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Grant Stories – Wallowa Resources

From the “Our Mission” page – “Proceeds from the ride go to the Cycle Oregon Fund, which helps preserve and protect the special places of Oregon and supports community development projects in the regions through which we ride.”

Cottonwood Canyon State Park / Photo from Rural Engagement & Vitality Center

Wallowa Resources (Enterprise, OR) was among our ten 2019 Cycle Oregon Fund Community Project Grants recipients, receiving $5000 to “Support the Urban Rural Theater Project (through the Rural Engagement & Vitality Center), which gives voice to unheard narratives, honors the stories of those interviewed and invites audiences into a deeper conversation about community”.

Nils Christoffersen, Executive Director for Wallowa Resources tells us, “We are thrilled to share that despite restrictions due to the pandemic, the Urban Rural Theatre Project is up and running”

About the Urban Rural Theater

From their website, the Rural Engagement & Vitality Center tells us, “The urban-rural divide in Oregon is painfully real. Luckily, there is more that connects us than separates us.”

Photo courtesy of Rural Engagement & Vitality Center

Wallowa Resources checked in with Cycle Oregon recently to share, “To ensure that our team is rooted in an ethos of deep listening and authentic presence, we invited Michael Fields, a cultural competency scholar, to join us as part of this preliminary training. The team also took this time to discuss and hone their collective approach, process, and goals for the project.  The pandemic has moved all of our interactions onto an online platform. This gathering was exciting because it marked the first time that the project’s lead artists, Jack and Sarah Greenman, and the liaison from the REV Center, Julie Keniry, were able to meet in person with both of the REV Center interns, Emily Mendoza and Julia Huyg.

“The goal of the project is to invite audiences into a deeper conversation about community and connection, myth and lived experience, harm and progress as it pertains to the “urban-rural divide”.”

Nils was excited about the project’s two interns and asked that we take the time to learn more about them here. Importantly, all internships associated with this project are paid.

Photo courtesy of Rural Engagement & Vitality Center

Wallowa Resources adds, “We are very happy with the preliminary line-up, which boasts a wide-reaching variety of Oregonians. The sheer diversity alone promises a rich pool of stories and lived experiences. Interviews began in December 2020 and kick into high gear through the new year. Playwright Sarah Greenman has more information about the project on her website here.”

Our friends and fans will be pleased to see that Jerry Norquist, former Executive Director of Cycle Oregon, has been active in fundraising support for this project. Hi, Jerry! (And, thanks!) We are excited to see what comes next. Stay tuned to the REV Center website for more information and follow Wallowa Resources on Facebook and Instagram for the latest news.

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