On March 14, the Oregon Arts Commission awarded 10 Cultural Tourism grants totaling $75,000.
Cultural tourism grants support projects and partnerships that advance arts-based visitor/destination activities, strengthening the links between the arts, tourism industry and local economic development.
First launched in 2008 through Oregon’s Culture, History, Art, Movies, Preservation (CHAMP) cultural reinvestment initiative, the 2013 awards were made in Eugene, Salem, Medford, Ashland, Portland, and Klamath Falls. Three awards were made in Eugene for a total of $21,000; three grants totaling $23,000 were awarded in Southern Oregon; one grant for $8,000 was made in Salem and three awards for a total of $23,000 were given in Portland. “Arts and cultural experiences are a powerful draw for travelers, and these projects use a variety of strategies and collaborations between arts groups and local partners to share our artistic assets with visitors,” said Christine D’Arcy, Arts Commission executive director.
Eighteen proposals, requesting over $148,000, were reviewed by a Cultural Tourism grant panel chaired by Oregon Arts Commissioner Libby Tower of Eugene and including Kate Sokoloff of Sokoloff Creative in Portland and Joanie Thomson of Bonfire Promotions, Hood River.
The projects selected for 2013 Cultural Tourism grants were:
Arts & Business Alliance of Eugene, Eugene, $8,000
To support an independent consultant to coordinate a month-long “Creative Tourism” festival in Eugene in August 2013 during which artists will teach 80+ workshops, including a multi-location plein air event and competition. The consultant will oversee workshops, baseline/online marketing and post-event evaluation. Travel Lane County will drive earned media and tourism through its existing programs.
The John G Shedd Institute for the Arts, Eugene, $8,000
For the development of promotional postcards to bring visitors to the annual Road Scholar (Elderhostel) program, held in conjunction with the week-long annual Oregon Festival of American Music. The cards will be mailed to a select US segment of Road Scholar’s 600,000 mailing list, targeting members with a high interest in the performing arts and in travel to the Northwest.
Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Eugene, $5,000
To support the design, translation and printing of a museum guide in English, Spanish, German, French, Japanese, Korean and Mandarin Chinese to complement its existing multi-cultural services. The multi-language guide will be promoted through Travel Lane County, Eugene Airport, Willamette Valley Visitors Association and Travel Oregon.
Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ashland, $9,000
To support the pilot year of the implementation of a cooperative, web-based Retargeted Advertising and IP Zone Marketing Campaign (RAIPZM). The campaign involves the Shakespeare Festival, Southern Oregon Visitors Center (SOVA) and local marketing partners. The effort will also support the launch of OSF’s RAIPZM campaign to promote the 2013 summer and fall seasons.
Peter Britt Gardens Music & Arts Festival Association, Medford, $6,000
To support the marketing, promotion and expansion of the June 8, 2013 Taste of Summer, an annual event that celebrates the beginning of Britt Festival’s season and summer in Jacksonville. Collaborators include the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, Jacksonville Oregon Business Alliance and other regional businesses.
Portland Art Museum, Portland, $6,000
To implement digital media tactics with regional websites (seattlemet, seattletimes) and within the bike community to bring visitors to Portland and the museum to experience Cyclepedia: A Century of Iconic Bicycle Design. The museum will use the exhibit to bring non-traditional audiences to the museum. Cyclepedia will be marketed up and down the west coast, nationally and even internationally through partnerships with Thames & Hudson (catalog and iPad app publisher) and Portland’s many cycling-oriented businesses.
Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, Portland, $8,000
To support an advertising campaign and media launch party to attract Canadian visitors to Portland to experience PICA’s tba festival, MusicFest NW and Feast, which all occur each September. The campaign will position the three festivals as part of a dynamic, distinctive and authentic experience. Portland is the 2nd west coast destination after Seattle for travelers from Vancouver, BC, identified as a growth market by both Travel Oregon and Travel Portland
Ross Ragland Theater, Klamath Falls, $8,000
To support a targeted email, digital media, online, TV and print campaign with a Silver Anniversary theme to attract visitors from Northern California and Southern Oregon to its historic theater in Klamath Falls. Ross Ragland will continue to promote its Eat. Play. Stay. cultural tourism partnership with Discover Klamath.
Salem Art Association, Salem, $8,000
To support expanded marketing and outreach efforts in the Portland area to bring visitors to the 64th Salem Art Fair & Festival in July 2013. The festival saw a 7% increase in Portland attendees in 2012; they propose to increase that percentage in 2013. Portland fair goers are more likely to purchase art than Salem attendees.
Wordstock, Portland, $9,000
To support a targeted PR and marketing campaign with Scene Marketing Group and Seattle’s media outlets to attract non-residents, and specifically Seattle audiences, to the annual literary arts festival in Portland in early October 2013. Seattle, no longer host to the NW Book Festival, is seen to have the largest potential audience for Wordstock in the region.
In October 2012, the Oregon Heritage Commission, in partnership with Travel Oregon and the Oregon Cultural Trust, commissioned a study on cultural tourism to Oregon. In extensive interviews and surveys with self-described cultural tourists from California, Washington, British Columbia, New York City, and within Oregon. The study concluded that these visitors, who were seeking cultural travel experiences, spent more 60% more money in Oregon than anywhere else, over $1,600 per person per trip, versus. just over $1,000 on trips to other states.
According to Travel Oregon, the Oregon tourism industry generates $8.7 billion annually.