During these unprecedented times, the safety of Culture Jam youth, their families, and staff is our highest priority. Second is funding. Culture Jam depends largely on proceeds raised at our organizations biggest fundraiser, the Oregon Country Fair. With these variables in play, it is with great regret that we announce that we will not be holding Culture Jam this year.
Culture Jam Is…
…the Oregon Country Fair’s dynamic summer event for ages 14-18 that takes place three weeks after the Fair on a parcel of site we call Alice’s Wonderland. This inspiring arts-based experience for young people uses the Creative Empowerment Model created by Charlie Murphy and Peggy Taylor (www.pyeglobal.org). See Charlie Murphy 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.
Today, Charlie and Peggy’s approach is being implemented by youth organizations around the world, empowering teens to live positive, engaged lives through discovering their unique sense purpose and creative potential. Culture Jam is committed to serving youth from diverse cultures and economic backgrounds and bringing them together with adult staff from all walks of life as well. The Culture Jam experience is also 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?
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 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 (General Manager of the Fair at the time), brought Charlie and Peggy’s exciting youth work to the attention of the OCF Board. 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 the 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.
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. The partnership with Charlie and Peggy’s PYE Global has also continued, and to date, CJ has received support from several organizations through grants including the David C. and Lura M. Lovell Foundation of Arizona 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!
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.
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
We will post 2021 Registration details here as soon as we find out if we will be having a 2021 event. Check back in February 2021.
If you have further questions feel free to contact us:
c/o The Oregon Country Fair
442 Lawrence St., Eugene, OR 97401