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Creative Stretch: Findings from the Creative Heights Initiative

What happens when cultural organizations and artists/creatives receive early investment to stretch their practices and work in new ways when developing new work?

This report documents the lessons learned from the first four years (2014-2017) of projects supported by Oregon Community Foundation’s (OCF) Creative Heights Initiative.

We hope that insights gained from these projects will not only build the capacity and confidence of other artists, creatives, and non-profits looking to stretch their creative practice, but also encourage support for promising new work.

Portland Opera’s production of David Lang’s The Difficult of Crossing a Field. Photo: Cory Weaver.

Portland Opera’s production of David Lang’s The Difficult of Crossing a Field. Photo: Cory Weaver.

The mission of the OCF is to improve lives for all Oregonians through the power of philanthropy. Creative Heights is one of OCF’s strategies to create more vibrant and accessible arts communities of all sizes across the state. Currently, around $1 million is available annually, and grants can range from $25,000-$100,000.

Creative Heights was created to support artists and other cultural creatives in testing new ideas, stretching their creative practice, providing opportunities for Oregonians to experience innovative arts and culture, and increasing Oregon’s cultural visibility and vitality. There are no other funding sources in Oregon supporting the creation, development, and presentation of new contemporary art and innovative cultural projects at this scale. What little regional or national funding exists tends to be accessible only by large organizations.

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