Cultural development grants are awarded every summer by the Oregon Cultural Trust, but interested organizations must start their planning in February to qualify. The trust’s new Cultural Development Grant application cycle for fiscal year 2014-15 opened Feb. 15 and runs until 5 p.m. May 15.

The competitive grants provide support and state recognition to significant cultural programs and projects in Oregon. The trust awarded nearly $540,000 in cultural development grants during its 2013-14 cycle, many to underserved communities and small nonprofits. Trust grants were given for a range of projects and programs, from arts education programming to restoration of historic buildings.

Only 501(c)(3) arts, heritage, historic preservation or humanities nonprofits or cultural resource departments of the nine federally recognized Indian tribes in Oregon may apply. Cultural nonprofits who have received grants in the last two consecutive years must wait until the 2016 cycle.

Cultural Trust Manager Kimberly Howard said she looks forward to working with applicants on the application process, at free grant workshops and during individual consultations after they have completed a workshop and draft application.

“There are so many interesting and worthwhile projects across the state,” she said. “Last year we were able to fund some truly unique ideas from first-time applicants like the Happy Canyon Foundation in Pendleton, for example, and that was exciting.”

Howard reminds applicants to first visit for grant guidelines, answers to frequently asked questions and a link to the online application. She encourages potential applicants to attend “Conversation With Funders: Arts, Heritage & Humanities,” a free workshop to be held in Bend, Beaverton, Burns, Eugene, Hermiston, La Grande, Oregon City and The Dalles, with times and locations to be announced. “Grants Chat” webinar slides are also available at

Cultural development grants will fund projects that occur between Aug. 1 and July 31, 2015. Applications will be accepted online only for grants in four broad areas: access, capacity, creativity and preservation.

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