Philanthropy – Bill Wooten Endowment Fund
Please see the Endowment Fund’s 2024 GUIDELINES for more information. We will announce the next Endowment grant deadlines in September.
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.
In 2023, the Oregon Country Fair (OCF) Bill Wooten Endowment Fund has awarded a total of $15,000 in grants to nonprofit organizations serving youth in the Fair’s neighboring Fern Ridge communities. This funding tangibly represents the Fair’s deep appreciation of our home community. Endowment Fund supported projects reflecting the Fair’s commitment to the arts, education, cultural diversity, peace, community building and the environment.
- Culture Jam
Fern Ridge youth will receive scholarships to attend the eight-day arts-based Culture Jam empowerment camp for teenagers held each summer at the Fair site. The camp helps each youth discover their talents in a supportive environment.
- Lane Arts Council
Fern Ridge area children will be able to participate in a local “All About Art” immersive summer camp, which provides exciting experiences in the visual and performing arts. Artwork produced by campers will be featured during a community showcase for family, friends and community members.
- Rural Arts 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 valuable for elementary students who have no art teacher at their school. Older students will develop playing skills and socialize at the Center’s Ukulele Club.
- Veneta Elementary School
All students will work with an artist-in-residence to learn the method and science behind tie-dying. The wearable art each child will produce and take home will be shown during a “Strolling Art Fair” to take place during parent-teacher conference week.
This collaborative project with Elmira High School will provide an arts residency focusing on creative writing/spoken word performance. Teachers welcome Wordcrafters’ residencies for their ability to engage students and enlarge their writing experience and skills – skills that help build school success.
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 included providing opportunities for youth, reaching out to our neighbors, and nurturing creativity. This year’s awardee is Wordcrafters.
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, the Fair’s total philanthropic giving exceeds $1.5 million dollars.
Philanthropy was the catalyst that began the Oregon Country Fair, has been essential to developing its long-lived success, and will provide opportunities that further its mission into the future.