When the economy is ailing or flat, as it has been for nearly four years now, it's harder to invest in those things that enrich - as opposed to merely sustain - our lifestyles.
That's why we particularly look forward next week to an eight-day annual event that commemorates all things enriching in this state.
The Oregon Days of Culture celebration, which runs from Oct. 1 through Oct. 8, showcases the arts and culture scene in communities throughout the state. The celebration also highlights a unique program in Oregon that helps cultural organizations to thrive even when the economy is struggling.
The Oregon Cultural Trust, created by the Legislature, allows people to take advantage of tax credits when they contribute to cultural groups. The trust is helping to fund hundreds of organizations and events each year. Those investments in such things as historical preservation, theatrical performances and visual arts are in turn responsible for generating economic activity at the community level.
The Days of Culture celebration is just an eight-day sampling of all that Oregon has to offer to residents and tourists who are interested in arts and culture. In today's newspaper, you will find a special insert dedicated to the Days of Culture. If you check out this section and the associated website, it's very likely that you'll discover a bit of culture worth celebrating close to your own backyard.
And remember: Supporting these events is a way of building your community - economically as well as culturally.