Celebrating Community and Philanthropy
Tukwahone’ Culture and Heritage Center and the Burns Community Celebration / Burns
“Our Tribal members have been left behind in business ownership and the generational knowledge that comes with that. What’s holding us back? Nothing other than us being able to learn it ourselves and being able to teach it to our kids.”
Community Economic Development Coordinator, Burns Paiute Tribe
Last fall, OCF joined community members in Burns to celebrate the power of philanthropy. On September 22 and 23, OCF staff and President and CEO Max Williams met with regional nonprofits and local leaders to learn about community needs and discuss opportunities for grants, charitable funds and endowment partnerships.
The Burns Paiute Tribe hosted OCF staff to celebrate a grant supporting the Tukwahone’ Culture and Heritage Center, a 7,500–square–foot building in downtown Burns that will serve as an entrepreneurship incubator, retail shop for Tribal artwork, commercial kitchen, community center and exhibition space. “Our Tribal members have been left behind in business ownership and the generational knowledge that comes with that,” says Tracy Kennedy, the Tribe’s community economic development coordinator. “Now, we have the space to be able to own our own businesses.”
Tracy credits OCF’s support with leveraging additional funding: “Without OCF stepping in so early, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”
OCF’s visit to Burns ended with a community celebration at the historic Central Hotel. Long–time donors Jay and Teresa Bowerman, whose commission of the “Malheur Symphony” catalyzed an ongoing engagement with Harney County and the Burns Paiute Tribe, attended both events. “It was very gratifying to see what’s going on over there and to see OCF’s involvement in helping these projects gain some momentum,” Jay says.