Arts Education Advocacy

Our Vision for Equitable Arts Education

We achieve our vision for arts education by centering equity, access, and inclusion  as we champion arts education advocacy in our schools, promote arts education in our community, and work to ensure that all students receive a well-rounded education with the arts as a part of the core curriculum from grades k-12.

Multnomah County  School Districts

RACC’s Arts Education Program  provides support, advocacy, and professional development opportunities to all school districts in Multnomah County. We support a community vision for equitable education through the arts.

The school districts include Centennial, Corbett, David Douglas, Gresham-Barlow, Parkrose, Portland Public, Reynolds, and Riverdale.

  • We advocate and support our arts educators in arts education: music, visual arts, drama, and dance. We endorse and subscribe to the National Arts Education Standards and the State of Oregon arts education standards. We recognize media arts as an arts education discipline.
  • We support schools by connecting them to cultural resources in the region. RACC advocates on behalf of school districts to help ensure equitable, sustained, well-rounded, and progressive arts education for students in elementary, middle, and high school. 
  • We offer professional development for our k-12 arts educators that connect them to valuable resources and tools to use in the classroom. We maintain a curated Arts Educators Resource list for our teachers, as well as a database of webinars, conferences, and events.
  • We advocate along with our arts partners across the region to bring opportunities into the classrooms of arts educators. We support grant-based programs that integrate the arts in core curriculum to help enrich and enhance a student’s art experience with a working artist. RACC also promotes Public Art in our schools by providing curated programs for arts educators to use in their classrooms. 
  • We collaborate with the Arts Education and Access Income Tax Fund Oversight Committee to ensure transparency, and advocate for a well-rounded arts education that is in compliance with the AEAF charter with the city of Portland. 

artlook®oregon & The Kennedy Center 

Since 2010, RACC has had a unique partnership and relationship with the Kennedy Center, which includes Any Given Child.  Selected in 2018, RACC joined one of nine sites across the United States to participate in a 3-year pilot program to launch artlook®. Through this relationship with the Kennedy Center and Chicago-based developer, Parliament, artlook®oregon creates an arts-based interactive mapping database platform. This allows school districts to understand the arts landscape in their communities. The intention is to create a more equitable and accessible arts education opportunity for all students. School districts, educators, families, and the community can navigate arts education opportunities in their region. RACC’s goal is to expand to other school districts and create arts partnerships in Oregon to provide the artlook®oregon platform.

Download Information:
Arts-SEL Theory of Action Report
AGC Fast Facts-Community
Partners in Education Fast Fact Sheet

Future Forward: Arts Education at RACC

RACC continues to seek ways to support our larger regional community. As we look to the future, we know that without a firm understanding of the importance and need of a well-rounded education in our schools, one that includes the arts, we are not providing an equitable, accessible or inclusive education for all of our students. It is with this in mind that we continue to make arts education a priority and mission of RACC.

  • RACC collaborates and participates in advocacy in arts education forums, workgroups, and discussions around the state and nation.
  • RACC promotes advocacy in arts education in our community through public initiatives and joint projects. (Portland Parks and Recreation, Colleges/Universities)
  • Work to expand arts education access and resources throughout Oregon, not limited to the tri-county region, with a focus on equity and access through artlook®oregon.
  • Advocate and promote legislative agendas that support and include the arts in STEM to create STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics).
  • Engage with national leaders to establish arts education as core curriculum and endorse collaborative learning as well as arts integration as a vital component of a well-rounded education in our k-12 schools.
  • Making Connections, Sharing Ideas, Asking Questions: RACC invites and encourages our arts educators to connect with other arts educators across districts and use RACC as a platform for engagement.
  • The RACC Board works to further the arts education agenda and increase equity and access in our schools. We also partner with and promote our arts organizations in our community and region.

Arts Education Program PDF


Arts education engagement at RACC began in 1995 with the creation of the Arts Education Program and the hiring of our first Program Manager. In 2008, we launched The Right Brain Initiative, almost ten years after RACC’s original program of Artists in Schools was sunset due to budget cuts and program reorganization. The Right Brain Initiative provided a robust arts integration program with partner organizations and schools throughout the Portland Metro area until January of 2020 when they merged with Young Audiences. Over the years RACC fostered relationships with educators and arts partners, including regional and national arts organizations. When the Arts Education and Access Fund income tax was approved by Portland voters in 2012, it re-established arts education in k-5 schools in Portland’s six districts by providing dedicated funding for arts educators. The evolution of advocacy for arts education at RACC continues as we work to connect, advocate, and ensure equity and access for all of the k-12 schools across the region and throughout the State of Oregon.


Watch the video below.


RACC ‘s Outreach & Advocacy to Schools

AEAF District Schools (K-5/K-6/K-8)
Non-AEAF Schools (K-5, MS, HS)

RACC Arts Education 2022 Spring survey results may only be used with permission. This includes quotes, images, and design concepts. All materials included in the #newsforyourheART cannot be used without permission from RACC- this includes images of those interviewed, quotes, and other copyrighted material. All public art images are available on RACC’s public art database.

Arts for All Program Increases Access and Outreach in Community

The Regional Arts & Culture Council Announces a Relaunch of the Arts for All Program to Increase Engagement and Outreach in Our Community, and Beyond, Ensuring Arts & Culture Are Accessible for All We envision a community that supports, engages with, and finds joy in arts and culture being accessible by all–not just those who […]

Advocacy in Arts Education

What do we want? Arts Education! When do we want it? Now! This seems like the mantra every new school year, every budget season, and perennially from youth across our communities. They love art. They love the paint, the sticky glue on their fingers, the seasonal pumpkin sketches, and the field trips to performances and […]

Regional Arts & Culture Council – Our Continued Commitment to Community

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 25, 2023 PORTLAND, OREGON: On Monday, May 22, 2023 RACC received an email from the City Arts Program Manager announcing the development of the City of Portland’s own arts and culture program to be completed by June 2024. RACC entered into its partnership with the City of Portland in 1995 via […]

The Regional Arts & Culture Council Supports Maintaining Current Arts Education Funding Levels & Encourages School Districts to Join Us in Our Support of Arts Education for All

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Portland, OR – ### As our school districts across the state look to their budgets, reorganize, and prioritize in the coming months, we know that teachers’ jobs are in danger once again. When public education loses teachers, we lose educational opportunities for all of our students. This in turn affects our entire […]

The Installation Space’s Inaugural Exhibit: KSMoCA’s Present Days

The Installation Space’s inaugural art exhibition in the newly renovated Portland Building includes a selection of ephemera from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School Museum of Art (KSMoCA), an art museum within an elementary school in Northeast Portland. This display includes a selection of previous artworks and comments by Lomarion, a fifth-grader at the school […]

Congressional Briefing: The Value of Equitable Arts Education

On December 9, 2021 the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Commission on the Arts, stated their case in a Congressional Briefing to two architects of the Arts Education for All Act (HR5581), Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR1) and Chellie Pingree (D-ME1). During the briefing members of the Commission, including Co-Chairs John Lithgow (Actor), Deborah Rutter […]

An Interview with Congresswoman Bonamici about the Arts Education for All Act

Last week we were fortunate to catch up with Oregon Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) on Zoom to talk about the exciting new legislation she has introduced ensuring equitable arts education for students. Watch the video of our conversation with Rep. Bonamici, Chair of the Education and Labor Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services and […]

Arts Education for All 2021 Act

  On Oct. 15, Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR, District 1), Chair of the Education and Labor Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services, Chellie Pingree (D-ME), and Teresa Leger Fernández (D-NM) introduced comprehensive legislation to increase access to arts education. Bonamici hosted a virtual rollout and reception of her Arts Education for All Act (H.R.5581), […]