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Agnieszka Laska
Agnieszka Laska
Agnieszka Laska honored with Joan Shipley Award; 2017 Individual Artist Fellowships announced (Photo) - 03/28/17

Salem, Oregon -- Agnieszka Laska, a Portland-based dancer/choreographer and the founder of Agnieszka Laska Dancers, is the 2017 recipient of the Oregon Arts Commission's honorary Joan Shipley Award. Laska leads a group of seven Oregon artists selected for the Arts Commission's 2017 Individual Artist Fellowships. The 2017 fellowships support artists working in the performing arts; visual artists are reviewed in alternating years.

The Joan Shipley Award is named for Oregon arts leader Joan Shipley, who passed away in 2011. Shipley was a collector, philanthropist and supporter of many arts and humanities organizations. In 2005, she and her husband John received an Oregon Governor's Arts Award. Many in the arts community also counted her as a mentor and friend.

The Arts Commission's fellowship program is available to more than 20,000 artists who call Oregon home. Fellows are recommended by a review panel of Oregon arts professionals who consider artists of outstanding talent, demonstrated ability and commitment to the creation of new work(s). The Arts Commission reviews and acts on the panel's recommendations.

The following performing artists were awarded 2017 fellowships: Agnieszka Laska (Joan Shipely Award), Portland; Oluyinka Akinjiol, Portland; Leah Anderson, Ashland; Douglas Detrick, Portland; Ashleigh Flynn, Portland; Eliot Grasso, Springfield; and Lydia Van Dreel, Eugene.

Brief biographies and photos available on request.

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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 the 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 grant-making, arts and cultural information and community cultural development.

The Arts Commission is supported with general funds appropriated by the Oregon legislature, federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and funds from the Oregon Cultural Trust.

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Attached Media Files: Agnieszka Laska
$210,400 awarded in 36 Arts Build Communities grants - 03/20/17

Salem, Ore. -- Thirty-six recently awarded Arts Build Communities grants from the Oregon Arts Commission, totaling $210,400, engage the arts as a means of addressing and alleviating community needs.

Among the projects funded by 2017 Arts Build Communities grants are: new public art to revamp the streetscape of Vale while celebrating and reinforcing community collaboration; Slam Across Oregon, bringing together Oregon's young slam poets from diverse rural, urban and suburban backgrounds for a Slamboo competition in Portland; and a public performance and exhibit designed to facilitate a community discussion about homelessness and home insecurity in the Columbia Gorge.

Now in its 21st year, the Arts Build Communities program targets broad geographic impact and arts access for underserved audiences. More than half of the 2017 awards go to communities outside of the Portland Metro region.

"This program provides access to arts and culture activity in underserved populations of the state," says Arts Commissioner Michael Dalton, who led the review panel. "Local citizens employ creative thinking and collective response to identify a local need and provide an arts-based solution. These modest grants also spark and leverage many other investments and resources, serving as a catalyst for greater economic impact."

Arts Build Communities grants frequently serve as seed money to spur additional local support. In recent years Arts Build Communities projects attracted more than $570,000 in leveraged funding, much of it used to pay artists as well as to purchase products and services in the funded communities.

Arts Build Communities grants are made possible through partnership funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Note: Photos available on request.

The 2017 recipients, listed by region, are:

Central Oregon
Deschutes Public Library Foundation, Bend, $5,000
To support A Novel Idea, a community reading program that encourages residents to read, discuss and explore a selected book together. The project broadens cultural, social, educational and economic areas of community life by ensuring wide access through partnerships with local artists, organizations and businesses. Grant funds will support the purchase of books and the author's honorarium.

The High Desert Museum, Bend, $7,000
To support Kids Curate, a year-long, hands-on arts program for students in schools that lack art instruction. The program integrates art, science, history and writing into classroom curriculum and gives students an opportunity to learn about arts and cultural career possibilities. Grant funds will support artist fees, supplies and student transportation.

The Museum At Warm Springs, Warm Springs, $5,000
To support the annual Warm Springs Tribal Youth Art Exhibit and its associated programs. The project will encourage students to learn about the Aug. 21 solar eclipse that will travel over Warm Springs, and express what they've learned through art. Grant funds will be used to purchase art supplies, pay art instructors and print notecards and coloring books featuring the art created. The coloring books and notecards will reflect the theme of Sun and Shadow and will be sold in the museum's gift shop to support the 2018 Youth Art Exhibit (the museum's 25th Anniversary).

Coast
Bandon School District, Bandon, $5,400
To support the creation of a community mural to promote local youth awareness of pollinator science, led by a muralist in collaboration with school students and the public. Grant funds will support artist fees and mural materials.

City of Lincoln City, Lincoln City, $5,440
To support a comprehensive plan to assist in the selection of public art installations that will align with the city's brand, celebrate its way of life and boost civic pride. Grant funds will support hiring a public art and planning consultant.

Miracle Theatre Group, Astoria, $6,000
To support Milagro's UNIDAD, a bilingual arts and science residency program, in Astoria with workshops and a public performance of the play "El Payaso," an ecodrama that follows the journey of a young Latino with an environmental studies degree. The residency will involve local students in discussing environmental issues facing the Latino population. Grant funds will support teaching artists and related travel expenses.

Eastern Oregon
Cornucopia Arts Council, Halfway, $3,600
To support the 2017 Clear Creek Music Festival, which provides two weeks of musical instruction and performance opportunities for the residents of rural communities in eastern Baker County. University faculty and students will teach and perform up to four public concerts during the festival. Grant funds will support concert fees, instrument rental for local students and instructors for the community chorus, Kids Camp and Brass Camp.

Drexel H. Foundation, Vale, $5,950
To support expenses for the 2017 Teen Art Builds Community public art project, during which local students will create murals and other public art enhancing the local streetscape. A collaboration between city government, schools and the Drexel Foundation, the project is designed to strengthen community pride.

Fishtrap Inc, Enterprise, $7,000
To support The Big Read in Wallowa County. Tim O'Brien's "The Things They Carried" will inform and inspire discussion about war, veteran's issues and PTSD. The novel offers Fishtrap the opportunity to collaborate with veteran's organizations for the first time. Grant funds will support the purchase and distribution of books to schools and community groups, program staff salaries and program promotion.

Gorge
Arts in Education of the Gorge, Hood River, $4,500
To support Stories of Home and Homelessness, a multi-disciplinary exploration of homelessness and home insecurity in the Columbia Gorge. Arts in Education of the Gorge teaching artists will conduct storytelling, creative writing and visual art workshops for local youth and adults who have suffered from home insecurity. The goal is to raise community awareness, ignite meaningful dialogue and change public perception and policy regarding homelessness. The project will culminate in a public performance and exhibit of participants' stories and art, followed by a facilitated community discussion focused on developing new ideas to address home insecurity in the Gorge. Grant funds will support artists' fees and workshop materials.

Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital Foundation, Hood River, $6,690
To support a Music in Healing program for patients, visitors and families served by
Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital. The program goal is to decrease pain and anxiety through lobby concerts, unit concerts and bedside individual performances. Grant funds will support musician fees and will be matched by hospital foundation funds and in-kind donations.

Portland Metro
Alberta Main Street, Portland, $5,600
To support the Equitable Placemaking Historical Markers Project. The design of place-markers will be informed by stories from community members. The project will be collaboratively led by a storyteller and artist to document the history of the African American community on Alberta Street. Grant funds will support artist fees as well as the fabrication and installation of the markers.

Boom Arts, Inc., Portland, $5,600
To support the presentation of Dahlak Brathwaite's "Spiritrials," a work of Hip Hop theatre that addresses race, identity and criminal justice through rap, song and storytelling, at Disjecta Contemporary Art Center. Grant funds will support production expenses and technical fees, as well as staff time and the engagement of a Youth and Community Engagement Liaison.

Circus Project, Portland, $6,300
To support a community-based Social Circus, a global movement that uses the thrill, artistry and wonder of circus arts to inspire social transformation. The project reflects Circus Project's partnership with social service agencies and public schools and will serve more than 300 youth participants. Grant funds will support teaching artist fees, the purchase and maintenance of circus-specific equipment and staff expenses for planning and evaluation.

Clackamas County Arts Alliance, Oregon City, $7,000
To support Youth Arts for Change, a project giving teens an opportunity to share their story via theatre, writing and visual art. Through a series of workshops, participating teens collaborate with professional teaching artists to create an original play or art exhibit for a public presentation and celebration. Grant funds will support artist fees, supplies and collaboration with existing and new partners.

Free Arts NW, Portland, $3,200
To support the painting of a handicapped-accessible city bus and provide arts programming for underserved youth. Free Arts NW facilitators will invite local youth to develop the design that will become a vehicle wrap. The mobile art studio will reduce barriers, offering a safe place for artistic self-expression. Grant funds will fund art supplies and production of the vehicle wrap.

Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre/Northwest, Portland, $4,400
To support five public performances of "Rush Hour" between May and September. The production will include free public rehearsals and offer low-income communities access to professional caliber, thought-provoking art. The performances are scheduled to take place in partnership with Portland community centers, private arts organizations and developers' properties in five diverse Portland neighborhoods. Grants funds will support performers' fees.

Lan Su Chinese Garden, Portland, $7,000
To support the annual celebration of National Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May. Grant funds will support artist fees, the purchase of arts and crafts materials, publicity, an interactive guide for visitors and audio equipment rental.

Literary Arts, Portland, $7,000
To support the 2017 Oregon Book Awards' Author Tour. The tour brings award winners and finalists to eight to 10 communities across the state to teach writing workshops, meet with readers, visit schools and present their work at community gatherings. Libraries, schools, bookstores and writing groups across the state will partner with Literary Arts to produce the tour. Grant funds will support author travel and expenses, promotion and program staff time.

Living Stages, Portland, $5,950
To support a collaborative Theatre Empowerment Initiative, consisting of a series of workshops, trainings and performances. These activities are intended to train and support low-income and houseless community members for personal growth, empowerment and community action through theatre. Grant funds will pay coordination and artist fees, and provide support for participants in the form of food, stipends and transportation assistance.

My Voice Music, Portland, $7,000
To support My Voice Music Camps, giving youth living in foster care or referred by mental health treatment partners the opportunity to write, record and release music to help them cope, heal and thrive in the midst of crisis. Grant funds will support teaching artist fees and student leaders.

Open Hearts Open Minds, Portland, $5,600
To support a theatre production at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility. Grant funds will support the costs associated with guest artist visits, costumes and props, program facilitation, production rights, music rental, books/scripts, and performance recordings.

Oregon Children's Theatre, Portland, $6,000
To support free performances in rural communities and underserved neighborhoods of the play "Tomás and the Library Lady," the story of a migrant family's son who discovers the imaginative world of reading. Grant funds will support artistic and community engagement expenses, including preparation of Spanish-language materials in support of the production.

Oregon Symphony Association, Portland, $5,600
To support musicNOW, a music therapy program for retirement community residents living with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. The project is in partnership with Earthtones Music Therapy Services. Performance locations will include a Portland-metro public venue in order to reach those living with memory impairment in private residences.

Oregon Writing Project, Portland, $7,000
To support Slam Across Oregon's poetry event Slamboo. The competition brings together young slam poets from rural, urban and suburban Oregon to collaborate and compete through the art of poetry, enabling them to develop relationships built on empathy and understanding. Grant funds will support slam events, guest coaches and a printed anthology.

Portland Opera, Portland, $4,000
To support Opera a la Cart, a mobile music venue that will be used for more than 40 free live opera performances for underserved communities. Grant funds will support performer and accompanist fees.

Vanport Mosaic, Portland, $7,000
To support the Vanport Mosaic Festival, a four-day event to honor the legacy of the Vanport community and the 1948 flood. The festival will unite Portlanders through screenings of oral histories, performances, educational and community dialogues and a reunion for former Vanport residents. The grant will support artist fees.

Write Around Portland, Portland, $7,000
To support the expansion of creative writing workshops for those with the least access in Washington County. Nine 10-week creative writing workshops will culminate in the publication of participants' work and public readings. Grant funds will support staff time to form partnerships with social service agencies in East Multnomah and Washington Counties, to train volunteer facilitators and to purchase workshop materials.

Southern Oregon
Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ashland, $6,300
To support the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's world premiere of "Off the Rails" by Native American playwright Randy Reinholz, a partnership with the Native American Studies Program at Southern Oregon University. Grant funds will support a gathering prior to the Oregon Indian Education Association Conference on the Southern Oregon University campus in April, with opportunities for cross-cultural dialogue and learning among artists, educators and tribal representatives.

Rogue Valley Chorale Association, Medford, $4,000
To support Spring Sing, a series of choral music concerts for Rogue Valley children. Grant funds will be used to hire buses to transport children from Central Point, Medford and Phoenix-Talent school districts, and will cover printing costs for project-related materials.

Willamette Valley
The Arts Center, Corvallis, $6,000
To support Theater of the World, a professional theater experience for fifth grade students attending a low-income, dual-immersion elementary school. The project integrates Spanish speaking children with children learning Spanish to build community among families, friends and community partners. Grant funds will support teaching artist fees, materials and marketing for production of three performances followed by community celebrations.

Lane Arts Council, Eugene, $6,000
To support Fiesta Cultural, a two-month, county-wide celebration of Latino art and culture. Through participatory arts, Fiesta Cultural will increase the platforms for Latino artists to showcase work and further understanding of Latino culture and culturally-relevant community events. Grant funds will support marketing the event to low-income and Latino immigrants.

Eugene Symphony Association, Eugene, $7,000
To support Symphony Connect, a partnership with local human service agencies to bring specially designed interactive chamber music performances and other music opportunities to individuals who experience barriers to cultural participation. Grant funds will support musician fees, consulting specialists and a program evaluation.

Eugene-Springfield Youth Orchestras, Eugene, $5,700
To support the String Academy program, a youth music education program that provides a full year of beginning string instruction to underserved children in public schools at little or no-cost. Grant funds will support three of eight classes taking place during the 2016-17 school year. It is a partnership with the Eugene 4J School District's BEST Afterschool Program, which serves the district's most disadvantaged students through afterschool homework support and enrichment activities.

Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art (University of Oregon), Eugene, $6,970
To support the Club de Arte para Mamás' (Latina Mothers' Club) Monday and Saturday workshops, allowing the club to continue an expanded schedule of 18 sessions with increased attendance. Grant funds will support artist fees, marketing, translations and art supplies.

Umpqua Valley Arts Association, Roseburg, $5,600
To support the 100th anniversary celebration of the historic building that houses the Umpqua Valley Arts Association's galleries, classrooms and offices. The year-long celebration, From Soldiers' Hospital to Arts Center, will bring the community together through an exhibit of veterans' ceramics, photography and painting; regular tours emphasizing the buildings history and architectural features; and a victory garden that will feature heirloom plants as a reminder of the hospital's self-sufficient nature. Grant funds will support marketing the performances, exhibits and historic tours.

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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 the Oregon Business 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 grant-making, arts and cultural information and community cultural development.
The Arts Commission is supported with general funds appropriated by the Oregon legislature, federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and funds from the Oregon Cultural Trust.
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Wendy Red Star's "Works" to be exhibited in the Governor's Office March 15 -- May 11 (Photo) - 03/09/17

Salem, Oregon -- Portland artist Wendy Red Star will exhibit "Works" in the Governor's Office of the Capitol Building in Salem from March 15 to May 11.

Red Star works across disciplines to explore the intersections of Native American ideologies and colonialist structures, both historically and in contemporary society. Raised on the Apsáalooke (Crow) reservation in Montana, her work is informed both by her cultural heritage and her engagement with many forms of creative expression, including photography, sculpture, video, fiber arts and performance. An avid researcher of archives and historical narratives,

Red Star seeks to incorporate and recast her research, offering new and unexpected perspectives in work that is at once inquisitive, witty and unsettling. The works on exhibit will include a series of prints she created during a residency at Crow's Shadow Institute of the Arts on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

Red Star has exhibited in the United States and abroad at venues including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fondation Cartier pour l' Art Contemporain, Portland Art Museum, St. Louis Art Museum and the Minneapolis Institute of Art, among others. She has been visiting lecturer at institutions including Yale University, the Figge Art Museum, the Banff Centre, National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Dartmouth College and CalArts.

In 2015, Red Star was awarded an Emerging Artist Grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation. In 2016, she participated in "Contemporary Native Photographers and the Edward Curtis Legacy" at the Portland Art Museum, and recently she mounted a solo exhibition as part of the museum's APEX series. Red Star holds a bachelor of fine arts degree from Montana State University, Bozeman, and a master's in sculpture from University of California, Los Angeles.

The Art in the Governor's Office Program honors selected artists in Oregon with exhibitions in the reception area of the Governor's Office in the State Capitol. Artists are nominated by a statewide committee of arts professionals who consider artists representing the breadth and diversity of artistic practice across Oregon, and are then selected by the Arts Commission with the participation of the Governor's Office. Only professional, living Oregon artists are considered and an exhibit in the Governor's office is considered a "once in a lifetime" honor. Artists whose work has previously been shown in the Governor's office include Henk Pander, Michele Russo, Manuel Izquierdo, James Lavadour, Margot Thompson, Gordon Gilkey and Yuji Hiratsuka.

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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: www.oregonartscommission.org

Left to right: Delaney Murray, South Medford High School; Hannah VanHolle, Logos Public Charter School, Medford; and Megan Kim, Cascade Christian High School, Medford.
Left to right: Delaney Murray, South Medford High School; Hannah VanHolle, Logos Public Charter School, Medford; and Megan Kim, Cascade Christian High School, Medford.
Nine high school students advance to 2017 Poetry Out Loud state contest on March 11 (Photo) - 03/08/17

Salem, Oregon -- Regional Poetry Out Loud competitions held Saturday in Portland, Medford and Salem identified the nine Oregon high school students who will compete for the state title at Salem Public Library's Loucks Auditorium on Saturday, March 11. Three finalists were selected from each regional competition with 31 statewide schools participating.

Poetry Out Loud is a national recitation contest for high school students, organized in Oregon by the Oregon Arts Commission in collaboration with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. Participants memorize and perform poems, practicing public presentation skills while exploring the complexity of poetry.

The three top finishers from the Northern Regional Contest, held at Portland State University, are: Hannah Bachman, St. Mary's Academy (2016 regional finalist); Sheila Panyam, Lincoln High School (2016 state finalist); and Ramie Warner, Sandy High School.

Finalists selected at the Central Regional Contest at Salem's Willamette University are: Joshua Williams, St. Stephens Academy, Salem; Max Rudd, Sprague High School, Salem (2016 regional finalist); and Philip Chan, West Linn High School.

The winners of the Southern Regional Contest, hosted at the Medford Public Library, are: Delaney Murray, South Medford High School; Hannah VanHolle, Logos Public Charter School, Medford; and Megan Kim, Cascade Christian High School, Medford.

"Once again the caliber of performances was impressive and made selecting only three finalists from each competition a challenge," said Deb Vaughn, the Arts Commission's arts education/Poetry Out Loud coordinator.

The State Contest is scheduled from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. in Loucks Auditorium at Salem Public Library (585 Liberty St., SE). The winner will advance to the national Poetry Out Loud competition, scheduled for the last week in April in Washington, D.C.

Editor's note: Photos and bio information are available upon request.
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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 the Oregon Business 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 grant-making, arts and cultural information and community cultural development.
The Arts Commission is supported with general funds appropriated by the Oregon legislature, federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and funds from the Oregon Cultural Trust.
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