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Oregon’s Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) Cultural Support program

Application now live - $25.9 million to be distributed statewide by Sept. 15


Crook County Fairgrounds | Crook County School District | Firefly Events | Grimes Scene Inc.

Paddy Pint Run | Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce

Applications are now live and open for Oregon’s Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) Cultural Support program. Funds allocated to the Oregon Cultural Trust will be available to Oregon cultural organizations facing losses due to the COVID-19 health crisis. The $25.9 million in funding was made available through a $50 million relief package for Oregon culture recently approved by the Emergency Board of the Oregon Legislature. 

The distribution plan for the CRF Cultural Support program was approved at the Aug. 6 Cultural Trust Board of Directors meeting. Applications are due by noon on Monday, Aug. 24, and approved funds must be distributed by Sept. 15. 

“We are grateful to the members of our Board for authorizing us to move forward with the distribution plan as soon as possible,” said Brian Rogers, executive director of the Cultural Trust. “We have worked hard to develop a statewide, equitable distribution plan and look forward to supporting our cultural community in surviving this unprecedented crisis.” 

All Oregon cultural nonprofits and community venues are welcome to apply. Eligible grant recipients include, but are not limited to, cultural institutions, county fairgrounds, cultural entities within federally recognized Indian Tribes based in Oregon, and festivals and community event organizations. Funds will be distributed through the Cultural Trust statewide network of County and Tribal Cultural Coalitions. Funding will be determined based on eligible request amounts, an award allocation formula that establishes a base amount of funds per county or tribe and the organization’s fiscal size. COVID-19 expenses previously reimbursed by other federal CARES Act programs are not eligible. Complete guidelines are posted on the Cultural Trust website. 

The intended use of the CRF Cultural Support funds is to provide financial assistance to cultural nonprofit organizations and community venues that have canceled or postponed public programming because of public health executive orders associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Guidelines for the funding are in accordance with the U.S. Department of the Treasury. 

The federal CARES Act requires that CRF funding only be used to cover expenses that: are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency; were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020 (the date of enactment of the CARES Act); and were incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020, and ends on Dec. 30, 2020. 

The Cultural Trust is committed to serving Oregon’s culturally diverse and traditionally underserved communities.

Funding Guidelines

Funding Awards: Application and Distribution Process The Oregon Cultural Trust will promote and distribute this application directly to cultural organizations and community venues in coordination with County and Tribal Coalitions (Coalitions) and other partners. Applications to the CRFCS program will be submitted directly to the Cultural Trust, which will partner with respective County Coalitions to review applications for eligibility, funding request amounts and community cultural impact. Cultural Trust Partner representatives, Trust Board Members and other stakeholders will also be involved in the review process as needed. 

Submitted applications will be reviewed for eligibility, completeness and accuracy. Applications that meet stated program eligibility and need requirements will be authorized for funding, pending availability of funds. 

The Cultural Trust will develop an equitable statewide award allocation formula. Informed by the County and Tribal Coalition funding model, the award allocation formula will establish a base amount of funds by county or tribe. County population calculations are then applied, adjusted by total received eligible request amounts and the organization’s fiscal size. COVID-19 expenses funded by previous Federal CARES ACT funding are not eligible in this program. 

The Cultural Trust will award each Coalition the aggregate of all awards made in their county service area reflecting individual award amounts for each organization. Coalitions will provide final review and process organization contracts. 

The funding period is restricted by federal law to necessary expenditures incurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency beginning March 1, 2020, through December 30, 2020. 

Any Coalition funds not allocated by September 15, 2020, will be returned to the Cultural Trust for reallocation to other Coalitions. 

Application Deadline All applications for funding must be received no later than noon (12:00pm) on Monday, August 24, 2020. The majority of funds will be distributed by the Coalitions by September 15, 2020. Any unallocated funds will be returned to the Cultural Trust for redistribution to other Coalitions. 

Eligibility The Cultural Trust seeks to support a wide range of cultural organizations and projects, making investments across the state. ORS 359.400 defines a “cultural organization” as one that is “organized primarily for the purpose of producing, promoting or presenting the arts, history, heritage and humanities to the public or organized primarily for identifying, documenting, interpreting and preserving cultural resources.” Organizations using a fiscal sponsor are not eligible to apply. 

At the time of the application deadline, all applicant organizations must: 

• Have active organization registration with the State of Oregon’ Secretary of State and 

• Provide services that take place within the state of Oregon; and 

• Be a cultural entity within a federally recognized Indian Tribe based in Oregon; or 

• Be an institution of higher learning (universities and colleges) that has a significant cultural program or cultural organization; or 

• Be an organization that operates county fairgrounds; or 

• Be a local government or organization that operates festivals and/or community cultural events. 


Organizations must be in operation for a minimum of one year. 


During the covered period awarded organizations must have or acquire an active: 

• DUNS Number (DUNS Link) 

• Registration with the System Award Management (SAM Link) 


If your organization does not have an active registration with SAM and DUNS number at the time of application you will need to acquire these no later than December 30, 2020. 


The Cultural Trust may require additional information, and has final authority on eligibility determination. 


A searchable list and PDF of many eligible cultural organizations is available on the Cultural Trust website. 


Organizations that receive other CRF awards from the Department of Administrative Services as outlined in the “Item 2: Oregon Business Development Department/Department of Administrative Services, Statewide Business and Cultural Support” (passed by the Oregon State Legislative Emergency Board on July 14, 2020) are not eligible for CRFCS funding. For a list of organizations and more information see the Item 2 document. 

Requirements and Limitations Only one application per cultural organization or cultural entity within a tribe will be accepted. No matching funds are required. 

Criteria to receive funding include: 

• Applicant has cancelled or will cancel or postpone public programming because of economic conditions and executive orders associated with the COVID-19 pandemic; 

• Applicant has a demonstrated revenue loss since March 1, 2020; 

• Applicant has articulated and demonstrated an appropriate use of the funding in accordance with the stated purpose of the CRFCS guidance; and 

• Applicant agrees to the accountability of accepting and using CRFCS with appropriate financial documentation and fiscal oversight 


CRF Cultural Support funds can only be used to cover expenses during the period that begins on March 1, 2020, and ends on December 30, 2020, and that are necessary expenditures incurred due to the COVID– 19 public health emergency. 

Eligible expenditures must align with Federal CRF guidelines; see the Coronavirus Relief Fund Guidance and Frequently Asked Questions for more information. 

Nonexclusive examples of eligible expenditures include, but are not limited to, payment expenses associated with the provision of economic support in connection with the COVID-19 public health emergency, such as: 

• Reimbursement of the costs of business interruption caused by required closures and/or reduced operations (excluding PPP or other federal funds); rent, lease or mortgage/loan payments for venue facilities; and operating costs (insurance, utilities, and personnel). 

• Reimbursement of costs associated with venue reopening, including alterations to facilities to meet reopening guidelines, extra cleaning costs or supplies and the purchase of employee personal protective equipment (PPE); 

• Reimbursement of costs associated with transitioning services to alternative means or methods (i.e. online services or outdoor or limited attendance performances); and 

• Durable goods or services acquired during the covered period that were previously unbudgeted and a necessary expense incurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. 

Local governments operating cultural organizations For venues and programs owned by state or local government that had budgeted for operating costs prior to the pandemic, CARES Act Funds cannot be used as revenue replacement and usual operating expenses are not eligible. Publicly-owned venues are eligible for costs attributable to the pandemic that were not budgeted, such as additional cleaning costs, certain personnel costs or PPE. Local governments are encouraged to review the U.S. Treasury guidance for eligible expenses. 

Ineligible Expenditures In addition to eligibility requirements, there are clear limitations to the use of CRF. Funds may not be used for: 

• Previously budgeted costs incurred outside of the covered period (March 1, 2020 to December 30, 2020); 

• Performance or delivery of a good or service received prior to or after the covered period. 

• Damages covered by insurance; 

• Reimbursement to donors for donated items or services; 

• Expenses that have been or will be reimbursed under any federal program, such as the reimbursement by the federal government pursuant to the CARES Act of contributions by States to State unemployment funds; 

• Workforce bonuses other than hazard pay or overtime; 

• Property taxes; 

• Capital improvement projects, if not a necessary expenditure incurred due to COVID-19*; 

• Severance pay; and 

• Legal settlements. 

*Consult with the Cultural Trust prior to receiving CRF if capital improvements are required.

Final Reporting Requirements Within 30 days of the conclusion of the covered period (January 30, 2021) awardees will be required to submit a final report to the Cultural Trust that documents eligible expenditures and full accounting of itemized expenses as listed on the original application. The Coalition will send the final report form to recipients shortly after awards are made. The final report will contain a self-certification that all funds were expended in accordance with U.S. Department of the Treasury guidance. 

Application Form and Submission Organizations may submit an application online. The Cultural Trust and/or Coalition may contact applicants for more information. 

The application form is on the following pages. The online system DOES NOT ALLOW you to save and return later. You will need to complete the application in one session. Review the following questions prior to launching the online application and prepare your responses in advance. We recommend preparing your responses to the questions in a word processing program as well as your funding requests. 

About the Oregon Cultural Trust Created in 2001 by the Oregon Legislature, the Oregon Cultural Trust is a testament to how much Oregonians value culture. No other state provides a 100 percent tax credit to inspire cultural giving. As uniquely Oregonian as public beaches and the bottle bill, the Oregon Cultural Trust was designed as an ongoing funding engine for arts and culture across the state. Oregonians fund the Cultural Trust. We, in turn, fund the artists, potters, poets, acrobats and dreamers who define our famous quality of life. 

In 2019 Oregonians gave $4.5 million to the Cultural Trust. Sixty percent of that went straight back to the field. The remaining 40 percent helped grow our permanent fund. Our three grant programs fund our five Statewide Partners, 45 County and Tribal Coalitions and 1,450+ qualified cultural nonprofits through competitive Cultural Development Grants.   More information at 

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