On August 9, 2001, Governor John Kitzhaber signed into law House Bill 2923 to provide funding and structure for Oregon’s Trust for Cultural Development. This legislation established a tax credit for direct contributions to the Oregon Trust for Cultural Development - a long-term public/private funding initiative designed to preserve and strengthen culture for all Oregonians. Funds raised through the Oregon Cultural Trust are distributed to counties and tribes to support local cultural projects and collaborations through competitive grants. The biggest source of funding for the Cultural Trust is gifts from individuals and businesses.
The Columbia County Board of Commissioners (BOCC) supports development of cultural assets in Columbia County and in 2004 established a Cultural Coalition Planning Committee. Rural Development Initiatives, Inc. worked with this group and wrote the first cultural plan for the county. It was approved by the Oregon Cultural Trust (OCT) in 2006.
The BOCC appointed the nine-member Columbia County Cultural Coalition Board (CCCCB) in early 2006. The CCCCB receives funding annually from the Oregon Cultural Coalition for the purpose of making grants to organizations that promote and foster arts and cultural activities in Columbia County. The CCCCB updated the plan in 2008; it was approved by OCT in 2008 and adopted by the BOCC in February 2009. As of 2013, nearly $70,000 in grants have been awarded across the county.
The deadline for grant applications for the 2015 cycle has passed. The deadline for the 2016 cycle is October 15, 2015. Application form and guidelines will be available for download in July 2015.