More than two decades ago, civic-minded individuals who worked in the Capitol began meeting as a small group. They shared a love for the push and pull of our democratic process, the people and business that takes place inside the Capitol, and the historic importance and architectural beauty of the building itself. While they enjoyed reminiscing about their own experiences in the Capitol, the group also wanted to preserve and educate Oregonians about the Capitol and their shared heritage, while inspiring the value of democracy. They decided to formalize their group and formed the Oregon State Capitol Foundation. Originally founded by statute in 1997 under the auspices of the Legislative Administration, the OSCF became its own 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2015. Although OSCF is now a standalone nonprofit, legislators continue to be appointed to the board in order to serve as liaisons between the board and the Legislature, particularly because Oregon is one of a small number of states in which the Legislature owns the Capitol building.
Our vision, mission, and strategies
Our vision is that all Oregonians cherish their Oregon State Capitol as a beautiful, vibrant place to engage with history and democracy. The Oregon State Capitol Foundation connects Oregonians to a shared heritage, enhances the beauty of the Capitol and engages citizens in their democracy. OSCF achieves its mission by providing educational and cultural displays and events; preserving history with exhibits, speakers and other programs; and supporting improvements that contribute to the dignity and beauty of the Capitol.
Culture and Learning
The Oregon State Capitol is home to many art exhibits and historical displays. Both permanent and temporary pieces can be viewed in many of its corridors and lobbies. Many Oregon artists are allowed the opportunity to professionally display their artwork in the Governor’s office and galleria. Wood carvings, Native America beadwork and quilts are just a few of the types of artwork that have been loaned to us in the past for the viewing pleasure of our visitors.
Each year thousands of tourists visit the Oregon State Capitol. Some come to admire the history of the building. Some are interested in the artwork. Others climb the 121 steps up into the Capitol tower and out onto an observation deck to get a closer look at the Oregon pioneer and a spectacular view of Salem. Many more come to learn about or participate in the legislative process. During a legislative session, the State Capitol is full of activity with legislators, staff, and citizens from throughout the state of Oregon.
The Value of History
The Oregon State Capitol Foundation adopted “The Value of History” at their January 25, 2017, board meeting.
The adoption of this statement by historical organizations throughout the nation provides a commonality of objectives in the preservation of history.
The Oregon State Capitol Foundation is a 503(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Tax ID 20-5164853.