88 local artists and arts organizations awarded total of $451,037 by Regional Arts & Culture Council

Photograph of Julia Bray in costume on stage

Portland, Ore — The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) has awarded $451,037 in project grants to 59 artists and 29 nonprofit organizations in Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas Counties. RACC’s project grants provide financial support for individual artists and nonprofit organizations, and align with RACC’s goal of advancing the region’s access to a wide range of arts and culture.

“Arts shape who we are, how we see each other and our community,” said interim executive director Jeff Hawthorne. “These projects are finding creative ways to connect, teach, and inspire us throughout the region. We are pleased to invest in this wide variety of projects, and I am particularly energized by the number of new and emerging artists funded this cycle, with 56% of all project grants going to first-time recipients.”

Thirty-four peer review panelists, consisting of professional artists, community representatives, and arts administrators, reviewed a total of 215 applications through 9 panels. “Utilizing a grants process that allows artists to be reviewed by peers ensures that the discussion begins first and foremost with a common experience of being an artist,” says Director of Grants Helen Daltoso. “That shared understanding helps not only to keep the discussion focused on the concerns most central to artmaking, but also grounds the discussion with a level of solidarity and open-mindedness from practitioners who have faced similar aspirations or obstacles.”

The RACC Board of Directors unanimously approved all panel recommendations on May 23, with awards in three categories: Artistic Focus, Arts Equity & Access, and Arts Services.

Artistic Focus projects help artists realize their vision, and help organizations support their artistic mission. Examples funded in this round include $5,240 for Julia Bray’s Matter is Mother, a one-woman magical comedy written, created, and performed by Bray; $6,650 to Derrais Carter for the project black girls: using archives, poetry, and visual art by black women to challenge historical narratives and ways black girls have been sexually exploited in the name of science and photography; $6,250 for M. Allan Cunningham, who will be publishing his multi-generational mystery novel PERPETUA’S KIN; and $5,120 to World Arts Foundation, Inc. for a historic album release and release party featuring songs from the organization’s archive of historic Albina recordings to bring life to the Albina music culture of the 1960s-80s.

Arts Equity & Access grants support programs and services with a strong community engagement component, including festivals, arts education projects, and programs that expand arts experiences for underserved communities. Albina Jazz Festival will showcase and celebrate the historical jazz scene in the Albina Neighborhood of Portland through a two-day public event with their award of $1,000.

Arts Services grants include projects that provide professional development opportunities for the arts community, including workshops or conferences. In this category, Celeste Noche will elevate the Portland in Color (PIC) blog series further by featuring, promoting, and connecting Portland’s talented pool of diverse professionals often overlooked by creative agencies.Project Grants are funded by a combination of public and private investments, including the City of Portland’s general fund, City of Portland’s Arts Tax, Multnomah County, Clackamas County, Washington County and Metro. Additional funding comes from RACC’s workplace giving campaign, Work for Art.

Project grants, which had been offered only once a year, are now available three times per year. The next project grant deadline is June 6. Guidelines and application can be accessed at https://racc.org/apply.

A complete list of project grants appears below, and more detailed summaries of each grant are available here

RACC project grants for individual artists: May 2018 (cycle 2)

Note: (*) denotes Clackamas County applicants, and (**) denotes Washington County based applicants.  All other applicants are based in Multnomah County.

Applicant Project Type Discipline Award
Kamee Abrahamian Artistic Focus Media Arts $5,950
Oluyinka Akinjiola Artistic Focus Dance/Movement $7,000
Nii Ardey Allotey Arts Equity & Access Folk Arts $6,800
Rory Banyard Artistic Focus Media Arts $5,950
Avantika Bawa Artistic Focus Visual Arts $6,320
Virginia Belt Arts Equity & Access Multi-Discipline $3,600
Irena Boboia ** Artistic Focus Media Arts $5,160
Ron Bourke Artistic Focus Media Arts $5,250
Julia Bray Artistic Focus Theatre $5,240
Derrais Carter Artistic Focus Multi-Discipline $6,650
Tomas Cotik Artistic Focus Music $5,250
M. Allen Cunningham Artistic Focus Literature $6,250
Martha Daghlian Arts Services Multi-Discipline $2,290
Roland Dahwen Wu Artistic Focus Media Arts $4,860
Eileen Finn Artistic Focus Multi-Discipline $3,880
Lara Gallagher Artistic Focus Media Arts $6,300
Darrell Grant Artistic Focus Music $6,300
Cheryl Green Artistic Focus Media Arts $4,800
Chisao Hata Artistic Focus Theatre $4,880
Jessica Hightower Artistic Focus Dance/Movement $3,250
Anthony Hudson Artistic Focus Multi-Discipline $6,527
Garrick Imatani Artistic Focus Visual Arts $6,650
Simeon Jacob Artistic Focus Dance/Movement $3,370
Zoe Keller Artistic Focus Visual Arts $1,950
Andrea Leoncavallo Artistic Focus Visual Arts $4,140
Emily Lewis Arts Equity & Access Visual Arts $5,140
Béalleka Makau Arts Equity & Access Social Practice $7,000
Margaret Malone Artistic Focus Literature $4,650
Tina McDermott Arts Equity & Access Visual Arts $4,540
Megan McGeorge Artistic Focus Music $4,460
Pam Minty Artistic Focus Media Arts $5,190
Elise Morris ** Artistic Focus Dance/Movement $5,230
Jose Moscoso Artistic Focus Visual Arts $6,300
Emily Nachison Artistic Focus Visual Arts $5,950
Tylor Neist ** Artistic Focus Music $5,600
Tabitha Nikolai Artistic Focus Visual Arts $4,310
Anders Nilsen Artistic Focus Literature $5,520
Hunter Noack Artistic Focus Music $7,000
Celeste Noche Arts Services Multi-Discipline $5,770
Eleanor O’Brien Artistic Focus Theatre $5,890
Brian Padian Artistic Focus Media Arts $3,960
Hajara Quinn Artistic Focus Literature $3,820
Rángel  Rosas Reséndiz Artistic Focus Multi-Discipline $5,690
Alicia Rose Artistic Focus Media Arts $5,250
Paul Rutz Artistic Focus Visual Arts $5,160
Ivan Salcido Artistic Focus Visual Arts $4,650
Heidi Schwegler Artistic Focus Visual Arts $4,000
Matthew Sheehy Artistic Focus Multi-Discipline $5,650
Mike A Smith Artistic Focus Media Arts $5,250
Todd Strickland Artistic Focus Media Arts $5,200
Cornelius Swart Arts Equity & Access Media Arts $4,690
Devin Tau Artistic Focus Media Arts $5,250
Roshani Thakore Arts Equity & Access Social Practice $5,600
Lindsay Trapnell Artistic Focus Media Arts $7,000
Freddy Trujillo Artistic Focus Media Arts $5,250
Grace Weston Artistic Focus Visual Arts $1,710
John Whitten Artistic Focus Visual Arts $5,250
Dan Wilson Artistic Focus Music $5,000
Renee Zangara Artistic Focus Visual Arts $4,840


RACC project grants for organizations: May 2018 (cycle 2)

Note: (*) denotes Clackamas County applicants, and (**) denotes Washington County based applicants.  All other applicants are based in Multnomah County. 

Applicant Project Type Discipline Award
Albina Jazz Festival Arts Equity & Access Music $1,000
Andisheh Center Arts Equity & Access Multi-Discipline $4,080
Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO) Arts Equity & Access Multi-Discipline $5,250
Blackfish Gallery Artistic Focus Visual Arts $4,510
Design Museum Portland Artistic Focus Visual Arts $5,000
Enso Theatre Ensemble Artistic Focus Theatre $3,750
Estacada Area Arts Commission * Arts Equity & Access Multi-Discipline $5,520
Hacienda CDC Arts Equity & Access Multi-Discipline $7,000
Jim Pepper Native Arts Council Arts Equity & Access Multi-Discipline $6,270
Ko-Falen Cultural Center Arts Equity & Access Folk Arts $5,950
Many Hats Collaboration Artistic Focus Multi-Discipline $5,240
Media Institute for Social Change Artistic Focus Visual Arts $4,250
MediaRites Artistic Focus Theatre $5,950
Mittleman Jewish Community Center Artistic Focus Music $4,800
Northwest Art Song Artistic Focus Music $4,470
Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education Artistic Focus Visual Arts $5,600
Portland Japanese Garden Artistic Focus Multi-Discipline $6,650
Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble Artistic Focus Music $3,310
Portland Meet Portland Arts Equity & Access Music $5,250
Portland Oregon Women’s Film Festival Arts Equity & Access Media Arts $5,600
Rogue Pack Young Portland Speaks! Arts Equity & Access Theatre $6,210
SoulPatch Music Productions * Artistic Focus Music $5,600
Staged! Musical Theatre Artistic Focus Theatre $7,000
Street Books Arts Equity & Access Social Practice $4,860
Tavern Books Artistic Focus Literature $5,000
Verde Arts Equity & Access Social Practice $5,250
Vibe of Portland Arts Equity & Access Dance/Movement $1,160
Village Coalition Arts Equity & Access Social Practice $7,000
World Arts Foundation, Inc. Artistic Focus Multi-Discipline $5,120


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.