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Lincoln City Cultural Center’s plaza project reaches its goal

The "Invest in Inspiration" campaign will add greenery, paths, and patios around the Delake School.


It must have seemed a curious sight Monday for passers-by in Lincoln City as masked men and women took turns mounting a stepladder on the front lawn of the Lincoln City Cultural Center. They did so to raise the temperature on the fundraising thermometer one red bar at a time, to celebrate the center’s achieving its $250,000 goal in “Invest in Inspiration,” the Cultural Plaza Project.

The effort began 12 months ago with funds coming from private donations and the sale of commemorative bricks. The center also will receive $1.5 million in state lottery funds. The plaza project will feature a pedestrian-friendly area around the historic Delake School, completed in 1929, which houses the center, as well as a path compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act, new patios, an outdoor classroom for activities such as raku kiln firing, dedicated spaces for public art installations, gathering places, and new lighting.

The Lincoln City Cultural Center’s “Invest in Inspiration” campaign will turn the yard around the historic Delake School, which houses the center, into a plaza, park, paths, and parking. Photo courtesy: Lincoln City Cultural Center
The Lincoln City Cultural Center’s “Invest in Inspiration” campaign will replace crumbling sidewalks and rusty fencing around the historic Delake School with a plaza, paths, and park area. Photo courtesy: Lincoln City Cultural Center

“In the year since we launched the Invest in Inspiration capital campaign, so much has happened,” said the center’s executive director, Niki Price. “I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say it’s been a real roller coaster. From the thrill of the $1.5 million state pledge to the social isolation of the pandemic, we’ve seen it all. What has been most amazing of all has been the constant support from our donors: check by check, brick by brick, we’ve been filling up that thermometer. Our heartfelt thanks to the community, for your continued faith in this great idea.”

The center has canceled its annual gala, but is going forward with the Culture, Of Course! 50/50 Raffle that accompanies it. The grand prize winner will receive half the proceeds, which could go as high as $5,000. Second prize is a hand-woven Turkmen rug and third is a $50 gift certificate to The Riverhouse Nestucca. Tickets are $20 each or six for $100, available for purchase by phone at 541-994-9994 or online. The drawing will be held later this summer.

Elsewhere, the news is not much to celebrate, but it is about putting the health of the community first. With the exception of the Seaside Farmers Market, open Wednesdays with COVID-19 precautions in place, events in Seaside through the summer have been canceled. Most notably, that includes the Muscle and Chrome Car Show, the Miss Oregon Pageant, and the popular Seaside Beach Volleyball Tournament.

Likewise, the Coaster Theatre in Cannon Beach has postponed its 2020 season. Astoria also has canceled major events, including the Scandinavian Midsummer Festival and Shanghaied in Astoria.

But at least one popular event is going forward – that is, virtually. The Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce is inviting people from all over to take part in the Virtual Sandcastle Contest 2020 – Summer of Sandcastles. This is the 56th year of the contest. The virtual version is open through Sept. 7 and includes a category for submissions with Haystack Rock and one for submissions without.


This story is supported in part by a grant from the Oregon Cultural Trust, investing in Oregon’s arts, humanities and heritage, and the Lincoln County Cultural Coalition.

Lori Tobias is a journalist of many years, and was a staff writer for The Oregonian for more than a decade, and a columnist and features writer for the Rocky Mountain News. Her memoir “Storm Beat – A Journalist Reports from the Oregon Coast” was published in 2020 by Oregon State University press. She is also the author of the novel Wander, winner of the 2017 Nancy Pearl Book Award for literary fiction and a finalist for the 2017 International Book Awards for new fiction. She lives on the Oregon Coast with her husband Chan and rescue pups Luna and Monkey.