Liora Sponko

Tiffany Eckert

In Oregon’s education budget, school arts programs tend to get the short shrift. To make this up—districts often rely on community-based support to ensure students receive some arts education. This is what’s happening in Lane County. KLCC visits one school in the Bethel District to see an artist-in-residence program in action.

  Liora Sponko, Executive Director of the Lane Arts Council, speaks about the role of nonprofit organizations in the continued health of the arts world, including a new approach to middle school arts education via the collaborative ArtCore program. She also talks about the collaboration between businesses and artists to increase opportunities for the display of visual arts, and the best strategies for inclusion of the Latino community and other ethnic groups within the arts. 

www.lanearts.org

Arts and cultural organizations around the state will benefit from this year’s record-breaking Oregon Cultural Trust grants. The awards, totaling $2.6 million dollars, are up 30 percent over last year.

The Oregon Cultural Trust is funded by Oregon residents, who receive tax credits for their donations. This year’s record high giving, together with a legislative change to the distribution model, allowed the Trust to distribute more money than ever. The Lane Arts Council received over $21,000 for an “arts asset map.” Executive Director Liora Sponko explains:

ArtCore is a new arts education program to be implemented in five Lane County Schools, through a partnership between the Educational Policy Improvement Center (EPIC), Lane Arts Council, the Springfield Public Schools and others. Ross Anderson, Senior Lead Researcher at EPIC, and Liora Sponko, executive director of Lane Arts Council, speak with Eric Alan about the $2.2 million program.