Announcing Bend’s First Creative Laureate

Jason Graham accepts Creative Laureate position Photo Credit: Future Filmworks

September 6th, 2018 ( Bend, Oregon) -- The Creative Laureate, presented by ScaleHouse, designated by The City of Bend and administered by The Arts and Culture Alliance of Central Oregon, was announced at the Bend City Council meeting on Wednesday September 5th.

Bend’s first Creative Laureate is Jason Graham or professionally known as MOsley WOtta. MOWO is an American visual artist, performer, educator, speaker, and hiphop producer residing in Central Oregon since 1992. He is a former slam poetry champion for the state of Oregon. Currently, he works with Oregon Humanities Conversation Project. He leads conversations on creativity and vulnerability. He has toured overseas with the US embassy & Rise UP International as an Art Ambassador.

On April 18, the Bend City Council announced a proclamation for the introduction of the Creative Laureate sponsored by Councilor Sally Russell. The Creative Laureate, presented by ScaleHouse, will serve as the official ambassador for the broader creative community in Bend. The Laureate will participate in community education, advocacy, and public events including speaking engagements, and workshops. The City of Portland’s Creative Laureate was established in 2012 with artist Julie Keefe. Bend is the second city in the state and the nation to designate this role.

“We're thrilled with the appointment of Jason as Bend's first Creative Laureate — Jason is a well-respected cross-disciplinary artist with strong connections to the Oregon community and unwavering commitment to equity and access to the arts,” says René Mitchell, co-founder and chair of ScaleHouse.

ScaleHouse presented this idea to the City of Bend and the Arts and Culture Alliance after working with the City of Portland and seeing the positive impact of the Creative Laureate role in Portland. Mitchell added, “We were looking for an individual to speak to the power and importance of creativity, someone to unite, energize and engage our citizens through art.”

The Creative Laureate will be administered by The Arts and Culture Alliance and selected by a committee representing the arts, culture and creative community. This role will serve a two-year term starting September 1, 2018.


Formed in May of 2010, the Arts & Culture Alliance realizes the impact the arts have on Central Oregon and the economy. The ACA was formed to create collaboration and networking opportunities for local arts and cultural organizations; their shared purpose in working together to promote the arts and supporting each other establishes a collective voice.For more information visit


ScaleHouse is an invitation to explore and shape the world we live in, through visual arts, performing arts, architecture and design, film and storytelling, and conceptual arts & activism. ScaleHouse produces year-round talks, workshops, exhibitions, performances, special events, and the fourth annual Bend Design, scheduled for October 25+25, 2018. For more information visit

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