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 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 us 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 we’ve misstepped, and how our creative figures recorded the experience for future reference.