The Oregon Arts Commission was established in 1967 to foster the arts in Oregon and ensure their excellence. Nine Commissioners, appointed by the Governor, determine policies, establish long-range plans, and review applications to grants programs to determine funding levels.
In 1993, the Oregon Arts Commission became a division of the Oregon Business Development Department in recognition of the expanding role the arts play in the broader social, economic and educational arenas of Oregon communities. In 2003, the Oregon legislature moved the operations and making use of the Commission's expertise in grant-making, arts and cultural information and community cultural development.
The Arts Commission is supported with general funds appropriated by the Oregon legislature, federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, and funds from the Oregon Cultural Trust.