Merkley, Wyden Announce $450,000 Coming to Oregon for Arts and Local Cultural Organizations

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced a total of $450,000 is coming to Oregon from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for Arts Projects and Challenge America grants in several communities in the state: Beaverton, Bend, Eugene, Portland, Salem, Springfield, and Warm Springs.

“Art plays a critical role in enriching our lives, and it’s important that we give the artists in our communities the support they need to keep delivering their crafts and bringing communities together,” said Merkley, who used his position on the Senate Appropriations committee to help secure nearly $400 million in the last two years for NEA. “I’m pleased to see these funds coming to Oregon’s artists, and I will continue to advocate for the investments we need to have a successful and thriving arts industry and community across the nation.”

“The arts play an essential role in our communities, bringing people together and feeding the mind and soul,” Wyden said. “Oregon is home to incredible organizations that support artists and allow more people to enjoy their work. These investments are much-deserved, and I’ll keep fighting to help the art industry unlock its full potential.”

In the first round of awards for fiscal year 2023, the NEA is awarding $34 million in funding to organizations across the nation for Arts Projects, Challenge America, and Research Awards categories, as well as Literature Fellowships. Grants for Arts Projects is NEA’s largest grants program and supports opportunities for public engagement with the arts and arts education, as well as the integration of the arts with strategies promoting the health and well-being of people and communities and for the improvement of overall capacity and capabilities within the arts sector. The Challenge America program offers support primarily to small organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved groups and communities with rich and dynamic artistic and cultural contributions to share.

Challenge America awards coming to Oregon:

  • Immigrant Story in Beaverton: $10,000
  • Oregon Arts Watch in Portland: $10,000
  • Elderberry Wisdom Farm in Salem: $10,000
  • Tananawit in Warm Springs: $10,000

Arts Projects awards coming to Oregon:

  • University of Oregon in Eugene (on behalf of Museum of Natural and Cultural History): $45,000
  • Western Arts Alliance in Portland: $45,000
  • Young Audiences of Oregon & SW Washington in Portland: $40,000
  • Comunidad y Herencia Cultural in Springfield: $30,000
  • Profile Theatre Project in Portland: $30,000
  • Lane Arts Council in Eugene: $25,000
  • Portland Opera in Portland: $25,000
  • BendFilm, Inc. in Bend: $20,000
  • Oregon Symphony in Portland: $20,000
  • Portland Japanese Garden in Portland: $20,000
  • DanceAbility International in Eugene: $15,000
  • Portland Playhouse in Portland: $15,000
  • Boom Arts, Inc. in Portland: $10,000 
  • Eugene Concert Choir in Eugene: $ $10,000
  • NW Dance Project in Portland: $10,000
  • Oregon Ballet Theatre (OBT) in Portland: $10,000
  • Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA) in Portland: $10,000
  • Portland Youth Philharmonic Association (PYP) in Portland: $10,000
  • Triangle Productions in Portland: $10,000
  • White Bird in Portland: $10,000