Salem, Oregon – Thomas Lauderdale, the founder of Pink Martini, and Hunter Noack, the founder of In A Landscape, will perform as special guests at the Oregon Arts and Culture Caucus Launch Event, scheduled from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 27, at Salem’s Elsinore Theatre. The event location has changed to accommodate the performance; in addition to light refreshments, the event will now feature free Salt & Straw ice cream courtesy of Tyler Malek and Kim Malek.

“During the Great Depression, Franklin Delano Roosevelt created the Works Progress Administration, putting millions of Americans to work. Federal music, theater and writers’ projects signaled to the people that arts and culture are as important to the infrastructure of the country as our roads and post offices,” said Lauderdale and Noack. “The American Dream was not only promise of economic and social justice but of cultural enrichment, making us more resilient, inventive and compassionate.”

The bi-partisan Arts and Culture Caucus, coordinated by Rep. Rob Nosse (D-Portland), was formed in recognition of the vital role arts and culture play in the livability and prosperity of Oregon communities – and in enriching the lives of Oregonians.

The Caucus also includes Sen. Dick Anderson (R-Lincoln City); Rep. Janelle Bynum (D-Clackamas); Rep. Maxine Dexter (D-Portland); Rep. David Gomberg (D-Otis); Sen. Bill Hansell (R-Athena); new member Rep. Annessa Hartman (D-Gladstone); Rep. John Lively (D-Springfield); Rep. Pam Marsh (D-Ashland); and Sen. Deb Patterson (D-Salem). Caucus membership is expected to expand.

“Arts and culture are so important to Oregon,” said Rep. Nosse. “All around our state, every day there are concerts, comedy events, public hearings, podcasts, theatrical performances, debates and community events that bring the people of our state together. We must support the cultural and community hubs in our neighborhoods and I hope this caucus will continue to ensure arts and culture thrive in this state.”

The Caucus will serve as a resource to the Oregon Legislature on key issues impacting the arts and culture sector. Its members will work closely with stakeholders including the Oregon Arts Commission, the Oregon Cultural Trust (and its Statewide Partners) and the Cultural Advocacy Coalition of Oregon to stay informed on the latest research and issues. It will also set an agenda on priorities for arts and culture legislation, including a sustainable and robust funding mechanism for arts and cultural initiatives.

The Oregon Arts and Culture Caucus Launch Event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.