Artist Resilience Program announces awards for 485 Oregon artists


Florence, Gardiner artists among winners of Oregon Arts Commission’s recovery grant awards

July 15, 2022 — SALEM—Recovery grants ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 will be awarded to 485 artists representing the diversity of Oregon through the Oregon Arts Commission’s Artist Resilience Program, a partnership with Oregon Community Foundation and the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation. The partnership, which began with 2020’s Artist Relief Program, invests an additional $1.5 million in support for artists’ recovery from the pandemic, bringing the total investment to $2.75 million. The average award is $2,500.

“We are incredibly grateful to Oregon Community Foundation and the Miller Foundation for their dedication to helping us sustain our artists through these difficult times,” said Brian Rogers, executive director of the Oregon Arts Commission. “In reaching Oregon's artists, we know we are not only supporting these individuals financially, but also enabling them to continue their creative careers and enliven the cultural environments of Oregon."

Locally, Florence theater artist Melanie Heard received $1,200 and design artist Tivonya Stephenson received $5,000. Gardiner artists Matt and Emily Wilson received $1,200 and $2,300, respectively, for visual arts. Forty-five Lane County artists received $130,200 through the program.

The complete list of winners, by county, can be viewed at www.oregonartscommission.org/sites/default/files/FY22%20Artist%20Resilency%20Report.pdf.

The purpose of the Artist Resilience Program is to provide funding to Oregon artists who have experienced financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic due to loss of income, loss of opportunity or other unanticipated impacts to their artistic practice. The funding is intended to help sustain the artistic practice of professional artists.

A total of 600 eligible applications reporting close to $9.1 million in revenue loss were received. A double review process engaged 47 peer reviewers, representing the diversity and geographic regions of the state, who reviewed and evaluated applications based on published review criteria: professional artistic practice; impact of cancellations and loss of revenue on artistic practice; and need and access to other resources.

A geographic distribution model ensured artists were funded in every region of the state. Artists from all but five Oregon counties applied; at least one award went to every county from which there were applications.

An average of 80% of applications was funded from each of the state’s counties.

“In times of crisis, artists help us make sense of our world and stay connected to one another,” said Martha Richards, executive director of the Miller Foundation. “The Miller Foundation stands with Oregon artists in this difficult time because we recognize the critical roles they play in our communities and our lives — they are the foundation of our state’s arts ecosystem.”

“Oregon Community Foundation is thrilled to partner in this second wave of support for artists,” added Jerry Tischleder, Oregon Community Foundation’s program officer for arts and culture. “We recognize that independent and freelance artists are vital to the recovery of our communities, bringing hope and inspiration to the world while using their creativity to help process the collective trauma, grief and loss we’ve all experienced over the last two years.”

The awarded artists represent a wide array of artistic disciplines including: literature (creative non-fiction, fiction, play writing and poetry); dance (including choreography); music (composition and music performance); theatre and performance art; visual arts (crafts, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, mixed media and new media); design arts; folk & traditional arts; and media arts.

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 Cultural Trust.

More information about the Oregon Arts Commission is available at www.oregonartscommission.org.

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