Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission

The Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission discovers, celebrates and commemorates contributions to Oregon's diverse literary and cultural legacy, raising awareness through publications and other media, memorials, and public events. The formation in 1991 of the OCHC reflected the interests of several Oregonians in the literary and cultural history of our state and region.

The OCHC believes in the importance of cultural memory, assuring the past a place in the present, to the benefit of the present and the future. As culture continues making critical choices about the wide-ranging issues of the day, it is ever more vital that we bring the wisdom and experience of those who preceded us into the discussion.

OCHC's cultural understanding perhaps best serves them as a touchstone, as a road map of where we've already been and gone; why we have, for example, our unique public beach law, our environmental orientation, our excellent public libraries. It can also help us identify where weve misstepped, and how our creative figures recorded the experience for future reference.

Culture, a word of many meanings, defined in terms of what we owe the past, embraces law, custom, religion, philosophy, and science. Literature, the fine and performing arts, and the folk arts serve as bearers of civilization. These are the special interests of OCHC.

OCHC is convinced that giving an artist from the past a physical presence among us helps put us in touch with her or his unique vision. Therefore we focus on a place or scene that informs an artists work and vision. A sense of history is important to us all, but especially to the young. In remembering our cultural heritage by publicly honoring and exploring the work and lives of artists of the past, we deeply teach one sense of history a feeling of community across time.