Ford Family Foundation Launches $3.5 Million Program to Support Visual Arts in Oregon

The Ford Family Foundation in Roseburg, Oregon, has launched a five-year, $3.5 million program to support visual arts organizations and create opportunities for individual artists in the state, the Oregonian reports.

The program will provide awards of $25,000 and $20,000, respectively, to three experienced artists and three arts institutions with artist-in-residence programs; half of the artist-in-residence awards will be give to resident artists to offset work and living expenses during their residencies. In addition, the foundation will award grants to Oregon-based institutions for the historical documentation of major exhibitions featuring local artists, the improvement of exhibition space, the acquisition of artworks, a program to support artists' unforeseen special projects, and to fund visits to Oregon by nationally recognized curators and critics who can expose local artists to the national art scene. The art acquisition and special project grants will be administered in partnership with the Oregon Arts Commission.

The foundation, which primarily supports social and educational organizations in rural Oregon and California, launched the program to honor its late founder, Hallie Ford. A committed supporter of the arts in Oregon, Ford provided significant funding to the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University and left a $15 million bequest to the Pacific Northwest College of Art.

"This will have a significant impact on the state," Hallie Ford Museum of Art director John Olbrantz told the Oregonian. "I hope it serves as a catalyst — stimulation for other individuals and corporations and foundations to step up to the plate and support the visual arts."