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The Cultural Plaza, shown here in an architectural rendering, will include a paved walking path between larger areas, new plazas on the south and east sides, an outdoor classroom and more. (Courtesy photo)

Cultural Center launches fundraising campaign

LINCOLN CITY — The Lincoln County Cultural Center is launching its Cultural Plaza Campaign, a fundraising effort to gather $250,000 in donations from individuals and businesses this weekend, beginning with a kickoff party on June 14.

The Cultural Plaza, once built, will be a large undertaking to make the outdoor areas around the Cultural Center more accessible, as well as more versatile for outdoor activities and events. The project’s total cost clocks in at $1.8 million, but for the last 18 months, the center and its board have been working to obtain grants from private and public organizations before coming to the public to ask for help.

“We’re building on the recent contribution of $200,000 from the City of Lincoln City, and early grants from the Oregon Cultural Trust, the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners and the Ford Family Foundation,” said John Collier, Board Treasurer for the Cultural Center.

The donations put toward that $250,000 public donation goal won’t just help fund the project, however, they’ll also show that the center has strong community support, which can help secure grants from private and state agencies.

“The really great news is that, during the last six months, the committee has quietly raised over half that ($250,000) goal,” said Board President Greg Berton. “We are now asking the broader community to help us make it over the top.”

Since the plaza was first proposed in early 2018, the board of directors has conducted 25 stakeholder meetings, four public input events and a written public comment process which was open for six months. If the current trajectory of fundraising continues and their plan is a success, the construction of the plaza could begin as soon as summer 2020.

“It is going to be transformative,” said Executive Director Niki Price. “Right now, when you walk out at different entrances, sometimes you run right into parked cars, sometimes you run into an area that’s not ADA accessible — and this is going to allow activity and programs and outdoor fun to happen all the way around the building safely.”

In addition to straight donations, those looking to contribute to the center in a lasting way can purchase commemorative bricks, which will be laid in a pedestrian walkway with an engraved message of the donor’s choice. Bricks can be purchased at a size of four inches by four inches for $125, or eight inches by eight inches for $250.

Learn more about the project at today’s kickoff party at the center from 3:30 p.m to 7 p.m., where there will be live music, tours of the proposed project by the architects and refreshments. Information and ways to donate can also be found online at lincolncity-culturalcenter.org/plaza or by calling 541-994-9994.

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