Philanthrophy – Bill Wooten Endowment Fund
The Endowment Fund is named in memory of Bill Wooten, the Fair’s visionary, community-minded co-founder Bill Wooten. Endowment Fund grants tangibly represent the fair’s deep appreciation to our neighbors in the Fair’s home community. Endowment Fund grants reflect the spirit of the Fair by supporting youth-centered projects in the Fern Ridge community that:
• promote the arts, education, and cultural diversity;
• work toward creating a peaceful, just, and environmentally sustainable society;
• build community through collaborative efforts.
To make a supporting donation to the Endowment Fund, please go to our Donations page. Thank you!
For information on how to apply for a 2020 Endowment Fund grant please visit Endowment-Guidelines-2020
In 2019, The Oregon Country Fair (OCF) Endowment Fund awarded a total of $16,000 to support youth-focused nonprofit organizations in the Fair’s neighboring communities of Veneta, Elmira and Crow. Projects focused on arts, multi-cultural and environmental education, and one grantee was recognized with the annual Leslie Scott Imagine Grant Award.
This year’s grantees are:
• Crow High School STEAM ads an “A” for art to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), and is the foundation for this hands on project offered by the school’s arts and science teachers. Based on their study of patterns in nature and multi-cultural art traditions, students will develop digital graphics used to create tie-dyed clothing.
• Culture Jam Fern Ridge area youth will receive scholarships to attend this eight-day arts-based empowerment camp for teenagers held each summer at the Fair site. Culture Jam helps each young person discover their own skills, talents, and potentials in a supportive environment.
• Elmira Elementary School Working with an artist-in residence, students will develop their artistic skills by studying fine arts masterpieces and then using them as a springboard to create their own. Fine arts help develop children visual-spatial skills and are linked to improved academic performance.
• Fern Ridge Middle School A new guitar class is designed to reach students uninterested in traditional band class. By providing for the purchase of guitars, this grant will provide a permanent basis for a class that will help struggling middle schoolers find a positive outlet to express themselves as they explore music through this gateway instrument.
• Lane Arts Council Fern Ridge area children will experience an immersive, hands-on summer arts camp exploring local flora and fauna. Campers will engage in printmaking, scientific illustration, sculpting and other artistic activities inspired by nature, and showcase what they’ve created at a community celebration.
• Rural Art Center The Crow-Applegate-Lorane School District depends on the Center to provide after school multi-cultural art instruction on shortened school days— which is especially important for elementary students who have no art teacher at their school. Older students will develop playing skills and socialize at a Ukulele Club.
• Veneta Elementary School Students will learn traditional and contemporary dance steps from Guiana, West Africa using hand-made instruments. The West African artist instructors will expand the students’ world view and global awareness through discussions of West African traditions and the role of art in cultures.
The annual Leslie Scott Imagine Grant Award is given to the funded project that best represents former Fair General Manager Leslie Scott’s contributions to the Fair, which include providing opportunities for youth, reaching out to our neighbors and nurturing creativity. This year’s awardee is Elmira Elementary School.
The Oregon Country Fair Endowment Fund annually makes grants to organizations in the Fern Ridge area that have a non-profit, tax-exempt IRS status, and are focused on providing enriching educational opportunities for youth. The grants tangibly represent the Fair’s deep appreciation of our home community and presents opportunities to further develop the Fair’s relationship with our neighbors.
The Fair also makes grants to social service agencies and nonprofit organizations in Oregon through both the Jill Heiman Vision Fund and the Board of Directors’ Donations Fund. To date, Fair philanthropic total exceeds one million dollars.