RACC seeks a Request for Proposals for Audit Services FY23-FY27- updates in yellow

Closing Date & Time: Friday, February 10, 2023 at 5:00 pm

The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) is requesting a five-year audit service proposal including tax return (Form 990 and Oregon Form CT-12) services from accounting firms with extensive experience in providing audit services to non-profit organizations. This Request for Proposals (RFP) contains background information on RACC and the proposal specifications.

If your firm is interested in submitting a proposal and you would like to receive additional information about RACC, please send a message to:  auditrfp@racc.org and we will make available to you:

  • Most recently completed fiscal year financial statements
  • Most recently completed fiscal year trial balance

You may also view a list of current RACC team and Board of Directors at: https://racc.org/about/staff-and-board/

Proposal Submission

  • Please submit your proposal online at BambooHR by 5:00 PM on Friday, February 10, 2023. Late proposals will not be considered.
  • With your proposal, please include a cover letter signed by an authorized officer/person from your firm who has the authority to contract with RACC.
  • When submitting your proposal, each item listed below must be uploaded as a separate document:
    • Cover Letter
    • Proposal
    • Peer Review Report
    • Audit Engagement and Tax Return Timeline
    • Audit and Tax Return Service Fees
    • References


Please direct all questions regarding this RFP to our Finance Team Lead at: auditrfp@racc.org

RACC will not accept questions after Tuesday, February 7, 2023.

Services to be PROVIDED

The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) requests proposals for audit and tax return (Form 990 and Oregon CT-12) services for five years beginning with the year ending June 30, 2023.  An annual audit is required for reporting purposes to the Board of Directors, the community, funding sources, and the state and federal government. The audit of the financial statements of RACC must be conducted in accordance with U.S. generally accepted auditing standards. The audit and issue of statements and reports must adhere to all agreed upon deadlines. The engagement should include the provision of a management letter at the conclusion of the audit, outlining system issues relating to internal controls.

Respondents shall submit a proposal for the provision of the following services:

  • Audited financial statements for five years and tax return preparation beginning with the year ending June 30, 2023, including:
    • Planning meeting with the Finance & Audit Committee, which comprises selected RACC Board members, prior to the audit;
    • Audit and expression of an opinion on the annual financial statements;
    • Preparation of all auditor communications required by professional standards;
    • Presentation of draft audited financial statements and required auditor communications and draft tax returns to the Finance & Audit Committee;
    • Presentation of final audited financial statements and required auditor communications to the Board of Directors.
  • Availability to answer questions throughout each year of service.


RACC utilizes a fiscal year which ends June 30. We anticipate that preliminary audit fieldwork would begin in August, final fieldwork in late September, and delivery of financial statements and required auditor communications in late October, each year for five years.

Resources Available

The Chief Financial Officer and finance department staff will be available to the auditors once the engagement has been initiated. The audit engagement meeting will take place with the Finance & Audit Committee and the Chief Financial Officer.

Organization background

Formerly the Metropolitan Arts Commission, the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) incorporated as an independent, Oregon not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization in 1995. The office is located in Portland at 411 NW Park Ave., Suite 101, Portland, Oregon, 97209. RACC receives funding from a variety of public and private partners to serve artists and creatives, arts and art-serving organizations, schools and residents throughout Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties. The RACC website is https://racc.org/

  • Mission: To enrich our communities through arts and culture.
  • Core Values: 
    • Accessibility – Inclusion, simplicity, and ease
    • Advocacy – Visibility, resources, and impact
    • Equity –  Racial justice and representation in services and investments
    • Diversity – Of art forms and artistic traditions
    • Community – For belonging, support, and connection
    • Innovation – Testing and adapting; finding new ways to deliver value
  • Equity Statement (excerpt): We believe that the arts have the power to change hearts and minds, and to inspire social change. 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.

RACC is committed to ensuring that all of its services, programs, and service providers are diverse, equitable, and inclusive, as described in our Equity Statement (see below).

RACC has an operating budget of over $11 million and its fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30 of the following calendar year. A majority of RACC’s funding is provided through a contract with the City of Portland, which provided 83% and 25% of total support and revenues in 2022 and 2021, respectively. Other public funders include Federal CARES Act, American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Oregon Arts Commission (OAC), Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington Counties, and Metro, which provided a combined 14% and 72% in 2022 and 2021, respectively, including agency transactions. From the private sector, donations from businesses, foundations, and individuals supporting RACC’s programs accounted for 3% of revenues in 2022 (less than 1% in 2021).

RACC’s service area includes more than 1.6 million residents, 250 not-for-profit arts and culture organizations, and countless artists of every discipline. Through advocacy, RACC helps build support for a strong arts and culture community.

  • RACC grants provide artists and arts organizations with financial support.
  • Our nationally-acclaimed public art program integrates a wide range of art in public places. RACC manages Percent for Art public art programs for the City of Portland and Multnomah County.
  • RACC provides learning programs, including workshops for artists, organizational consulting, and a variety of print and electronic resources.
  • RACC supports arts education by engaging with local, state, and national representatives advocating for support of arts initiatives, including the Arts Education for All Act; advocating and creating space for future-forward learning; and supporting a well-rounded education for youth.

RACC has 24 employees, three of whom are part-time. The finance department has 5 positions: Chief Financial Officer, Budget/Financial Analyst, A/R Revenue Specialist, A/P and Payroll Specialist, and a part-time Accounting Assistant.


  • COVER LETTER – WITH Respondent’s Certification and Assurances

Please provide a cover letter signed by an authorized officer or authorized person certifying that all information contained in the proposal is accurate and that the firm agrees to comply with all of the terms, conditions and provisions of this RFP.

  • Proposal

Please provide the following information in your proposal, in the order listed:

  1. A brief description of your firm, including location, staff size, and industries served.
  2. Describe engagements your firm currently conducts in the non-profit sector. Include a list of local non-profit clients that you believe are comparable to our organization in size and complexity.
  3. Identify the engagement team that would be performing our audit and include summaries of the qualifications and experience of partners, managers, and senior staff.
  4. Describe your firm’s approach to performing an audit, including how a job is planned and scheduled, partner and manager commitment, quality control, and areas in which you feel you are unique.
  5. Describe how your firm defines diversity, equity, access, and inclusion, and how your firm prioritizes equity and inclusion work. Please include your firm’s equity statement.
  6. Describe what steps your firm takes to ensure diversity, equity, access, and inclusion among your employees, board, and leadership team.
  7. Describe what your organization has done to publicly promote diversity, equity, access, and inclusion. Optionally, provide links to applicable statements or activities.
  8. Describe what steps your firm takes to ensure diversity, equity, access, and inclusion within your supply chain.
  9. Describe how your firm provides resources and/or training opportunities for Board and management/staff regarding accounting standards updates, and how you will provide assistance to clients with the implementation of changes, if needed.
  10. Describe your plan for the transition from our prior auditors and what you would require of our staff during this process.
  11. Describe any existing or potential relationships between your firm and RACC, including any RACC employee or officer that could affect your independence and objectivity because of an actual or perceived conflict of interest. If partners or other employees serve in an advisory/consultative capacity within the non-profit sector, please list such positions as well.
    Please include a copy of your firm’s most recent peer review report.
  • Audit engagement timeline

Provide a detailed timeline for the expected timing and completion of the audit and the delivery of the financial statements and                   required auditor communications. Please include the preparation and delivery of annual tax returns (Form 990 and Oregon Form               CT-12) in the timeline.

  • AUDIT Fees
  1. Provide your audit and tax return service fees for each of the five years of this engagement, including the estimated number of hours spent prior to commencement of fieldwork and subsequent to completion of fieldwork.
  2. Describe whether and how you bill for overruns. State how you manage against overruns and how we can be assured of no “surprise” billings.
  3. Explain your firm’s availability and billing for advice and counsel during the year.
  • References

Please provide at least three (3) relevant local, non-profit organization references. Reference contact names and phone numbers must be provided; references will be checked and evaluated for their relevance to the proposal.

Proposal Deadline

The deadline for receipt of your proposal is 5:00 PM on Friday, February 10, 2023. See Proposal Submission details on Page 1 of this RFP. Proposals received after this time will not be considered. All proposal submissions will be responded to once a decision has been made. If you have questions concerning this RFP, please contact our Finance Team Lead at auditrfp@racc.org before February 7, 2023. Apply here through BambooHR.

Evaluation Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria. These are not listed in order of importance.

  • Qualification, background and experience (successful respondent must be licensed under state and federal requirements to perform an audit of a corporation in Oregon);
  • Experience with related non-profit sector auditing assignments;
  • Response that most effectively meets the requirements of RACC, including RACC’s commitment to ensuring that all of our services, programs, and service providers are diverse, equitable, and inclusive (See RACC’s Equity Statement below)
  • Annual fee for the completion of the audit.

Evaluation Process

Proposals will be evaluated by the Finance & Audit Committee, Co-Executive Directors, and CFO. The objective of the evaluation process is to identify the proposal that most effectively meets the requirements of the RFP. The decision as to which proposal is in the best interest of RACC shall be determined by RACC acting in its sole discretion, after considering all of the elements of the evaluation process. The responses to this RFP will be evaluated using the criteria identified above. In-person interviews may be conducted as part of the evaluation process.

Reporting Relationship

The Finance & Audit Committee will review and evaluate all of the proposals received, and will make a recommendation to the Board of Directors. The RACC Board of Directors will engage the auditors.

General Terms and Conditions

  • All the provisions of the RFP submitted are deemed to be accepted by the Respondent and incorporated in its proposal except those conditions and provisions which are expressly excluded by the proposal.
  • The proposal(s) selected may be subject to further negotiations.
  • Proposals must be valid and irrevocable for a period of ninety (90) calendar days following the Closing Date.
  • RACC reserves the right to disqualify any proposal that is incomplete or is otherwise not submitted in accordance with the terms, conditions, and provisions in this RFP.
  • RACC may accept or reject all or any part of the proposal.
  • RACC is not obligated to honor any pre-existing arrangements, agreements, or contracts made, either formal or informal, between the Respondent and other agencies. Where such arrangements are submitted in the RFP by the Respondent, RACC reserves the right to negotiate further with the Respondent regarding these arrangements, or may, at its discretion, not honor such arrangements, agreements, or contracts.


All costs associated or incurred with the preparation and presentation of the Respondent’s response to this RFP shall be borne by the Respondent. The rejection of any or all proposals shall not render RACC liable for any costs or damages.

RACC shall not be held liable for any error or omission in any part of this RFP.  While RACC has used considerable efforts to ensure an accurate representation of information in this RFP, the information contained in the RFP is supplied solely as a guideline for Respondents.  The information is not guaranteed or warranted to be accurate by RACC, nor is it necessarily comprehensive or exhaustive.  Nothing in this RFP is intended to relieve Respondents from forming their own opinions and conclusions with respect to the matters addressed in this RFP.


RACC will consider all proposals submitted in response to this RFP as confidential. The submission of the proposal will be deemed to be consent by the Respondent:

  • To the disclosure of the proposal to such individuals or other parties as may be required for the purpose of reviewing the proposal to determine the successful Respondent and to administer the RFP;
  • To allow RACC to make copies of the proposal received for the review of the proposal or the administration of this RFP;
  • To the retention of the proposal by RACC;
  • To the disclosure of the name of the successful Respondent.


The Respondent shall indemnify and hold harmless RACC and RACC directors, officers, employees, independent contractors, subcontractors, agents, and assigns from all costs, losses, damages, judgments, claims, demands, suits, actions, causes of action, contracts, or other proceedings of any kind or nature:

  • Based on, occasioned by, or attributable to anything done or omitted to be done by the Respondent or the Respondent’s directors, officers, employees, independent contractors, subcontractors, members, partners, volunteers, agents, and assigns (“Respondent’s Personnel”) in connection with this RFP or the agreement entered into pursuant to this RFP; and,
  • For the infringement or alleged infringement of any intellectual property right or patent based upon the use of anything or invention protected by any intellectual property protection and in respect of the use by RACC of articles and supplies furnished pursuant to the RFP or the Agreement entered into pursuant to this RFP.


The Respondent shall not assign, transfer, or pledge, directly or indirectly, any provision or right under this RFP or retain subcontractors for the performance of the services to be provided or obligations to be fulfilled pursuant to this RFP without the prior written consent of RACC. The Respondent shall at all times be held fully responsible for the acts and omissions of its directors, officers, employees, shareholders, members, partners, volunteers and agents.

Conflict of Interest

Each Respondent must declare to RACC as part of its proposal any situation that may be either a conflict of interest or a potential or perceived conflict of interest between its interest and the interest of RACC under this RFP or the Agreement entered into pursuant to this RFP.  Failure to properly disclose a conflict of interest shall result in disqualification of a proposal.

If RACC is not informed of a conflict of interest until after a contract award has been made, RACC, at its sole discretion, may cancel the contract award and hold the Respondent liable for any damages, costs or expenses caused by the Respondent’s failure to properly disclose the conflict of interest.


Please note that either party may cancel the audit after the first year by written notice to the other party no later than six months after the start of the following fiscal year.


Approved by the RACC Board of Directors on February 25, 2015

 We believe that the arts have the power to change hearts and minds, and to inspire social change. 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 acknowledge that there is no one perfect way to achieve equity, but we are willing to take risks because there is much work to do. We are thoughtfully researching and implementing new methods of thinking within our organizational culture, starting with an in-depth assessment of our services, policies and procedures. We are seeking out and listening to voices that have not been heard, and fully engaging under-represented populations in dialogue that will help us improve.

We are committed to the full scope of this work and will hold ourselves accountable along the way—anything less would prove a disservice to ourselves and the communities we serve. RACC strives to be an organization that values and celebrates everyone’s life experiences, their voices and their histories. By consistently bringing new perspectives to our decision-making table, forming new relationships and alliances, and finding new ways to support creativity, RACC will be a strong, equitable and relevant organization. Throughout this process, we commit to humility, optimism and respect.


















AFTA Issues Statement about FY23 Omnibus Appropriations Bill

Americans for the Arts (AFTA) and the Americans for the Arts Action Fund issue joint statement on the FY23 Omnibus Appropriations bill.

The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) would like to share with you a recent press release from our partner, Americans for the Arts (AFTA). We would like to extend our gratitude to Senator Jeff Merkley (OR) for his leadership, persistence, and support of arts and culture in Oregon. We know that many organizations and individuals advocated their support for the arts and culture sector throughout our nation and wish to honor their work and time spent on this this important legislation. Read the full press release here or below.


Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Nolen Bivens, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, and Nina Ozlu Tunceli, executive director of the Americans for the Arts Action Fund, released this statement in response to Congress’ FY 2023 Omnibus Appropriations bill:

“We are very pleased that Congress has recommended a $27 million funding increase each for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), bringing them to an all-time budget high of $207 million. This action moves these agencies closer to indexing their funding at $1 per person. Of equal importance is the Congressional report language accompanying this year’s NEA and NEH funding, recommending grantmaking policies to be more equitable and diverse. This report language includes many components of Rep. Barbara Lee’s (D-CA) inspiring legislation on Advancing Equity Through the Arts and Humanities.

“We are also happy that Congress directed first-time funding of $10 million to the U.S. Department of Defense’s National Intrepid Center of Excellence to support clinical creative arts therapies for those serving in the military. An additional $5 million will go to the Department of Veteran Affairs for its Whole Health Initiative.

“Congress also approved over 68 cultural organizations across the country to receive more than $66 million in direct project funding, also known as congressional earmarks. These projects include arts education programs for youth, support for museums, theaters, and performing arts centers, and creative workforce apprenticeship programs. Additional funding increases of $26.8 million were also recommended to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and $10 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.”

“Local and state arts agencies, arts organizations, arts unions, and artists played a significant role, as constituents, in contributing towards making this legislation possible. It cannot be overemphasized that the artists, creative workers, and culture bearers they support are the heartbeat of communities across the country. The social power of the arts has the power to unite us. The recommendation of funding at this level enables that.

“We are deeply grateful to the bipartisan and bicameral efforts of members of Congress to support and recognize the value of the arts as a national asset—particularly Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chairs Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) in the House and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) in the Senate.”

For tools, resources, and information on how to make the case for the arts and arts education, visit the Americans for the Arts’ Arts Mobilization Center. 


Regional Arts & Culture Council urges Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley to support Arts & Culture funding in Congress

Join Us! SIGN BY FRIDAY, NOV. 25, 2022

The final FY23 Interior Appropriations budget, which includes annual funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) will be negotiated by current members of both the United States Senate and the House of Representatives. Currently the House version sets allocations at an all-time high of $207 million each for the NEA and NEH, whereas the Senate Appropriations Committee (chaired by Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley) has allocated only $195 million each. 

RACC, the City of Portland, and Oregon arts and cultural organizations ask you to join us in respectfully urging Senator Jeff Merkley, Chair of the Interior Appropriations Committee, to accept the House-approved level of $207 million for both the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

View the letter, written by Americans for the Arts here.

Add your organization’s signature here. Please share with others and be sure to sign up by November 25th for the impact to be felt in Washington, DC.

As part of the arts and cultural sector, we know that investment strengthens our economy and the social fabric of our communities. Please join in advocating your support of this measure to Senator Jeff Merkley for increased funding!

Thank you! 

RACC shares update on the Thompson Elk restoration plan from the Portland Parks Foundation

Released to media on 10/3/22 from the Portland Parks Foundation

CONTACT: Randy Gragg,

503-799-2655; rgragg@portlandpf.org

Thompson Elk Fountain Restoration Feasibility Study Update

Portland Parks Foundation’s team completes study and preliminary cost estimate

The Portland Parks Foundation has completed its feasibility study and preliminary cost estimates for the restoration and reinstallation of the Thompson Elk Fountain. PPF and its consultants, Architectural Resources Group (ARG) and the landscape/urban design firm MIG have submitted its restoration plan to the Portland’s Office of Management and Finance (OMF). In turn, OMF has submitted it to the Bureau of Development Services for an anticipated November “Design Advice Request” with the Portland Historic Landmarks Commission. That hearing, in which the team will get feedback from the Landmarks Commissioners, is open to the public for listening and testimony. For updates on the hearing, go to portland.gov/bds/landmarks.

“We are honored to present to the city this restoration design, which restores and returns the elk and fountain to their original location,” said Randy Gragg, executive director of PPF. “We’ve also developed potential street improvements to make the fountain a safer, universally accessible, and more welcoming place to visit.”

The study determined that 18 of the fountain’s 50 pieces will have to be remade. They include some of the most complex. All four of the fountain’s five-foot-long troughs and some of the most intricately carved ornaments will have to be refabricated. “But the good news,” according to ARG project lead Maya Foty, “stone from the original stone quarry is still available.”

The study also incorporates seismic stabilization and a recirculating pump for the fountain. The team developed preferred street upgrades that would create better access and a “viewing area” for the statue and fountain. Building on PBOT’s recently implemented separation of bikes and motorists around the fountain area on Southwest Main Street, ARG and MIG’s design provides two wheelchair accessible access points to a viewing area protected from passing traffic by elegant granite domed bollards.

“The design provides a refuge for people and it better protects the fountain from vehicles,” said Rachel Edmonds of MIG, “and also creates a sense of place around the fountain using historically compatible materials.” Based on 30-percent schematic design, the cost for the fountain restoration, new pump mechanism and reinstallation is estimated to be $1.2- $1.3 million. The street improvements would add approximately $670,000.

“We anxiously await what the city’s insurance settlement will yield and what the City Council determines the city can afford,” said Gragg. “We at PPF believe there is wide community support to pitch in if the final gap is not too large.”

PPF continues to accept contributions to restore the Thompson Elk Fountain. Donate here.

The Thompson Elk Fountain was badly damaged during the civil unrest of summer, 2020 that followed the murder of George Floyd. The city quickly moved the elk and the fountain pieces into storage. PPF’s study was overseen by a seven-member Project Advisory Committee of preservation and street design experts and informed by a technical advisory committee of city bureau representatives with oversight of the parks, street, and infrastructure, along with the Regional Arts & Culture Council who oversees the bronze elk.

Besides looking comprehensively at the restoration and streetscape, PPF hired two historians, Keith Eggener, a professor at the University of Oregon’s School of Architecture and Milo Reed, a freelance historian who works with Oregon Black Pioneers and Vanport Mosaic and currently chairs the Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries. They researched both the history of the elk fountain’s making and the social history of the fountain and its surrounding parks since its installation in 1900.

Former Mayor David P. Thompson commissioned the sculpture to honor the Humane Society which he cofounded. In the decades since, the historians found, the elk has stood at the center of protests over such perennial issues as free speech, workers’ rights, deportation of immigrants, and police shootings.

“For 120 years, people have gathered at the fountain to enjoy it as a thing of beauty and a symbol of nature, but also to give voice to their convictions,” noted Gragg. “Our goal is to renew it, reinstall it, and make it a safer, more inviting public space.”

PPF will release the full feasibility study and the findings of its historians in advance of the Design Advice Request hearing.


Regional Arts & Culture Council receives bequest from the estate of Harriet Beal Cormack


RACC is honored by the support of the long-time arts philanthropist and social justice pioneer to further its mission to enrich our communities through arts and culture.

Portland, OR —

The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) is extremely grateful for the philanthropic support of the late Harriet Beal Cormack. Shortly after her passing in June 2022, RACC was notified that we would be one of five nonprofits receiving a sizeable disbursement from the estate of Mrs. Cormack. RACC recognizes Mrs. Cormack’s considerable gift of over $400,000 in support of our vision of a just and equitable arts-aligned organization. These funds will greatly help us fulfill our mission to enrich communities through arts and culture. 

Born in 1942 in Butte, MT, Harriet lived her life elevating civic engagement through social justice, women’s rights, and the arts. She began her career on the east coast, and, upon her return to the west, landed in Seattle to begin a distinguished career in real estate development, finance, and management in public, private, and nonprofit settings. She took on and asserted her professional knowledge through challenging and civically invigorating projects for the City of Seattle and, as the Vice President of the Cornerstone Columbia Development Company, led the development of the Waterfront Urban Renewal area along the Willamette River in Portland, creating RiverPlace—a mix of housing and retail space, a hotel, marina, and floating restaurant. RiverPlace reshaped how the community interacted with the natural environment of the river. Harriet grew to be an integral leader in the development and growth of private-public partnerships that have enormously benefitted the communities in which they reside. Harriet completed her professional career by serving as the Director of the Portland Centers for the Performing Arts (Keller Auditorium, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, and Portland5). 

Harriet embodied a spirit of generosity reflected in her personal values of truth, integrity, and commitment to hard work. Her own personal determination to succeed and live a meaningful life was bound by the thread of dedication to friends, family, and the community with which she surrounded herself. Harriet was a staunch patron of the performing, visual, and literary arts and received numerous awards and accolades for her service to community, both in Oregon and Washington. Harriet was an agent of change in both her life and in her death. 

The RACC Team and Board of Directors are excited by the opportunity to mesh Harriet’s vision for community, social justice, and civic engagement with the vision and values of our organization. Created to support our region’s artists and creatives, RACC continues to instill the values of equity and inclusion in our community-focused activities. For nearly 50 years, RACC has led the region in supporting our creative culture. Harriet’s contribution will strengthen our efforts to ensure an abundance of arts and culture in every community. 

 Questions or comments regarding this announcement should be sent to ctatch@racc.org. 



Holiday Cheer at RACC, an evening with ARTist coleREED, Dec 1st from 6-8pm

“unCoveR(ed)” an ARTist Showing at Regional Arts & Culture Council

Please join us on December 1st from 6-8pm to spend an evening with coleREED

We will have for light appetizers and wine. Masks are optional. Please register, since space is limited.

coleREED is a recent recipient of a Make|Learn|Build grant in 21-22 for a multi-disciplinary makers grant. RACC is delighted to present this first in a series of events featuring RACC grantees.

Statement from the artist:

“I AM an ARTist.

coleREED. is a neuroFABulous miX(ed) media ARTist that works with elements of fiRe, eaRth, and the the wRitten woRd.

Mixed Media Sculptural pieces. They were created by the process of pyrography, the use of fire to burn wood. Metal frames support the sculptural pieces. The focus of the collection is vulnerability and healing around racial inequalities. The artist asks the audience to come with open hearts and positivity.”

Follow on Instagram- @coleblackbird

To view a recent article from Portland Monthly on the October 2022 Portland Open Studios click here



RACC announces public art collaboration with Port of Portland at the Portland International Airport

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  November 14 2022

Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) announces the launch of new

public art projects in collaboration with the

Port of Portland (Port) at the Portland International Airport (PDX)

Portland, OR –

The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) is pleased to announce a unique collaboration with the Port of Portland (Port) to install original public artworks for the $2B terminal redevelopment project at Portland International Airport (PDX).  RACC is in the process of inviting artists to submit their qualifications for the design and installation of permanent public art displays that will be a part of this redevelopment. RACC’s values of equity, access, and inclusion are embedded in this process through intentional outreach and engagement with communities that have been historically marginalized. This project will involve requests for proposals (RFQ) for artists in the upcoming months, with completion of the entire project slated for five years from now. Check out PDXNext.com for updates, resources, and images

“The Port of Portland is thrilled to officially launch two open calls for the first permanent public works of art to adorn PDX’s new main terminal,” says Wendy Given, Port of Portland Art Program Manager. “Our Art Program’s mission is to provide equitable access to art and to commission and exhibit captivating work that reflects the diversity of the communities we serve. We believe everyone’s voice and history should be celebrated. So, together with RACC, we intentionally created opportunities for historically marginalized artists to apply, and we have developed a selection process that ensures equitable outcomes. We’re making a commitment to bring diverse voices and perspectives to life — all while enriching the experience of everyone who travels through PDX.”

Mack McFarland, RACC’s Public Art Project Manager, wholeheartedly agrees with Wendy Given, adding, It’s really an honor to play a role in this massive project. The partnership between the Port and RACC has already resulted in several stunning artworks and unique ways to engage the artists within the architecture of PDX. The vison ZGF Architects is implementing for Terminal Core (TCORE) is presenting artists with a wonderful site for projects, while the forethought and care of the Art Selection Committee provides integrity and distinctiveness to the process. There are opportunities within the TCORE art plan for seasoned public artists as well as artists who may be new to creating artwork for such a public setting.”

The second RFQ launches within the next two weeks, with five more to be announced in 2023. The first RFQ, for Art Glass Walls located between the concourse connector and the security queuing area, closes on November 16, 2022.  More information can be found here. The proposed art exhibits are available for download here.

The Regional Arts & Culture Council is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides grants for artists and nonprofit organizations in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties; manages an internationally acclaimed public art program; convenes forums, networking events and other community gatherings; and provides workshops and other forms of technical assistance. RACC advocates for equity, inclusion and access, working to build a community in which everyone can participate in culture, creativity and the arts. For more information visit racc.org

With its three airports, four marine terminals, five business parks, and hundreds of employees, the Port of Portland connects people and businesses in the region to powerful opportunities. Using its resources, expertise, and influence, the Port is striving to pull down barriers and unlock new opportunities for those who have been left out of the region’s economic growth, including people of color, low-income workers, and people with disabilities. The Port is leading major initiatives to drive positive change in the region, including: expanding and modernizing PDX; investing in Oregon’s mass timber industry and mass timber housing; and providing more options for small businesses to get their goods to markets around the world. For more information, visit PortofPortland.com.”



Kristen Calhoun, Director of Public Art


Mack McFarland, Public Art Project Manager


Wendy Given, Port of Portland, Art Program Manager


RACC unveils Going Public! A Mural Skill Building Intensive


We are pleased to announce in partnership with the City of Hillsboro, Miller Paint, and TriMet a collaborative opportunity supporting public art in our community. Envisioned over the last two years, this program has come to fruition with guidance by administrators Salvador Mayoral IV, the Public Art Manager at the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) and program consultant Ella Marra-Ketelaar as well as RACC’s Public Art Murals Committee.

In June of 2022, a cohort of emerging muralists of color were selected and paired with established muralists, all from the Portland metro area.  The program’s aim is to support these emerging muralists throughout the mural creative process by providing mentorship, mural-making workshops, and the opportunity to create and paint a design all the while being monetarily compensated for their energy, time, and labor to undergo this process. One of the program’s key goals is to  foster relationships with their fellow muralist participants through the attendance of the workshops, meeting regularly with their mentors, thus creating a network of support and access. This was instrumental in preparing the cohort of emerging muralists to paint their own mural designs on the many donated spaces from the Going Public! partners.

“We’re thrilled to be part of RACC’s Going Public! mentorship program,” TriMet’s Public Art Administrator Michelle Traver said. “TriMet is also committed to nurturing emerging artists and we are pleased to host artist Rebecca Rodela’s first mural, Lotería en Portlandia, at the Gateway Transit Center, where it can be experienced by our riders and the general public alike.”

We are excited to partner with RACC to bring more colorful murals to our neighborhoods,” said Puji Sherer, Miller Paint’s Vice President of Marketing, Color & Brand. “Our Hollywood store in Northeast Portland is one of the mural sites for the project which is in the heart of this community.”

 All but one mural will be completed by the end of November 2022. Follow the mural making process by visiting the social media accounts of RACC, our partners, and the artists.

“Community building and skill sharing are at the forefront of Going Public!” said program consultant Ella Marra-Ketelaar. “It has been incredibly important to feature established artists (mentors and workshop presenters) that are willing to share their years of collective knowledge with the next generation of muralists. The program’s role is to create a platform, their knowledge, and collaboration is what makes it possible”. 

The workshop presenters include, Sarah Farahat, Bernadette Little, Adam Ciresi, Molly Mendoza, Ursula Barton, Daren Todd, Kyra Watkins and William Hernandez.

The mentors include, Kyra Watkins, William Hernandez, Alex Chiu, and Patricia Vásquez Gómez.

All images by Leo Townsell, July 2022 at one of the workshops in Zidell Yards.

The cohort of muralists include, Abdiel Flores Ubaldo, Saphya Lones, Nabíl De la Rosa, Rebecca Rodela, and Tim Tran.

Carol Tatch, RACC’s Chief of External Operations, stresses the importance of leading with RACC values of access, inclusivity, and equity. “It’s not just that you get to wake up and it’s there, but you actually get to see the process. It is definitely important to the economic prosperity of any region to have public art — art that is accessible. That just brings rewards for everyone in the community.”

For more information please contact Salvador Mayoral, the Public Art Project Manager.