Cultural Trust

July 22, 2020

Brian Rogers
Executive Director
Oregon Cultural Trust
775 Summer Street NE, Suite 200
Salem, OR 97301

Dear Director Rodgers,

As you begin the process for developing the guidance for the Oregon Business Development Department’s Statewide Cultural Support program, we want to highlight the critical cultural, economic and historical role county fairs and the County and Tribal Coalitions play within eastern and central Oregon.

The value our county fairs and fairgrounds bring to our communities cannot be overstated. These facilities provide year-round support for our entire community, not just during “fair week.” Fairgrounds across Oregon support their school districts, and agriculture and 4-H youth programs throughout the year with no-cost facility usage, not to mention the support these activities provide to small businesses and small business owners that rely on these activities. Nonagricultural programs such as dance, Junior ROTC, rodeo, and all traditional sports teams receive year-round fundraising support through use of these facilities. We urge you to recognize this value, prioritize these cultural venues and provide budgetary flexibility so that our communities can find
creative solutions that meet the needs of our communities.

Please work closely with our County and Tribal Coalitions when prioritizing the needs of local communities. Providing direct allocations to our County and Tribal Coalitions will ensure local participation during the vetting process and will maintain local expertise in the prioritization of projects.

Lastly, we ask that the Oregon Business Development Department maintain an equitable distribution of the Cultural Support dollars throughout the entire state. The Emergency Board has already provided direct allocation of $24 million to venues throughout this state. The remaining $27 can’t be viewed in isolation. The rich traditions of Oregon aren’t limited to Portland Metro. We must preserve and protect culture in every corner of this state by making sure the entire $50 million is the lens we use when determining a fair distribution.

We thank you for the critical work that you’re doing to preserve the cultural and venue needs of our communities during this COVID crisis.


Cultural Trust Signatures

Rep. Owens Calls on Budget Committee to Leave Warner Creek Correctional Facility Open

Oregon State Representative Mark Owens
House District 60

Rep. Owens Calls on Budget Committee to Leave Warner Creek Correctional Facility Open

SALEM—Representative Mark Owens (R-Crane) called on the Joint Ways & Means legislative committee to find another way to balance than budget in the public safety sector, instead of closing the Warner Creek Correctional Facility in Lakeview.  The various Ways & Means subcommittees will be meeting this week via video conference to discuss budget cuts and filling Oregon’s budget deficit.

Rep. Owens said, “This facility is critical to the survival of the town of Lakeview and the surrounding areas.  Closing it would mean the loss of over one hundred local family-wage jobs.  Make no mistake, Lake County cannot sustain this type of a  hit, especially during some of the worst economic times our communities have seen in decades.”

“It is also my understanding there is not enough capacity in Oregon’s other prisons to transition the almost 500 inmates to other locations.  Warner Creek is one of the newest prisons in Oregon—it would be a shame to close a newer facility in favor of keeping older ones open that are more expensive to operate.”

“I urge the Committee to reconsider this closure, and to find the necessary budgetary reductions elsewhere,” added Rep. Owens.

House District 60 encompasses parts of Lake County, as well as all of Baker, Grant, Harney and Malheur Counties.

Public comment regarding the proposed closure of the Warner Creek facility can be submitted through the Joint Ways & Means Public Safety Subcommittee at: