Portland, OR. An arts funding gift from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott has given some local cultural organizations a boost, like the Columbia River Institute for Indigenous Development (CRÍID), seen above. The Oregon Community Foundation’s Arts and Culture Recovery Fund announced $982,500 in grants to support historically under-funded artists and communities throughout Oregon.

OCF Deploys More Than $1M to support the Arts in Oregon, Including 76 Arts Organizations, 36 County Cultural Coalitions and 9 Tribes

The organization helps nonprofits impacted by Covid-19, with an emphasis on supporting communities of color, people with disabilities, immigrants and refugees, and LGBTQ+, rural, and low-income populations.

“We’re thrilled to have received a generous and unexpected donation from MacKenzie Scott to offer additional relief funding to the arts and culture sector across Oregon,” said Jerry Tischleder, Program Officer for Arts and Culture, Oregon Community Foundation. “The need is great and these groups’ contributions are vital to the vibrancy and resilience of their communities through these challenging times.” MacKenzie Scott is the former wife of Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos.

In addition to these grants, OCF has awarded $1 million in funding to the Oregon Arts Commission to support individual artists across the state through the Artist Resilience Program. Additional funding from the Oregon Arts and Culture Recovery Fund will be announced as new awards are made.

Below are examples of a few of the 76 community-based organizations that OCF is supporting through this round of Oregon Arts and Culture Recovery Funding:

Columbia River Institute for Indigenous Development (CRÍID) Foundation, Warm Springs, Oregon

 $15,000 for general operating support in response to the impact of COVID-19

The primary focus of CRÍID is preserving, sharing, and advancing Columbia River Customs and Language through community collaboration and engagement. CRÍID documents language, trains teachers, produces curriculum, teaches students, supports health, healing and resilience.

“Tribal communities place great value on preserving and sharing our heritage and culture,” said Jefferson Greene, Chair, Board of Directors, Columbia River Institute for Indigenous Development Foundation. “Arts and Culture Recovery grant funding from Oregon Community Foundation allows CRÍID Foundation to continue recovery from the negative impact of the pandemic while maintaining our essential work to preserve Indigenous customs of the Columbia River through important and healing programming including language, arts, sports, health, and spirit.”

CymaSpace, Portland, Oregon

$14,000 for general operating support in response to the impact of COVID-19

Sign language puppet, CymaSpace

Sign language puppet created through the CymaSpace program.

CymaSpace makes arts, media, and culture accessible and inclusive to deaf and hard of hearing community members through technology, education, and outreach. Through strategic partnerships and community support, CymaSpace advocates for access, inclusion, and equity.

“Because of the pandemic, Oregon nonprofits have had to shift to online events but are not equipped or knowledgeable in how to provide accessibility for deaf and hard of hearing participants,” said Myles de Bastion, Board President, CymaSpace. “OCF’s Arts and Culture Recovery grant to CymaSpace helps deliver greater access, benefitting both our deaf as well as our broader communities during these challenging times.”

Oregon Black Pioneers, Salem, Oregon

$5,000 for general operating support in response to the COVID-19 outbreak

Oregon Black Pioneers Juneteenth Exhibit

Oregon Black Pioneers is Oregon’s only historical society dedicated to preserving and presenting the experiences of African Americans statewide. Since 1993, Oregon Black Pioneers has illuminated the seldom-told history of people of African descent in Oregon.

“African Americans have played a vital role in building the social, cultural, and economic base of our state,” said Ms. Willie Richardson, Board President, Oregon Black Pioneers. “Support from OCF’s Arts and Culture Recovery Fund recognizes the importance of advancing our work to create understanding, bridge divides, and work towards a more inclusive Oregon.”

Learn more About MacKenzie Scott’s arts funding gift online at Oregon Arts Benefit Big from Major Gift from MacKenzie Scott.

For a link to a full list of the grant recipients, CLICK HERE.