High Desert Mural Festival Creates Public Art

The High Desert Mural Festival (HDMF), a 501(c)-3 nonprofit dedicated to support projects that enhance the public arts culture of Central Oregon, has focused on facilitating public murals in our community and helping to foster local visual arts education. HDMF completed three major murals in Central Oregon during 2018 and plans to help create five new murals in 2019.  The locations of the three new mural sites are at The Open Book and Farmers Insurance buildings on Greenwood Ave., and at the My Lucky House building on 3rd St.  For 2019,  HDMF received grant support in 2018 from the Deschutes Cultural Coalition, the Oregon Community Foundation, and the Deschutes County Arts and Culture grant fund to support arts education outreach programs. A Teen Mural Project with Base Camp Studio begins in March, and HDMF will host workshops partnered with the Bend-La Pine School District. HDMF is also seeking future mural locations and will fund all related mural production expenses. HighDesertMural.org


Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Oregon is WinterFest Beneficiary

Big Brothers big Sisters of Central Oregon, a program of J Bar J Youth Services, was beneficiary of the 2019 OnPoint Community Credit Union Oregon WinterFest, held Feb. 15-17 at the Old Mill District. Since 2008, Oregon WinterFest, a production of Lay It Out Events, has awarded more than $100,000 to local charities in support of the services they bring to the Central Oregon community. Big Brothers Big Sisters provided more than 100 volunteers to Oregon WinterFest. For every volunteer who participated, $50-$100 was donated to their organization. LayItOutEvents.com, BBBSCO.org


Free Help Provided to Tax Filers of All Ages

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide, in partnership with CASH Oregon, will offer free tax preparation sessions for Central Oregonians at the Downtown Bend Library on weekends through April 14. People needing help with their taxes can stop in to learn more about tax credits and have an IRS-certified volunteer prepare their taxes. Taxes are prepared online, using IRS-certified software, and then electronically transmitted to the IRS. If you plan to file your own taxes, certified tax volunteers are also available to answer some your tax questions.  CASH Oregon, supports free tax preparation and tax credit outreach in 32 counties in the State of Oregon at over 140 tax sites. Since 1968, AARP Foundation Tax-Aide has offered free tax preparation help at more than 5,000 community locations throughout the country.  The walk-in sessions at the Downtown Bend Library run Saturdays and Sundays noon to 5:00 p.m. through April 14. The service is free, and is designed for those with low- and moderate- incomes. CashOregon.org, AARP.org, DeschutesLibrary.org


Portrait Connection Pairs Artists with Critically Ill Children

Local nonprofit Portrait Connection was created to pair artists and families of children with serious medical conditions to create lasting legacies of fine art. Artists paint portraits of each child nominated in Central Oregon. “When a family hears the devastating news that a child has a serious medical concern, it changes their world. Suddenly, they need a sanctuary of peace, healing, and strength,” says Elaine Eisenbraun, co-founder of Portrait Connection. Through art, the child can, “Look into the reflection of their own eyes and see beauty,” she says. The organization’s inaugural event in 2018 brought 15 regional artists together with their subjects and their families. This year, the public is invited to attend their second unveiling event and ceremony on April 1, 5:30 p.m. at Tetherow Resort. PortraitConnection.org