PORTLAND - The Oregon Arts Commission has received a three-year, $310,000 grant from The Ford Family Foundation to provide targeted funds to enable approximately 80 rural and underserved schools to pay for and host on-site artist residencies to augment and enhance ongoing arts instruction and activities.

The commission seeks to identify schools in rural and underserved areas of Oregon with a commitment to hosting artist residencies over a three-year period to build long-term capacity in arts education.

"The foundation believes that arts and culture can inspire personal achievement, increase cultural perspective, and improve academic achievement in K-12 students. This program will increase arts opportunities in rural schools across Oregon," said Sarah Reeve, program officer with the Ford Family Foundation.

To implement the Rural Artist Residency program, the commission will use Oregon's Regional Arts Education Network to provide technical support for schools and districts; coordinate communication regarding residency opportunities to schools; and provide financial management of rural artist residency funds that will be paid directly to the Network coordinator on behalf of participating schools.

Rural residency grants will be awarded on a competitive basis and will include a comprehensive evaluation. Any Oregon school or district that is rural and underserved may request support.

To request the funding guidelines and contact information for Oregon's Regional Arts Education Network, contact the Arts Commission at Oregon.artscomm@state.or.us or (503) 986-0082 or www.oregonartscommission.org.

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