About

The Chehalem Cultural Center celebrates the arts, community, education, and heritage.

The Center is housed in a historic brick building that began its life in 1935 as Central School—a Depression era Works Progress Administration (WPA) project. The building is currently owned by our public partner, the Chehalem Park and Recreation District. Chehalem Cultural Center is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.

Our historic building houses a fine arts gallery and exhibition hall, three multipurpose arts studio classrooms, a state-of-the-art clay studio, a recording studio with four music practice studios, meeting space, and an elegant 5,200 square foot grand ballroom for public and private events.

Future phases include a 250-seat theater, a kitchen and culinary arts studio, a conference center with three additional multi-purpose meeting space/classrooms, and a movement studio. (If you would like to support the capital campaign, please contact the Executive Director.)

Mission, Values, Vision, and Goals

Mission

Our mission is to inspire and enrich lives by connecting community and culture.

Values

We believe…

  • That the arts are for everyone.
  • That the presence of the arts enriches our quality of life.
  • That the presence of the arts in a community makes that community socially stronger and more economically viable.
  • That members of a community need a gathering place to share experiences and connect.
  • That the arts can bring people together.
  • That understanding other cultures makes us more tolerant, and diversity makes our experiences richer.
  • That learning about cultural and historical origins is the best way to understand who we are now, and in the future preserve what’s best.
  • That organizations are individually stronger when they seek partnerships and collaborations.
  • That a dynamic, professional, and inclusive cultural center is something our community can be proud of.
  • That transparency in our organization models honesty, fairness, and trust within our community.

Vision and Goals

We strive…

IN THE ARTS

  • to make the arts prominent and approachable in the lives of those in our community and its visitors.
    • By maintaining an accessible art gallery.
    • By offering affordable classes.
    • By offering affordable performances.
    • By organizing or hosting no or low-cost community events that celebrate the arts.
  • to expose the community to world-class fine and performing artists.
    • By bringing in at least one nationally- or internationally-recognized artist exhibition each year.
  • to recognize the value of local artists and performers and to provide opportunities for them.
    • By providing artists and performers with spaces to showcase their work.
    • By hosting open-call juried exhibitions for Oregon artists.
    • By partnering with other local artists and arts organizations.
    • By advocating that artists be compensated for their work like any other professional.
  • to develop the next generation of artists and art lovers.
    • By designing classes specifically to instill a love of creativity and an inspiration to lifelong creative expression.
    • By creating approachable and accessible arts programming.
    • By providing first arts exposure opportunities for children and youth from all backgrounds.

IN COMMUNITY

  • to provide a place for our diverse community to share meaningful experiences.
    • By providing opportunities to interact around high quality programming.
    • By offering affordable spaces for rent.
    • By partnering with individuals and organizations in our community.
  • to establish and strengthen ties between individuals within our community.
    • By designing programming to be diverse and inclusive.
  • to be an economic resource in our region.
    • By providing a meeting place for businesses and organizations to further their own purpose.
    • By complementing existing services to meet market needs.
    • By promoting the local economy through cultural events celebrating the intersection of arts and agriculture.
  • to provide our essential services to the underserved in our area—the arts and culture are essential.
    • By creating programming that appeals directly to these groups.
    • By keeping programming affordable.
    • By generating alternative funding sources for this programming.

IN EDUCATION

  • to educate children and adults in all arts disciplines and mediums.
    • By offering affordable, diverse, appropriate, convenient classes in the arts and heritage.
  • to include those who have had little or no opportunity to participate in the arts.
    • By ensuring programming is affordable.
    • By finding alternative ways of funding underserved participate (scholarships).
    • By creating outreach programming that takes our mission beyond our walls.
  • to empower every person to love art, art spaces, and the creative process.
    • By being a welcoming environment to all visitors, regardless of their prior experience or expertise in the arts
    • By sharing the etiquette of art spaces, especially with children, then upholding it.
  • to promote conversations and interactions in which participants learn from one another.
    • By providing a space to present, discuss, and debate.
  • to provide a venue for student artists to showcase their work.
    • By reserving opportunities within our spaces and schedules.

IN HERITAGE

  • to recognize and preserve our heritage.
    • By grounding the organization in local (Oregon) culture and heritage and demonstrating its value through programming.
    • By hosting cultural events that celebrate the intersection of arts and the agricultural heritage of our region.
    • By providing a venue for and facilitating heritage exhibitions in our galleries.
  • to share with our community the heritage and authentic cultures of other people from across the globe.
    • By focusing on and highlighting cultures from around the world.
    • By building in components to make it accessible to children.
    • By offering opportunities for local residents who are from other cultures to share their heritage.
  • to provide a forum for thinkers from all backgrounds to share their research and perspectives.
    • By providing a space to present, discuss, and debate.
    • By finding and connecting these thinkers to our audience.
  • to preserve one of Oregon’s historical treasures, the 1935 Central School.
    • By partnering with the Chehalem Park and Recreation District to fully renovate the building.
    • By creating a sustainable plan to keep the building open to the public, to serve generations to come.

The Chehalem Cultural Center is proud to serve the cities of Newberg, Dundee, St. Paul, McMinnville, Sherwood, and many other surrounding cities and towns, including those in Yamhill County, Marion County, Washington County, and Multnomah County. Our community spans the arts and the geography of the Northwest.