Photo courtesy of Modoc Broadcasting Corporation

Southern Oregon

KOBI Spirit of Community Moment: Creative Heights

KOBI: And Oregon Community Foundation’s Creative Heights Initiative encourages artists all over Oregon to take their art to new levels. Thousands of artists have created projects that push their boundaries in ways that benefit them and their communities. We’re about to show you how Creative Heights encourages local Indigenous artists to express themselves through art. All kinds of art.  

KOBI: So, is a radio station “art?” Oh, yeah!

Radio: You’re listening to our “Mother’s Heart”, brought to you by Modoc Broadcasting Corporation in Klamath Falls, Oregon.

Randy Henry: I got an awesome radio station. People tell me they love it.

KOBI: Randy Henry is President of Modoc Broadcasting in the Klamath Basin. He broadcasts content that promotes the languages and cultures of local tribes.   

RH: I thought that if I have this opportunity to start a radio station from scratch, I've done it before, then it has a lot of power and it affects people's lives in a good way.

KOBI: With a grant from Creative Heights, Randy will soon be on the air in the Klamath Basin. But for now, you can listen to his programs on-line. In fact, the world is listening.

RH: It was playing in some bar in Germany.

KOBI: This is Chava Florendo. She’s the lead artist with the Visual Sovereignty Project in collaboration with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. The Sovereignty Project is also made possible by the Creative Heights initiative.  

Chava Florendo: What was so refreshing about the Creative Heights program, is it allowed us to really just focus on the artist, it gave us the opportunity to say, what would you like to do? What gifts do you have. It also really fights the notion that Indigenous artists have to create something that appears to be Indigenous or fits what the audience might have an expectation of, for what native or Indigenous work is. And so, in all my work with, especially with youth, I always tell them, Indigenous art is Indigenous art, because you made it. I've watched a lot of grants roll through, and they always have really, really sharp parameters. And you're so focused on meeting the goals that you set forth in the grant. And I think, where Oregon Community Foundation is hitting it out of the park on this one is they are really about the art and the artists.

KOBI: If you’d like to help make Southern Oregon a better place to live, visit Oregon Community Foundation at oregoncf.org.

This from KOBI TV's "Oregon Community Foundation: Spirit of Community" series.