The arts in Clatsop County received a boost with the annual delivery of grant funds to local arts groups.

The Clatsop County Cultural Coalition convened earlier this month at the River Inn at Seaside for the presentation of the group’s annual grant awards. The event provides state cultural funds through the coalition, said Charlene Larsen, co-chairwoman of the county coalition.

The Seaside High School Choir directed by Kimber Parker provided holiday carols to introduce the event.

Among awardees were the Seaside Museum & Historical Society, which received a grant of $2,000. Funds will be used to modify the existing exit to enable easier access for the disabled between the museum and the neighboring Butterfield Cottage. Steve Wright, president of the organization’s board of directors, accepted the gift on behalf of the museum.

Fairweather House & Gallery received a grant of $500, with money to be applied to “Estuary Science Art,” promoting an exhibit benefiting the Wetlands Conservancy. The group will provide a traveling exhibit originating in Corvallis and then coming to Seaside. The show will include about 150 different pieces, from watercolors to wood.

Recipients also include Astoria Visual Arts, Cannon Beach Arts Association, Coast Community Radio, the FisherPoets Gathering, the Findlandia Foundation, the Astoria Arts & Movement Showcase, and the Clatsop Community College Foundation among others.

‘Oregon is unique’

Oregon Cultural Trust board member Bereniece Jones-Centeno, a guest speaker, came to Astoria in 2008. “I was blown away by how much culture was being carried on through your efforts.”

As a member of the Oregon Cultural Trust, she helps distribute $3 million per year to organizations throughout the state. “They get donations from taxpayers and they use that money, which is shared cultural coalitions throughout the state,” Jones-Centeno, now a local resident, said.

Oregon is unique, she said, as businesses receive tax credits for money donated, and money is matched by the Cultural Trust. “They’re able to disseminate much more money across the state because you do that. Your money grows a greater difference.”

The cultural credit goes before the state legislature in 2019, and is at risk of disappearing. Residents can support the program by contacting legislators, attending events, volunteering and making contributions.

Reaching out to youth is a key component, Jones-Centeno added.

“Remember there’s another generation coming right along. You may feel they’re not listening. They are. Students tell me over and over what people told me about something they weren’t paying attention to. Please, take them along with you.”

Grant recipients (fiscal year 2019)

• Seaside Museum & Historical Society: $2,000

• Tillicum Foundation / Coast Community Radio: $2,000

• Clatsop Community College Foundation: $1,750

• FisherPoets Gathering: $1,125

• Finlandia Foundation: $1,125

• Astoria Visual Arts: $500

• Cannon Beach Arts Association: $500

• Fairweather House & Gallery: $500

• Astoria Arts & Movement Showcase: $500

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