A Call to Action: Legacy Arts Council asks Communities for Support in Fight for Continued Partnership with Portland

RACC hosted artists

RACC hosted artists: Javon Johnson, Ted Lange, Regina Taylor, Phillip Bernard Smith, and RACC Team Members during the recent Pacific Northwest Multi Cultural Readers Series and Film Festival. Photo by M. Boakye.

Immediate Release

September 14, 2023

Regional Arts and Culture Council holds in-person events with its supporters to rally awareness, support for its continued contract with the City

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC) is doing what it does best: Building community for the purpose of supporting the region’s artists and creatives. Thursday, September 14, the nonprofit will kick off community events across the Portland metro region, to celebrate its base and rally support as they ask the City of Portland to reconsider canceling its contract with RACC.

“We continue to do everything in our power to speak the truth about our three decades-long partnership with the City of Portland,” said Carol Tatch, RACC executive director. “RACC’s level of expertise and involvement is critical to the revitalization of Portland. We stand by our legacy of success and track record of responsible stewardship of the public’s dollars.”

RACC in Community Event
RACC is facing a deadline imposed by the City of Portland. Councilmember Ryan announced in July he is canceling the City’s contract with RACC, effective June 30, 2024. The City plans to bring the Portland arts and cultural decisions inside the government versus through RACC, an established and respected 501(c)(3).

The RACC team and its community are working feverishly to illuminate the impact canceling the contract would have on artists and arts organizations throughout the tri-county area – and how the entire Portland metro area would suffer. Commissioner Ryan’s decision would take away the Portland community’s power to make decisions about arts funding, and hand it back to city officials. The reason RACC was created in the first place, 28 years ago, was to return that authority to the people, where it belongs.

“I truly don’t believe the public understands what’s at stake,” said Debby Garman, RACC interim board chair. “I believe that facts matter, and truth matters. I believe citizens of Portland deserve to hear RACC’s perspective and to hear correct facts about the City claims leading to canceling the RACC contract. Portland is deeply in need of restoration, and the expert team at RACC supporting the broadest creative community can be a brilliant part of the solution.”

Event Details and Activation
Thursday, September 14, marks the kickoff community event, held at openHAUS, 5020 NE Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. RACC encourages everyone to bring their questions, curiosity, and voices. There will be ample food and entertainment, along with details about RACC’s plan. Communities will learn how to leverage their voices to support area artists who depend on RACC funding.