For Immediate Release

Oct. 19, 2020

Contact: Carrie Kikel, Oregon Arts Commission, (503) 480-5360

New Artist Relief Program to provide $1.25 million in relief to Oregon artists

Oregon artists may now apply to a new Artist Relief Program created by the Oregon Arts

Commission in partnership with The Oregon Community Foundation and the James F. and

Marion L. Miller Foundation. Awards ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 will be distributed until the

program fund, totaling just over $1.25 million, is depleted.

“Without our artists, there would be no art in Oregon,” said Brian Rogers, executive director of

the Oregon Arts Commission. “We feel strongly that, in addition to the significant relief we were

able to provide to arts and cultural organizations through federal CARES Act funds allocated to

the National Endowment for the Arts and the Oregon Cultural Trust, we need to offer relief

funding to struggling Oregon artists as well. We are extremely grateful to The Oregon

Community Foundation and the Miller Foundation for joining us in that effort.”

The purpose of the Artist Relief Program is to provide relief funding to Oregon artists who have

experienced financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic due to cancellations of

exhibitions, performances, rehearsals or other activities with a stipend, events, teaching

opportunities, book signings or other professional presentation opportunities. Guidelines are

now posted on the Arts Commission website.

“In times of crisis, artists help us make sense of our world and stay connected to one another,”

said Martha Richards, executive director of the Miller Foundation. “The Miller Foundation

stands with Oregon artists in this difficult time because we recognize the critical roles they play

in our communities and our lives--they are the foundation of our state’s arts ecosystem.”

“Oregon Community Foundation is thrilled to be a partner in this new Artist Relief program,”

added Jerry Tischleder, Oregon Community Foundation’s program officer for arts and culture.

“We recognize that independent and freelance artists are vital to the recovery of our

communities, bringing hope and inspiration to the world while using their creativity to help

process the collective trauma, grief and loss we’ve all experienced in these unprecedented


The program supports professional artists from specific disciplines who have experienced or

anticipate experiencing loss of revenue of $1,000 or more between March 1 and Dec. 31,


The artistic disciplines supported are: Literature (creative non-fiction, fiction, play writing and

poetry); dance (including choreography); music (composition and music performance); theatre

and performance art; folk and traditional arts; visual arts (crafts, drawing, painting,

photography, printmaking, sculpture, mixed media and new media); design arts; and media


Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 10. Awards must be spent by July 31, 2021.

Artists from underserved communities, including (but not limited to) rural communities and

communities of color, as well as artists with disabilities, are especially encouraged to apply.

* * * * * * * * * * *

The Oregon Arts Commission provides leadership, funding and arts programs through

its grants, special initiatives and services. Nine commissioners, appointed by the

Governor, determine arts needs and establish policies for public support of the arts.

The Arts Commission became part of Business Oregon (formerly Oregon Economic

and Community Development Department) in 1993, in recognition of the expanding

role the arts play in the broader social, economic and educational arenas of Oregon

communities. In 2003, the Oregon legislature moved the operations of the Oregon

Cultural Trust to the Arts Commission, streamlining operations and making use of the

Commission’s expertise in grantmaking, arts and cultural information and community

cultural development.

The Arts Commission is supported with general funds appropriated by the Oregon

legislature and with federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as

funds from the Oregon Cultural Trust. More information about the Oregon Arts

Commission is available online at: