MEDFORD, Ore. – As winter settles into communities throughout the Southern Oregon and Northern California region, ending a year that has brought challenges like no other, it’s the arts and humanities programs that continue to provide needed connection and healing.
Local organizations that deliver music, theater and visual arts have had to pivot during 2020 in ways never imagined. Many have moved to virtual programming to connect with families and students at home while also working behind-the-scenes to preserve cherished in-person programs so that they can return in the future.
To support these programs’ ongoing efforts, PacifiCorp Foundation, a nonprofit arm of Pacific Power, is donating more than $200,000 in new funding across the six states it serves to support the arts and humanities – along with continued needs by organizations on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response.
“Local programs like these are the heartbeat of our region, providing connection, education and tradition and helping to heal and strengthen our communities,” said Christina Kruger, regional business manager for Medford. “Pacific Power is honored to continue our support of these vital organizations, and we encourage others who have the means to support them as well, so their programming can continue long into the future.”
A total of 44 Foundation grants were given to non-profit organizations across Pacific Power’s service area, ranging between $1,000 and $5,500. The grants reflect the diversity of the communities Pacific Power serves, and the diverse needs of these communities during this time.
For the Southern Oregon and Northern California area, grants were provided to the following organizations providing vital arts and education programs:
Liberty Arts to fund 300 “We Art Together” binders with art supplies and age-appropriate instructions to lead Siskiyou County students isolated at home due to the pandemic;
Oregon Conservatory of Performing Arts to support The Online Conservatory, their online branch started in response to COVID, which provides quality online theatrical education for children and adults in the community;
Rogue Valley Art Association for art classes for teen girls healing from the trauma of sex trafficking who live at a safe house and have little opportunity for outside activities;
Ross Ragland Theater to support their COVID-19 projects including the reopening of the theater in Klamath Falls with limited seating, safe, socially-distanced theater workshop programs for youth, and other educational programs for children;
Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon to help sustain music programs for aspiring young musicians during this challenging time, including virtual education and training programs that will provide access to more students.
Grants were also given to these organizations providing additional community support during COVID:
Free the Need to increase weekly, emergency food distribution by 20 percent for one year to respond to the rising need for assistance among people in Siskiyou County, Calif., and Jackson County, Ore.;
Grants Pass Family YMCA to support critically needed childcare and other essential health, fitness, recreation and educational services that families throughout Josephine County depend on regardless of their ability to pay, especially during the pandemic.
In all, more than $2.3 million has been prioritized in 2020 for organizations across the six states PacifiCorp serves, dedicated to helping communities with the greatest needs. Prioritization will continue through 2021 for grants that support needs around the COVID-19 pandemic and communities rebuilding in the aftermath of the Labor Day storm. The next grant cycle is now open through March 15; organizations may apply online here.