2015 Annual Report

Getting People Talking

“The art of good conversation is not winning or losing, but listening so that you leave knowing something or someone that you didn’t before you began, that you are different from that exchange.” – Melissa Madenski

In 2015, Oregon Humanities sponsored more than 300 public discussions in 28 Oregon counties. That’s more than 300 opportunities for Oregonians to learn face-to-face about different experiences, new perspectives, and challenging ideas. Through programs such as the Conversation Project, Think & Drink, Talking about Dying, Humanity in Perspective, On Coming Home, and events supported by Oregon Humanities grants, more than 12,000 Oregonians came together to talk about vital issues and ideas such as government surveillance, race and policing, death and dying, the ethics of eating, and the ways that gender, technology, race, and fear affect our lives.


Stories You Won’t Find Anywhere Else

“Reading Oregon Humanities magazine, I feel connected to Oregon, educated about Oregon, and open to the experiences of other Oregonians.” —Subscriber Patricia from Portland

Through essays, videos, podcasts, and in-person events, Oregon Humanities presents diverse perspectives, explores challenging questions, and tells stories that help people expand their minds and enrich their lives. In 2015, writers in Oregon Humanities magazine and our Beyond the Margins essay series explored ideas such as the experience of growing up black in Portland, the difficulties of parenting through mental illness, and finding meaning in art that frightens us. Videos inspired by magazine features brought these stories to people around the state and country, sparking conversations about big ideas in our daily lives. One such video, “Future: Portland,” has been screened at film festivals in Portland and Los Angeles and featured in articles from the Washington Post and the Atlantic Citylab.


Building Connections across Oregon

Oregon Humanities is working toward a vision that’s much bigger than our organization: We’re trying to build a more just, resilient future for this state. We know we can’t do it alone. That’s why we partner with people and organizations throughout Oregon, from tiny community groups to major institutions, through our grants and collaborative programs. In 2015, we worked with more than 150 partners, including high schools, libraries, community colleges, healthcare providers, human rights groups, and faith communities. Together, we can build a stronger Oregon.


Thank You

None of this work would have been possible without the support of generous foundations, corporations, and individual donors. We gratefully acknowledge the supporters who made gifts between November 1, 2014, and October 31, 2015.


Oregon Humanities FY 2015 Statement of Activities

Total Revenue 2015
National Endowment for the Humanities 714,300
Oregon Cultural Trust 171,989
Oregon Poet Laureate 41,255
Contributions and grants 473,855
Program and other income 83,529
Endowment distribution 8,679
Total Funds Distribution
Education and Public Programming 411,985
Grants to community organizations and scholars 156,379
Publications 208,783
Management 242,458
Development 169,133
Gain 304,869


Fiscal year 2015 had a planned surplus due to award of funds restricted to future years.