PORTLAND, Ore. — As winter settles into communities throughout the region, ending a year that has brought challenges like no other, it’s the arts and humanities programs that continue to provide needed connection and healing.
Local organizations that deliver music, theater, community festivals and connection to local history and place have had to pivot during 2020 in ways never imagined. Many have moved to virtual programming to connect with families and students at home while also working behind-the-scenes to preserve cherished in-person programs so that they can return in the future.
To support these programs' ongoing efforts, PacifiCorp Foundation, a nonprofit arm of Pacific Power, is donating more than $200,000 in new funding across the six states it serves to support the arts and humanities – along with continued needs by organizations on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response.
“Local programs like these are the heartbeat of the communities we serve, helping to heal and strengthen, while preserving tradition, education and connection with one another, said Stefan Bird, president and CEO. “Pacific Power is honored to continue our support of these vital organizations, and we encourage others who have the means to support them as well, so their programming can continue long into the future.”
A total of 44 Foundation grants were given to non-profit organizations across Pacific Power’s service area, ranging between $1,000 and $5,500. The grants reflect the diversity of the communities Pacific Power serves, and the diverse needs of these communities during this time.
The following grants were given to organizations in Oregon, Washington and California providing vital arts and education programs as well as organizations providing additional community support during the pandemic:
- A-WOL Dance Collective to support their aerial dance education;
- Blanchet House of Hospitality to provide free meal services in 2021 for the local homeless community;
- Color Outside the Lines to provide at-home art kits for foster and at-risk youth dealing with the impact of COVID-19;
- Columbia Center for the Arts to broaden access to online education and outreach programming during the pandemic;
- MicroEnterprise Services of Oregon to support scholarships to help entrepreneurs learn how to pivot their small businesses during the pandemic;
- Open Hearts Open Minds to provide musical education for inmates at the Columbia River Correctional Institution;
- Oregon Historical Society to support their education programs for virtual and in-person learning;
- Oregon Museum of Science and Industry for fall virtual programming to support K-8 students and families during the pandemic;
- PassinArt: A Theatre Company to support their summer performing arts program with outreach to communities of color;
- p:ear to increase COVID response for homeless youth, including meals, housing support and PPE supplies Portland’s Children’s Museum to build capacity in their Museum@Home program to reach marginalized communities during the pandemic;
- Portland Institute for Contemporary Art to support their SPACE (Supporting Partners, Artists, and Community Events) program that works with community-led arts programming and activity;
- Portland Symphonic Choir to support online content during the pandemic;
- Portland Youth Philharmonic Association to help them bring their Children’s Concerts online for distance learning;
- Young Musicians and Artists to provide low-income and disadvantage youth with tuition assistance to participate in the YMA summer program;
- Oregon Ballet Theatre to support the OBT Moves distance-learning program;
- Cottage Theatre to help complete their ACT III Theatre Expansion, already underway when COVID hit, which will allow them to serve their growing audiences in southern Lane County;
- Generations Theater Company to help cover the costs of music, sets, costumes and other expenses of their 2021 musical theatre production for families in Junction City and the surrounding area;
- Pop Warner Little Scholars of Albany for an automated external defibrillator and AED, CPR and first-aid training for adult volunteers to help keep youth and their families safe during community sporting events;
- Santiam Hearts to Arts was unable to do any fundraising during 2020 due to the pandemic. This grant will help them continue their mission of keeping art, music and public radio thriving in Santiam Canyon;
- South Benton Food Pantry to support emergency food resources for families in Benton County who are struggling with poverty, job loss and food insecurity during this pandemic year;
Northern Oregon Coast
- Siletz Bay Music Festival so they can continue to safely present their free concert series, bringing the healing power of music to the Lincoln City area during the pandemic;
- City of Astoria Parks and Recreation to help them relocate and expand childcare services in order to provide vital childcare for families of healthcare workers, emergency personnel and other critical workers, so they can continue to do their work and support the community during the pandemic;
- Abilitree to help them create and launch an online support group for people with disabilities who are isolated and at greater risk of mental health crises due to the pandemic;
- High Desert Museum for their Education Outreach Initiative, which will offer vital in-person and virtual educational and enrichment resources to students in Central Oregon as their regular classroom experience has been disrupted by COVID;
- Tower Theatre Foundation to support safe performances for the 2020-2021 programming of their educational program, LessonPLAN, which provides students with positive messages, cultural connections and opportunities to integrate with classroom curriculum;
- Roseburg Rotary Foundation to help fund equipment for the drive-through Umpqua Valley Festival of Lights, which provides a fun, socially distanced way for thousands of families in the community to share an artistic visual experience safely during the pandemic;
- SafariGame Search Foundation to support their “Zoomfari” virtual animal education and outreach program to reach over 2,000 students in the Winston area who have moved to distance learning during COVID;
Southern Oregon Coast
- Coos Bay Shakespeare in the Park for a performance cargo trailer. This important arts organization, which stages free Shakespeare performances throughout Coos County, faced a funding shortfall as many local businesses were unable to offer support during the pandemic;
- Arts Council of Pendleton to support their pivot to innovative, creative programming during the pandemic, including organizing fiber artists into mask makers, distributing art kits to young people in their homes and producing short make-it videos to share with those wishing to learn a new art or craft while in isolation;
- Josephy Center for Arts and Culture for a digital, interactive display that engages children and other visitors and helps them understand the art, culture, history and heritage of the Nez Perce and Eastern Oregon;
- Made to Thrive to support their community-based, COVID-19 responsive youth programming for vulnerable young people in Umatilla and Morrow counties who are involved in the justice system, foster care or whose families are struggling with poverty;
- Maxville Heritage Interpretive Center to support a curriculum and teacher guide material as part of their Logging and Roots music project, which will ultimately encourage creative writing by students;
Southern Oregon/Northern California
- Free the Need to increase weekly, emergency food distribution by 20 percent for one year to respond to the rising need for assistance among people in Siskiyou County, Calif., and Jackson County, Ore.;
- Grants Pass Family YMCA to support critically needed childcare and other essential health, fitness, recreation and educational services that families throughout Josephine County depend on regardless of their ability to pay, especially during the pandemic;
- Liberty Arts to fund 300 "We Art Together" binders with art supplies and age-appropriate instructions to lead Siskiyou County students isolated at home due to the pandemic;
- Oregon Conservatory of Performing Arts to support The Online Conservatory, their online branch started in response to COVID, which provides quality online theatrical education for children and adults in the community;
- Rogue Valley Art Association for art classes for teen girls healing from the trauma of sex trafficking who live at a safe house and have little opportunity for outside activities;
- Ross Ragland Theater to support their COVID-19 projects including the reopening of the theater in Klamath Falls with limited seating, safe, socially-distanced theater workshop programs for youth and other educational programs for children;
- Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon to help sustain music programs for aspiring young musicians during this challenging time, including virtual education and training programs that will provide access to more students;
- Fort Walla Walla Museum to help provide museum tours for school groups at no charge and to improve virtual touring and learning experience for the many students who will be unable to visit in person due to COVID restrictions;
- Providence St. Mary Foundation to help fund seven cardiac heart monitors for newborns at the Providence St. Mary Medical Center in Walla Walla, ensure woman and their babies undergoing difficult deliveries have the best possible care;
- People for People Meals on Wheels in Yakima to purchase emergency shelf-stable meals for vulnerable, home bound seniors, which can be used now during the pandemic, or saved for other emergency use.
In all more than $2.3 million has been prioritized in 2020 for organizations across the six states PacifiCorp serves, dedicated to helping communities with the greatest needs. Prioritization will continue through 2021 for grants that support needs around the COVID-19 pandemic and to help communities with rebuilding in areas affected by the Labor Day storm. The next grant cycle is now open through March 15; organizations may apply online.
Pacific Power also recognizes the ongoing support needed by customers, especially with the arrival of cooler weather. Customer care staff are available by phone to walk through account options and plans to alleviate financial burdens during this time. They can be reached at 1-888-221-7070 around the clock. For tools to help manage energy use this season, visit pacificpower.net/save.