Casey Skelton IMG_3701.tif

Casey Skelton, a pianist, was among the recipients. Skelton received $1,000 to help replace 50 years worth of music, books and equipment.

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The Lincoln City Cultural Center recently announced the first cohort of Echo Mountain Arts Fund grant recipients.

This group of 11 artists, all survivors of the September Echo Mountain Fire Complex, have been selected to receive direct payments, studio space and donated equipment, so that they can rebuild their creative practice.

The LCCC established the Echo Mountain Arts Fund with help from individuals, many of whom donated the price of their pre-purchased tickets to the cancelled Culture, Of Course! Gala in September. Those gifts were joined by a large donation from the Oneatta Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation. The Echo Mountain Arts Fund has continued to grow, with help from Lincoln City and Otis artists who have donated artwork for new online auction. To see those works, purchase or contribute, head to (more auction info below).

The goal of the EMAF is to help the diverse population of artists, visual or performing, professional and amateur, who have been adversely affected by the Echo Mountain Fire. The fund being administered by LCCC staff, with the guidance of the nonprofit’s board of directors. If monies remain, the EMAF will open for a second round of applications due on Feb. 15. For more information, write to project manager Colleen Hickey,, or call 541-994-9994.

The first round recipients are:

Ashley Lynn Anderson, illustrator — $1000 to replace projector, tools and canvas, plus 90 days of studio rent at the LCCC;

Nancy Jean Chase, painter — $2000 to help replace her studio and art supplies lost in the fire;

Erin Ella Crimmins, textiles — $300 for fabrics, elastics and notions, plus sewing machines and fabrics donated by LCCC members;

Marisol Martinez Garcia, painter — $400 for new acrylic paint, brushes and large canvases;

Danelle Jones, illustrator and designer — $1500 to refurbish artist’s booth and replace lost equipment;

Chris Reardon, wooden tool maker —$1500 for new supplies and equipment to make tools for spinning, weaving, crochet and knitting;

Casey Skelton, pianist — $1000 to help replace 50 years worth of music, books and equipment, and a portable electric keyboard (donated by Rocky Blumhagen);

Jeff Skotland, photographer — $2000 for new cameras, lenses and other equipment;

Julie Starr, mixed media artist and jeweler — $1750 for tools, supplies and instruments;

Christopher James Smith, musician — $1000 for new computer and recording equipment; and,

Michelle Lynn Whitney, wood artist — $500 for wood, tools and materials.

Other EMAF activities include:

Creative Quarantine Art Kits for Children, creative and age-appropriate creativity packets, which have been provided to fire victim assistance stations since September. These are also available Thursday-Sunday at the LCCC, and can be packaged in any amount for larger groups or deliveries.

A special exhibit of artifacts and stories from the Echo Mountain Complex Fire, which will be displayed in the PJ Chessman Gallery in April 2021. “Up From the Ashes” is being curated by LCCC Visual Arts Director Krista Eddy, in partnership with the North Lincoln County Historical Museum and the Oregon Coast TODAY. The planners for this project are actively seeking special, beautiful, poignant or otherwise important items that were left by the fire, and saved by the survivors of the disaster. Storage may be available, if necessary.

To learn more about either of those EMAF programs, contact Krista Eddy at 541-994-9994.

Online auction open now

As anyone who has seen the devastation wrought by the Echo Mountain Fire can affirm, it will take more than a few months for Otis to rebuild. Among the 300 structures lost in September 2020 were art studios, workshops, turning sheds and home offices, which provided both income and enrichment for their users. Many lost irreplaceable artwork, produced over decades, along with supplies and equipment. The Echo Mountain Arts Fund will continue to help these creative people rebuild, as long as funds are available.

To keep this effort moving forward, the Lincoln City Cultural Center invites the community to take part in an online fundraiser, the Auction for the Echo Mountain Arts Fund. The items up for bid include a glass phoenix made from Echo Mountain Fire ash by Kelly Howard at the Lincoln City Glass Studio, and featured on KOIN TV in Portland:

In addition, the auction features original works by mixed media artist Colleen Hickey, encaustic artist Buff Neretin, along with mosaic artists Joanne Daschel, Karen Rycheck and Richard S. Davis. There’s also a raffle for a custom made quilt by Otis artist Pat Lay, with chances just $10 each. This online auction will end at 6 pm Oregon time, on Saturday, Feb. 13.

The LCCC is still accepting donations for the Echo Mountain Arts Fund. You can donate through the site or online at, using Visa, Mastercard or PayPal. You may also mail a check to LCCC.


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