At a rally for culture and the arts this week in Salem, state SEN. BETSY JOHNSON (D -Scappoose) pointed to ASTORIA as a shining example. Johnson spoke powerfully about how the arts and preservation rebuilt Astoria, easing the city's transition from a fishing-dependent community to a cultural tourism destination.

Invoking Oregonians' pride in their history, arts and culture, Johnson urged citizens not to let legislators leave Salem without fully funding CHAMP, Gov. Ted Kulongoski's $10.6 million Cultural Reinvestment Package.

Other speakers at the rally for CHAMP, which stands for Culture, Heritage, Arts, Movies, Preservation, included Thomas Lauderdale, leader of PINK MARTINI, the popular Portland band which has performed at Astoria's LIBERTY THEATER. He spoke eloquently about the inspiration and resources provided to him by the Oregon Historical Society - which, since 2003, has become only one of six state historical societies in the nation without state funding.

The CHAMP day rally, which attracted 300 advocates of culture, heritage, arts and movie-making from all over the state, was organized to support Kulongoski's CHAMP package.

If funded by the Legislature, CHAMP money will be allocated as follows: Oregon Arts Commission and Oregon Cultural Trust - $2.9 million, Oregon Historical Society - $2.8 million, Oregon Public Broadcasting - $3.75 million, Oregon Film and Video Office - $414,000, and Oregon Main Street Program - $750,000.

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