OCF's Creative Heights Grants Support Vibrant and Innovative Art Projects Across the State

10/26/2018 Press Release

Contact: Stephanie Swanson                           

The initiative is part of OCF’s $12.5-million investment in Oregon arts and culture

A continuing investment in Oregon’s cultural vitality provides artists and arts organizations an opportunity to stretch their creative practice through The Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) Creative Heights Initiative. For the fifth consecutive year, Creative Heights grants fund a variety of artists and cultural projects throughout the state.   

Each year, OCF provides Creative Heights Grants to up to 12 of the most innovative and culturally impactful proposals by artists and groups across Oregon. This year’s awardees range from a street mural art project designed to transform a 5-block section beneath Portland’s Morrison Street Bridge, to a collaborative arts program involving Native culture bearers to witness, record and create works at the Middle Oregon Treaty of 1855 Conference. Grants range from $25,000 to $100,000 per project. Visit the full list of the 2018 Creative Heights Grants recipients.

“The Creative Heights Initiative puts philanthropic dollars to work as innovation capital in the arts sector. Allowing artists to take creative risks on new work is essential to the overall arts, culture and heritage health of the state of Oregon,” said Jerry Tischleder, OCF’s Program Officer for Arts and Culture. “We celebrate their ingenuity, passion and efforts to create vibrant and accessible arts opportunities for all people throughout the state.”

“Creative Heights funding has allowed us to stretch and innovate in ways we could only dream of,” said grantee Dámaso Rodriguez, Artist Repertory Theatre’s Artistic Director. “Being given the opportunity to act fully and boldly on a creative impulse and to see it through, whatever the outcome, is really unique and freeing. It's also instructive – challenging our whole organization to adapt, collaborate and be nimble in new ways.”

OCF’s Creative Heights Grants are made possible by The Fields Fund, a $150 million fund from the estate of Fred W. Fields, the late Oregon businessman and philanthropist. The fund – one of the single largest gifts ever made to an Oregon institution – is a prime example of the important role donors play in OCF’s overall mission to improve lives for all Oregonians through the power of philanthropy.

Support from OCF and generous donors expand opportunities for many of Oregon’s art communities to create work that advances the state’s artistic and cultural fields and engages traditionally underserved audiences.

For example, one of this year’s Creative Heights Grants went to a collaboration between Darrell Grant and Third Angle New Music in Portland to produce a contemporary chamber opera that explores the displacement of residents of color in Portland’s historically African-American Albina district. Another grantee, Delgani String Quartet, will produce a new work designed to alter audience perceptions of people with disabilities by combining new and classic works for string quartet with accompanying choreography for a mixed-abilities dance company. Investments in similar projects benefit the cultural health of the entire city and employ non-traditional ways for displaced and underrepresented artists tell their story.

About The Oregon Community Foundation

Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) puts donated money to work in Oregon – more than $100 million in grants and scholarships annually. For nearly 45 years, OCF grantmaking, research, advocacy and community-advised solutions have helped individuals, families, businesses and organizations create charitable funds to improve lives for all Oregonians.  Impactful giving – time, talent and resources from many generous Oregonians – creates positive change for strong, vibrant communities.  

Learn more about how OCF is working to support and improve the arts for all Oregonians.