M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

Rural arts organizations gain critical support, training through foundation partnership

A collection of 16 arts and culture nonprofits facing significant challenges and opportunities for growth will receive vital support through a new collaborative program involving eleven Northwest nonprofit foundations.

Capacity Building: Rural Oregon and Southwest Washington is a two-year teaching and mentorship initiative. The curriculum is designed to help nonprofits more effectively navigate the challenges of organizational management—from launching new programs to working through leadership transitions to significant resource or real estate transactions to establishing financial stability.

The initiative is spearheaded by Michael M. Kaiser, former President of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Chairman of the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland; and Brett Egan, Institute President. Selected participants receive one-on-one consultation with an advisor from the Institute, as well as regular seminars and online course work.

“This is a remarkable group of organizations and we are honored to be partnering with them,” said Kaiser. “We loved our work with our first cohort of arts groups in Oregon, and believe this second group has equal potential for transforming individuals’ and families’ experiences with the arts in the region, and strengthening community involvement.”

“Arts and culture organizations play a vital role in the health of our local communities and in preserving and celebrating the heritage of the Pacific Northwest,” said Martha Richards, Executive Director, James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation. “By participating in this program, these organizations will reinforce their business and organizational foundation in valuable ways, such as expanding their overall capacity, strengthening their finances, and building a long-term leadership vision ensuring they can continue to serve their community for many years to come.”

Marking the program’s second cohort, the 2017-19 program participants represent a wide variety of artistic disciplines touching nearly every corner of Oregon and Southwest Washington. They include:

  • BendFilm (Bend, OR)
  • Britt Gardens Music and Arts Festival (Jacksonville, OR)
  • Caldera (Sisters, OR)
  • Columbia Theatre Association for the Performing Arts (Longview, WA)
  • Crossroads Art Center (Baker City, OR)
  • Eugene Ballet (Eugene, OR)
  • Four Rivers Cultural Center (Ontario, OR)
  • High Desert Museum (Bend, OR)
  • Lincoln City Cultural Center (Lincoln City, OR)
  • Oregon Coast Council for the Arts (Newport, OR)
  • Pendleton Center for the Arts (Pendleton, OR)
  • Ross Ragland Theater (Klamath Falls, OR)
  • Sitka Center for Art and Ecology (Otis, OR)
  • The Arts Center (Corvallis, OR)
  • Umpqua Valley Arts Association (Roseburg, OR)
  • Vancouver Symphony (Vancouver, WA)

“Since its inception in 2014, we have seen several local arts organizations achieve great success thanks to the business and management support provided by the Institute,” said Norm Smith, senior fellow and lifetime arts advocate, Murdock Trust. “We cannot wait to see the inspiring work that is to come from our latest group of participants.”

Capacity Building: Rural Oregon and SW Washington is made possible by the Collins Foundation, Community Foundation for SW Washington, Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation, James F. & Marion L. Miller Foundation, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, Marie Lamfrom Charitable Foundation, Maybelle Clark MacDonald Fund, Meyer Memorial Trust, Robert D. and Marcia H. Randall Charitable Trust, The Ford Family Foundation and The Oregon Community Foundation.

For more information on this program, please visit the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland website.

About the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, created by the will of the late Melvin J. (Jack) Murdock, provides grants to organizations in five states of the Pacific Northwest—Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington—that seek to strengthen the region’s educational and cultural base in creative and sustainable ways. For more information, find the Murdock Trust on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and the web.

About the DeVos Institute of Arts Management

The DeVos Institute of Arts Management provides training, consultation, and implementation support for arts managers and their boards.

It operates on the premise that while much is spent to train artists, too little is spent to support the managers and boards who keep those artists at work.

At the same time, rapid changes in technology, demographics, government policy, and the economy have complicated the job of the manager and volunteer trustees. These changes continue to accelerate.

Institute leadership and consultants—all arts managers themselves— understand that, in today’s environment, there is no time or resource to waste. Therefore, Institute services are lean, direct, and practical.

The DeVos Institute has served more than 1,000 organizations from over 80 countries since Michael M. Kaiser founded it during his tenure as President of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. While environments, objectives, and disciplines vary, each of our clients shares the desire to create, market, and sustain exemplary cultural programs.

The DeVos Institute has designed its services to assist a wide range of institutions, from traditional performing and presenting organizations, museums, galleries, art schools, and libraries, to botanical gardens, glass-making studios, public art trusts, and nonprofit cinemas, to name a few.

In 2014, the DeVos Institute transitioned to the University of Maryland, where it continues to offer support to individuals, organizations, and—in collaboration with foundations and governments—to communities of organizations around the world.

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