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About The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current | View Entire Issue (Dec. 18, 2017)
THE DAILY ASTORIAN • MONDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2017
JIM VAN NOSTRAND
Founded in 1873
JOHN D. BRUIJN
Support the arts, feel good and help your taxes
ith most headlines about taxes grabbed by the national
debate over priorities, it’s appropriate for a timely reminder
about a program that helps individuals with their taxes and
benefits our community.
The Oregon Cultural Trust must surely be one of the cleverest inven-
tions of the modern era.
And it is unique to Oregon. No other state provides a 100 percent tax
credit to inspire cultural giving.
Created by the Legislature in 2002,
it provides a single funding mecha-
nism that allows taxpayers to benefit
while giving to arts, cultural and his-
toric preservation organizations around
the state. The Trust’s mission is to “lead
Oregon in cultivating, growing and
valuing culture as an integral part of
In 2015, Oregonians gave $4.56 mil-
lion. While a portion is invested to build
the trust’s permanent fund, the rest
comes back to communities in the form
If anyone is skeptical about the
money coming back here, 12 local
groups received $13,000 this year. The
cash is apportioned by the Clatsop
County Cultural Coalition, a local
umbrella group of arts and cultural
The North Coast Symphonic Band
and North Coast Chorale received
money for musical events. Partners
for the PAC in Astoria, which received
grants for theater performances the past
two years, received support for its 2018
South County is always well repre-
sented in the list of recipients. Seaside
Park and Recreation District will stage
a children’s summer theater thanks
to some funding, the Tolovana Arts
Colony’s arts and cultural exchange
series will be aided, as will the Seaside
The North Coast Symphonic Band and North Coast Chorale perform on stage at the
Liberty Theater in December 2012.
William Ham, left, and Slab Slabinski
in a 2015 production of “Waiting for
Godot” at the Clatsop Community Col-
lege Performing Arts Center.
Museum and Historical Society, which
will host a field trip for fourth graders.
Some grants went to Clatsop County
groups planning more permanent
Netel Grange is adding a much-
needed emergency exit, while Camp
Kiwanilong is improving its arts build-
ing. The Astoria Regatta Association
is getting into the act, creating mural
boards for Heritage Square.
Taken as a group, these beneficia-
ries exemplify the cultural richness and
variety of life in our beautiful corner of
With December ticking away, now is
the time of year to think about making a
gift to the Oregon Cultural Trust. If you
have given to a nonprofit organization
in the arts and culture category, you may
The Daily Astorian
A float carrying the 2017 Astoria Regatta royalty makes its way through downtown.
give an identical amount to the Trust.
And you get a tax credit equal to your
amount of giving.
For most of us, it is one of the best
deals in Oregon tax law.
The Trust’s vision statement says,
“We envision an Oregon that champions
and invests in creative expression and
cultural exchange, driving innovation
and opportunity for all.”
Our vibrant cultural and arts scene
here on the North Coast is living proof
this is working — but the Trust needs
your continued support.
On the Web
Oregon Cultural Trust: culturaltrust.
Clatsop County Cultural Coalition:
A school for hospitality
in Cannon Beach?
n May 2016, Chris Breitmeyer
was named president of Clatsop
Community College. Breitmeyer,
who previously served as vice presi-
dent for academic and student affairs
at Saint Charles Community College in
Missouri, is now a year and a half in.
Among his goals is a five-year strategic
plan for the college, with the goal of
determining how it can serve the com-
munity and region more effectively. We
met with Breitmeyer in
the Seaside extension
of the campus.
Q: Do you get to
the South County
Breitmeyer: Not as
much as I would like.
R.J. MARX That’s why I am mak-
ing an effort now. At
least a couple times each month I am
going to spend mornings here. I have
meetings here, but I’m trying to make
a special effort. Especially in Cannon
Beach. Interacting with those folks is
something I haven’t done much of.
Q: What is the rationale for the
South County campus?
Breitmeyer: Right now it is focused
on SBDC (Small Business Develop-
ment Center) and CEDR (Clatsop Eco-
nomic Development Resources).
I know we do have some classes
here, but I’d really like it to be more of
an extension of the main campus.
In the future, we would have the
option of lower-division transfer
courses classes down here or be able
to start a CTE (career technical educa-
A good example is our business pro-
gram. We have two tracks: one where
you can transfer to get a four-year
degree and a certificate degree where
you can start working. We are limited
a little bit by the number of classrooms
we have. But, for example, today I am
the only person in this room. We could
have a class in here. The problem we
have run into in the past is that enroll-
ment numbers have never been that
strong in the South County. We have to
crack that nut.
Q: Given that history, are you
considering new programs here?
Breitmeyer: One of the things we
are doing with the strategic plan is
looking at new programs. That includes
new things, and also more niche and
focused kind of programs.
We are looking for something under
the hospitality, brewing and manage-
ment umbrella. That has come up sev-
eral times. That is something I want
to move forward on. I don’t know
if we have the facilities to do it all
down here, but we could at least get it
started. Within the next year or so we
really have to look at how we are going
to do that.
There are other programs in the
state that we can model that program
after. The curriculum is out there,
so it’s not like we have to start from
ground zero. That could be this cam-
pus’s identity; it’s tailored for that. The
South County campus could be for the
hospitality sector what the main cam-
pus is for the maritime and automotive
Q: Who is your audience? Young
people? Life learners?
Breitmeyer: There is a large pop-
ulation of folks who are highly edu-
cated, have been successful in their
careers, but are still eager to learn. I do
see an opportunity for those lifelong
learners throughout the area. We are
looking for returning learners or people
who want to be retrained or retool for a
Q: How would you measure a pro-
gram’s success? By the number of
Breitmeyer: Yes, that’s the basic
metric. We have a minimum. If there
are only two people interested in a
birdwatching class, I want to figure out
how to be able to make that go. But I
also have my administrator saying, it’s
going to cost “X” amount of dollars, is
it worth it?
Additionally if we start to expand
here, we are going to have to take
some losses upfront. In order to build
the momentum, it’s just like any busi-
ness — you are not going to get profit-
able for a while.
Q: Do you recruit students?
Breitmeyer: Troy Henry is our
recruiter and he goes out to the high
schools. We just had 300 high school
seniors on our campus last week. They
were from all the local schools — Sea-
side, Warrenton, Knappa, Astoria and
Jewell. We had others from as far away
as Portland and Canby. Each took a lit-
tle mini-class they could select out of
Q: I saw a shocking statistic about
the number of homeless students in
the state of Oregon.
Breitmeyer: I personally know
a couple of students in Astoria who
shared their stories with me. They are
couch-surfing for a while and then they
live in their car. It’s pretty incredible.
I thought I had it tough when I had
to work in the cafeteria as an under-
grad. What they’re doing is incredible.
Q: Does Clatsop Community Col-
lege have any dorm facilities?
Breitmeyer: Like everybody else
here, we are struggling with housing,
We may look in the future to some kind
of public-private partnership where
a private entity builds and manages
a space and we enter into an agree-
ment to supply them with students as
Q: How do you like living here?
Breitmeyer: I love it. I am from the
Midwest originally. I love the weather
Q: Do you want people to be
involved in the school here, maybe
not as students but as leaders or
Breitmeyer: Our foundation is one
way people can get involved if they are
interested. That’s the fundraising arm.
They do a lot of good work raising
scholarships for students.
One of our board members just
stepped down. He’s from Astoria, so
they have to be from Astoria. Peo-
ple can put their hat in the ring and the
board will do an interview process.
We talked about community educa-
tion classes. If someone has an inter-
est in photography and they would like
to teach a class, they could certainly
R.J. Marx is The Daily Astorian’s
South County reporter and editor of
the Seaside Signal and Cannon Beach