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News & Notes: 14 projects share $1 million in Creative Heights grants

The Oregon Community Foundation's grants to arts and cultural projects range from $17,000 to $100,000 in Portland, Warm Springs, Phoenix, and Eugene.


The Warm Springs Community Action Team and LaRonn Katchia were awarded $75,000 to develop and produce Katchia’s documentary film “A Bridge to the Future.” Photo courtesy Oregon Community Foundation.

The Oregon Community Foundation has announced grants totaling $1 million to 14 projects in its latest round of Creative Heights Awards, the foundation announced Thursday. The grants range from $17,000 to $100,000, and will go to artists or organizations mostly in Portland, with projects also chosen from Eugene, Phoenix, and Warm Springs.

“We’re thrilled to announce this group of 2022 Creative Heights awards,” Jerry Tischleder, the foundation’s senior program officer for arts and culture, said in a prepared statement. “These artist-driven projects represent some of the most ambitious and important proposals that we’ve ever seen.”

The foundation’s Creative Heights grants are widely sought and often make possible projects that wouldn’t otherwise come to fruition.

Joshua Caraco and Tumulo Michael Molloi were awarded $100,000 for a musical theater project connecting South Africa’s anti-apartheid struggle and U.S. civil rights and Black Lives Matter movements. Photo courtesy Lane Arts Council and Oregon Community Foundation.

The 2022 winners:

Alejandro IV Barragan, Portland. $100,000 for a three-part project that will include 13 art installations using art and music to help people learn about the Day of the Dead; a web map of Day of the Dead celebrations around Oregon; and a documentary of the tradition’s origins and evolution.

All Ages Music Portland and Andre Middleton, Portland. $70,000 to produce and professionally record a music compilation album featuring works created by youth artists, and to perform the music at several concerts, including an all-ages music festival.

CETI and Nandini Ranganathan, Portland. $100,000 for CETI (A Creative and Emergent Technology Institute) and Ranganathan, a futurist/educator/technologist and CETI’s executive director, to create “participatory multimedia cultural research, storytelling, and new media” to remember and tell the stories of Chinese families buried at Block 14 in Lone Fir Cemetery.

Future Prairie and Emmanuel Henreid, Portland. $80,000 to develop Henreid’s multidiscioplnary and intergenerational art project that will “archive, showcase, pay, and honor five prolific Black musicians” who have played central roles in Portland’s creative scene.

Gabriel Barrera, Phoenix. $90,000 to develop an art studio and art movement beginning with four young BIPOC adults who will “build on their awareness of social justice practices in art, gain resources, learn from guest artists and amplify their creative strengths by joining a community of artists.”

Jeff Oliver, Portland. $100,000 to create with Open Signal Labs a series of horror films “that are smart, creatively risk-taking social commentaries on gender and race in Oregon.”

Joshua Caraco & Tumelo Michael Moloi, Eugene. $100,000 to develop a musical theater piece drawing on Moloi’s experience of growing up in South Africa and then living on an Oregon farm in Junction City “to connect the struggle against apartheid in South Africa to the U.S. Civil Rights and Black Lives Matter movements.”

Opera Theater Oregon and Rose Ann Abrahamson, Portland. $100,000 to develop Abrahamson’s new opera Nu Na-Hup: Sacajawea’s Story, reimagining the Shoshone woman’s tale as a guide for the Lewis and Clark Expedition from her Aqai-Dika Indigenous perspective.

Paul Susi, Portland. $17,000 to develop a storytelling project about Chee Gong, “a wrongfully convicted vicim of anti-Asian racism in 1880s Portland.”

PHAME Academy/ Jessica Dart & Jason Rouse, Portland. $65,000 to produce a staged concert by PHAME students and guest artists, inspired by Talking heads’ 1984 film Stop Making Sense and including song, dance, instrumental music, videos, and projections.

Portland Playhouse The sounds of Afrolitical Movement Portland Oregon

Talilo Marfil, Portland. $50,000 to develop a film “in collaboration with local talent, houseless youth, and a world-known artist.”

Theatre Diaspora and Samson Syharath, Portland. $24,000 to develop Portlandia Diaspora, Syharath’s “interactive visual novel” exploring Portland’s scene with an Asian American and Pacific Islander lens.

Vanport Mosaic and Damaris Webb, Portland. $31,500 to film, tour, and create accompanying material for the play Walking Through Portland with a Panther: The Life of Mr. Kent Ford, All Power.

Warm Springs Community Action Team and LaRonn Katchia, Warm Springs. $71,500 to write, film, and edit Warm Springs tribal member Katchia’s documentary A Bridge to the Future, which will capture “the transformation of community in the de-/re-construction of the 125-year old Warm Springs (BIA) Commissary – a symbol of a tribal community claiming a new future.”

Bob Hicks has been covering arts and culture in the Pacific Northwest since 1978, including 25 years at The Oregonian. Among his art books are Kazuyuki Ohtsu; James B. Thompson: Fragments in Time; and Beth Van Hoesen: Fauna and Flora. His work has appeared in American Theatre, Biblio, Professional Artist, Northwest Passage, Art Scatter, and elsewhere. He also writes the daily art-history series "Today I Am."


One Response

  1. Smashing! Happy to know that the arts are alive and well in Oregon. I’ve recently returned after a few years away…I left as a writer and returned as a visual artist…

    All best, to everyone…

    Molly Larson Cook

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