Salem: the Capital of Culture
From upper left, clockwise: Bush House, Hallie Ford Art Museum at Willamette University, Oregon Capitol, Elsinore Theatre.
By Sarah Pearson
Salem maintains a diverse community of cultural-heritage organizations that add depth, passion, and a sense of belonging to the Capital of Oregon. Salem is the best of town and city, with a growing buzz around the events and programs coming from the array of organizations serving this community.
From deep-set traditions such as the Salem Art Fair and Magic at the Mill to newer programs like Deepwood’s Kid’s EdVentures, Salem’s cultural-heritage organizations reach out and work together to build a stronger community with a deeper connection to history.
Salem supports over 60 cultural heritage non-profits, with many other organizations contributing to the diverse framework of our community.
The Salem Heritage All-Star Forum was founded in 2013 in response to Salem’s designation as a Heritage All-Star Community by the Oregon Heritage Commission. It has worked diligently to foster a sense of collaboration and support for organizations of all sizes.
With amazing City of Salem staff support, the Salem Heritage All-Star Forum has completed significant projects, such as a collaboration handbook, which will serve the cultural-heritage community in the coming years. The Forum has also been working towards thematic packages that will promote visitation to the community.
Our Capital is more than what people expect. With a vibrant historic downtown that includes over a dozen museums, galleries, theatres and attractions, Salem is filled with surprising discoveries that we are passionate about.
The Salem Heritage All-Star Forum is excited to welcome the greater Oregon Heritage community for the 2016 Oregon Heritage conference May 4-7. We hope those visiting, and those who make Salem home, will look around this great place and discover Oregon’s Capital of Culture.
Sarah Pearson is the vice chair of the Salem Heritage All-Star Forum’s steering committee and the museum manager at Deepwood Museum and Gardens.