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Art Notes Electronic Edition
Image - Feature Article
Students and their teacher learn African drumming at Beach School in Portland.

CAN secures partnerships to restore art and music education in every Portland elementary school as part of its efforts to improve all residents’ access to arts and culture
by Jessica Jarratt Miller, Executive Director of Creative Advocacy Network (CAN)

Artists, arts leaders and art lovers know better than most that culture and creativity have enormous potential to inspire, educate, and shape a city. Even still, today’s economic environment has forced Portland’s small and large arts and cultural organizations to scale back on programs while our children face a public school education nearly devoid of arts and culture.
On the arts education front, we know that kids who participate in the arts are 4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, 3 times more likely to be elected to class office and 4 times more likely to participate in a math and science fair. That is why CAN is working with both schools and arts organizations to keep the arts off the endangered list in Portland’s classrooms.

The arts provide powerful learning experiences that can change a young person’s life, and our plan includes funding to help classrooms connect with local arts organizations through cultural field trips and artist residencies. The Right Brain Initiative’s efforts to integrate the arts into the standard curriculum will also be fueled by CAN, giving our children more of the 21st century skills they will need to succeed in the innovation economy.

But as the recent Any Given Child report has shown, no arts education is complete without access to certified arts and music teachers who provide progressive learning opportunities for our children. A whopping 81% of Portland elementary school students today will finish 5th grade without ever having been offered an art class – which is, of course, unacceptable. In partnership with Centennial, David Douglas, Parkrose, Portland Public, Reynolds and Riverdale School Districts, CAN has developed a plan that will fund certified art and music teachers in every Portland elementary school.

In addition to restoring arts education, CAN is also working to strengthen our community’s vibrant arts organizations. While many consider Portland to be an epicenter of creativity, and Oregon ranks second nationally in arts attendance, our arts organizations need more support from both the public and private sector to continue serving our community through performances, exhibits, education programs and other services throughout our city. CAN’s new public fund for the arts will transform the way that we invest in arts organizations in Portland and help them provide meaningful and inspiring experiences that are accessible to all residents.

CAN’s work will result in a ground-breaking ballot measure campaign that, if approved in November 2012, will return arts education to our classrooms and ensure that all of Portland’s citizens have access to arts, culture and creativity in our community.  We hope you are as inspired as we are by the possibilities and will act now to preserve and grow creativity and culture in this City that we love. Join the Movement and the conversation at Facebook/theArtsCAN, Twitter@theArtsCAN or theArtsCAN.org.
Eloise Damrosch

From RACC Executive Director Eloise Damrosch

Recent Meetings

Every year at about this time the US United Arts Federation, the Executive Directors of the nation’s largest local arts agencies, gets together to share ideas, challenges and creative solutions. We met in Ft Lauderdale (someone had to do it) for meaty conversations, presentations by local arts leaders and funders, and tours of some innovative arts spaces.

Several interesting trends emerged from our reports and discussions. As funds have declined for grant-making some cities have moved to project-based support versus general operating support, which funders seem less committed to. Numbers of grants applications continue to rise well above dollars available, but some cities are thinking up innovative new funding partnerships, such as PNC Bank in Baltimore and a new Arts Marketing initiative in Houston. Funding of Arts Councils and Commissions is improving slightly over last year, sending a (weak) signal that the economy may be improving.

Public Art Programs protected by percent for art ordinances seem to be quite robust. Portland, El Paso and Wichita were called out. Other cities like San Diego have run into serious opposition given city budget woes. That program is currently “on hiatus”. Arts education was also a big focus as every city grapples with trying to inject the arts back into classrooms. Our Right Brain Initiative received kudos.

Particularly interesting were discussions around equity.  St.Louis, El Paso and Charlotte noted that very soon minority populations will be in the majority and arts agencies admittedly are not ready to fully serve this new dynamic. Others such as San Francisco have had equity and diversity efforts in place for as long as 20 years. Ft Lauderdale is doing interesting work around live-work spaces for artists and repurposing empty warehouses into exhibition, studio and performance spaces.

Overall it was gratifying to realize how relatively well our region is doing supporting the arts, thanks to the efforts of advocates, arts leaders, artists, business friends, foundations and our enlightened elected officials. Many will be watching to see how our Creative Advocacy Network fares with its campaign for dedicated arts and culture funding this coming Fall. Onward!

Eloise can be reached at edamrosch@racc.org

RACC Grants applications schedule, spring/summer 2012

For your fundraising convenience we have developed the following grant deadline schedule for upcoming RACC grants that will be available through the summer. Please note that all dates are subject to change; for complete up-to-date information on all grant programs, including descriptions of each grant, visit racc.org/grants. All applications and guidelines are posted online at racc.org/GrantsOnline when they become available. And at that time they will be listed in editions of Art Notes.

Opportunity Grant, cycle 4*
Intent to Apply deadline 2/8/12; Electronic Application deadline 2/22/12

General Support Grant**
Intent to Apply deadline 3/7/12; Electronic Application deadline 3/14/12; Physical Submission deadline 3/21/12

Professional Development Grant, cycle 1***
Intent to Apply deadline 4/11/12; Electronic Application deadline 4/18/12; Physical Submission deadline 4/25/12

Fellowship Award, Media Arts****
Intent to Apply deadline 4/25/12; Electronic Application deadline 5/2/12; Physical Submission deadline 5/9/12

Opportunity Grant, cycle 5*
Intent to Apply deadline 5/9/12; Electronic Application deadline 5/23/12

Project Grants, artistic focus & community participation***
Intent to Apply deadline 8/1/12; Electronic Application deadline 8/15/12; Physical Submission deadline 8/22/12

Professional Development Grant, cycle 2***
Fall/Winter TBD

*for Portland-based organizations only
**for 501(c)3 tri-county organizations with minimum income of $80,000
***for tri-county artists and organizations

****for tri-county artists with minimum of 10 years in their discipline
Join Right Brain at Dead Stock on Feb. 2

Join The Right Brain Initiative for an exhibition of unseen and unsold artwork by Carson Ellis, Chris Johanson and other major local artists at Compound Gallery during the month of February. All proceeds will be donated to The Right Brain Initiative. First Thursday opening reception is February 2, 7-10pm. Compound Gallery, 107 NW 5th Ave. Show runs through February 26. See details here.

RACC Artists Workshops Feb. 11 & 25

RACC will be offering 9 more professional development workshops for working artists in all disciplines through June, 2012. Each workshop is offered at an affordable price as part of RACC’s commitment to providing learning opportunities that help artists become more successful in their careers. Upcoming workshops include:

  • Feb. 11: How Did That Mural Get There? The Rules and Regulations for Creating Murals in Portland, with panelists Joe Cotter, Robin Corbo, Kristin Cooper and Peggy Kendellen, manager of RACC’s Public Art Murals Program.
  • Feb. 25: For Organizations: Building Audiences in a Complex and Competitive Environment, with George Thorn, co-director of Arts Action Research, a national arts-consulting group.
For more details and to register, visit racc.org/workshops. Register now as workshops fill up quickly.
Colored Pencils Art and Culture Night Feb. 24

Enjoy Portland's diverse culture and meet new friends from different communities. Tickets at door only, $10 – though donation based, no one turned away. 5:30pm dinner – not included in ticket price, usually not more than $8. 6:00-9:00pm at New Columbia, Community Education Center, 4605 N. Trenton, 97203. coloredpencilsart.com; newportland@coloredpencilsart.com.

Help Right Brain earn a $1,500 match grant by Feb. 29

Did you miss the opportunity to make a year-end donation to The Right Brain Initiative, the arts education program managed by RACC? Seize this new chance to make your personal contribution. Right Brain has been challenged to raise $1,500 through a new Facebook Causes page. If successful, all donations will be matched by First Independent Bank. Donate through Facebook Causes by Feb. 29

An Arts Forum for Portland candidates on Mar. 5

Portland Mayoral candidates Eileen Brady, Charlie Hales and Jefferson Smith will be joined by Portland City Council candidates Amanda Fritz, Mary Nolan and Steve Novick for a lively conversation about the arts in Portland, moderated by Portland Monthly Magazine Editor-in-Chief Randy Gragg.

Co-sponsored by the Creative Advocacy Network (CAN), RACC, the Portland Art Dealers Association, the Portland Arts Alliance and Oregon ArtPAC, this evening at the Armory will give Portland's arts community the opportunity to get to know these candidates and better understand the impact that they could have on arts, culture and creativity in Portland over the next four years. 7pm at The Armory, 128 NW 11th Avenue. To RSVP or pose a question for the Forum, email rsvp@theartscan.org.

Feed the Arts is coming up on Mar. 8

Round up your friends, your family, your neighbors, your co-workers and maybe five random strangers off the street! Join Work for Art at their second annual partnership day with Burgerville, to raise funds for arts and culture services throughout Oregon and SW Washington.

During Feed the Arts on Thursday, Mar. 8, 2012, Burgerville will be making a donation to Work for Art for every guest who visits any of their 38 locations, between 7 am and 10 pm.

The donations will go to the Work for Art Community Fund, which supports the services of more than 80 Non-Profit arts & culture organizations. Work for Art is a program of RACC – Work for Art Community Funds are distributed through a rigorous grants process to groups that demonstrate artistic excellence, fiscal responsibility, and community outreach services.

So clear your calendars or better yet, schedule your next meeting for Mar. 8 at Burgerville! Feed yourself, feed your friends, and feed the arts! WorkforArt.org

Special RACC Workshop: A Grant Writing Workshop for Women of Color on Mar. 17

Writer S. Renee Mitchell will present a special RACC workshop in the art of grant writing for women of color. This workshop is co-sponsored by Twysted Healing Systahs, Cost: $10. To register contact Tonisha Toler at ttoler@racc.org. 10am-1pm at June Key Delta Community Center, 5940 N. Albina Street, Portland.

At the Portland Building Installation Space Feb to March

Shu-Ju Wang’s The Laundry Maze

Using the iconic Chinese laundry as a jumping-off point, artist Shu-Ju Wang presents The Laundry Maze in the Portland Building Installation Space. Built to resembling lines of clothing hung out to dry, The Laundry Maze will document the wide variety professional transitions immigrants make when they come to the United States.  The show will run from February 13- March 16.

The Portland Building is located at 1120 SW 5th Avenue in downtown Portland and is open from 7 am to 6 pm, Monday – Friday. For more information on Portland Building installations featured since 1994, visit racc.org/installationspace.


  • Opportunity Grant (Cycle 4): The Opportunity Grant Program is funded by the City of Portland and is designed to provide grants to Portland-based nonprofit arts and cultural organizations to help meet special opportunities or assist organizations with emergencies that arise during the year and that are not part of the applicant’s annual budget or regular programming. There will be multiple cycles of this grant throughout the fiscal year. Apply online at racc.org/GrantsOnline. Intent to Apply Deadline: 2/8/12.
  • General Support Grants provides general financial support to arts organizations in Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas Counties, based on their artistic excellence, proven service to the community, administrative and fiscal competence and RACC grant compliance. Organizations need to have IRS 501(c)3 tax status and a minimum eligible income of $80,000. Apply at racc.org/GrantsOnline. Intent to Apply Deadline: 3/7/12.
  • Professional Development Grants (cycle 1) assists artists or representatives of arts organizations with opportunities that specifically improve their business management skills and/or help advance the careers of the individual artist or the arts administrator by supporting expenses related to specific, unique opportunities that have potential to significantly impact an individual’s work and professional development. Apply at racc.org/GrantsOnline. Intent to Apply Deadline: 4/11/12.

Public Art

  • Funding for Portland Murals. Any individual or organization intending to create a mural on an exterior wall and within the boundaries of the City of Portland can apply for funding through the Public Art Mural Program. See guidelines and application information at racc.org/public-art/mural-program. For more information contact Peggy Kendellen, RACC Public Art Manager at pkendellen@racc.org. Deadline: 4/4/12

The events listed below were funded in part by RACC.

BodyVox presents the Skinner/Kirk Dance Ensemble

(Photo: Christopher Peddecord)

February 2-11

BodyVox, 1201 NW 17 Ave, Portland

Led by two of Portland's most gifted dancer/choreographers, the skinner/kirk DANCE ENSEMBLE performs work that is intensely musical and inherently moving. The superb program will feature a revival of the trapeze duet One, new work by Eric Skinner and Daniel Kirk and a new duet from acclaimed Portland choreographer, Josie Moseley.

BodyVox receives General Operating Support from RACC
35th Portland International Film Festival (PIFF)

From Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, directed by Lasse Hallström

February 9-25

At numerous venues throughout the metropolitan region
Visit nwfilm.org for schedule and venue

Drawing an audience of over 35,000, PIFF is the biggest film event in Oregon, premiering more than 100 international shorts and feature films to Portland audiences each February.

NW Film Center receives General Operating Support from RACC through the Portland Art Museum

Portland Baroque Orchestra presents Flute Recorder

Recorder virtuoso, Matthias Maute (Photo: Michel Roy)

February 10-12

2/10-11 First Baptist Church, 909 SW 11th Ave, Portland
2/12 Reed College, Kaul Auditorium, 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd, Portland


Flutes are some of the oldest instruments of mankind, but the original flute family, the “recorder,” was gradually replaced by the more modern transverse flutes. Alongside works composed for recorder and transverse flute, the program includes two Bach keyboard concertos arranged by Matthias Maute for recorder and strings.

Portland Baroque Orchestra receives General Operating Support from RACC

PDX Jazz Festival: Thara Memory presents Artfully Miles

Thara Memory (Photo: Alfredo Lettenmaier)

February 17

Winningstad Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway, Portland

Seminal Portland trumpeter and educator Thara Memory will be honored as this year’s Portland Jazz Master and will open the festival with ambitious large scale ensembles inspired by the music of Miles Davis.

This project was funded in part by a RACC Project Grant to PDX Jazz Festival
Portland Art Museum presents Mark Rothko

Mark Rothko, Self-Portrait, 1936, © 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko

February 18- May 27

Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park Avenue,  Portland

Regarded as one of the leading American artists of the 20th century, Mark Rothko (1903-1970) began his life in art as Marcus Rothkowitz in Portland, Ore. This exhibition celebrates a native son whose lyrical paintings created a legacy for the world.

Portland Art Museum receives General Operating Support from RACC

For more, visit the RACC Calendar

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