PORTLAND, ORE — National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $80 million in grants in its second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2018. Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of $45,000 to The Right Brain Initiative, the Regional Arts & Culture Council’s (RACC) arts integration program. This generous award will support Right Brain’s innovative, systematic, and equitable approach to arts integrated education in Portland area elementary and middle schools that delivers creative learning experiences through a variety of art forms to teach core subjects like reading, math and science.
The Art Works category is the NEA’s largest funding category and supports projects that focus on the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and/or the strengthening of communities through the arts.
“For the Portland metro area this means that students will experience new ways of learning and find creative ways of demonstrating their knowledge and understanding,” noted Marna Stalcup, RACC Director of Arts Education. “Picture a 6th grader who now understands the water cycle because of a movement experience or a 2nd grader whose writing is ignited through storytelling and puppetry. That’s Right Brain in action.”
This marks Right Brain’s 8th year of funding from the NEA, and is the largest amount the program has been awarded to date. The grant will equip an estimated 1,813 teachers, arts specialists, principals, and teaching artists in the 2018-19 school year with professional development opportunities. By offering education professionals the resources to weave creative thinking into teaching practices, The Right Brain Initiative works toward creating lasting change within our school systems so that students can thrive academically, socially, and artistically.
“The variety and quality of these projects speaks to the wealth of creativity and diversity in our country,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Through the work of organizations such as The Right Brain Initiative in Portland, Oregon, NEA funding invests in local communities, helping people celebrate the arts wherever they are.”
The Right Brain Initiative is a sustainable partnership of public schools, local government, foundations, businesses and the cultural community working to transform learning through the arts for all K-8 students in the Portland metro area. Now in its tenth year, Right Brain serves 70 schools and approximately 29,500 students from urban, suburban and rural communities in the Portland area. In fall of 2014, Right Brain released data connecting the program to an above-average increase in student test scores, with greatest results for English Language Learners. Right Brain is a program of the Regional Arts & Culture Council. Operating partners include Young Audiences of Oregon & SW Washington (Residency Partner), Victoria Lukich (Research & Evaluation Partner), and Deborah Brzoska of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Professional Development Consultant). Read more online at TheRightBrainInitiative.org.
The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) provides grants for artists, arts organizations, and artistic projects 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.