5 Salem Area Projects Addressing Community Need through the Arts receive Grant Awards

Posted on February 15, 2022

Salem, Ore. – Using the arts as a means to address community need is the focus of 55 projects awarded a total of $221,535 through the Oregon Arts Commission’s FY2022 Arts Build Communities grant program. The Arts Build Communities program targets broad geographic impact and arts access for underserved audiences in Oregon.

Funded projects include: the implementation of four 2022 arts and culture events in Cornelius and Hillsboro by Centro Cultural del Condado de Washington County; Lane Arts Council’s Fiesta Cultural, an ongoing program that celebrates, empowers and connects Latino/a/x cultural producers and artists across Lane County; and Ex-peer-ience, a three-week Outside the Frame filmmaking intensive for 12 homeless and marginalized youth in Portland.

“This program provides financial support to arts and other community-based organizations for projects that address a local community problem, issue or need through an arts-based solution,” said Arts Commission Vice Chair Harlen Springer, who led one of two review panels. “Local citizens employ creative thinking and collective response to identify a local need and provide an arts-based solution.”

The grants also spark and leverage many other investments and resources, serving as a catalyst for greater economic and civic impact, said Springer.

In recent years Arts Build Communities projects attracted more than $600,000 in additional investment, much of it representing salaries paid to artists and others as well as products and services purchased in the funded communities.

Arts Build Communities grants are made possible through a funding partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

The FY2022 recipients in the Salem area are:

Dallas Downtown Association, Dallas: $3,000

To support the DDA Murder Mystery Pilot Project. Requested funds will be used to film, edit and distribute a community written, performed, distributed movie of what were once original live performances of Murder Mysteries. The project will be filmed over a four-month period. The outcome is to build community spirit, vitality, placemaking and invited tourism. The DDA has a reputation for six prior successful Murder Mysteries but needs to re-invent these productions in the current culture of COVID 19.

Enlightened Theatrics, Salem: $5,318

To support the first ever All Abilities Camp. Sarah Olbrantz, a current candidate for a master’s in drama therapy, will be hired to create a project specifically made for students in the neurodiverse community. Requested funds will be used for artist fees, space rental, art supplies and scholarships.

Keizer Creative Art Association, Salem: $3,049

To support local community art instruction by paying art instructors, venue costs including rent, wifi, phone and insurance plus promotion for art instruction in three local newspapers and via social media. Art education at KAA is free or reduced to Oregon Trail card holders.

Keizer Homegrown Theatre, Keizer: $3,000

To support the All City Musical “Music Man.” Requested funds will pay for royalties, scripts and scores. Funds will also cover items needed to jump-start the entire production and give the Theatre time to raise the rest of the funds.

Salem Art Association, Salem: $5,523

To support the Community Arts Project, which provides in-school monthly arts literacy programming to approximately 500 students in Tillamook County through Nestucca Valley and Girabaldi schools. Funds will be used to support art literacy instructors, a program coordinator and art supplies for students.


The Oregon Arts Commission provides leadership, funding and arts programs through its grants, special initiatives and services. Nine commissioners, appointed by the Governor, determine arts needs and establish policies for public support of the arts. The Arts Commission became part of Business Oregon (formerly Oregon Economic and Community Development Department) in 1993, in recognition of the expanding role the arts play in the broader social, economic and educational arenas of Oregon communities. In 2003, the Oregon legislature moved the operations of the Oregon Cultural Trust to the Arts Commission, streamlining operations and making use of the Commission’s expertise in grantmaking, arts and cultural information and community cultural development.

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 Cult

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