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Culture Jam

A Program of the Oregon Country Fair

An 8-day Gathering of Youth Who Care About The World and Its Future
August 5-12, 2018


What’s Culture Jam?

Culture Jam is the Oregon Country Fair’s exciting 8-day, sleep away summer youth gathering located on a parcel of land at the site we call Alice’s Wonderland. 2018 will mark our 17th week-long event. The youth camp is based on the inspired Power of Hope (www.powerofhope.org) teen camp and the Creative Community Model created by Charlie Murphy and Peggy Taylor (www.pyeglobal.org). Through PYE, the Creative Community Model has spread internationally. Here’s a youtube video where Charlie Murphy explains how it all began and what happens during the week, and here is Culture Jam’s Promotional Video.

Culture Jam is a dynamic program where youth ages 14-18 discover their own sense of purpose and creative potential through high-energy, experiential, arts-centered programs. Young people have the unique opportunity to learn from and create meaningful relationships with adult social change activists, artists and nature educators who come to spend the week and share their expertise.

Culture Jam is committed to serving youth from diverse cultures and economic backgrounds. It is within this rich mix of difference that much of the electricity of our creativity is launched. The Culture Jam experience is for those who want to take an active role in creating a positive future and have a great time in the process.

What Goes On

Creative workshops are a part of daily life and choosing from multiple workshop opportunities is the norm: dancing, drumming, spoken word, nature appreciation, circus arts, theatre improvisation, fashion arts and singing, inner work and community activism — just a sampling. Writing and hip hop, painting, teaching each other things that are important to us; there is something for everyone. Culture Jam is also a place where learning about and sharing many points of view add to the mix. Staff and youth alike are thrown into the creative soup to create a tight-knit community that recognizes the power of appreciating difference.

How it Happened

In 2000, Leslie Scott (GM of the Fair at the time), brought the exciting youth work of the Power of Hope to the attention of the OCF Board. She encouraged them to allow the Fair to produce a youth event based on the same camp model. She argued that this arts-based, change-the-world,  youth empowerment model was a perfect program match for the Fair. It took some time to convince, but in time,  board members voted a unanimous “YES!” and began moving toward the production of a one-week camp.

Soon after, City of Eugene Recreation Services got on board by providing staff and transportation for water activities, scholarship support and youth outreach. This rich partnership continues to this day. Meanwhile, the partnership with Power of Hope and PYE has gotten deeper, and CJ began receiving support from the David C. and Lura M. Lovell Foundation of Arizona, The Rex Foundation and many generous individuals and businesses. Donations came in through grants, art supplies, quality food for the kitchen, and charitable gifts. Fundraising to help support Culture Jam continues.

Thanks to Leslie’s love and vision, the people who rallied ’round her in the early stages of the project, the steady support of the OCF Board, Charlie Murphy and Peggy Taylor of PYE Global, other Fair partners and hundreds of volunteers to date, Culture Jam is alive and well and going into it’s 17th inspired year.

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers are central to a successful Culture Jam gathering. Every year we bring together an dynamic group of youth, artists, activists, youth workers, educators, and other creative adults. To apply to be a staff member at Culture Jam, contact the Fair office for details. Click for more info about volunteering.

Youth Registration 


Tuition for the 8-day sleep-over event is $450, scholarship funding is available. We are committed to making Culture Jam available to all youth regardless of economic circumstance.


Financial assistance is available through the Culture Jam Scholarship Fund. Ask about the scholarship process when you register.

How to Register 

Returning Youth: Contact the Fair office between April 1 and April 15. Email is best. A minimum of $100 toward your tuition is required to save your space unless you are applying for scholarship. If you will be seeking scholarship support, this is the time to ask about the process and get it started.

New Youth: Contact the Fair office between the April 15 and May 1. Please email the following information about the youth you are entering: name, full birthdate, cultural background and gender. No deposit is necessary at this stage. You will be notified via email by May 9, 2018 if the young person you entered has been placed. A minimum of $100 toward your tuition will be required to save your space if you are placed (unless you are applying for scholarship support). If you will be seeking scholarship support, this is the time to ask about the process and get it started.

Refund Policy: . In the event of a cancellation, you will be refunded all but your $100 deposit up to June 30th, then 50% up to July 14th. After July 14th there will be no refunds.

For more info about our registration process see our 2018 Registration FAQ Sheet.

If you have further questions feel free to contact us:

Culture Jam!
c/o The Oregon Country Fair
442 Lawrence St., Eugene, OR 97401
Phone: (541) 465-2230
email: robin@oregoncountryfair.org

Partner Camps

Can’t make Culture Jam dates or don’t get in via the lottery right away? Consider going to one of our partner camps!  These organizations are producing the very same camp model as we are–the Creative Community Model. Check them out and go on an adventure! Dates for 2018 will be published here in January 2018.

Power of Hope at Commonweal | Bolinas CA, US
Power of Hope Camp | Whidbey Island WA, US
Power of Hope CA | Cortes Island BC, CA
IndigenEYEZ Camp | BC, Canada

Help Keep Us Jamming 

buy tickets

All of Culture Jam’s direct costs are covered by grants, donations and participant fees. To keep fees down and scholarships available, donations are accepted—and are tax-deductible. Send your check to the Fair office or visit the Donate! page on this site to make a secure gift. Did you know that The Country Fair is an Oregon Cultural Trust match? Get a Oregon tax credit and double your donated dollars to the arts and cultural programming in Oregon. Call Robin at the Fair office for more info on supporting Culture Jam, 541.465.2230.