Arts Education

First graders at Quatama Elementary in Hillsboro study the physics of sound waves as they learn how instruments make sound through vibrations with The Right Brain Initiative teaching artist.


The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) is committed to creating a permanent home for the arts in all Portland metro area school districts. To that end, RACC manages two equity-based arts education efforts. The Right Brain Initiative is a public-private partnership that exists to transform learning through creativity in all K-8 classrooms in the region. Founded in 2008, Right Brain was designed by the community in response to current needs of our students and schools. It focuses on training classroom teachers to integrate the arts with other subjects (“arts integration”) through intensive workshops, residencies with professional teaching artists, and on-site coaching. With arts integration, schools learn to independently make creativity the foundation for all learning in the classroom.

RACC also supports the 72 music and arts teachers hired with arts tax funds to serve K-5 schools in the City of Portland. RACC does this by connecting the cultural resources of Portland to local schools, both online and in person. RACC also offers professional development workshops for music and arts teachers hired through the arts tax. Through this training, teachers learn how the arts link to Common Core State Standards and the importance of their role as instructional leaders in their schools.

RACC Arts Education Programs

The Right Brain Initiative is a new vision for bringing arts education to every student in the Portland metropolitan region.
Arts Education FAQ

Arts Education Resources

Resources for Educators
Art Opportunities for Youth


New York Times “Win A Trip with Nick” Contest (University Students)

This is a contest sponsored by the New York Times for university students to win a chance to do some international reporting with columnist Nicholas Kristof. Win A Trip with Nick Contest is open to people who are at least eighteen years old and who are current undergraduate or graduate students (including those who are […]

August Wilson Monologue Competition 2016-17


The August Wilson Monologue Competition: Through Wilson’s plays, high school-age actors will learn about the American experience from the African-American viewpoint, an important thread often missing from history lessons or poorly portrayed in lesser works created for the stage and screen. Guided by professional actor and director mentors, and working with local teachers and community […]

VANS Custom Culture Grants for public high schools

VANS Custom Culture Grants are available to public high schools (including charter schools) serving students in grades 9–12. The grants are intended to encourage the inclusion of the arts as an integral component of an excellent education and to support activities that are consistent with local and national learning standards for arts education. Ten schools […]

Portland, Oregon: An Arts & Science City of Distinction

RACC's Eloise Damrosch and Marna Stalcup accepting City of Distinction award.

Phi Beta Kappa has named Portland a City of Distinction, recognizing the exceptional artistic vitality, cultural vibrancy and scientific engagement of our community. “To have a city be recognized not for any political reason, but for the depth of its cultural life, is a very significant thing,” said Frederick M. Lawrence, CEO of Phi Beta […]

Invest in imagination through the Give!Guide until December 31


Each winter, Willamette Week produces Give!Guide, an online campaign that encourages and facilitates year-end giving for nearly 150 local nonprofit causes. Over the last 10 years, Give!Guide has raised nearly $10 million for hundreds of nonprofits in the Portland metro area. RACC is thrilled to be teaming up with the Oregon Cultural Trust to co-sponsor […]

Vans Custom Culture Grants – for Public High Schools

Americans for the Arts is pleased to again partner with VANS the Custom Culture Grant program. This program seeks to increase visibility for and resources available to arts educators and schools across the country, in order to sustain the arts as a vital part of education. The grant program is supported by funds from the […]

Call to Artists – Clackamas County Employees Youth Art Show

CLACKAMAS COUNTY EMPLOYEES: Do you have children or grandchildren who are artists!! The Clackamas County Arts Alliance Artist Exhibit Program is looking for youth art to show in a group exhibit in our new Public Services Building- Plaza Gallery. Ages range from pre-school through high school. This exhibit period is November 1, 2016 to February 7, […]

10/8 Wilson Area Arts Council presents “Creativity Speaks!”

Creativity Speaks! is an afternoon of impressive talks in Ted Talks style, with performances and breakout activities that will energize and inspire middle and high school students, with their families, to develop their personal creative talents. Speakers include 2016 Battlebots champion, Salt & Straw Ingredient maestro, critically acclaimed filmmaker, and more. October 8: @ Wilson […]

2016 Congressional App Challenge for Oregon 1st Congressional District Students

The Congressional App Challenge (CAC) is a competition aimed at encouraging U.S. high school students to learn how to code by creating their own applications. The Challenge is intended to highlight the value of computer science and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education and encourage students to engage in these fields. Oregon Congresswoman Suzanne […]

RACC celebrates National Arts in Education Week

Boise-Eliot/Humboldt principal Kevin Bacon and students share their excitement for STEAM learning with Senator Ron Wyden.
(Photo by Richard Martin of Portland Public Schools)

PORTLAND, ORE —The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) joins colleagues across the country to celebrate National Arts in Education Week, September 11-17, 2016. Throughout the week, RACC and The Right Brain Initiative will share stories on social media about how arts education has impacted our community, including perspectives from staff, as well as the […]

National Arts In Education Week is September 11-17

Issued by Americans for the Arts on September 6, 2016. As a reminder, please join us in celebrating National Arts In Education Week from September 11-17, 2016. Take two minutes to issue a Letter to the Editor to your local papers and tell them why the arts matter in education! Designated by Congress in 2010, House Resolution 275 names the […]

Starts 9/20 — Art Classes for All Ages at Ano’s Art Academy

Ano’s Art is the best place for artists both young and old to try over 16 different mediums while making new friends and discovering a whole new world through art! Ano’s Art Academy offers dozens of exciting mediums such as: ceramics, rock carving, wire sculpture, jewelry making, fiber arts, paper craft, graphite, ink, charcoal, watercolors, […]

The Right Brain Initiative: another year of investing in imagination

Right Brain third graders investigate the history of Portland through comics.

This time of year the sun is setting before 8:00 p.m., a new season of your favorite television series premieres, and wide-ruled notebooks are selling for 70 cents each. It is September and a new school year is officially upon us. At the Regional Arts & Culture Council, The Right Brain Initiative is back in […]

Artist Residency Program for Teens at Portland Community Media

Are you interested in 3-D printing, virtual reality, animation, or digital media? Portland Community Media (PCM) and the Hollywood Theatre are proud to present Echo AiR, a new artist residency program for teens 14-18 who want to create new media art. No experience required! In this after-school program, you’ll get to explore new trends in […]

Call for submissions for Oregon History Comics & Youth Voices by Know Your City

Know Your City is soliciting submissions from illustrators and writers for Oregon History Comics, Second Edition. As we continue organizing for equity, inclusion, and social justice, we aspire to provide platforms for creative expression that represent the beautiful diversity of our community. To ensure all people have a fair chance to participate, Know Your City […]

Architecture Students can apply for Architects in Schools residency

This statewide six-week residency program for elementary schools is afo’s longest-running, signature program. Practicing architects and other design professionals volunteer to partner with classroom teachers. In 2003, afo assumed administration of the program from the Regional Arts & Culture Council. Under afo, the program has grown from annually serving 800 to more than 3,800 students […]

Schools can apply for Architects in Schools residency

This statewide six-week residency program for elementary schools is afo’s longest-running, signature program. Practicing architects and other design professionals volunteer to partner with classroom teachers. In 2003, afo assumed administration of the program from the Regional Arts & Culture Council. Under afo, the program has grown from annually serving 800 to more than 3,800 students […]

MediaRites seeks to hire 5 Southeast Asian youth

Nearly ten years ago, MediaRites debuted Crossing East, the first and to date only Asian American/Pacific Islander history series on public radio. The Peabody- Award-winning 8-hour documentary series covered AAPI history from pre-America to post-9/11 and collected 300 hours of oral history interviews. We are now creating a Crossing East multimedia archive of all 300 hours of interviews […]

National YoungArts Foundation: 2017 Young Artists Prize

The National YoungArts Foundation provides emerging artists (ages 15-18 or grades 10-12) with opportunities to work with renowned mentors, access to significant scholarships, national recognition, and other opportunities throughout their careers to help ensure that the nation’s most outstanding young artists are encouraged to pursue careers in the arts. Each year, hundreds of students are […]

Right Brain Teaching Artist Info Sessions


The Right Brain Initiative and Young Audiences of Oregon & SW Washington have teamed up to provide one application process for artists who work with schools. Complete the Intent to Apply Form to be eligible to submit a full application to either or both organizations. The Intent to Apply Form is open until July 15, 2016. Application is open until July […]

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