Arts Central has been privileged to manage the Deschutes Cultural Coalition (DCC), the local re-granting arm of the Oregon Cultural Trust, for nearly 10 years.
With expert guidance from a committee of professionals representing the local cultural sector, the DCC has distributed Oregon Cultural Trust funds to support public reading programs, free concerts, scholarships to art camps, historic tours and much more — all open and accessible to our community members. The DCC distribution for the 2012-13 grant cycle is $15,000, and most of the funds support outreach and scholarships to local children and underserved families.
The trust is unique in this country in that it requires donors to support one or more of 1,300 Oregon cultural nonprofits in order to access the cultural tax credit. In turn, the trust invests in localized cultural programs. This investment is further amplified in our communities. A survey of the expense budgets of about 35 regional arts and culture organizations conducted by Arts Central last year reveals that over $58 million is invested back into local communities, an impressive amount by any measure.
Each year, the trust supports activities that enable over 500,000 Oregon children, youth and lifelong learners to receive additional education through in-school residencies, after-school activities, summer camps and community education classes provided by cultural nonprofits all over this state. The cultural organizations in our community are effective delivery systems for services not otherwise available to many people, and we are worthy contributors to the effort to build a better community.
Cate O’Hagan, Arts Central executive director