The arts in Clatsop County received a boost with the annual delivery of grant funds to local arts groups. Among award recipients was the Cannon Beach Arts Association, which received $500 to benefit artists-in-residence.

The Clatsop County County Cultural Coalition convened on Wednesday, Dec. 6, at the River Inn at Seaside for the presentation of the group’s annual grant awards. The event provides state cultural funds through the coalition, said Charlene Larsen, co-chairwoman of the county coalition.

The Seaside High School Choir directed by Kimber Parker provided holiday carols to introduce the event.

Meagan Sokol of the arts association represented the group at the event. Founded in 1987, the association presents gallery exhibitions, workshops and classes for adults and children. “With this we’ll be able to start connecting with our local academy,” Sokol said, referring to the Cannon Beach Academy, now in its second year.

Other South County awardees included the Seaside’s Museum and Historical Society, which received a grant of $2,000. Funds will be used to modify the existing exit to enable easier access for the disabled between the museum and the neighboring Butterfield Cottage. Steve Wright accepted the gift on behalf of the museum.

Denise Fairweather House and Gallery in Seaside received a grant of $500, with money to be applied to “Estuary Science Art,” promoting an exhibit benefiting the Wetlands Conservancy. The group will provide a traveling exhibit originating in Corvallis and then coming to Seaside. The show will include about 150 different pieces, from watercolors to wood.

County recipients include the Fisher Poets Gathering, Astoria Visual Arts and Coast Community Radio, among others.

Oregon Cultural Trust board member Bereniece Jones-Centeno came to Astoria in 2008. “I was blown away by how much culture was being carried on through your efforts.”

As a member of the Oregon Cultural Trust, she helps distribute $3 million per year to organizations throughout the state. “They get donations from taxpayers and they use that money, which is shared cultural coalitions throughout the state,” Jones-Centeno said.

Oregon is unique, she said, as businesses receive tax credits for money donated and money is matched by the cultural trust. “They’re able to disseminate much more money across the state because you do that. Your money grows a greater difference.”

The cultural credit goes before the state Legislature in 2019, and is at risk of disappearing. Residents can support the program by contact legislators, attending events, volunteering, as well as contributions.

Reaching out to youth is a key component, Jones-Centeno added.

“Remember there’s another generation coming right along. You may feel they’re not listening. They are. Students tell me over and over what people told me about something they weren’t paying attention to. Please, take them along with you.”


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