News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Building Blocks: connecting the Sisters community

Once a month, there is a gathering of Sisters residents who are known as Community Builders to share with each other news of what they, their nonprofits, businesses, startups, and interest groups are doing to add to the community spirit of Sisters.

The meetings are fun to attend because there is generally good, upbeat news of projects being undertaken, changes being made, partnerships working together, and other ways in which something is being done to sustain and improve the unique wonderfulness of Sisters.

Kellen Klein, executive director of Citizens for Community, convenes the meetings, usually the third Wednesday of each month, 10–11:30 a.m., at different businesses or organizations. The meetings are open to anyone who calls themselves a community builder in Sisters Country. The next several meetings are scheduled for June 18 at Sisters Library; July 24 at Seed to Table; August 21 at Stitchin' Post; and September 18 at Sisters Depot. By hosting one of the meetings, an organization gets to showcase their facility and their mission.

Because good news is meant to be shared, each month following the gathering, there will be a summary of the information, in this column: "Building Blocks."

The May 15 meeting was held on the lawn outside the Sisters History Museum after attendees had the opportunity to view the museum and its displays.

• This summer, the Sisters Museum is open on Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. every week and on Sundays, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. through September. On June 12 and July 10, walking tours of Camp Polk Cemetery will be offered, reservations required. The Sisters Landmark Walking Tours are offered on Wednesday and Sunday. Anyone interested should call to find out dates of next tours 541-549-1403. To reach the museum email [email protected] or call the above number.

• Sisters is currently conducting its Civic Leadership Academy through a partnership with Portland State University and Citizens4Community. The group is meeting once a week for six weeks at City Hall. They are creating a project to be undertaken in Sisters to improve citizen engagement and outreach, with a project presentation slated for June 12 at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall. Questions can be directed to 541-549-6022.

• The housing forum "Who Gets to Live in Sisters?" held on May 5 was attended by 155 people. A recording is available on the Citizens4Community YouTube channel as well as their website,, where there is also a link to access a packet of housing facts and figures, services, reports, and other relevant resources. Questions can be directed to [email protected].

• Sisters Makers is a newly forming nonprofit whose mission is to support artists, makers, growers, and innovators with facilities, education, and advocacy. They will act as an incubator for small businesses. They just received keys to their location at 291 E. Main Ave., adjacent to Fir Street Park (the former Chamber of Commerce office owned by the City). Inside are four artisan/office spaces available for rent at about 30 percent below market rate. There is floating workspace with locker storage and space for classes, meetings, and pop-up retail activities. The hub will offer mentorship and advice on launching a business. Their grand opening is scheduled for Fourth Friday Art Walk on June 28. They will have a band on site during Big Ponderoo. During Farmers Markets they will be offering kids' activities. They are recruiting board members. Director Shannon Thorson is available by text at 503-550-3230 or [email protected].

• Roundhouse Foundation will start accepting applications for fall grants June 19. The theme for the 2025 residential program at Pine Meadow Ranch Center for Arts and Agriculture is "Care and Stewardship" for which they are offering two-week and one-month residencies that run March 15–November 15, 2025. See their website for upcoming programs open to the public,

• Susan Taylor of The Grant Lab, Inc. offers grant-writing advice and services for under-resourced organizations, nonprofits, and educational systems. Her team has a wide array of experience with federal, state, and foundation grants, including writing, facilitating, planning, administering, and peer reviews. The group has secured more than $100 million in grants from public agencies, private foundations, and corporations. Call 540-505-3689 or email [email protected].

• On June 22, the Sisters High School music program will be performing and holding a bake sale at the school to raise money to support the program. In the past, they received $10,000 from the breakfast served during Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, but that support is no longer available. Questions can be directed to 541-549-4045.

Due to space constraints, the rest of the report will appear in the May 29 issue of The Nugget.

Editor's note: This story was edited to correct information on the Three Sisters Historical Society.


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