Local school and arts organization leaders are in fundraising mode to save a unique 4-year old program that aims to send every Portland public school student to multiple cultural events in the city each year.
Culture Club-Portland is intended to allow each of the city’s roughly 7,000 students to attend programs at four participating arts institutions every year: The Portland Museum of Art, the Portland Symphony Orchestra, Portland Ovations and the Portland Stage Company.
So far, the program has been funded by a total of $650,000 from an anonymous donor who lives in the city, but that funding runs out at the end of this school year, according to Kate Snyder, a former school board member who is now executive director of the Foundation for Portland Public Schools, which coordinates the “Culture Club Portland” program.
“It is critical that we secure funds for 2016-17 by late summer, and develop a long-term plan for sustainability,” Snyder said. The four arts organizations also subsidize the program, and the schools provide in-kind donations of time and resources, such as transportation to the events.