Arts and culture organizations, individual artists and creative workers need support now – we have been uniquely impacted and are among the first folks hurt financially by the limits on public gatherings and physical distancing requirements.
That is why RACC moved quickly to advocate for and provide relief to the arts community. Our first actions included setting up the Emergency Fund for Individual Artists and bringing together arts funders from around the state to create a one-stop, pooled fund for nonprofit arts organizations administered by the Oregon Community Foundation.
Last week, more than 200 artists were awarded emergency funds of up to $500. Next week, awards will go out to another 100+ artists – thanks to generous community support (donate here).
We’ve been asking – what other support can we offer to artists and art organizations right now?
I’m pleased to say we announced today two new efforts:
Two new calls for public art – $85,000 total to invest in artists from Oregon and Southwest Washington, including new acquisitions of art for The Visual Chronicle of Portland. Find out more on our website – submissions due end of May.
Distribution of $800,000 from RACC reserves directly to our local arts organization partners this fiscal year. These additional funds will go to the 68 arts organizations already receiving annual awards of general operating AND capacity building support from RACC. The reserve funds are available thanks to Portland residents that voted for and paid into the Arts Education and Access Fund also known as the “arts tax”. In 2018 RACC was given an unexpected allocation of arts tax revenue collected by the city. While much of that windfall went directly to our partners, placed a portion of those funds in reserve for the unexpected – such as we are now facing.
We know the toll this pandemic is taking on our creative community and arts organizations. That is why we’ve moved quickly to provide emergency relief – collecting data, mobilizing resources and collaborating with other funding partners on behalf of artists and our arts nonprofits.
We must also be strategic about what will follow, planning for the future and how to fortify and rebuild the region’s arts ecosystem. I look forward to continuing our work together on behalf of the artists and arts community that will help all of us build and heal our City.
-Madison Cario, Executive Director, Regional Arts & Culture Council