Opinion & Editorial

Lively: A call for citizens to ‘make culture count’

For more than two decades, the Oregon Cultural Trust has played an essential role in enriching cultural resources across our state by supporting more than 1,600 nonprofits. The Cultural Trust and its donors continue to weave a unique and awe-inspiring cultural tapestry, united by artistry, defined by stories and guided by wisdom. 

Now, the Cultural Trust is calling for all Oregonians to #MakeCultureCount by supporting the amazing cultural nonprofits that define our communities and our quality of life. 

How? It’s simple. The Cultural Trust empowers Oregonians to leverage their support to arts, heritage and humanities nonprofits with the Cultural Tax Credit. When you match your cultural donations with a gift to the Cultural Trust, you play a vital role in funding more than 1,600 cultural organizations. And come tax time, you will receive a 100% state tax credit refund for your donation to the Cultural Trust.

By using the Cultural Tax Credit, Oregonians and the Cultural Trust have awarded close to $40 million, and counting, to nonprofits across the state. This year alone, close to $3 million was awarded to 136 organizations – including block grants to 45 County and Tribal Cultural Coalitions that annually make an additional 450 local awards.

Since 2003, Cultural Trust awards in Lane County alone total close to an astounding $5 million – including pandemic relief funding I was proud to help enact. For FY2024, those receiving grant awards include Eugene’s Community Center for the Performing Arts, the Creswell Heritage Foundation, Lane Arts Council and Orchestra Next, among others. 

Please join the movement and #MakeCultureCount in your community. Add up the donations you made to cultural organizations this year, then match them with a gift to the Cultural Trust. When you file your taxes, enter the amount you matched to the Trust on your 2023 Oregon Tax Form to claim your tax credit. 

Maximum tax credit limits are $500 for individuals, $1,000 for couples filing jointly and $2,500 for C-class corporations. More info: CulturalTrust.org and 503-988-0088.

Rep. John Lively is a Cultural Trust board member. He submitted this to The Chronicle. He can be reached at [email protected] 



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