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In addition, we recommend that members use the OMA forum to share COVID-19 news and updates. You must be a member and register online to use the forum. Recent posts include a sign-on letter for Oregon museum funding, and requests for feedback on how the pandemic is affecting your work.

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$50 million arts and entertainment package approved for Oregon

July 14, 2020 - This morning, Oregon's Joint Emergency Board approved a comprehensive $50 million package to help our arts and entertainment sector weather the COVID-19 pandemic and related state-mandated closures. Emergency relief includes:

  • $9,680,128 to support 78 nonprofit and privately-owned live music and performing arts venues across the state (for a complete list, see page 3 of the recommendation and analysis memo)
  • Designated grants to several large arts and culture organizations across the state: Oregon Shakespeare Festival ($4,710,000), Metro ($4,100,000, which includes an unknown amount for Portland'5 Centers for the Arts), Oregon Symphony ($1,750,000), Portland Opera and Portland Center Stage ($875,000 each), High Desert Museum ($700,000), Oregon Ballet Theatre ($630,000), Pendleton Roundup ($375,000), and Oregon Coast Community College ($320,000)
  • $25,984,872 for Business Oregon and the Oregon Cultural Trust to distribute to arts and culture organizations and venues throughout the state

This is a huge win for arts and culture in Oregon, and your advocacy efforts made a difference! Legislators tell us they received hundreds of emails with compelling testimony on why arts events and live entertainment venues are vital to our communities. Thanks to all who distributed the Cultural Advocacy Coalition's call to action last week through social media and e-blasts. Well done!

Support was bipartisan, and the final vote was nearly unanimous, with only one legislator representing rural Oregon opposed. You should know that Rep. Nosse, Rep. Lively, Sen. Taylor and Speaker Kotek were particularly diligent behind the scenes, and Rep. Drazan (former Executive Director of the Cultural Advocacy Coalition) delivered some exceptional remarks in support of Oregon's arts and culture community. I encourage you to take a moment to thank them and other members of the E-Board.

On a personal note, I regret that the Portland Art Museum and several other arts organizations with significant economic impacts weren't awarded designated funds through this package. They, along with other arts and culture organizations throughout the state, will able to apply to the Oregon Cultural Trust for a share of the $26 million fund that remains.

What comes next:

  • The state's Department of Administrative Services (DAS) will reach out directly to venues and arts organizations slated to receive designated grants.
  • Watch the Oregon Cultural Trust website and be in touch with your county's Cultural Coalition for more information to be posted soon on how the remaining $26 million will be distributed. Presumably there will be some kind of simplified application process.
-from Jeff Hawthorne, Oregon Advocacy Captain, Americans for the Arts; Board Member, Cultural Advocacy Coalition


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