NEWS BRIEF (available online at https://goo.gl/ikzPhh)
(Ashland, Ore.) — The inaugural Oregon Arts Medallion, presented by Southern Oregon University’s Oregon Center for the Arts, was awarded today to local arts patron James Morrison Collier in recognition of his widespread philanthropy in support of local arts organizations.
Collier – who taught English in Delano, Calif., before moving to Medford in 2003 – was honored during a luncheon in SOU’s Schneider Museum of Art. Speakers included SOU President Linda Schott and SOU Board of Trustees Chair Bill Thorndike, who presented the medallion.
Other guests at the presentation included acclaimed pianist and SOU music professor Alexander Tutunov, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival actor Armando Duran, who plays the title role in OSF’s current production of Julius Caesar. Duran spoke as Julius Caesar to honor Collier, who wrote his master’s thesis on the Shakespeare play.
The Oregon Arts Medallion was created by the Oregon Center for the Arts at SOU to recognize and honor outstanding philanthropy in the arts throughout Oregon. The OCA’s mission, in part, is to honor Oregonians who participate in or support the arts.
Criteria for the new award is straightforward: long-term support for the arts in Oregon. The recipient is selected by OCA Director David Humphrey and the SOU Foundation.
Collier, who is particularly interested in supporting young artists, has helped numerous local arts organizations. Medford’s Craterian Theater became the Craterian Theater at The Collier Center for the Performing Arts after Collier made an undisclosed donation five years ago. Talent’s Camelot Theatre named a new venue in Collier’s honor in 2010 after he made a $300,000 donation. Other organizations he has supported include the Rogue Valley Symphony, the Rogue Opera and the Rogue Valley Chorale.
He has also donated several pianos, including one to the Rogue Valley Manor, where he lives.
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