Creating an economically vital Oregon, full of vibrant communities and innovative thinkers, strengthened by healthy trade and tourism.

Want to know more about the Oregon Arts Commission's work and impact? Dive into this 48-second introduction, illustrated by Paste in Place and produced by Sheepscot Creative.

Our Mission

To enhance the quality of life for all Oregonians through the arts by stimulating creativity, leadership and economic vitality.  

Brief Legislative History

The Oregon Arts Commission was established in 1967 to foster the arts in Oregon and ensure their excellence. Nine Commissioners, appointed by the Governor, determine policies, establish long-range plans, and review applications to grants programs to determine funding levels.

In 1993, the Oregon Arts Commission became a division of the Oregon Business Development Department 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 and making use of the Commission's expertise in grant-making, arts and cultural information and community cultural development.

The Arts Commission is supported with general funds appropriated by the Oregon legislature, federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, and funds from the Oregon Cultural Trust.

Our Strategic Plan

The arts and culture are touchstones of community and civic life and it is essential to preserve, stabilize and develop their central role to benefit Oregonians and Oregon’s quality of life. The Oregon Arts Commission believes:

  • Art brings people together, strengthening communities.
  • Art is critical for our students.
  • Art adds value to Oregon’s economy.
  • Art is fundamental to a healthy society.

The Commission’s role is:

  • To lead through advocacy, policy development and planning.
  • To seek funding for and make grants to arts organizations and artists.
  • To build coalitions and encourage collaborations among the public and private sectors,
  • arts and culture organizations, and artists.
  • To ensure the arts touch the lives of all Oregonians.

To ensure that:

  • Oregonians have wide access to the arts.
  • Oregon arts organizations across the State have the skills and resources to offer high quality programs.
  • Public and private support for arts and culture is increased and leveraged.
  • Oregonians have access to quality arts learning opportunities.
  • Oregon artists are supported in creating work of acknowledged high quality.

The Oregon Arts Commission will work toward realizing these goals using four primary means:

  • Leadership activities that link and leverage the arts with other issues and sectors.
  • Grant funding to arts organizations, artists, and other nonprofit entities.
  • Partnerships with other agencies, funders, and sectors to increase funding and other resources to assist arts groups and others in realizing these goals.
  • Communication and technical assistance.

Want to know more? Read the complete 2011-2016 Strategic Plan.

Oregon Arts Commission

(503) 986-0082 (phone)
(503) 986-0260 (fax)
775 Summer Street NE, Ste 200
Salem, OR 97301-1280