Bollywood workshop

A pre-COVID-19 Bollywood workshop at the Astoria Arts and Movement Center

Small grants that often make a large difference in ensuring arts access for Oregonians, especially in rural areas, have been awarded to 97 statewide arts organizations by the Oregon Arts Commission for Fiscal Year 2021.

Awarded to arts organizations in virtually every region of the state, Small Operating Grants are designed to provide support to arts organizations with budgets under $150,000. Eligibility is limited to organizations who have operated as an IRS recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit for two years or more and provide ongoing, sustained artistic programming and outreach programs. Each organization received $1,159.

At the Coquille Valley Arts Association, a FY2020 Small Operating Grant award supported the purchase of a Peter Pugger Pugmill for the pottery department. The equipment recycles scrap clay that would otherwise end up in a landfill.

“We can't thank you enough for your generous support of our art center,” said Bonnie Stowe, the Arts Association’s pottery supervisor. “It has made a world of difference in our ability to provide quality, affordable ceramic programs to our community and a comfortable, professional studio for creative minds to gather.”

“For years the Oregon Arts Commission’s Small Operating Grant has helped organizations like the Astoria Arts and Movement Center survive,” added Jessamyn West, executive director of the Movement Center. “So many grants are project-oriented when what most small organizations need is basic operating support to be able to even offer programming. Because this grant can be used for expenses like rent and utilities, it truly supports organizations at their most fundamental level. We thank-you, Oregon Arts Commission, for keeping us afloat and supporting organizations like ours in rural areas throughout Oregon!”

“This grant program was developed to increase the Arts Commission’s support of Oregon’s small but mighty arts providers,” said Arts Commission Chair Anne Taylor. “These organizations frequently represent the only arts presenter for remote and underserved regions of the state.”

For more information about the Small Operating Grant Program, contact Liora Sponko at (971) 345-1641 or via email at

Some of the FY2021 Small Operating Grants were awarded to:

Astoria Arts and Movement Center, Astoria

Cannon Beach Arts Association Incorporated, Cannon Beach

Cascadia Concert Opera/Cascadia Chamber Opera, Astoria

Hoffman Center for the Arts, Manzanita

North Coast Chorale, Astoria

Partners of the Performing Arts Center, Astoria

Tolovana Arts Colony, Cannon Beach

The Oregon Arts Commission provides leadership, funding and arts programs through its grants, special initiatives and services. Nine commissioners, appointed by the Governor, determine arts needs and establish policies for public support of the arts. The Arts Commission became part of Business Oregon (formerly Oregon Economic and Community Development Department) in 1993, in recognition of the expanding role the arts play in the broader social, economic and educational arenas of Oregon communities. In 2003, the Oregon legislature moved the operations of the Oregon Cultural Trust to the Arts Commission, streamlining operations and making use of the Commission’s expertise in grantmaking, arts and cultural information and community cultural development.

The Arts Commission is supported with general funds appropriated by the Oregon legislature and with federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as funds from the Oregon Cultural Trust. More information about the Oregon Arts Commission is available online at:


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