Local organizations receive arts grants

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Dancing People Company and the Rogue Valley Chorale are among 28 organizations getting funding through the Oregon Arts Commission's Arts Build Communities grant program.

The program, which supports collaborative projects that benefit communities, awarded $110,000 to 28 organizations in this year — its 14th.

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival got the largest of the local grants — $5,250 — to support "Culture Fest," its new effort to enhance diversity. The program strives to support under-served populations and build awareness among new and infrequent playgoers, while also raising consciousness within the acting company, organizers said.

Ashland-based Dancing People Company got $3,200 to support its production of "Call Back the Sun," an annual celebration that brings together musicians and dancers to celebrate the winter solstice. Dancing People's artists perform and mentor community members as they create and execute their own performance.

The grant money will support the involvement of youth at risk in the production and a matinee performance targeted toward elders and families.

The Rogue Valley Chorale received $2,000 to support "Spring Sing," a two-concert series for Medford School District elementary students by the Rogue Valley Youth Chorus. The program helps address reductions in Southern Oregon school music programs by sharing the joy of singing, presenting choral programs by student peers, and increasing the awareness of arts opportunities available to children, organizers said.

The money will help pay for buses to transport students to the concerts, marketing, choral music and administrative and artistic fees.

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