Culture Jam

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Culture Jam
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🚩 2022 Camp dates: July 29—August 5

Culture Jam Is…

…the Oregon Country Fair’s dynamic summer event for up to 55 youth ages 14-18. It takes place three weeks after the Fair on a parcel of the site we call Alice’s Wonderland. This inspiring 8-day,arts-based experience uses the exciting Creative Empowerment Model created by Charlie Murphy and Peggy Taylor ( Today, Charlie and Peggy’s model is being replicated by youth organizations all over the world, empowering diverse teens to value their  differences and live positive, engaged lives through discovering their unique sense purpose and creative potential.

“There’s a hunger for connection, there’s a hunger for authenticity, there’s a deep desire on the part of creative, caring adults to connect with the young generation in a meaningful way. Kids that come to the camps become part of a growing network of people who care about each other, who understand the power of creativity, and that understand that the nature of our time is really calling forth our ability to connect and create. We form a community that’s characterized by a deep sense of safety — so that people can, in a very natural and gentle way, discover their most powerful next steps.” – Charlie Murphy, co-founder of Power of Hope and Partners for Youth Empowerment

See Charlie explain how it all began, why so many of us have been inspired to do this work, and what happens during week-long camp model.

What Goes On?

Youth get to take part in a whole lot of high-energy, experiential, arts-centered workshops and activities. They also 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. The workshops are a part of daily life with choosing from multiple workshop opportunities 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 (General Manager of the Fair at the time), brought Charlie and Peggy’s exciting youth work to the attention of the OCF Board. With her signature tenacity and enthusiasm, she encouraged them to allow the Fair to produce a youth event based on their approach. She argued that this arts-based, change-the-world, youth empowerment model was a perfect program match for our organization. It took some time and support of many to convince, but in time,  board members voted a unanimous “YES!” and began moving toward the production of a one-week event.

Within a year, 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. The partnership with Charlie and Peggy’s Partnership for Youth Empowerment has also continued. To date, CJ has received support from several organizations through grants including the David C. and Lura M. Lovell Foundation of Arizona, Jayne an Stephen Lovell and The Rex Foundation. Many generous individuals and businesses continue to donate everything from art supplies, quality food for the kitchen, and charitable gifts. Fundraising to help support Culture Jam continues.

Thanks to Leslie Scott, the steady endorsement of the OCF Board, Culture Jam’s heartfelt volunteers and supporters and many others, this life-giving event is alive and well!

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 Youth Mentor or work in the Culture Jam Kitchen click for more info about volunteering.

Youth Registration 

Tuition for the 8-day sleep-over event is $450, scholarship funding is also 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
We are moving forward with a 2022 camp! If there are no issues that arise that would stop us, dates will be July 9-August 5. More info coming soon. At this time, email us if you are interested in registering and we will be able to give you the most up-to-date plans. Before emailing, please notice info about this year’s vaccination policy.

2022 Vaccination Policy
Culture Jam will be adhering to the Country Fair’s 2022 vaccination policy. As of January 1, 2022, anyone visiting the OCF site must have proof of up-to-date vaccination as described by the CDC. Proof of vaccination of all Culture Jam participants and staff will be required no later than one month before camp begins.

Culture Jam!
c/o The Oregon Country Fair
442 Lawrence St., Eugene, OR 97401
(541) 203-0296