Legislative Priorities 2023-2025
We advocated for this in 2022 and were not successful largely because previous ARPA funds had not yet been distributed. Even though those funds have now been dispursed, many organizationHB 2459: $50M in additional recovery funding for the arts and cultural sectors are seeing attendance rates at less than 50% of pre-pandemic rates. The need is great. Recovery is proving to be a five-year time period for the sector. Additional recovery money is essential to help organizations survive.
In a unique arrangement, the Oregon Ways and Means Committee permits the CACO to conduct a statewide project to prioritize the most ready projects for state capital investment. Projects go through an intensive peer review which we have just completed. 16 projects were selected totaling $11.88M in our request for the session, they represent large and small, from $3M to $150,000, locations all over the state, and all kinds of arts, culture, historic preservation, and heritage sites.
We are asking lawmakers to recommit the original $200M pledge they made to fund the Oregon Cultural Trust (OCT) through the sale of public lands. No lands have been sold so the OCT has been built by Oregonians through the OTC tax credit. We seek revenue from lottery bonds to be dedicated to the OCT with earnings spent for operations grants to the 1,400 nonprofits eligible for OCT/Oregon Arts Commission (OAC) grants. We will work with county and tribal coalitions to distribute these funds, which will go into an account separate from current grant programs. This is our long-term vision for supporting the sector. It will move Oregon intArts Commission Talking Points CACO 2023 V2o the top national rankings for state support to arts and culture.
The Arts Commission general fund allocation has remained relatively static, at $4 million a biennium for 15 years. Oregon ranks 38th in the nation for per capita funding. The number of operating support recipients has increased by 200 for a total of 268 during the same period. Increased funds will support arts organizations, community-based art projects, arts in education, and artists to increase services and engagement opportunities for Oregonians,
The current demands and needs of the cultural sector have far outpaced the Oregon Cultural Trust’s ability to effectively serve the field and donors. Removing the spending cap ($400K) would also increase the trust’s ability to address capacity issues facing many county and tribal coalitions. Replacing the cap with the ability to use up to 5% of the value of the permanent fund would enable the Oregon Cultural Trust to modernize operations to better serve the cultural sector.