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The Dalles Art Center's Future is Bolstered By Community Response.

Updated: May 1, 2023

The Dalles Art Center has taken critical steps to implement a new sustainability plan and issued an urgent call to the community to support the center. The board of directors has a strategic plan in place to bring the center back to solvency and foster a viable future for this incredible community resource. As part of the plan, a call for donations was launched, with a goal to reach a minimum of $3,500 in committed monthly donations by March 31st.

Since the press release was published in the paper on Wednesday, March 15th, the community has answered with remarkable support. Thus far, we have received $10,500 in one-time donations, and $1,640 in recurring monthly donations. We also have several other large donations pledged that have not come in yet.

The Dalles Athletic Club has generously offered a $2,000 matching donation. To make a tax-deductible recurring monthly or one-time donation towards this matching fund, please visit TheDallesArtCenter.Org.

As one long-term community supporter noted, “I went to summer art camp at The Center and have many

fond memories. I keep thinking that if 2% of the population in The Dalles committed $10 a month - we can keep this place alive for our kids and grandchildren.”

The board is committed to keep The Dalles Art Center open and preserve this beloved, local community resource. This week the art center has received many notes from local residents sharing fond memories of their time at the Art Center and urging the Board to move forward. Looking at the outpouring of community The Center has received, the Board is confident that this crisis will set the path for a stronger and more sustainable The Dalles Art Center.

To make tax deductible donations, go to our website at For questions, please contact the board at or 541-296-4759.

Notes From Previous Press Release:

The Dalles Art Association (doing business as The Dalles Art Center or TDAC) has been in operation in The Dalles for over 60 years. Guided by a mission to be a connecting hub to inspire and engage with art, TDAC has enriched the community with art education, exhibits/installations, and artist support.

“In the last few years, TDAC has seen many positive developments guided by the leadership of our Executive Director Scott Stephenson,“ said Pam Westland, president of the TDAC board of directors. “In addition to visual arts, live performances have been added, project and operations grants have been secured, public art projects were completed, and the historic building and grounds have been rejuvenated, to name a few. The Board thanks Scott for his contributions to The Center.”

The Dalles Art Center – 220 E 4th St., The Dalles, OR 97058

In spite of these positive developments, limited fundraising opportunities, in part due to the COVID pandemic and the subsequent financial recession, have been a challenge over the last three years. At the same time, inflation and other economic factors have created increased operational expenses. These challenges are creating a situation where cultural institutions need community support more than ever.

Working diligently with the support of a Murdock Charitable Trust Essentials of Development coach, the

TDAC board concluded that a different expense and funding model is necessary for the continued operation of the center.

The four key pillars of this model are A) increasing the number of committed major donors, B) growing

recurring monthly donations, C) leveraging TDAC assets for ongoing revenue, and D) reduction of


A & B: Increasing committed major donors and monthly donations: Many residents and companies have

supported TDAC with donations in the past. These generous donations have funded a large part of

operations. All donations are valuable to the center while securing consistent monthly donations supports

a new form of financial sustainability for the center. To keep providing services to the community, TDAC

will nurture rewarding relationships with private and corporate donors that are committed to ongoing

monthly donations amounting to a minimum cumulative total of $3,500/month.

C: Leveraging TDAC assets for reliable revenue: The board is exploring several ongoing revenue

generating partnerships, such as space rental for groups, classes, etc.

D: Reducing operating expenses. Opening hours have been reduced to Thursdays through Saturdays

11.00am – 5.00 pm. A reduction in staff has occurred.

TDAC board members:

  • President – Pam Westland

  • Vice President – Vonda Chandler

  • Treasurer – Ed Thomas

  • Secretary – Dawn Hert

  • Board members at large:

  • Wendy Patton

  • Yvonne Pepin-Wakefield

  • Josiah Dean

  • Philip Mascher

The Dalles Art Center Key Points:

  • TDAC serves the Columbia Gorge and is currently the only dedicated arts organization between Troutdale and Pendleton.

  • Over 2,500 youth and adults have participated in the TDAC education programs including Summer Art Camp.

  • Over 1,000 artists have been showcased through exhibits, publications, and media platforms supported by TDAC.

  • TDAC returned over $60,000 in commissions to local artists in 2022.

  • The historic Carnegie Library building which houses TDAC has been restored and cared for by our own community members. Over $75,000 and 5,000 volunteer hours have helped restore and maintain the building.

Exhibits and Hours of Operation

The new hours for TDAC will be Thursday - Saturday 11:00 am - 5:00 pm. The current exhibit of High


l and Middle School art will remain at TDAC. Elementary school art is displayed through March in

businesses on 2nd Street.

To make tax deductible donations, go to our website at

For questions, please contact the board at or 541-296-4759.

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