What would our Rogue Valley be like without Jim Collier? His dedication to supporting the arts is well known, and many music and theater groups owe their ability to serve our community to this outstanding individual.
In 2015, the Rogue Valley Chorale became a recipient of Jim’s generosity, and as a result, is now able to provide Southern Oregon with an annual holiday concert in perpetuity. Jim’s gift will cover production costs, freeing up ticket sales for artistic expenses, guest soloists and instrumentalists.
An inheritance enabled Jim to become a generous patron of the performing arts. Jim not only supports the arts in the Rogue Valley, but also sponsors orchestras and opera companies in his hometown of Des Moines, Iowa, as well as in Bakersfield, California. He was nominated as Outstanding Individual Philanthropist of Central Iowa in 2006, and is known as “The Piano Man,” a title he earned by donating three concert grand and four upright pianos to various organizations in the Rogue Valley.
Jim retired to Medford after teaching high school English in Delano, California (near Bakersfield) for 30 years. A group of friends introduced him to the opera, and he made frequent trips to Los Angeles to see spectacular performances featuring some of the world’s finest singers. Opera deepened his interest in the performing arts. He began visiting Ashland to attend the Oregon Shakespeare Festival plays, a passion he shared with his students in California.
The term “arts in Southern Oregon” has become synonymous with the name “Jim Collier.” Our community is richer because of this tireless and dedicated philanthropist. We love you Jim.