RACC awards $733,608 in project grants for 2017

PORTLAND, ORE — The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) has awarded $733,608 in grants to 92 local artists and 52 nonprofit organizations for artistic projects that will take place in calendar year 2017. This represents a 10% increase over last year thanks to increased funding from Multnomah County, the City of Portland and RACC’s workplace giving campaign, Work for Art. Additional funding was provided by Clackamas County, Washington County and Metro.

“As 2016 draws to a close, we can start looking forward to a tremendous variety of innovative arts activities scheduled to take place in 2017,” said executive director Eloise Damrosch. “I am especially pleased that 57% of our grants this year are going to artists and organizations that have never received RACC project grant funding before.”

Some examples of funded artists and organizations that are receiving their first-ever project grant from RACC include:

  • Alan Alexander III, $5,400 in the Theatre category to fund a public performance of an original musical theatre work titled “Homeless (the musical).” Book, music and lyrics by Alan Alexander III with additional music and lyrics by Kathryn Grimm.
  • Irina Boboia, $6,495 in the Multi-Discipline category to fund “Two Worlds and Nowhere,” a project aimed at revealing the stories of local immigrants/refugees through video, still images and text. The project will be disseminated as a video blog, art installation and video screenings.
  • Ashleigh Flynn, $5,600 in the Music category to help create an LP record of self-penned Americana songs inspired by “Rosie the Riveter,” whose brand inspired a social movement in America. The recording will feature a band of highly talented musicians, all female, over 40 years old, and many who identify as LGBTQ, and will culminate in a celebratory performance at McMenamins Mission Theater.
  • Chiara Giovando, $4,838 in the Media Arts category, to support “A Stone, a Stick and a Plastic Soul” (working title) — a new film made in collaboration with contemporary artist and Karuk tribal elder, Brian Tripp. The project is positioned somewhere between documentary and fiction, exploring the unique ways Brian’s life and practice hover between the traditional and the contemporary.
  • Kazumi Heshiki, $5,552 in the Literature category for “Fireweed Blossoms,”a book of haiku-hybrid poetry in English that is the culmination of several years of cross-cultural experimentation under the guidance of local poet Stephanie Adams-Santos. RACC support will help the artist self-publish the book and present it to the public.
  • Jesse Mejia, $6,280 in the Social Practice category for “CHOIR,” an ongoing community singing group focused on learning and performing choral music by composers such as Arvo Part and Ola Gjeilo.
  • Kate Simmons, $4,309 in the Visual Arts category. “Fold the Towel” is a conceptual piece that utilizes the female body to explore ideas of domesticity and the struggles of balancing career and family responsibilities. The finished work funded in part by RACC will consist of 9 images of the figure printed on semi-translucent 8’x6′ fabric panels.
  • Black Women for Peace, $4,833 in the Community Participation & Access category to help present the 2017 Peace Festival, bringing together youth and young adults from diverse racial, ethnic and cultural groups to promote peace through the performing arts and cultural exchange.
  • Q Center / LGBTQ Community Center Fund, $5,250 in the Dance/Movement category to bring the nationally acclaimed Sean Dorsey Dance Company to Portland in the fall 2017 for two performances of “The Missing Generation.” This piece gives voice to longtime survivors of the early AIDS epidemic and RACC funding will also be used to fund a dance workshop; an intergenerational community forum; and a post-performance discussion.
  • Vanport Mosaic, $4,500 in the Theatre category, to produce six staged readings each of “Summer Squash” and “Hercules Didn’t Wade in the Water,” new plays about the American Dream, displacement and Hurricane Katrina. One performance of each show will be brought to a local High School with facilitated discussion afterwards.

RACC’s peer review process involved 46 community volunteers who served on 14 different panels organized by discipline. They were guided by staff during the months of October, November and December, evaluating proposals based on artistic merit, audience development and financial accountability. Most volunteer panelists (96%) served on a RACC grants panel for the first time. The RACC Board of Directors unanimously approved all panel recommendations on December 14.

A complete list of project grants appears below. More detailed summaries of each grant are available at http://bit.ly/RACC2017PG (PDF).

RACC project grants for individuals, calendar year 2017

Note: (*) denotes Clackamas County applicants, and (**) denotes Washington County based applicants.  All other applicants are based in Multnomah County. AF = Artistic Focus and CPA = Community Participation & Access.


Applicant Project Type Discipline  Grant Award
manuel abreu CPA Multi-Discipline  $        3,038
Oluyinka Akinjiola AF Dance/Movement  $        4,275
Alan Alexander III AF Theatre  $        5,400
Yulia Arakelyan AF Dance/Movement  $        6,567
Sue Arbuthnot AF Media Arts  $        6,940
Emily Bixler AF Visual Arts  $        5,780
Sundance Bleckinger AF Media Arts  $        5,949
Irina Karin Boboia** AF Media Arts  $        6,495
Wayne Bund AF Multi-Discipline  $        4,934
David Ornette Cherry AF Music  $        5,250
Robin Chilstrom AF Multi-Discipline  $        5,243
Adam Ciresi AF Multi-Discipline  $        5,006
Jeremy Davis AF Visual Arts  $        5,695
Jay Derderian AF Music  $        3,060
Suniti Dernovsek AF Dance/Movement  $        6,999
Daniel Diana-Peebles AF Multi-Discipline  $        3,780
Noah Dunham AF Multi-Discipline  $        5,755
Brenan Dwyer AF Theatre  $        4,275
Wynde Dyer AF Visual Arts  $        5,342
Raquel Edwards* AF Visual Arts  $        5,912
Taylor Eggan AF Dance/Movement  $        2,299
Nancy Ellis AF Dance/Movement  $        2,978
Tiffany Ellis AF Media Arts  $        5,950
Ashleigh Flynn AF Music  $        5,600
Mitchell Freifeld** AF Visual Arts  $        4,560
Anne Galisky CPA Visual Arts  $        5,400
Zoe Gieringer** AF Media Arts  $        2,370
Chiara Giovando AF Media Arts  $        4,838
Joseph Glode AF Visual Arts  $        3,930
Lucas Gray CPA Visual Arts  $        4,313
Jen Harrison AF Music  $        6,593
Erinn Kathryn Hatter AF Visual Arts  $        6,095
Kazumi Heshiki AF Literature  $        5,552
Laura Hughes AF Visual Arts  $        5,760
Carol Imani CPA Literature  $        6,462
Nancy Ives AF Music  $        6,170
Sean Johnson AF Visual Arts  $        3,594
Dawn Jones Redstone AF Media Arts  $        6,648
Yukiyo Kawano CPA Multi-Discipline  $        5,156
Christopher Kirkley AF Media Arts  $        5,112
Isaac Lamb** AF Theatre  $        5,600
Kathleen Lane CPA Literature  $        3,168
Horatio Law AF Visual Arts  $        6,650
Katherine Lewis CPA Theatre  $        5,235
Fuchsia Lin AF Multi-Discipline  $        6,603
Laura Lo Forti CPA Media Arts  $        3,200
Sarah Loose CPA Social Practice  $        6,590
Jonathan Marrs AF Media Arts  $        4,688
Cambria Matlow AF Media Arts  $        6,224
Matt McCormick AF Media Arts  $        5,290
Jesse Mejia AF Social Practice  $        6,280
Pamela Minty AF Media Arts  $        6,132
Lauren Moran AF Social Practice  $        5,040
Dustin Morrow** AF Media Arts  $        5,250
Donal Mosher AF Multi-Discipline  $        3,419
Travis Neel AF Social Practice  $        1,680
Tabitha Nikolai AF Visual Arts  $        3,343
Eric Nordstrom AF Media Arts  $        4,921
Tom Olsen AF Media Arts  $        3,728
Ann Marie O’Malley AF Literature  $        4,081
Rachel O’Rourke CPA Social Practice  $        4,838
Michael Palmieri AF Media Arts  $        5,600
Brian Parham CPA Music  $        5,360
Pepper Pepper AF Multi-Discipline  $        6,479
Carolina Pfister AF Media Arts  $        3,119
Reid Psaltis AF Visual Arts  $        5,600
Sarah Rabeda** AF Visual Arts  $        4,085
Alicia Rabins AF Multi-Discipline  $        6,603
Bonnie Ratner AF Theatre  $        1,955
Denver David Robinson AF Multi-Discipline  $        5,588
Danielle Ross AF Dance/Movement  $        5,468
Jeremy Rotsztain AF Media Arts  $        4,646
Nora Ryan AF Music  $        5,072
Annette Sabater AF Visual Arts  $        4,781
Molly Schaeffer AF Literature  $        4,880
Cameron Schneider AF Multi-Discipline  $        4,500
Lisa Schonberg AF Multi-Discipline  $        4,109
Anna Sell AF Theatre  $        3,338
Kate Simmons* AF Visual Arts  $        4,309
Susan Smith AF Music  $        5,160
Jack StockLynn AF Multi-Discipline  $        5,516
Andrea Stolowitz AF Theatre  $        6,984
Dao Strom AF Multi-Discipline  $        6,622
Sharita Towne AF Multi-Discipline  $        7,000
Matthew Vuksinich AF Music  $        7,000
Holcombe Waller AF Multi-Discipline  $        6,650
Mel Wells AF Literature  $        4,388
Lisa Wilcke CPA Visual Arts  $        2,066
Emily Wobb AF Visual Arts  $        4,875
Jenn Woodward AF Visual Arts  $        3,708
Mike Yager AF Visual Arts  $        1,595
Lu Yim AF Multi-Discipline  $        5,566


RACC project grants for organizations, calendar year 2017

Note: (*) denotes Clackamas County applicants, and (**) denotes Washington County based applicants.  All other applicants are based in Multnomah County. AF = Artistic Focus and CPA = Community Participation & Access.

Applicant Project Type Discipline Grant Award
45th Parallel AF Music  $        5,400
Action/Adventure Theatre AF Theatre  $        6,090
A-WOL Dance Collective, Inc. CPA Dance/Movement  $        5,250
Be Space CPA Presenting  $        3,488
Big Horn Brass* AF Music  $        2,360
Black Women for Peace CPA Presenting  $        4,833
Boom Arts, Inc. AF Presenting  $        7,000
Caldera CPA Multi-Discipline  $        7,000
Centro Cultural of Washington County** CPA Social Practice  $        4,238
Circus Cascadia CPA Multi-Discipline  $        6,300
Classical Up Close** CPA Music  $        5,250
Clinton Street Theater LLC AF Media Arts  $        4,875
Color Outside the Lines CPA Visual Arts  $        3,360
Disability Art and Culture Project CPA Dance/Movement  $        6,120
en Taiko CPA Music  $        3,138
Hoffman Gallery of Contemporary Art AF Visual Arts  $        5,250
Know Your City AF Multi-Discipline  $        4,016
Lan Su Chinese Garden AF Visual Arts  $        5,250
Latino Network AF Multi-Discipline  $        5,562
Live On Stage AF Theatre  $        6,055
MediaRites AF Theatre  $        5,600
NAACP Portland Branch 1120B CPA Visual Arts  $        2,400
New Expressive Works AF Dance/Movement  $        7,000
Newspace Center for Photography CPA Visual Arts  $        5,600
Nordic Northwest** AF Multi-Discipline  $        6,650
Northwest Animation Festival AF Presenting  $        6,975
Obo Addy Legacy Project AF Music  $        6,650
Oregon BRAVO Youth Orchestras CPA Music  $        6,000
Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education AF Visual Arts  $        5,822
Pacific Northwest College of Art AF Visual Arts  $        5,600
Portland Community College AF Literature  $           750
Portland Community Media AF Media Arts  $        5,833
Portland Japanese Garden AF Multi-Discipline  $        7,000
Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center, Inc. CPA Multi-Discipline  $        5,250
Portland Oregon Women’s Film Festival CPA Media Arts  $        6,300
Portland SummerFest AF Music  $        7,000
Portland Zine Symposium CPA Presenting  $        2,075
Q Center / LGBTQ Community Center Fund AF Dance/Movement  $        5,250
QDoc AF Media Arts  $        6,255
Resonate Choral * CPA Music  $        4,155
Risk-Reward AF Presenting  $        5,250
Rogue Pack CPA Theatre  $        6,650
S1 Synth Library AF Presenting  $        6,300
Shingon PDX Henjyoji AF Visual Arts  $        6,030
SoulPatch Music Productions* AF Music  $        4,718
Sowelu Theater AF Theatre  $        5,220
Staged! AF Theatre  $        5,225
The Stumptown Improv Festival AF Theatre  $        4,463
The Vanport Mosaic AF Theatre  $        4,500
Washington County Cooperative Library Services** CPA Multi-Discipline  $        5,250
World Stage Theatre CPA Theatre  $        6,095
ZENA ZEZZA AF Multi-Discipline  $        5,250


The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) provides grants for artists, nonprofit organizations and schools in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties; manages an internationally acclaimed public art program; raises money and awareness for the arts through 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 through The Right Brain Initiative. RACC values a diversity of artistic and cultural experiences and is working to build a community in which everyone can participate in culture, creativity and the arts. For more information visit racc.org.