Bend Cultural Tourism Fund awards 19 grants totaling $400,000

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — The Bend Cultural Tourism Commission, a Visit Bend Project, is pleased to announce 19 grant awards for Bend cultural tourism-focused activities taking place from September 2022 through June 2023, awarding a total of $400,000. 

The funds will help local organizations leverage marketing resources to attract more cultural tourists during the shoulder seasons and winter months – a time of year when the city’s tourism industry is down yet the vibrant cultural activities so central to Bend’s character are still going strong.

The program started in 2015 and historically funds between $200,000 and $300,000 per year.  This seventh round of awards pushed the total BCTF funding over the $1.5 million mark, infusing local organizations with $1,628,335 in total.

Many of these events will be recognized by Bend residents, such as the 2022 Bend Fall Festival’s Art in Action Stage and the BendFilm Festival, while many are new concepts or programs under development.

The commission awarded five grants under the “Catalyst” category this year, which is intended to support the creation of new events or products that further cultural tourism in Bend. These grants included funding for the creation of an annually recurring musical experience around the cult classic musical “Little Shop of Horrors” by Greenhouse Cabaret, a Juneteenth Celebration, and starting a bi-annual Art and Science Symposium. A full list of projects is below.

“We were very pleased that we received the most applications in the program’s history this year,” said Visit Bend CEO Kevney Dugan. “The Bend Cultural Tourism Fund is growing and is reaching an increasingly diverse group of projects which enrich the community’s cultural offerings for visitors and residents alike.”

Following is the complete list of grants awarded:

1988 Entertainment LLC, Concerts in Bend Oregon, $30,000

To fund shoulder season concert promotion.

Bend Roots Revival, Bend Roots Revival, $14,000

To fund marketing efforts for Bend Roots Revival, scheduled for September 23-25, 2022.

Bend Yoga Festival, LLC, Bend Yoga Festival, $30,000

To fund marketing efforts for the Bend Yoga Festival, a destination festival, comprising a multi-day cultural experience of yoga practices in a variety of forms: asana intensives, lectures, workshops, meditations, kirtan (call-and-response music performance), and more.

BendFilm, Inc, 19th Annual BendFilm Festival, $44,750

To fund marketing for the 2022, 19th Annual BendFilm Festival, held October 6-9 2022.

Cascades Theatrical Company, Cascades Marketing, $7,500

To fund marekting for shoulder seasons productions.

Central Oregon Media Group dba The Bulletin, Discover Bend: Play Like a Local, $30,000

To fund the creations and marketing of Discover Bend: Play Like a Local, self-guided tours, highlighting 25-30 engaging arts & culture locations and events throughout Bend.

Dirty Freehub, Podcast Marketing Grant, $10,000

To fund the creation and execution of a comprehensive marketing plan for the cultural podcasts that completement many of the gravel riding routes in Bend.

High Desert Museum, Living Stories exhibition, $45,000

To fund the marketing for Living Stories: Exploring Dynamic Artforms of the Indigenous Plateau (working title), where six native artists will be commissioned specifically for this new, original exhibition to create artwork that will be used in Native communities before arriving at the Museum.

Lay It Out Events, Bend Fall Festival Art in Action Avenue and Stage, $26,000

To fund promotion of the Bend Fall Festival, scheduled during the fall shoulder season Friday, September 30 through Sunday, October 2, 2022, in downtown Bend. The Bend Fall Festival has emerged as the largest art festival in Central Oregon.

Old Mill District, Old Mill District Late Summer/Fall Concert Marketing Campaign, $19,000

To fund marketing efforts for post-Labor Day concerts at the Hayden Homes Amphitheater.

OUT Central Oregon, Winter PrideFest 2023, $30,000

To fund marekting for Winter PrideFest 2023,  is a multi-day and multi-event weekend celebrating diversity and inclusivity in the outdoors through various winter activities, film screenings, cultural discussions, social gatherings, and fun.

Paula Dreyer, Bend Creative Music Project, $5,750

To fund markeing for the Bend Creative Music Project, outdoor concerts heard through wireless headphones.

Scalehouse, Bend Design 2022, $28,000

To fund Bend Design in October, 2022.

Tower Theatre Foundation, Stage the Change PNW 2023 Conference, $30,000

To fund marketing for the second annual “Stage the Change” event for high school students from throughout the Pacific Northwest Friday, April 21 – 22, 2023.


Central Oregon Center for the Arts,  Arts Discovery Study, $10,000

To fund a discovery study for the creations of a new facility that will provide a

home for the presentation of music, theater, dance, exhibitions, installations, lectures, workshops, and other manifestations of creative expression.

The Greenhouse Cabaret, Little Shop of Horrors, $10,000

To fund the creation of annually recurring musical experience around the cult classic musical: “Little Shop of Horrors.”

High Desert Music Collective LLC, High Dessert Music Festival, $6,000

To fund the creations and promotion of the High Dessert Music Festival(HDMF), a music and

cannabis culture festival designed to bring craft cannabis enthusiasts and music lovers to Bend.

The Father’s Group, Juneteenth, $14,000

To fund marketing for the Juneteenth Celebration in June, 2023. The festival will provide unique and family friendly entertainment, music, food, and dancing.

PLAYA, PLAYA Art + Science Symposium, $10,000

To fund the first iteration of what it intends to make a bi-annual Art and Science Symposium

in Bend on a weekend in April 2023.

ABOUT THE BEND CULTURAL TOURISM FUND: The purpose of the Bend Cultural Tourism Fund, a project of Visit Bend, is to enhance the local economy through the promotion and cultivation of Bend’s cultural tourism programs. The awarded grant funds will be used to: help attract cultural tourists during the shoulder seasons and winter months, when cultural tourism organizations are most active; diversify Bend’s tourism offerings; and build on efforts to establish Bend as a premier year-round cultural tourism destination.

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