The Oregon Legislature is meeting this week and members of the Cultural Advocacy Coalition of Oregon have been working hard to advocate for HB 4040. Ginger Savage, CACO board member and executive director of Crossroads Carnegie Art Center in Baker City, testified in support of HB 4040 in the House Economic Recovery and Prosperity Committee earlier this week. As drafted, HB 4040 would allocate $50 million to arts and culture entities negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic through a grant program administered through Business Oregon. In addition to the funding allocation, the bill also provides more specific programmatic guidance for the agency as it works to develop the Live Venues and Live Venue Support Businesses programs as directed from HB 5006 in the 2021 session.
Ginger was joined by bill sponsor Rep. Nosse and representatives from the Oregon Symphony, the Independent Venues Coalition, Metro, the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association, and the Oregon Fairs Association Foundation, who all expressed ardent support for the bill. Read Ginger Savage’s testimony for HB 4040.
You can watch the hearing here. Speakers:
39:00 Rep. Nosse
44:10 Ginger Savage
50:13 Speakers from Whiteside Theatre in Corvallis, Oregon Fairs Association Foundation, Oregon Symphony, Metro, and Oregon Restaurants Assoc.
Across the arts and culture sector, the need is great and committee members heard firsthand how entities have experienced severe losses in revenue, staff, and attendance at performances and exhibits.
We also presented this document summarizing the comments from all of you who responded to our survey earlier this week–thank you!!
There was no testimony in opposition and the bill has been scheduled for a work session on Monday, February 14, which also marks a crucial deadline in Oregon’s legislature. Bills must be passed out of their policy committee on Monday or they are considered dead for the session.
CACO’s lobby team is working closely with Rep. Nosse, Business Oregon, and our coalition partners on an amendment that makes some important operable changes to the grant program. This amendment will be discussed and voted on at Monday’s work session.
Thanks to everyone who reached out to committee members and submitted letters of support – your voice was heard and greatly appreciated.
The CACO board and lobbyist team