RACC to take ownership of key BCA programs

PORTLAND, ORE – The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) and Business for Culture & the Arts (BCA) announced today that some of BCA’s signature programs are being transferred to RACC while BCA winds down its operations as an independent 501(c)(3) organization.

Under the terms of the agreement, RACC will receive all intellectual property and other materials related to theArt of Leadership program, which helps train business leaders to become effective board members for local arts organizations. RACC will also assume ownership of the Arts Breakfast of Champions, an annual event recognizing the community’s top business donors to the arts. RACC intends to continue the Art of Leadership program on schedule this fall, and is developing plans to host the Breakfast of Champions or similar event this November, potentially in collaboration with other partners.

“We are thrilled that RACC will acquire two of BCA’s hallmark programs, ensuring this important part of connecting Portland’s business and arts and culture communities,” said Parker Lee, BCA President.  “We’ve considered many potential partners for acquiring BCA’s valuable programs and assets – but none is more appropriate than the RACC. RACC’s commitment to develop and evolve these programs will be a shining example of how the collaboration of arts, culture and business can build a better and vibrant city.”

Jan Robertson is chair of the RACC board and CEO of Norris Beggs Simpson, a company that helped establish BCA in 1985. She said, “We congratulate BCA on their accomplishments over the last 30 years. Our arts community is stronger because of their efforts, and I believe RACC is the right organization to adopt these programs and forge new connections between arts and businesses in the future.”  

RACC will also establish a new advisory committee, a Business Committee for the Arts, composed of former BCA board members and other business leaders that can help fundraise for these programs and promote arts partnerships with local businesses. This new Committee will also advise the RACC board of directors on important issues involving the intersection between arts and business, and assist in the further development of Work for Art, RACC’s workplace giving campaign for arts and culture organizations.

RACC executive director Eloise Damrosch said, “We appreciate the willingness of former BCA board members to help RACC continue these valuable programs. With their support, we are committed to helping more businesses use arts and culture to inspire employees, stimulate innovation and foster creative collaborations in the workplace.”

Art of Leadership has been one of BCA’s most successful programs in both quality of program and financial sustainability since 2001. Its objective is to train diverse professionals who are ready to contribute as “doers” to serve on arts and other nonprofit boards. The program has graduated over 420 individuals, and 30-40% of the alumni currently serve on nonprofit arts & culture boards. Another 30-40% serve on other nonprofit boards. Companies that are interested in participating in the program in 2015-16 can email jhawthorne@racc.org.

The Arts Breakfast of Champions began in 1995 as a relatively small event held twice yearly. In the early 2000s, the breakfast became an annual event, and has since become a significant gathering place and celebration for 350-420 individuals in the arts community and the businesses that support them. Over the last three decades, BCA and the Breakfast of Champions recognized more than $100 million in business giving to the arts, including $5.2 million in 2014.

About RACC: The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) was established in 1995 and receives funding from public and private partners to serve artists, arts organizations, schools and residents throughout Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties.

RACC provides grants for artists, nonprofit organizations and schools; manages an internationally acclaimed public art program; raises money and awareness for the arts through its workplace giving campaign, Work for Art; convenes forums, networking events and other community gatherings; provides workshops and other forms of technical assistance for artists; and oversees a program to integrate arts and culture into the standard curriculum in public schools throughout the region through The Right Brain Initiative. Online at www.racc.org.

About BCA: Business for Culture & the Arts (BCA) was founded in 1985 to connect business and the arts to strengthen Oregon’s culture and economy. Over the last 30 years, BCA has built strong relationships between businesses and local arts & cultural organizations. In addition to Art of Leadership and the Arts Breakfast of Champions, BCA has provided national arts leadership recognition for Portland companies and business leaders, including Portland General Electric, John Hampton, the Mark Spencer Hotel, Governor Ted Kulongoski, and US Bank. BCA also connected thousands of Portland’s business people with the arts and culture through programs including Arts Associates, Cultural Concierge, Behind the Scenes and Business Volunteers for the Arts. 

BCA will hold a Membership Meeting on August 27, 2015 to vote on its Board’s recommendation to dissolve the organization and to officially transfer Art of Leadership and Breakfast of Champions program to RACC.

Jeff Hawthorne, RACC Director of Community Engagement, 503-823-5258, jhawthorne@racc.org
Parker Lee, BCA Board President, 415-827-1752, pdx.bca@gmail.com