Bob and Kitty Bunn Fund

Supporting Wellness Through the Arts

In 2004, Kitty Bunn and husband Bob, long-time Corvallis residents and supporters of both arts and healthcare, gave The Arts Center a generous donation to help encourage the fledgling ArtsCare program. Over time the fund supported development, incubation and innovation of this program, until it became a regular part of the Samaritan Health Care System.

Today the Bob and Kitty Bunn Fund continues to support arts and wellness initiatives and activities of The Arts Center as part of The Arts Center’s Agency Fund for Arts Engagement, housed at the Benton Community Foundation. Your contributions to this fund are welcome. If you share in Bob and Kitty Bunn’s vision of supporting community arts programming and would like to give a gift in their memory, consider donating to The Arts Center’s Agency Fund for Arts Engagement:

Kathryn “Kitty” Bunn (November 24, 1929 – April 19, 2021)

Kitty’s special relationship to the local arts community began at our founding in the early 1960s. She was close friends with Corrine Woodman, one of the founding women of the original Corvallis Arts Council. They both urged each other to be boldly creative, at a time when most women stayed behind the scenes. They also looked for opportunities to enrich their community through imaginative ways, like international dinner parties with special artist speakers, dancers, and good food.

Looking back it seems like we were perched on what was a national art awakening. It doesn’t seem possible now, but in 1961 there were three art galleries in Portland: The Fountain Gallery, Image, and rental sales through the museum. Around the same time, Seattle hosted the World’s Fair. Their art pavilion was filled with the works of famous New York artists. Maybe that’s why it was so unusual for a town the size of Corvallis to open an Arts Center.

Kitty credited Corrine with giving her the confidence to try her hand at painting. Kitty had a eye for beauty. Anyone who had the opportunity to visit her home in Corvallis, or her beautiful place on the Washington State side the Columbia River, saw walls brimming with paintings including colorful, expressionistic works of her own creation. She and her husband Bob collected from far and wide, regional, international and local. Her love of the arts was a catalyst for a lifetime of travel and passionate collecting, and philanthropy through the arts.