in grants from the Oregon Arts Commission, and none more so than the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

The Oregon Arts Commission announced the 2020 grants on Thursday, amounting to $1,118,435 million in funds divided between 138 arts organizations around the state. The grants ranged from just over $3,000 to nearly $30,000.

Oregon Arts Commission grants (southern Oregon):

  • Chamber Music Concerts, Ashland: $5,049
  • Oregon Shakespeare Festival Association, Ashland: $29,924
  • Rogue Valley Art Association, Medford: $6,761
  • Rogue Valley Chorale Association, Medford: $3,114
  • Ross Ragland Theater, Klamath Falls: $12,895
  • Schneider Museum of Art, Ashland: $4,733
  • Southern Oregon Film Society, Ashland: $4,520
  • Southern Oregon Repertory Singers, Ashland: $3,938
  • Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon, Medford: $4,777

These grants go toward nonprofit organization with "arts at the core of their mission" and budgets of more than $150,000. Smaller grants are available to those with lower budgets through a separate process.

“We often hear that these are the most important grants we award,” said Arts Commission Chair Anne Taylor. “They alleviate some of the economic pressure and allow Oregon arts organizations to focus on their missions.”

Predictably, the Portland Metro and Willamette Valley regions accounted for the lion's share of individual contributions. That said, a number of southern Oregon groups were represented — and the Oregon Shakespeare festival snatched the largest grant of all with $29,924. No other single organization came close.

Other local organizations that received grants were Chamber Music Concerts, the Rogue Valley Art Association, Rogue Valley Chorale Association, Ross Ragland Theater, Schneider Museum of Art, Southern Oregon Film Society, Southern Oregon Repertory Singers, and the Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon.

According to the Arts Commission, organizations that receive operating support from it spent $213 million, employed more than 11,600 people, and produced events or activities attended by almost 3.7 people.

The Oregon Arts Commission is headed by nine commissioners, each appointed by the Governor. The group is charged with determining needs for the arts in Oregon and establishing policies for public support of the arts. Grants come from general funds earmarked by lawmakers, federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, and money from the Oregon Cultural Trust.

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