CAC Members and Friends!

The Cultural Advocacy Coalition is in the final days of the Oregon legislative session and the stakes for the cultural sector are very high. The advocacy we have done all session has led us to today and we hope for successful outcomes soon. We wanted to send along some updates and invite you to join our 2nd Responders campaign in asking policymakers to support arts and culture recovery options in Oregon. 

As our friends at Californians for the Arts put it, “First responders save lives; second responders help put people’s lives back together. Artists are essential workers in our society and our economy, helping us recover, reflect, and rebuild.” Please read on and add your voice to our efforts in whatever way you can.

Legislative Session Updates:

1.  More Federal Recovery Funds for the Cultural Sector
We have been working with partners on a request to lawmakers to send another $100 million in federal recovery funds to arts and culture groups struggling to get back on their feet. We are cautiously optimistic that this is getting traction and would mean another round of critical lifeline funds for our members. We were grateful last year when $50 million in CARES ACT dollars were dedicated to our sector and hope this new infusion will also happen. Please let your policymakers know these funds are badly needed!

2.  Capital Projects 
The list of 11 capital projects the Cultural Advocacy Coalition endorses across the state totaling $9.5 million in capital investments in arts and culture is making its way through the process. These projects will support critical infrastructure projects that preserve important Oregon history and increase access to arts in both rural and urban Oregon. Read more about these projects

3.  Agency Budgets for the Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Cultural Trust, Oregon Film, and the State Office for Historic Preservation
The states revenue picture this year is strong and we expect all of these agencies to receive enough funds to cover inflationary roll up costs. We continue to advocate for increased dollars for grant programs in these agencies to focus on dollars going out to the field.  

4.  The continuation and expansion – from $14 million/year to $20 million/year – of the film and video tax creditappears on track for approval by the legislature as part of an omnibus tax credit bill.  The renewal and revision of the historic preservation property tax credit program will be deferred to the 2022 legislative session.

5.  Refreshing the Oregon State Song
Legislation has passed to replace the lyrics of “Oregon, My Oregon” with more modern, inclusive lyrics.  The Coalition views this as just a first step. We favor a additional statewide process to involve many Oregonians in replacing the state song and we are working with advocates led by the Oregon Community Foundation on a strategy to do so.

In addition to all of this important advocacy, the Coalition is working hard with Oregon’s federal congressional delegation on issues including deeper investment in the creative economy and federal appropriations for cultural projects.

It’s never been busier! Advocacy is critical right now. Please continue to talk to your networks about the needs of the cultural sector to recover from the pandemic and remind Oregon’s policymakers that arts and culture workers are 2nd Responders in the healing of our communities.  

Thank you,
Sue Hildick 
Senior Advisor 
Cultural Advocacy Coalition

Download our 2nd Responders graphic here
and stay tuned for more in the coming weeks.