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Cultural Trust grant provides funds for Lakewood Center

Lakewood Center arts lovers got a break - and a check - from the Oregon Cultural Trust recently, boosting outreach efforts for the center and Internet tools that will better steer communication with patrons and between artists and exhibition jurors.

The grant comes from the state cultural trust program, which steers 58 percent of its annual fundraising to an endowment and shifts the remaining 42 percent to grants for tribal coalitions, counties and project applicants.

The Lakewood Center for the Arts netted $3,000 through the program to improve its online presence and broaden its virtual space to a forum for related projects. Organizers there plan new Web-based online ticketing software and enhancements to the agency's interactive Web site.

'It's communication, primarily,' said Andrew Edwards, executive director of the center. 'We're going to be enhancing (online ticketing) to allow people to talk back and forth with us … This brings us up to speed with other organizations that are communicating electronically. It puts us at a disadvantage if we can't.'

Edwards and the Lakewood Center hosted a reception Sept. 19 at the State Street location, inviting members of the trust's extensive network of partners to celebrate $2 million in fundraising this year and the resulting $1.1 million in grants.

Other local agencies also benefited from this fourth round of grants through the program. Clackamas County received $20,025 to administer to programs of its choice. The cultural trust also funds historical and humanities projects, as well as the arts.

Christine D'Arcy, executive director of Oregon Cultural Trust, said the program is the first in the nation to combine the preservation history and humanities projects with support of the arts. The Oregon Cultural Trust has set its sights on increased fundraising in the coming years, aiming to boost support for other agencies like the Lakewood Center.

'It's just amazing to me every time I drive through Lake Oswego and see public art and a really lovely downtown anchored by a center like this one,' said D'Arcy, echoing similar comments by visitors to the Lakewood Center for the forum.

The Oregon Cultural Trust is accepts regular contributions to the program. Currently, 7,100 Oregonians make regular donations to the endowment and grant programs. For more information, visit www.culturaltrust.org.