ENTERPRISE - About a dozen people gathered in Enterprise this week for the first of several town hall meetings to help Wallowa County plan for its share of the Oregon Cultural Trust.

Similar meetings are going on all over the state, even as tax credit donations and special license plate sales begin to build the financial foundation to Oregon's approach to provide long-term support for cultural programs.

The idea of the town hall meetings is to map the cultural assets of Wallowa County and put them together in ways that will preserve and enhance those assets for the future, said Catherine Matthias, a Joseph gallery owner who is co-chair of the 20-member Wallowa County Cultural Trust Planning Committee.

"What's important to you?" she asked. "We don't want Wallowa County's treasures lost."

The small group is composed of artists, writers, a museum board member, a school drama adviser, the president of the local arts council and others.

The group idenitified assets that included dozens of creative people, the Enterprise Hometown Improvement Group and Fishtrap, the Wallowa Mountains and Hells Canyon, county libraries and the county museum.

The remaining meetings are planned for 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. March 1 at the Outlaw Restaurant in Joseph; 7-9:30 p.m. Thursday, March 6, at the Providence Academy in Lostine; 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 12, at the Prairie Creek Center in Enterprise; 7-9:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 18, at the Wallowa Band Nez Perce Interpretive Center in Wallowa; and 7-9:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 25, at the Imnaha Christian Fellowship Church in Imnaha.

A meeting in Troy or Flora is planned, but not yet scheduled.

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