COURTESY OF CLASSICAL UP CLOSE - Classical Up Close plays concert all over the Portland metro area, including at Symposium Coffee in Tigard.

Four nonprofit organization in the western suburbs of Portland, including a Tigard musician’s collective, recently received grants from the Oregon Cultural Trust.

The Oregon Cultural Trust helps fund arts, humanities, and heritage organizations all over the state.

“The uniqueness of the Cultural Trust in the national landscape is a testament to Oregonians’ dedication to supporting culture,” said Carole Morse, chair of the Cultural Trust board, in a press release.

Classical Up Close, a Tigard-based organization that works to increase public access to classical music, received a grant of $5,562.

The organization is a music-driven community outreach program spearheaded by musicians from the Oregon Symphony.

Each spring, the group holds free chamber music concerts in neighborhoods around the Portland metropolitan area. The group organizes “pop-up” concerts where people might not expect to hear classical music.

They also play full-length concerts at churches in the area.

“We’re trying to break the misconception that classical music is elitist,” said Sarah Kwak, executive director of Classical Up Close. “It’s for everybody.”

While symphony concerts take place on stages far away from audience members, Classical Up Close organizes concerts that bring listeners face-to-face with musicians.

“It’s close-up and approachable,” said Kwak. “People can ask questions and get to know us as human beings.”

This grant will keep the organization afloat, helping to ensure that they’ll be able to continue the free concert series during the spring of 2017.

While the concerts are free to the public, the organization has costs ranging from publicity to rentals to paying their musicians.

They still hope to raise more funds to cover all their costs, because they are committed to keeping the concerts free.

“We’re trying to make classical music accessible to as many people as possible,” said Kwak.

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