Oregon Arts Commission Awards Small Operating Grants

Small grants that often make a large difference in ensuring arts access for Oregonians, especially in rural areas, have been awarded to 109 statewide arts organizations by the Oregon Arts Commission for FY2022. Twelve more small arts organizations qualified than in FY2021.

Courtesy of Oregon Arts Commission

Awarded to arts organizations in virtually every region of the state, Small Operating Grants are designed to provide support to arts organizations with budgets under $150,000. Eligibility is limited to organizations who have operated as an IRS recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit for two years or more and provide ongoing, sustained artistic programming and outreach programs. Each organization received $2,178, slightly more than twice the amount awarded in FY2021.

“The Arts Commission’s Small Operating Grants allow minuscule, all-volunteer organizations to have an outsized impact,” said Erin Scheessele, executive director of Orgelkids USA. “It frees us up to dream bigger and to bring a bit of wonder to our communities. For Orgelkids, that meant we could focus resources on designing and building a bike for our pipe organ so that we could continue our outreach and education through the pandemic.” 

“Although the Drexel H. Foundation and our community is rural and small compared to other parts of Oregon, our impact is HUGE,” said Sandijean Fuson, president of the Drexel H. Foundation. “Operating costs during COVID increased when we could not rely on our traditional volunteer base. This grant enabled us to keep an unbroken existence of programs we have had for over 25 years, reminding our community they are important.” 

“This grant program was developed to increase the Arts Commission’s support of Oregon’s small but mighty arts providers,” said Arts Commission Chair Jenny Green. “These organizations frequently represent the only arts presenter for remote and underserved regions of the state.”

Here are the recipients of grants in our area:

• Anima Mundi Productions, Phoenix

• Ashland New Plays Festival, Ashland

• Ballet Folklórico Ritmo Alegre, Medford

The Arts Commission is supported with general funds appropriated by the Oregon legislature and with federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as funds from the Oregon Cultural Trust. More information about the Oregon Arts Commission is available online at: www.oregonartscommission.org.

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