New: Oregon Arts and Culture Caucus

An energetic duet performance of “Rhapsody in Blue” by Thomas Lauderdale, the founder of Pink Martini, and Hunter Noack, the founder of In A Landscape was a highlight of the Oregon Arts and Culture Caucus launch party on February 27, at Salem’s Elsinore Theatre. Hundreds of arts organizations from around the state, along with dozens of state legislators, attended the event.

Oregon Arts Caucus
Photo credit: Richard Clucas

Rep. Rob Nosse (D-HD12) of Portland coordinates the new bipartisan Arts and Culture Caucus, which recognizes the vital role arts and culture play in the livability and prosperity of Oregon communities – and in enriching the lives of Oregonians. The inaugural caucus also includes these Multnomah County Democratic Party representatives in Salem: Maxine Dexter, Lew Frederick, Dacia Grayber and Lisa Reynolds, who all attended the event. The Oregon Cultural Trust and the Cultural Advocacy Coalition of Oregon are among the caucus supporters.

MOsley WOtta was the event emcee for a program which also included performances by the Salem-Keizer Public Schools‘ Trumpet Quintet and Charro/Mexican horseman and rope artist Antonio Huerta from the Oregon Folklife Network.

In a statement, Nosse said, “Arts and culture are so important to Oregon. All around our state, every day there are concerts, comedy events, public hearings, podcasts, theatrical performances, debates and community events that bring the people of our state together. We must support the cultural and community hubs in our neighborhoods and I hope this caucus will continue to ensure arts and culture thrive in this state.”

The Caucus will serve as a resource to the Oregon Legislature on key issues impacting the arts and culture sector. Its members will work closely with stakeholders including the Oregon Arts Commission, the Oregon Cultural Trust (and its statewide partners) and the Cultural Advocacy Coalition of Oregon to stay informed on the latest research and issues. It will also set an agenda on priorities for arts and culture legislation, including a sustainable and robust funding mechanism for arts and cultural initiatives.

To learn more, read this OPB feature about the Oregon Arts and Culture Caucus,and view this video recap on the Oregon Arts Commission Facebook page.