RACC Blog

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 can afford to pay, but also for those with limited resources. RACC wants opportunities to be available for all members of our community. We want people to be uplifted, enjoy arts and cultural events, and be part of the creative fabric of our state. The Arts for All program was conceived by a group of thoughtful arts leaders more than 10 years ago to ensure that everyone receiving assistance through the Oregon Trail Card/SNAP could attend arts and cultural events for $5 a ticket.

While the Arts for All program has flourished and steadily grown, we have seen that there is a need to increase its accessibility. To achieve our goals, we are relaunching the program with renewed engagement and outreach. Our goals include making the information downloadable from our website at www.racc.org and distributing printed materials throughout the region to hundreds of non-profit social service agencies, county and city government offices, schools, health departments and clinics, community centers, arts and culture organizations, and more. Program information will be available in six languages and will be at culturally specific locations.

Friends of Chamber Music was proud to be one of the founding member organizations of Arts for All back in 2011, and I’ve personally had the privilege of continuing to help coordinate the program for the last several years. It’s been so gratifying to see the impact Arts for All has had in making the arts accessible to all parts of our community and see it become a model for similar programs across the country.  – Pat Zagelow, Friends of Chamber Music Executive Director

The Arts for All program enables us to enjoy arts and culture together while ensuring access for all. Without the support and dedication of arts organizations in our community, this program would not be possible. We are thrilled to announce a new partnership with the Hult Center for Performing Arts in Eugene, Oregon. The expansion of the Arts for All program throughout the state ensures better access to arts and culture for all of our residents.

RACC looks forward to hearing the community’s response for this renewed launch and engagement opportunity for Arts for All. Please let us know how we can continue to ensure that access to arts and culture activities is available for all who wish to participate. Let us know how we can make this community-centered program better! – Carol Tatch, Executive Director, Regional Arts & Culture Council

The organizations who have joined RACC to ensure access to arts and culture in our community are listed at racc.org/artsforall. Please support these arts and cultural organizations any way that you can to show your support for arts and culture access for all. For more information, please email us at arts4all@racc.org.


Please join us: RACC in Community on Monday Sept. 25 from 6-8pm

We invite you to our third  RACC in Community engagement. This is an opportunity to get informed and ask questions about the July announcement from the City of Portland, proposing to not renew RACC’s contract, and to learn how you can support RACC at this time.

When: Monday, September 25

Time: 6:00-8:00 pm

Where: Lakewood Center for the Arts,  368 S State St, Lake Oswego, OR 97034 in Clackamas County

RSVP hereand remember to let us know if there are accessibility needs that we can accommodate for your participation.

Please come to hear our response, plans for the future, and to learn how you can be activated to respond to the City. Food and artistic engagement will be provided. We are looking forward to your presence!

WE NEED YOUR VOICE! WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT!

RACC is holding  a series of community events  throughout the region. Bring your voice, curiosity, and your questions. RACC was built by community for community. RACC is your solution for a thriving ecosystem, powered by creativity, with arts and culture in every neighborhood. Being mindful of our community, we understand that some of you may choose or are unable to attend this next event. We respect the wide variety of cultural, religious, and spiritual practice’s of our communities. Therefore we are working on providing a number of different community events across the tri-county area. We hope you can join us at one in the future. Please see additional save the dates below.

SAVE THE DATES:

September 29, from 6-8pm  SE Portland at Shaking the Tree Theatre, 823 SE Grant St, Portland, OR 97214. Please RSVP here.

 

October 5, from 6-8pm at the Walters Cultural Center, 527 E Main Street, Hillsboro, OR 97123 in Washington County. Please RSVP here.

 

October 17, from 6-8 pm at the Wade Creek Park Community Building,  915 NW Wade St. Estacada Oregon, 97023  in partnership with the Estacada Area Arts Commission, in Clackamas County. Please RSVP here. 

Check out our Instagram  for additional updates.

If you have further questions,  please reach out to advocacy@racc.org.

More information can be found on our Advocacy Hub. Click here for our FAQ’s


Please join us: RACC in Community on Wednesday Sept.20, 2023

We invite you to our second RACC in Community engagement. This is an opportunity to ask questions about the recent announcement from the City of Portland about the proposal to not renew RACC’s contract, and to learn how you can support RACC at this time. Bring your voice, curiosity, and your questions. RACC was built by community for community. RACC is your solution for a thriving ecosystem, powered by creativity, with arts and culture in every neighborhood. Our first engagement in NE Portland at openHAUS was a huge success!

When: Wednesday September 20, 2023

Where: BodyVox, 201 NW 17th Ave, Portland, OR 97209

Time: 6-8 pm

Please  RSVP here

Please come to hear our response, plans for the future, and to learn how you can be activated to respond to the City. Food and artistic engagement will be provided. We are looking forward to your presence! Thank you for your support—RACC was created by community, for community.

SAVE THE DATES:  More engagement events will be held in SE, SW, and in Clackamas and Washington counties. Please click here for listings. Check out our Instagram  for additional updates.

If you have further questions,  please reach out to advocacy@racc.org.

More information can be found on our Advocacy Hub. Click here for our FAQ’s


Please join us: RACC in Community on Thursday Sept.14, 2023

We invite you to our first RACC in Community engagement. This is an opportunity to ask questions about the recent announcement from the City of Portland about the proposal to not renew RACC’s contract, and to learn how you can support RACC at this timeThis is the first of a series of community events we will hold throughout the region. Bring your voice, curiosity, and your questions. RACC was built by community for community. RACC is your solution for a thriving ecosystem, powered by creativity, with arts and culture in every neighborhood. Our first engagement will kick off in NE Portland.

When: Thursday, September 14, 2023

Time: 6:00-8:00 pm

Where: openHAUS, 5020 NE Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Portland OR 97211

Please RSVP here and remember to let us know if there are accessibility needs that we can accommodate for your participation.

Please come to hear our response, plans for the future, and to learn how you can be activated to respond to the City. Food and artistic engagement will be provided. We are looking forward to your presence! Thank you for your support—RACC was created by community, for community.

SAVE THE DATE: Our second engagement will be in NW Portland at BodyVox, on September 20th from 6-:00-8:00 pm. Please  RSVP here More engagement events will be held in SE, SW, and in Clackamas and Washington counties. Check out our Instagram  for updates.

If you have further questions,  please reach out to advocacy@racc.org.

More information can be found on our Advocacy Hub. Click here for our FAQ’s

 

Image Credits: Aztec Dance group “Coatlicue” after performing a blessing at “Our Space of Possibilities” on the final Saturday of June 2023. Photo by Kevin Truong. “Our Space of Possibilities” was created by Patricia Vázquez Gómez in collaboration with local East Portland artists and organizations and funded by the National Endowment for the ArtsPortland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT)Trimet, and RACC.

 


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 exhibitions. They love using scissors and cutting hearts out of red construction paper, school assemblies, showcasing their ceramics and photography in the halls, learning current media techniques, and most of all, they love the joy of being creative together.

Advocating for arts and culture in our community and schools is a full-time job. We hope that one day it will just be the norm. People will simply understand the value of arts and culture in our community, in our schools. We will not have to advocate for funding and sustaining a vibrant arts education program in our PK-12 schools, but will be thinking instead about all the new courses, and the arts educators we need to hire because the demand for art is so vast and the classes are too full. Imagine.

Yet, arts and culture are in demand now. Arts save lives. We know that because teachers, community members, students, policy makers, data reports and analysis, and arts organizations remind us repeatedly. It is through arts in our schools that an atmosphere of communication and tolerance, a mapping of emotions through creation, enable students to connect to the greater world. There they can express their creative selves, find their voice, and to see the connectedness of the human spirit. In community, we do the same.

Can you recall the world without music, movies, gatherings and performances while we were in lockdown during the global Covid-19 pandemic? The arts enable us to survive through some of our darkest times as a community, and the arts continue to uplift and support us as we struggle not just to survive, but to thrive in our new world.

We ask you to join us as an advocate for arts education in our schools and in our community. Lend your voice to the chorus, and share your experiences and joy with others. Tell your story of how the arts saved you. Nurtured you. Tell your family members to support candidates and board members that want sustained funding in arts education in our community. Support arts councils that advocate for arts and culture in your community. Support arts organizations by volunteering, attending performances, and sponsoring school trips through donations. Whatever you do, be that advocate and voice for arts and culture in our community and schools. Be loud.

Please join us at www.racc.org/arts-education to learn more.  Tag us on Instagram when you share your stories.

-Chanda Evans, Arts Education Manager


RACC Seeks Grants Community Panel Reviewers | Arts3C (Fall 2023 Cycle)

Grants · Remote

The Regional Arts Culture Council (RACC) has one mission – to enrich our communities through arts and culture. We believe that the arts have the power to change hearts and minds, and to inspire social change. We also believe that arts and culture are key elements in creating desirable places to live, learn, work, and visit.

RACC’s Arts3C Grant is an opportunity for artists, arts organizations, and arts-related businesses to apply for funding to fulfill a variety of needs, from creative project production to individual professional development to organizational administrative support. Applicants from all artistic disciplines are welcome to submit proposals, and the grant is offered twice annually. Awarded grantees are selected through a competitive process of proposal review by numerous panels of artists, arts professionals, and community representatives. The work performed by the Community Panel Reviewers directly empowers people from all walks of life to access a wide range of artistic and cultural experiences. For more information about Art3C and recent cycles of the grant, please visit https://racc.org/grants/arts3c/.

RACC is an Equal Opportunity Employer and strives to cultivate Equity in all of our programs. Prejudice and privilege have created barriers that RACC must dismantle, systematically and strategically, until everyone in our community has equitable access to arts and culture. We strive to put together panels comprised of members with a diversity of lived experiences, so that our review cohort reflects the communities it serves. If you are interested in committing your insight, expertise, and time to this process, we look forward to hearing from you.

The Opportunity: Community Panel Reviewer | Contractor Position

Position Summary: Regional Arts and Culture Council is currently accepting applications from individuals seeking to serve as grant proposal reviewers for the Arts3C grant program. This is a short-term, contracted opportunity. Reviewers will perform and complete their work between mid-September and mid-December 2023.

Contracted Reviewers will serve on 1-3 Arts3C panels; each panel evaluates approximately 25-35 proposals. Reviewers will consider, score, and discuss all applications before recommending a slate of recipients to RACC; all tasks and meetings will be conducted online.

To be eligible for the role, Reviewers must be practicing artists and/or have experience facilitating or curating arts programming or managing an arts-based business. Additionally, while no duties for this opportunity require in-person attendance, Reviewers must live or work in RACC’s tri-county service area (Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas counties). Community members who have not recently or have never served on a RACC panel are strongly encouraged to apply.

Please note: Community Panel Reviewers are not eligible to apply for their own Arts3C grant while participating as a contractor; however, past recipients of RACC grants, up to and including the most recent cycle of Arts3C, are eligible to participate.

Essential Functions and Responsibilities: Complete grant reviewer orientation via Zoom.* (Approximately 1-2 hours) Independently review and provide written feedback on all assigned application materials in the RACC Opportunity Portal online system. (Approximately 10-20 hours per panel)
Attend and participate in assigned panel meetings via Zoom.* (One meeting, approximately 2 hours in duration, per panel)
Provide feedback to RACC on your experience following the conclusion of the process. *Zoom meetings and trainings are scheduled once reviewers have been selected and are primarily hosted during RACC weekday work hours (8:30am-5pm).

Role Requirements & Eligibility: Reviewers must be active in the arts/creative fields and live or work in RACC’s tri-county service area.
Reviewers must be comfortable discussing and assessing applications based on RACC’s evaluation criteria and scoring rubrics.
Reviewers must sign Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Agreements and maintain confidentiality throughout the process and in perpetuity following its conclusion.
Reviewers must have reliable access to the internet for grant review and use Zoom for panel meetings.

Compensation: Reviewers are compensated in fixed rates of approximately $250-$350 per panel on which they serve. The exact rate per panel will be determined at the conclusion of the grant application period and is based on the number of proposals in each panel group.
Reviewers are contracted for one or more panels based on applicant pool size and reviewer availability.
Compensation is processed within 20 business days upon successful completion of the Reviewer’s panel meetings.

If you have questions in advance of submitting your application, please email grants@racc.org. Please do not email applications to this address. Only applications submitted through Bamboo HR will be accepted.

To apply: Please submit a resume and answer the following questions:

Applications submitted by September 25 at 5pm will be given priority. Position will remain open until filled. Please apply here.

Application Questions

  1. How have you increased your knowledge and practice of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Access (EDIA) topics?
  2. How are you involved in the arts community?
  3. What do you consider the primary (and secondary, if applicable) artistic disciplines/mediums you are qualified to review? (e.g., theater, visual arts, music, film, dance, social practice)
  4. Describe your prior experience (if any) with the review, evaluation, or critique of projects/proposals.
  5. What interests you about the role of Community Panel Reviewer?
  6. Describe your lived experience that may contribute to RACC assembling a diverse cohort of reviewers.
  7. Have you engaged with RACC’s programs or services in the past? If yes, how so?
  8. How did you learn about this opportunity?
  9. Provide a link to online website or creative portfolio, if available.

Multnomah County Library and Regional Arts & Culture Council announce community artists as part of wide-reaching public art commissions

Immediate Release

May 22, 2023

Artists bring community-centered approach to their artwork across libraries

PORTLAND, Ore. —Multnomah County Library (MCL) and Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) are teaming up to bring artwork to libraries throughout Multnomah County. This effort is part of the voter-approved 2020 Library building bond which will build, rebuild or expand nine library buildings while providing smaller upgrades to 11 libraries as part of the Refresh projects. Since the bond passed, Multnomah County Library has been hard at work on major updates, with the Operations Center and Holgate and Midland libraries leading the way as some of the first projects.

Public art for the community

As part of these updates, local artists are creating unique installations at each of these sites that represent the community’s history, culture and diversity.

“At the center of these new libraries is the belief that beauty and transformative spaces should be accessible for everyone,” said Vailey Oehlke, Director of Libraries. “Working with the Regional Arts and Culture Council offers an opportunity to bring the library, community and artists together in a vibrant way to ensure these new library spaces are not just functional for everyone, but also beautiful and inspiring.”

This artwork is developed in coordination with the Regional Arts & Culture Council through the Multnomah County Percent for Art Program, allotting 2% of the construction budget for all county-funded improvement projects toward the investment in public art. Artists are awarded projects as part of a robust public process, which includes selection panels led by local residents, business owners, artists, library staff and project partners.

The first library buildings to plan for public art include the Operations Center. As the heart of the library, it’s where every item placed on hold is sorted in addition to being the first stop for new books and materials. Plus, items for outreach to schools, shelters and more will be centered here. On July 6, 2022, the library broke ground on the Operations Center on the site of a former Safeway grocery store (221 NE 122nd Ave, Portland, OR 97230). This 73,000 square foot building is scheduled to open in late 2023.

Holgate Library will be a brand new two-story building, triple the size of the current space for a total of 21,000 square feet. It will be one of the largest libraries in Multnomah County. To begin on this new building, Holgate Library closed to begin construction on December 5, 2022 and will reopen in 2024.

Midland Library will undergo important renovations and an expansion to add 6,000 square feet of space, or an increase of about 25 percent. To complete these exciting upgrades, Midland Library closed to begin construction on December 23, 2022 and will reopen in 2024.

Thanks to feedback from members of the community, exciting new features at Holgate and Midland will include:

  • Outdoor spaces for community connection.
  • Large play and learning spaces for children.
  • Teen rooms with space for technology, homework and creative expression.
  • Art that represents diverse cultures.

Community artists representing community vision

Community engagement is a core value for the building projects. Selection panels prioritized artists with demonstrated experience and expressed interest in embedding community into their practice and work. Most artists selected for these projects are expected to create and host community engagement opportunities as part of their design phase. Some of these arts-focused events have already taken place and more are on their way in the coming months.

“We are immensely grateful for our continued partnerships with other community-centered, value-aligned organizations such as Multnomah County Library. RACC and MCL are prioritizing equity, accessibility, community, and innovation within our approaches to these significant projects. The expansive nature of libraries and the creativity with which MCL is approaching the library building improvements align well for the inclusion of public art. Providing opportunities for artistic growth is integral to our mission, as is the development, strengthening, and expansion of our arts and culture ecosystem. We are committed to centering the creativity and prosperity of artists and communities who, historically, have not been represented in the cultural fabric of this region. We are thrilled with the artists who have been selected by the community panels and extend our gratitude to all those working to bring these artworks into being,” said Carol Tatch, Co-Executive Director & Chief of External Operations, Regional Arts & Culture Council.

 

Meet the artists

Operations Center: Exterior entrance

A new, large-scale, 2-dimensional permanent exterior artwork at the Operations Center entrance will be created by artist Tenya Rodriguez (they/them). The site-specific original artwork will greet staff and visitors alike with vibrant colors and energy as they enter the new building, which is considered the heart of the library system. The artwork will also be visible to vehicular and pedestrian traffic along NE 122nd Avenue, capturing the attention of those who pass by. Tenya is a queer, Latinx, self-taught artist whose practice centers on mark-making and layering as a way to communicate through experimental expressionism. Instagram: @tenyarodriguez

Midland Library: Exterior canopy

As part of the overall building renovation, Midland Library will acquire a new entry canopy, framing the redesigned entrance and exterior public plaza. The underside of the canopy, spanning the width of the building, will feature artwork by local artists Lillyanne Pham (LP) and Paola De La Cruz (she/her). Lillyanne is a second-generation Vietnamese artist and cultural organizer who creates through a systemic consciousness framework and lens, specifically place-based justice and racial equity. Paola, originally from the Dominican Republic, interweaves digital and analog media, patterns, stitching and shape-based illustrations to evoke intimacy while challenging the themes of cultural identity, coming of age and interpersonal growth. Together, Lillyanne and Paola conceive and actualize socially engaged projects which blend one another’s strengths, passions and creativity. Instagram: @happynappystudio / @lillyannepham / @paola.lillyanne

Midland Library: Gathering Circle

Kanani Miyamoto (she/her) has been selected to create an original 2-dimensional wall-mounted artwork which will frame Midland Library’s interior Gathering Circle, a communal seating area that encourages and fosters connection. The artwork will be located directly across from the new main entry doors and will be one of the first things visible as people arrive at the library. Kanani is a practicing artist, curator, adjunct instructor and teacher whose work focuses on sharing and celebrating her unique mixed heritage in the hopes of representing her community and the beauty of intersectional identities. Through Kanani’s community-centered work she brings awareness to the damaging effects of capitalism and settler colonialism on Pacific Island people and land. Instagram: @mamakanani

Holgate Library: Interior/exterior wall

The Interior/Exterior Wall public art project at Holgate Library is multi-dimensional in name and practice. Salomée Souag’s (she/her) artwork will be etched onto exterior panels of the building’s façade creating a permanent sculptural drawing on the outside. Elements of these exterior panels will be replicated inside along the full length of the ground floor lobby wall as part of a large-scale, site-specific, 2-dimensional digital mural. Salomée is a muralist, designer and creative from Switzerland who holds her Peruvian and Algerian ancestors closer to her heart, her community and her work. In her consistent and continuous evolution and artistic practice, she creates revolutionary work to give power to the people, youth and artists. Salomée’s bold and powerful work encourages everyone to break down boundaries and borders and to imagine expression. Instagram: @c.hroma

Holgate Library: Exterior site enclosure

Arts activist Crystal Meneses (she/her) will be creating a 2-dimensional wall-mounted artwork for Holgate Library’s Exterior Site Enclosure. The artwork will wrap the enclosure, creatively anchoring the north entry outdoor patio. Located between the new library and the new parking lot, the artwork will be highly visible from SE 79th Avenue as people arrive at the library. In addition, the artwork will act as the backdrop to ground floor flex spaces that will be used by library staff and patrons for classes and events. Crystal creates from a communal perspective, centering connection and relationship and ensuring inclusion. Her mission is to inspire arts activism in the community while supporting others in discovering their passions and talents. Crystal’s expansive approach and ability to cultivate community is, in itself, a work of art. At the heart of everything Crystal generates is the desire to elevate collective healing, particularly amongst marginalized communities. Instagram: @crystalakinsmeneses

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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 a region-wide intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas County, and Metro and the City of Portland). Though we were not made aware of these specific changes ahead of time, RACC has seen a growing divestment in equity-driven arts and culture engagement by the City of Portland since the fall of 2020.  

At this time, RACC does not have any more information than what has been released. It is our request and expectation that as the region’s contracted arts and culture agency, we will be invited into these conversations around the arts and cultural ecosystem in our community. We have a  deep experience working with, and for, the residents of Portland as well as City employees and elected officials.  

The City-led effort to assess the current state of the needs of our region for arts and culture continues with  community engagement sessions for the Our Creative Future cultural planning process is ongoing. The external partners for this process are the Cultural Planning Group from San Diego and the Metropolitan Group from Portland. This analysis and report is expected to be completed by the end of the year. RACC is the arts and culture advocate and funder that was created by the community for the community. RACC has been an integral part of ensuring access for those in the creative field since our inception and for the past 50 years. As a BIPOC-led organization we will continue to  adhere to our core values of equity, access, and inclusion. 

We want our community to know that we are committed to ensuring a thriving region for engagement and celebration of cultural diversity and artistic expression. Thank you for your commitment to RACC and your support for our mission and vision. 

 

Media Contact:

Communications Team, Regional Arts & Culture Council, comms@racc.org