M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

“There is incredible power in the arts to inspire and influence.”

– Julie Taymor

It is common to think of arts as a community luxury, but data shows the value of the arts runs far, far deeper. The arts support educational and youth development, preserve diverse cultures, help drive economic prosperity across communities, and do so much more. This is why our benefactor, Jack Murdock, believed strongly in investing in arts and culture organizations and why the Murdock Trust has continued this work since our founding.

Every year, the Murdock Trust seeks to share the stories and experiences of our grantees in a variety of ways. One of our favorite projects every year is to take a deep dive on one of the most pressing topics facing our region. In the face of historic challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to take a closer look at some of the ways the arts help the Pacific Northwest flourish and thrive and hear from some of the individuals and organizations who invest in this sector every day.

Why the Arts?

We begin this project by asking that question, “Why the arts?” Why is it so important that we, as a community, invest in painting and dance and sculpture and music and weaving and so many other forms?

Native and Indigenous Art and Cultural Preservation

For Native communities, the arts are a history book, connecting generations and communities through song, dance, weaving, sculpture, painting and many other forms.  

Performing Arts

In this piece, we look to the stages of our region. How do the performing arts help build community and inspire audiences through shared experience?

Arts for Children

Arts can play a critical role in the development of children, educationally, socially, and culturally. These organizations invest in ensuring that every child has the opportunity to explore and flourish through a variety of art forms.

Contemporary and Fine Arts

Contemporary and fine arts help preserve tangible examples of our history and provide a window into the lived experience of others.

Our sincere thanks to Arts Council of Big Sky, Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, Benton County Historical Society, Billings Symphony Orchestra & Chorale, BRAVO Youth Orchestras, Broadway Rose Theatre Company, Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre, Native Arts & Culture Foundation, Sealaska Heritage Institute, Sitka Fine Arts Camp, and Storyknife Retreat for their contributions to these conversations.

We also wish to thank the incredible team at Windrider who continue to serve as vital partner in helping elevate nonprofits across the Pacific Northwest through their outstanding storytelling.

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The Trust guides nonprofit organizations through every level of their development through grants and other resources.

The Trust has a wealth of knowledge and experience that can make all the difference to you and your organization.