About 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.

Portland Mayor Bud Clark’s edict inaugurated the group formally, and IRS not-for-profit status was granted to OCHC in 1993. Since then, the group has been working on projects commensurate with its mission statement:


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 our 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.

Our cultural understanding perhaps best serves as a touchstone, 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 we’ve misstepped, and how our creative figures recorded their experience for future generations.

Highlights of the Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission

St Petersburg, Russia | 1955 Yakima Valley Museum

“The work you are doing, when understood in its broadest meaning – when ‘culture’ is understood to be the seamless weaving together of art and history, the twin guides of humanity— will someday be appreciated by Oregonians. That is not a vain hope but a patient prediction.”

Chet Orloff, Executive Director Emeritus, Oregon Historical Society