The Right Brain Initiative receives renewed support from the National Endowment for the Arts

A 3rd grader at James John Elementary in St. Johns glazes her piece of a clay mural with The Right Brain Initiative artists Amy Steel and Alice Hill. (Photo by Allie Maki Maya)

The Right Brain Initiative, a Portland area arts education partnership, has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). This program of the Regional Arts &Culture Council was selected from a pool of 1,547 eligible applications. The renewed support follows Right Brain’s first NEA award in 2011.

The Right Brain Initiative coaches K-8 schools to integrate the arts into every aspect of the student experience. The Initiative receives this NEA funding to support classroom programming that combines the arts with other subjects, and hands-on professional development for school staff and community-based teaching artists. In the 2013-14 school year, Right Brain will provide 24 full-day trainings for over 350 educators and classroom experiences for more than 15,000 children.

Art Works grants support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts. The 817 recommended NEA grants total $26.3 million and span 13 artistic disciplines and fields. Applications were reviewed by panels of outside experts convened by NEA staff and each project was judged on its artistic excellence and artistic merit. For a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support, please visit the NEA website at arts.gov.

This federal support leverages current local public and private funding. In the 2013 fiscal year, nearly half of The Right Brain Initiative’s funding (48%) comes from private sources, including corporations, private foundations and individuals. The remainder of the $847,000 budget comes from public sources, with support from the City of Portland, Clackamas County, Multnomah County, the Oregon Arts Commission and six partner school districts.

The Right Brain Initiative is a sustainable partnership of public schools, local government, foundations, businesses and the cultural community, which launched its programming in Portland area classrooms in January 2009. The program’s vision is to transform learning for all children through the arts, creativity, innovation and whole-brain thinking. The Right Brain Initiative is a project of the Regional Arts & Culture Council, with Young Audiences of Oregon & SW Washington serving as Implementation Partner. Read more atTheRightBrainInitiative.org.

The Regional Arts & Culture Council is the local arts agency for Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties, providing grants for artists, schools and nonprofit organizations; conducting workplace giving for arts and culture (“Work for Art”) and other advocacy efforts; presenting workshops and other forms of technical assistance; providing printed and web-based resources for artists; and integrating art into public spaces. Online atracc.org.

The National Endowment for the Arts was established in Congress in 1965 an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at arts.gov.