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PCC Foundation earns largest-ever gift — the Carolyn Moore Writers House

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A photo of the Moore family at the Carolyn Moore Writers House

The Moore Family at the Carolyn Moore Writers House.

The Portland Community College Foundation recently received its largest-ever gift, which is worth more than $5.5 million.

And, it is a unique bequest, as well. When poet Carolyn Moore passed away, she stipulated that she wanted her property, and the funds to maintain it, to be gifted to an institution or organization to create a writers residency program in her honor. 

A handful of colleges and organizations sent in proposals to vie for The Carolyn Moore Writers House. The PCC Foundation was chosen because of its long-term commitment to honoring Carolyn’s legacy and for the depth of writing programs available for its students.

“My aunt Carolyn had a love of learning,” her niece Erica Klassen said, “so PCC is a great fit for her vision.”

The estate gift includes a 2,500-square-foot log cabin on a nine-acre urban oasis off of Walnut Avenue in Tigard, as well as a fund to support its operations for at least 20 years. The estate gift is a capstone to the PCC Foundation’s first-ever comprehensive campaign, “The Campaign for Opportunity,” which will have raised more than $45 million when it concludes on Dec. 15. 


Carolyn Moore.

The Writers House also holds another distinction.

“To the best of our knowledge, PCC’s Carolyn Moore Writers House will be the first such program in the nation to be hosted at a community college,” said PCC Foundation Executive Director Ann Prater. “More importantly, it will provide a bridge to student success, through literature, for students who otherwise might never have such an opportunity.”

The Writers House will provide a sanctuary for authors, aspiring authors and Portland Community College faculty. Connecting students across cultural and economic divides to current, working writers will help them find inspiration and support in their writing endeavors, and a pathway to successful futures. It will also foster a community of writers at PCC and within the larger Portland metropolitan area. 

Each year, PCC’s faculty members teach more than 70 classes of creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, screenwriting and editing/publishing to 1,200 students.

Programming will begin within the next year and be led by PCC’s Humanities and Arts Council, an interdisciplinary arts committee created in 2016. Council co-founder and co-chair Andrew Cohen said that he hopes to host visiting writing residents from diverse backgrounds around the country willing to engage with students in meaningful ways—whether through class visits, campus readings, mentoring student writers and more.  

“There are so many strong and capable student writers here at PCC with powerful stories to tell,” said Cohen. “The Carolyn Moore Writers House will support them in shaping and sharing those stories—by giving them access to inspiring and diverse authors and allowing them to imagine new possibilities for themselves in the larger community of writers and the world at-large.”

Justin Rigamonti, a faculty member, HARTS council member and PCC’s Writer-in-Residence, added, “Our students are often exceptionally talented writers, but their lack of privilege also causes a lack of confidence. They don’t see themselves as worthy of the limelight or of entry to the upper echelons of Portland’s dynamic writing scene. This home will be a game changer, providing mentoring from Residents and the confidence our emerging writers need to ascend, as creatives, as soon-to-be university students and as contributing citizens.”

About Sarah Rose Evans

Sarah Rose Evans is a graduate of Columbia University's school of the arts, and has been working for Portland Community College since 2015. more »

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x by Gregory Richard Spicer 1 year ago

I just heard about this on the radio. It sounds like a terrific idea and I would be interested to know if a virtual tour of the premises was somehow available.

x by Irene Penaloza 1 year ago

This is exciting news. I hope that there will be opportunities for faculty to be able to do professional development writing workshops as well.

x by Thomas A Corbet 1 year ago

What a wonderful gift, and so deeply appreciated.
I am a 34 year veteran independent building inspector who has worked all over the country and internationally including Portland.I have evaluated real estate for the University Of Chicago, the US Attorney, the City 0f Chicago and here in Portland. I would like to volunteeer my time and services in evaluating what appears to be a wonderful learning environment and space. Let’s get a sound look at this place to project out a 10 year replacement budget for repairs, maintenance and replacement costs. I am currently a Pcc student. Consider turning the inspection into a productive writing event? Tom Corbett, North Portland.

x by Sarah Rose Evans 1 year ago

Thomas, thank you for your interest. I’ll share it with our Capitol Development and Planning team!

x by Willa Schneberg 1 year ago

What a gift the Carolyn Moore house is to the community! I knew Carolyn, and am also a poet who received the Oregon Book Award a few years ago. Can one apply for a residency?

x by Sarah Rose Evans 1 year ago

Hi Willa,

Yes, when the programming and application materials have been developed, you’d be welcome to apply for a residency! Stay tuned for more info.

x by Lynn James 1 year ago

What an amazing gift!! I am an aspiring published writer, one day. Currently I am just a writer of my life and experiences. Collecting, what I hope to be, my great work(s) of art, along my journey. And hopefully inspiring/great enough one day, to share with the world, my un-told stories and adventures. That I can live out my dream of one day becoming a published writer, alongside, a natural healer/doctor sharing my knowledge and stories. Either about those I’ve helped along the way, or inspiration to those who need help and found it through my journey and/or writing. I am very new to the writing world and learning all the time. But what is a writing residency? It sounds like a great writing experience, whatever it may be. Also, how can I apply for a writing residency? What are the requirements of one?
Native Portlander writer, hoping to make my dreams come true, one day, and learning all I can until I do, Maueve Breena, a.k.a. Lynn Marie James Krasowski ???
P.S. Rest in Peace Carolyn Moore. Hopefully we all can make you proud with your amazing gift you left us!!!

x by Ryan Flynn 1 year ago

I would love it if people wrote good textbooks using this space. In Electrical Engineering, Chemistry, and Medical Biology. Great textbooks have enhanced my conceptual understanding. I would love to see better textbooks for computer-based classes.
Dyslexic student
Ryan Flynn

x by Teresa Salinas 1 year ago

An BIG thank you Carolyn Moore and the entire Moore Family. What a thoughtful gift that will give to the community for decades to come!!