The Oregon State Budget, passed with just hours to spare when the Senate reconvened on June 29, included a game-changing investment for Lincoln City: a $1.5 million lottery bond allocation for the Lincoln City Cultural Plaza project.
Rep. David Gomberg made the announcement before a crowd of supporters, media and donors at the Lincoln City Cultural Center on Tuesday, July 2.
This show of financial support, added to the early investment by the City of Lincoln City and the individual donations already made or pledged the Cultural Plaza Campaign, will put the project on a fast track for construction in 2020.
The Plaza project will redevelop the 2.5 acres around the Lincoln City Cultural Center with new sidewalks, gathering places, public art and vendor amenities, along with improved parking and landscaping. Design highlights will include a meandering roadway for the west lawn, an outdoor classroom on the east side and a permanent location for the annual community Christmas tree. Under the guidance of landscape architects Shapiro Didway, the LCCC Board of Directors has taken this project from inception to design over the past 18 months.
The Cultural Plaza funding request was included in the budget as part of a slate of five projects approved by the Cultural Advocacy Coalition. Other projects to be funded include Oregon Nikkei Center ($500,000), High Desert Museum ($250,000), Cottage Theatre ($375,000) and the Patricia Reser Center for the Arts ($1.5 million).
“We are so thrilled and thankful for the support of the State of Oregon, the Cultural Advocacy Coalition and all the legislators who helped bring this investment to Lincoln City,” LCCC Board President Greg Berton said. “Most of all, we thank Rep. Gomberg, who has been such an amazing champion for Lincoln City and the Cultural Center.”
These capital construction funds will come from the Cultural Resources Economic Fund (CREF), which include lottery-backed bonds as well as general fund dollars and appropriations through the Department of Administrative Services. The money will be available for project reimbursement in spring of 2021.
“The Lincoln City Cultural Center is about more than the visual and performing arts… It is about supporting the retirement community, tourism and it is about enhancing our blossoming art industry,” Gomberg said. “Converting the parking lots and playgrounds at the iconic DeLake School into a modern cultural plaza will benefit the entire community. I was pleased to advocate for this transformative funding.”
Because the project is still in design, and these state funds will not be available for two years, the fundraising activities of the Cultural Plaza Campaign will continue as planned. The committee is selling commemorative bricks and will offer more naming opportunities in the months to come.
“This is such amazing news,” board treasurer and volunteer project manager John Collier said. “It will give us the financial backing we need to complete design and engineering, find our contractor and prepare for construction in 2020.
“But the community needs to know that in order to secure these funds, we promised $250,000 in individual donations -- and we're only halfway there. We're asking for your continued support as we transform this property."
For information on the Cultural Plaza, call the LCCC at 541-994-9994 or head to lincolncityculturalcenter.org/plaza.