Oregon Community Foundation introduces $32 Million in new Fields Fund Investments to Support Arts and Education
On May 9, 2009, the Oregon Community Foundation announced that it had just recieved the largest single gift in its history and one of the largest single gifts made to any community foundation in the country – $150 million from the estate of Fred W. Fields to support arts and education.
As the City of Portland weighed the importance of increasing public funding for arts and arts education and went on to pass a groundbreaking ballot measure to increase funding for arts teachers and arts organizations by $12 million annually, OCF’s new Fields Fund begun developing a long-term vision and strategy for infusing education and arts programs throughout the state with a significant new philanthropic funding stream.
In November 2011, the OCF’s Fields Fund released $1.3 million in special one-time grants to 136 non-profits across Oregon that are doing good work in areas that were meaningful to Fred and Suzanne Fields. And this May, the Oregon Community Foundation announced their plan for a five-year, $32-million investment in strategies and programs that will support education and the arts for all Oregonians
“OCF is honored to be the steward of a gift that will annually provide millions of dollars in support for essential education and arts programs in communities across the state,” said Max Williams, OCF president and CEO. “It is really a gift to Oregon, and will continue the generous spirit of giving personified by Fred and Sue Fields.”
In celebration of the generosity of Fred and Sue Fields and in anticipation of the powerful impact that the Oregon Community Foundation will have on arts and education in Oregon through the Fields Fund, we are excited to share the details of OCF’s new Fields Fund initiatives: Creative Heights and Studio to School.
In recognition of the need for arts and culture organizations to test new ideas and to stretch their creative capacity, the Oregon Community Foundation announces the Creative Heights Initiative. Through this four-year initiative, OCF will provide grants to help arts and culture organizations take strategic risks in the creation and dissemination of high-quality new works in Oregon, as well as provide unique opportunities for Oregonians to experience innovative arts and culture.
Up to $1 million annually is available in total. OCF is interested in reviewing proposals for a range of funding levels and timelines to best serve the needs of the particular project. Up to 25 projects will be selected per annual cycle with grants ranging from $10,000 to $125,000 per project.
In order to increase community capacity to deliver on-going arts education, The Oregon Community Foundation announces a new statewide arts education initiative. Studio to School is a multi-year grant program to support up to 15 collaborative projects between schools and community arts organizations to design and deliver sustainable arts education opportunities that have the potential for replication. Activities can occur both during the school day and in out-of-school time. Through this project, The Oregon Community Foundation aims to increase arts opportunities for underserved youth in grades K-8 and to support communities in strengthening their networks and capacity to offer year-round arts education.
Studio to School Learning Community
Along with grant support for direct programming costs, all grantees must commit to participate in meetings of a learning community around collaborative strategies for supporting high-quality, innovative arts education opportunities for elementary and middle school-aged youth. Meetings will occur two to three times per year and administrators, program managers, and educators will be required to participate. Grantees must also participate in program evaluation and will be eligible for technical assistance related to data collection and other evaluation requirements.
Established in 1973 by Portland philanthropist William Swindells Sr., The Oregon Community Foundation was formed as a permanent endowment for community improvement efforts throughout the state. It is now the largest foundation in Oregon, with $1.1 billion in assets. The Foundation works with individuals, families and businesses to create charitable funds to support community causes in which they are interested. Through these funds, OCF disbursed approximately $86 million in grants and scholarships in 2011.