Challenge grant builds momentum for Celilo art installation

The Confluence Project plans to construct an art installation by artist Maya Lin at Celilo Park.

The Confluence Project plans to construct an art installation by artist Maya Lin at Celilo Park.

Momentum continues to build for Maya Lin’s sixth and final Confluence Project site along the Columbia River system. The Oregon Community Foundation announces a special, one-time capital grant of $150,000 to help build the curved, elevated walkway at Celilo Park near The Dalles. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2016.

The grant from OCF is contingent on Confluence raising $150,000 from other sources, which may be additional capital funds or earmarked for the planned transition to a membership-based organization with responsibility for owning, maintaining and providing educational programming at all six Confluence installations on the Columbia River system.

This grant follows a gift of $250,000 from the Ford Family Foundation in March and a $250,000 grant from the Collins Foundation in December. Last year, the Oregon legislature allocated $1.5 million to the “Celilo arc” restoration project.

The completed project at Celilo Park will remind visitors of the historical and cultural significance of this place through artistic and interpretive installations. As part of the master plan, it will also include landscape improvements and infrastructure upgrades.

Over the next three years, the project will invest more than $8.5 million to design on 3 acres of land, improve the park’s facilities and improve access to both the park and the adjacent tribal treaty fishing access site. An estimated 500,000 visitors are expected at the park annually from local communities, the region and the world.

More than 2,000 Northwest students, teachers, artists, and volunteers are expected to visit the park every year as part of Confluence Project’s educational programming.

“The Confluence Project is a great fit with a number of OCF’s priorities: to preserve Oregon’s heritage, to provide educational programming, and to boost community development,” said Kathleen Cornett, OCF vice president for grants and programs. “We are pleased to be part of this project that will so ably tell one of Oregon’s great stories.”

“This special grant from OCF is one sign that enthusiasm is growing to complete Maya Lin’s vision,” said Colin Fogarty, executive director of the Confluence Project. “It also shows a deep commitment in Oregon to telling the critical story of Celilo Falls and celebrating Native fishing communities today.”

About Confluence Project:

The Confluence Project is catalyst for discovery, creating spaces that promote moments of insight about the confluence of culture, history and ecology along the Columbia River system. The project shares stories of this river through six public art installations, educational programs, community engagement and a rich digital experience.

Confluence was founded in 2002 as a collaborative effort of Pacific Northwest Tribes, acclaimed artist Maya Lin, and local communities from Oregon and Washington.

Four of the six planned sites featuring art by Lin have been completed and annually serve more than 1.7 million visitors and community members along the Columbia River system at Cape Disappointment State Park (Ilwaco, Wash.), Vancouver Land Bridge (Vancouver, Wash.), Sandy River Delta (Troutdale), Sacajawea State Park (Pasco, Wash.).

Chief Timothy Park (Clarkston, Wash.) will be completed in 2014 and Celilo Park (The Dalles) in 2016. “Gifts from Our Ancestors” education programming currently reaches over 3,000 underserved K-12 rural students each year.

For more information about the Confluence Project contact Executive Director Colin Fogarty at or 360-693-0123.

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