All across Oregon we have seen the suffering of our local industries, especially our arts and culture sector, who are most vulnerable to the effects of this pandemic. Performing arts organizations, museums and libraries have taken a huge hit due to ongoing restrictions on large gatherings.

Thankfully, Oregon led the nation in allocating $25.9 million in federal CARES Act funds to 621 cultural organizations in every corner of the state, saving many from permanent closure — but the crisis and losses continue.

In a focused effort to help our cultural community recover in 2021, the Cultural Trust is urging Oregonians to utilize Oregon’s unique cultural tax credit to leverage greater annual funding for culture.

Donors simply give to one or more of the 1,450-plus cultural nonprofits the Cultural Trust supports, then make a matching donation to the Trust before Dec. 31. The donation to the Trust comes back, dollar for dollar, when the donor claims the cultural tax credit on their state taxes. The Trust donation sends a signal to the Legislature to set those funds aside to support cultural projects.

The Cultural Trust annually distributes up to 60% of funds raised to cultural organizations and to county and Tribal cultural coalitions, which regrant the funds locally. The remainder is invested in the Trust's permanent fund.

Please help our arts, history, heritage and humanities nonprofits survive the pandemic by donating to the Cultural Trust and claiming your tax credit.

Until the curtain rises again, let’s protect Oregon culture together.

Chuck Sams

Pendleton

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