RACC’s private sector initiatives continue to grow

Stan Foote and Ross McKeen of Oregon Children’s Theatre share their knowledge with the Art of Leadership class of 2016.

Throughout the Portland metro region, businesses are using the arts more than ever before to inspire employees, stimulate innovation and foster creative collaboration. And increasingly, RACC is working to support this powerful intersection between arts and business.

RACC’s workplace giving campaign, Work for Art, engages employees in creative activities while raising contributions on behalf of local nonprofit arts organizations. And through our Business Committee for the Arts (BCA), RACC provides essential services for businesses who support the arts, including Art of Leadership, a board training program, and the Arts Breakfast of Champions, an annual recognition event.

  • Work for Art raised a grand total $912,213 last year – our best campaign ever! Thanks to the generosity of more than 2,000 donors, 75 companies, and everyone who participated in our first annual Battle of the Bands event, Work for Art will be able to distribute larger investments (and a full 100% of the proceeds!) to 100 local arts and culture organizations this fall.

Our 11th annual campaign kicks off this month, chaired by Kregg Arntson, director of corporate social responsibility for Portland General Electric and executive director of the PGE Foundation. Although Work for Art is primarily a workplace giving program, anyone can participate and enjoy the benefits of making a single gift that supports 100 arts and culture organizations in our community. Online at workforart.org.

  • Art of Leadership, established by BCA in 2003, prepares business professionals to serve on the boards of arts and culture organizations. A series of six half-day workshops are led by internationally acclaimed arts consultant George Thorn and other expert speakers. The program also provides opportunities for an internship to observe an arts board, and a “speed dating” event to meet with boards seeking new members.

Registration for the 2016-17 series is now open! The first workshop is slated for October 5, then on future Wednesdays — November 9, December 7, January 4, February 1, and March 1. The $800 tuition fee includes all six workshops, five lunches, and an afternoon graduation reception. For more information visit racc.org/artofleadership. Deadline to apply: 9/26/16.

Coming next spring, RACC will unveil new, advanced-level Art of Leadership workshops specifically designed for current board members to do a deeper dive on board engagement and fundraising issues. Stay tuned!

  • The Arts Breakfast of Champions is scheduled to return to the Portland Art Museum on February 8, 2017. This annual event brings together elected officials, business leaders, and members of the arts community to celebrate and support culture, creativity and innovation in our community. Tickets for the event will be available in November.

To help us expand these programs and build more collaborations between arts organizations and businesses, RACC will convene a visioning session with arts and business leaders in the fall – stay tuned for more information, or contact jhawthorne@racc.org to be added to the invitation list. Also, RACC is currently seeking applications for a new, full-time Business Partner Manager position. For more information on this exciting job opportunity, visit http://bit.ly/2aAPtXV.