SOHS Endorsed for $500,000 Capital Construction Grant from the State

The Southern Oregon Historical Society is one of 17 out of 35 applicants being endorsed by the Cultural
Advocacy Coalition of Oregon (CACO) for an Oregon State Legislature Cultural Resources Economic
Fund (CREF) grant and is the only Jackson County organization so honored. The $500,000 grant will
help fund the cost of converting the central portion of the Society’s 26,000 square foot History Center
building into a much-needed downtown Medford Event Center offering multiple spaces for arts, culture,
and public events, that will be able to accommodate over 300 people.

With the closure of other Medford facilities during the COVID pandemic, the city now lacks central
indoor event space. Our Event Center project has been endorsed by the Mayor, City Councilors, State
Legislators, the Medford/Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Medford Association,
Travel Medford, the Medford Arts Commission, and community leaders. It will serve as a central
facility for arts and cultural events, movies and small concerts, meetings and conferences, and as a
community gathering place that provides a key element in reinvigorating the downtown core.
The History Center’s stream-lined moderne Art Deco style building was a Medford hallmark for 40
years. Remodeling will again make it a hallmark and period appropriate asset that will be attractive for
users and guests. The building is already handicapped accessible. Project scope includes addressing
building infrastructure issues, upgrading plumbing and HVACs, restoring the building lobby, creating a
decorated ticket counter, providing a large event space with appropriate ceiling treatments, creating
adaptable break-out rooms, and adding full audio-visual facilities and stylish amenities.

The Event Center will also be the funding engine for a new downtown museum and our Hanley Farm
Museum and contribute operating support to the Society as a whole. SOHS is committed to making the
Event Center and museums accessible to the public at large and having exhibits and activities reflect the
diversity of the individuals who have both shaped the region’s history and call it home.

The CACO board of directors consulted with the Oregon Arts Commission and Oregon Cultural Trust to
identify projects that would provide geographic and cultural diversity, economic impact, and expanded
access to the arts. The 17 endorsed projects represent $11.9 million in CREF funds. “We are proud of
the long history of state support in stewarding Oregon’s cultural sector,” said Isaac Marquez, chair of the
CACO board’s capital construction committee. “These capital projects will positively affect local
economies and the lives of hundreds of thousands of individuals for years into the future.”

For additional information, contact Ron Kramer, SOHS Executive Director, at 541-622-2051, or

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