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Over $8,200 in Grants Awarded to Local Arts & Culture Programs

Annually, the Crook County Cultural Coalition, sponsored by the Crook County Foundation, awards over $8,000 in grants to art and cultural projects in Crook County. The funds come from the Oregon Cultural Trust, where over 60% of the monies they raise are re-distributed back to Oregon counties. The more local residents donate to the Oregon Cultural Trust, the more our county receives for grants.

The local Crook County Cultural Coalition, led by chair Tom Jay, meets early each year after a grant cycle has concluded to review applications and determine how to best support local arts. Each year, there is more funds requested then they have to award, so the committee looks at what impact the proposed program will have, how much additional support the program has if the grant awarded will not fund it all, if it is a new proposal or program, and how well the requestor has followed through with post-grant reporting in the past.

On February 5th, the Cultural Coalition, joined by board members of the Crook County Foundation, invited this year’s grant recipients to an award ceremony at the Crook County Library, where the following groups were presented checks for their programs.

Prineville Music Theater Camp received $1,000 for their summer production. Beginning in 2010, annually 40 Crook County youth ages 7-16 participate in a 3-week camp where they learn how to prepare and perform musical theater, production components, costume design and creation, and enjoy music. This wraps up with a public performance in the summer.

The Ochoco Players, Prineville's community theatre group, was re-established in 2014 after a hiatus of 20 years. Their goal is to provide local residents with an opportunity for acting and stagecraft from the beginner to the experienced. They were awarded $500 which will go towards royalty fees, props, costumes, and supplies to put on a production in the Bowman Museum’s Community room in the late fall.

Picnic in the Park received $3,000 that will be utilized contracting bands to be on the Pioneer Park stage during the 16th year of this free summer music series. The Crook County Foundation has been producing this series to provide residents with entertainment and exposure to musical art, each year the committee fundraises over $17,000 to hire bands, market the series, hire a professional sound technician, and pay royalty fees.

The Crook County Middle School Library in partnership with the Crook County Library received $1,000 which will assist to bring to Prineville children’s author April Henry this spring. April’s books are well-loved thrillers and mysteries primarily for older children and teens. She will be hosting multiple sessions at the middle school, high school, and county library, giving residents a chance to learn directly from a professional author.

Rimrock Trails is a nonprofit adolescent residential substance use program, with nearly 80% of youth residents considered low income. Due to life difficulties, most have never been able to experience the arts. Rimrock is launching a new program, which they were awarded a $1,500 grant, to take their youth to plays in Bend with a discounted ticket program with Thoroughly Modern Productions. The goal is to provide exposure to arts and culture which will give the youth with a new area to concentrate on as they are in recovery.

H.O.R.S.E.S. On The Ranch received $1,200 to be used towards their production of the 2nd annual McKay Creek Cowboy Gathering which will be held this August at Wine Down Ranch. H.O.R.S.E.S. On The Ranch is an equine-assisted therapy program with goals to facilitate healing and growth through partnerships with horses. The Cowboy Gathering is their primary fundraiser and maintains the heritage of Crook County with western poets and performers, vendors providing leatherwork, art, tack, and more. This free event allows residents and visitors to get a glimpse into cowboy tradition.

We hope that you will support these amazing art programs through the year by providing additional donations, attending their performances, and sharing this information with your friends and family. To learn more about the Oregon Cultural Trust, please visit their website For more information about the Crook County Cultural Coalition, please contact Brandi Ebner, Crook County Foundation Executive Director at 541-362-1210 or email

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