The Hillsboro Arts & Culture Council (HACC) has awarded a total of $52,750 in emergency funding to support 11 Hillsboro-based arts and cultural organizations, with flexible spending requirements so that organizations can direct the funds to their most urgent needs.
With the public health emergency shuttering doors of arts organizations everywhere, the HACC voted to suspend its regular grant program in favor of providing emergency funding to sustain Hillsboro-based arts and cultural non-profit organizations.
“The Arts Council volunteers understand that it is critical to make sure both large and small organizations in Hillsboro will survive to serve our community in the future,” said Melissa Moore, Community Arts Program Supervisor. “Nearly every cultural organization in Hillsboro has lost revenue since March — and many have fixed expenses such as rent, insurance, and staff.”
Cassie Greer, Artistic Director of Bag&Baggage Productions, explained the pandemic’s short-term and long-term impacts on operations.
“As an organization that is dependent upon gathering large groups of people in small spaces to experience our work, the current COVID-19 social distancing guidelines cut right to the very essence of theatre as an art form,” Greer said. “As we continue to assess our patrons’ thoughts and very valid concerns about returning to the theatre next season, we understand that the overall impact to our organization will be much farther-reaching than the ‘end’ of social distancing measures.”
Since 2009, the City of Hillsboro has provided project grants for organizations serving Hillsboro residents with creative arts and culture programs. Over the past 10 years, the Hillsboro Arts & Culture Council has approved funding for 150 grants to 47 different organizations. Several years ago, operating grants were added for Hillsboro-based arts organizations, but at least half of the funding continued to be dedicated to supporting project grants.
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Cultural Arts is a division of the City of Hillsboro Parks & Recreation Department. For more information about Cultural Arts, visit Hillsboro-Oregon.gov/CulturalArts.