The Community Center for the Performing Arts in the historic Woodmen of the World (WOW) Hall sits at the West end of downtown Eugene, a pink but low-slung 1932 Art Deco building that once served as a venue for dances and gatherings of its era.
In restoring the historic building and reviving it as an arts center, WOW Hall had received grants from the Lane County Cultural Coalition and Oregon Arts Commission, as well as the Kinsman Foundation and other prestigious groups. But FY14 marked the first time the intersecting arts and heritage organization received a Cultural Trust Development grant award.
“There are organizations that have applied for Cultural Development grants multiple times, and it takes a few attempts to get their proposal just right,” said Trust Manager Kimberly Howard. “You're rooting for them and it becomes a happy occasion when they make it.”
Such was the case with WOW Hall. As an Arts Commission and cultural coalition grantee, the group was familiar to the Trust. “(WOW Hall grant writer) John Pincus was like a celebrity in our office. He called frequently during the spring of 2013 – he was taking the application process very seriously,” said Trust Donor Relations Coordinator, Raissa Fleming. “When their grant application came in, 11 minutes ahead of deadline, we all cheered.”
Cultural Development grants are awarded by panels of independent subject matter experts, and "the WOW Hall application was determined by the Heritage Panel to be a well-written application for a project that showed great merit," said Howard.
Staff had the opportunity to tour WOW Hall in April, two weeks in advance of National Heritage Month (May), and they were charmed and enchanted. The building acts as a performing and visual arts center, with notable Oregon bands playing in an intimate downstairs coffee house; various dance classes, community theatre and musical performances in the main hall, and monthly exhibits by local artists. Murals adorn the outside walls and landscaping brings cheer to other-abled patrons using the ADA ramp at the side of the building. Doors, gates, archways and most fixtures have been lovingly restored to their former glory. The Cultural Development grant helped WOW Hall restore the curved wooden built-in benches lining the main hall.
Joining the tour, painting contractor Ron Saylor mentioned that his business has flourished with the restoration. “This was a big job for us,” he said. Saylor has also done work on the new Oregon Contemporary Theatre building a few blocks away and is gaining a reputation in the cultural community for his diligence and diversity of skill.
“It's an important example of how heritage and the arts fuel the Oregon economy,” said Howard. “The money granted by the Cultural Trust stays in Oregon and helps local businesses grow – whether that be the arts venue itself, or the restaurant, hotel, retail shop down the street, the print shop who prints playbills, or the contractor and subcontractors who remodel and restore the buildings.”
Meanwhile, WOW Hall plans to recreate the original streetlamps around the center, leading to more work for Lane County lighting, electrical and historic preservation contractors, enhancing the downtown experience and giving the community an ever more vital center for the arts.
- See more at: http://www.culturaltrust.org/featured-grant/wow-hall-community-center-performing-arts#sthash.z53M1QNY.dpuf
Please join us on February 5th at the NEDCO Hatch Program building in Springfield. This will be a great opportunity to:
- Learn about upcoming events and programs in 2015, including our new art curating program!
- Find out more about our upgraded membership program.
- Connect with other local artists and find out how to get involved in all the fun activities at ESAP.
- Meet the new ESAP board members and hear about the great ideas and skills they bring to ESAP.
- Give us your feedback and tell us ideas you have that support the ESAP mission.
To learn more about the Eugene Springfield Art Project visit our facebook page or website at www.eugenespringfieldartproject.org
We look forward to seeing you there!
Over the next year, these communities will use their grant funds to organize themselves for five-year Community-Based Partnerships. Of the 25 Organizing Grant Communities, up to 10 will be selected for Community-Based Partnerships beginning in 2016. These partners will join NWHF in transforming institutions, programs and policies to deliver better outcomes in early life, equity and community health.
We look forward to working with all of the Organizing Grant Communities, who hope to impact everything from African maternal and child health, to families impacted by or at risk for family violence and sexual abuse, to rural Latino communities, and much more. With the support of our partners, Healthy Beginnings+Healthy Communities will help communities improve health, from birth to high school, by 2020.
OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK — The sight of a chinook resting quietly by the bank of the Upper Elwha River was one that Mel Elofson had awaited for 56 years and worked toward for 20.
It was the first sighting of a salmon above the Glines Canyon Dam site in 102 years.
“It was awesome,” he said.
EDITOR'S NOTE — See related story today, "Raft trip on Elwha River shows its newly untamed nature," http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20140914/NEWS/309149956
The river's once-legendary salmon runs had been blocked by construction of the 108-foot Elwha Dam without fish ladders in 1912, blocking access to spawning grounds.
The 210-foot Glines Canyon Dam also was built without fish ladders in 1927.
Both of the dams, which once provided electricity for a growing Port Angeles, were demolished in a $325 million project that began in September 2011 as part of the nation's largest river restoration project.
Elofson, assistant habitat manager with the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe, saw the chinook, also known as king salmon, while he was conducting a juvenile fish study for the tribe and for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
It was Sept. 2, a mere week after the last 30 feet of the river's last dam — Glines Canyon — had been blasted out.
So he was surprised by what he saw.
“I just happened to walk up to the edge of the stream about 100 meters above the dam, and there it was, sitting right next to the bank,” Elofson said.
“It was female, probably 20 to 25 pounds. It was in really good shape.
“It was exciting,” he said.
He notified Olympic National Park officials, and biologists confirmed Elofson's sighting last week.
Snorkeling above the dam site, they found three adult chinook, all between 30 and 36 inches long, in the lakebed, said Heidi Hugunin, who explored the water along with her colleague, Anna Geffre, on Tuesday.
“She spotted the first one,” Hugunin said. “She jumped out of the water, and she's waving her arms frantically. She starts pointing at the river.
“We did some victory dancing.”
The biologists began their snorkel survey in Rica Canyon 3 miles above the Glines Canyon dam site, which is some 13 miles from the mouth of the Elwha River, and swam downstream through the former Lake Mills to a point just above Glines Canyon.
The salmon were spotted between Windy Arm, a spot halfway down the former lake on the east side of the river, and Glines Canyon.
The biologists saw two resting near submerged stumps of ancient trees, while a third was found in a deep pool.
“The river has scoured away all the sediment,” Hugunin said. “The banks of the river as it once was is reappearing, and so we are seeing a lot of the pre-dam stumps.”
The summer/fall run of chinook began in June and will taper off late this month or in early October.
“These are the returning chinook salmon, coming from the ocean,” said Barb Maynes, park spokeswoman.
“We've been seeing quite a few below Glines Canyon Dam, but these are the first seen in 102 years above the old dam site.
“The chinook are coming back into the river.”
In addition to the three chinook, biologists counted 27 bull trout, nearly 400 rainbow trout and two small sculpin during their survey above Glines Canyon.
Two weeks ago, park biologists had confirmed that two radio-tagged bull trout had migrated through Glines Canyon and were in Rica Canyon.
The three chinook observed last week were not radio-tagged.
The following day, biologists counted 432 live chinook in a 1.75-mile section of river just downstream of Glines Canyon but still above the old Elwha Dam site.
Biologists hope to do another survey this week, Hugunin said.
Now that the river has been freed, Elofson, who grew up playing on the banks of the river and is now 56, said he is elated to see the results.
“All they had to do was open the river, and the fish are drawn to it,” he said.
The Klallam people, who have lived beside the Elwha River for thousands of years, devoted years to advocating the removal of the dams until Congress passed the Elwha River Restoration Act in 1992.
Elofson's first task when he was hired by the tribe in the 1990s was to help map out Lake Mills delta topography in what he said was a pilot project in preparation for taking the dams down.
“I worked for the tribe for 20 years or so, and I was waiting for that day to be able see them above both dams,” Elofson said.
The sightings of chinook s in the upper river confirm that the dam demolition so long-sought has had its intended result.
“It's definitely showing that the salmon are resilient,” Elofson said.
“Open it up, and they'll go there.
“It'll be great to see them come back in a few years in numbers,” he said.
He expects those numbers to match the stories of more than a century ago.
“It's going to take awhile, but they will get there,” Elofson said.
“There's nothing blocking them.”
Managing Editor/News Leah Leach can be reached at 360-417-3531 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last modified: September 14. 2014 10:34PM
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More than 900 million people around the world – including many in our community – are hungry. Fighting hunger and malnutrition is very important to me! So ... I'm doing something about it. I am walking in the Eugene/Springfield CROP Hunger Walk – and I need your help. CROP Hunger Walks help provide food, water and other resources that empower people to meet their own needs. You can make a BIG difference. Please visit my online personal web page (see link below), where you can make a secure donation. Your gift can help save someone's life!
Thank you! Ahavah
Author: Ahavah Oblak
Mother, Jewish, Nonprofit Advocate, educator, grant writer, curriculum developer, dual US/Israel citizen, friend, dancer, lover of life.