2017 Public Program Grants

This February, the Oregon Humanities board of directors awarded $60,000 in grants to thirteen nonprofit organizations from around the state. These grants will support programs that bring people together to think and talk about challenging issues and ideas. This year's grants are listed below alphabetically by city.

RiverStars Performing Arts (Cave Junction)
$6,000 for In Our Valley...

RiverStars Performing Arts' project will engage youth in interviewing community members using a comic book format to ask how change happens and how people see their own role in making change. Participants will interview their families, church communities, and peers and use the resulting information to create text and scores for a performance and public dialogue to invite community reflection.

Boom Arts (Portland)
$5,625 for post-show discussions and humanities programming

Boom Arts will foster public dialogue on social issues among diverse Portland audiences through post-show discussions offered in conjunction with six upcoming theater presentations. Dialogues will feature visiting artists, local scholars, and community leaders. 

The City Repair Project (Portland)
$5,025 for Making a Place for Everyone: A series of community conversations about place, equity, diversity, and sustainability

The City Repair Project will present a series of three conversation cafes exploring the question, “What makes a place inclusive, equitable, and sustainable for marginalized communities?” Community leaders from organizations such as APANO, R2D2, Don’t Shoot PDX, and Groundworks PDX will offer brief stories from their work, then pose a question to attendees to discuss in small groups. Themes of houselessness, equity, and diversity will weave through all three events.

Columbia Slough Watershed Council and Historic Parkrose Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative (Portland)
$9,100 for Sloughtown Listening Sessions

Columbia Slough Watershed Council and Historic Parkrose will present six listening sessions to build a shared vision for how homeless camps, habitat restoration, public safety, and public access can coexist along the Columbia Slough. Stakeholders in this discussion include residents, businesses, environmental interests, homeless people, and the Police Bureau.

National Alliance for Mental Illness Multnomah (Portland)
$3,000 for Evening with the Expert

National Alliance for Mental Illness Multnomah's Evening with the Expert will be a series of panel discussions led by activists working in the mental health field in Multnomah County. The series will generate discussion around the ways religion, language, race, and sexuality impact our approach to mental and emotional well-being.

Newspace Center for Photography (Portland)
$2,000 for Migration Stories

In conjunction with Northern Triangle, an exhibit on the Central American refugee crisis along the US/Mexico border, Newspace Center for Photography will present a free public storytelling program, Migration Stories, providing a space for individuals to share their experiences of migration.

Oregon Jewish Museum & Center for Holocaust Education (Portland) 
$4,750 for History, Justice, and Civic Engagement

OJMCHE will present three public programs that explore issues of prejudice using the lens of Jewish identity, building on the museum's three new permanent exhibits on Jewish identity, the Holocaust, and discrimination in Oregon.

Portland Playhouse (Portland)
$3,000 for 2017–18 community engagement series

Portland Playhouse will present three interactive dialogues on race, gentrification, and life in North/Northeast Portland during its 2017–18 season with the goal of strengthening the community through sharing, listening, breaking down barriers, and building relationships that extend beyond the events.

Resolutions Northwest (Portland)
$3,000 for Undersanding Racism Dialogues

Resolutions Northwest will conduct five Understanding Racism Dialogues and one facilitator training to support personal reflection and activation of participants of all races regarding their own implicit racial biases. All discussion will be contextualized and rooted in the history of systemic racial oppression in the US and in Oregon specifically. Participants will develop individual and community strategies for interpersonal racial reconciliation and become change agents for racial justice in their workplaces, neighborhoods, and larger civic community. Participants will become more knowledgeable, effective, and impactful contributors to the movement for equity and justice.

Crook County Foundation (Prineville)
$3,500 for What's Brewing?

Crook County Foundation will present a gathering to promote community conversations about local, regional, and global issues. 

Oregon Black Pioneers (Salem)
$5,000 for Racing to Change: Oregon's Civil Rights Years

Oregon Black Pioneers' groundbreaking new interactive exhibit will engage visitors of all ages and backgrounds as it traces how discrimination practices affected Oregon’s Black populations and spurred the civil rights movement across Oregon. Through personal photos and artifacts, text, and interactive experiences, this project will illuminate Oregon’s vibrant Black communities during the civil rights era amongst a larger context of discrimination and displacement. The exhibit will be at the Oregon Historical Society from January 15 to June 28, 2018, then travel to other venues around Oregon.

Willamette Heritage Center (Salem)
$4,000 for History in the News

Willamette Heritage Center's History in the News series provides a public forum that puts current events in historical context. The monthly series begins with a roundtable of historians, political scientists, and other experts providing historical background and insights into a “hot” item in the news—for example, health hazards in schools. The audience then engages in Q&A and discussion about the topic, leaving with a better understanding of the topic’s history and prepared to continue the conversation and make informed decisions. History in the News will expand on the enormous success of the 2016 pilot program, sponsored in part by a Responsive Program Grant from Oregon Humanities.

PLAYA (Summer Lake)
$6,000 for Art, Science, and Community Collaborations for Creative Place Making

PLAYA’s residents will engage Lake County community members through free programs, workshops, and educational activities by hosting a minimum of twelve gatherings where artists/scientists and the public discuss questions related to place, identity, and community.


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Apply for a Public Program Grant

2019 Public Program Grants

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2017 Public Program Grants

Samples of successful grants