Arts Education and Access Fund 2021 Logo Competition


Rose City Park Elementary School third-grader announced winner

Portland, OR – The Regional Arts & Culture Council and the City of Portland’s Arts Oversight Committee are delighted to announce the winner of the 2021 Arts Education and Access Fund (AEAF) Logo Competition. The competition challenged students to reimagine the original logo to illustrate how the fund supports the community and showcase students who benefit from arts education in school.

Logo design by Vincente, Rose City Park 3rd Grader

Arts Education and Access Fund 2021 Logo Design Competition


Vincente, a third-grader at Rose City Park Elementary School


Edison, a fifth-grader at Rose City Park

Cate, a seventh-grader at Sunnyside Environmental School

All students attend Portland Public Schools.

The design competition was open to all students from kindergarten to eighth grade who receive arts education in Portland’s six school districts: Portland Public, Parkrose, Reynolds, David Douglas, Centennial and Riverdale. The design challenge was to for students create a new AEAF logo over Winter Break 2020.

A panel of judges including professors and officials from Reed College, University of Portland, Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland State University, Portland Art Museum, Echo Theater Company, Office of Commissioner Dan Ryan and the City of Portland Department of Revenue reviewed the submissions and selected the winner.

When asked what inspires him about art, Vincente replied, “Happiness. I have a sign in my room ‘Build Yourself Up and Never Give Up.’ I want people to become happy when they see my art.” Read the full interview with Vincente.


Arts Education
Arts education helps children develop the skills they need in order to communicate effectively, expand their analytical thinking, and engage with their community. In traumatic, turbulent times like these, art can be a literal lifeline for social, emotional, and mental health.

Art brings exposure to the world around us and broadens children’s interests as their capacity to learn new things expands. Students find solace in the arts and a space for their voices to be heard. Though arts, students are able to build consensus and connection, bring awareness to social issues, and highlight inequality and inequity in the world around them. Through arts education, our children—and the greater community—can see connections and develop unique relationships that align with our common goals and interests. Arts can— and should—be a celebration of our rich, culturally diverse society.

Portland’s Arts Education and Access Fund
Portland voters overwhelmingly approved the Arts Education and Access Fund in 2012 restoring arts education in all of Portland’s public elementary schools and expanding access to arts and culture for Portland residents. The City of Portland collects the tax and administers these dedicated funds. Portland’s Arts Oversight Committee, an independent volunteer committee reviews expenditures, progress and outcomes.

The Arts Education & Access Fund Oversight Committee seeks new members. Find out how to apply.

Thanks to the arts tax, today every elementary school in Portland’s six school districts (Centennial, David Douglas, Parkrose, Portland Public, Reynolds and Riverdale) now has at least one art, music, drama, or dance teacher on staff – about 100 teachers in total. Teachers have risen to the challenge of distance learning, still delivering arts education to students online. Funding allows for approximately one arts specialist for every 500 students. Find out more.

Money from the arts tax goes first to schools (65% of total funding since 2012). Any additional revenues are then allocated through RACC grants to arts organizations and special projects that expand access to arts and culture to underserved communities including communities of color, veterans, artists and audiences with different abilities. Portland neighborhoods underserved with RACC grants are also prioritized for project funding.




An independent nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, we support greater Portland’s creative economy by providing equitable funding and services to artists and art organizations; managing and growing our diverse, nationally-acclaimed public art program; and developing long-lasting public and private partnerships. For more information visit racc.org


MEDIA CONTACT: Heather Nelson Kent, Communications Manager, Regional Arts & Culture Council

503-823-5426, hnkent@racc.org

Arts Education and Access Fund 2021 Logo Design Winner

Rose City Park Elementary third-grader selected

Vincente, Rose Waterfall, logo design 2021

We are delighted to announce the winner of the 2021 Arts Education and Access Fund (AEAF) Logo Competition. The competition challenged students to reimagine the original logo to illustrate how the fund supports the community and showcase students who benefit from arts education in school.

Arts education helps children develop the skills they need in order to communicate effectively, expand their analytical thinking, and engage with their community. In traumatic, turbulent times like these, art can be a literal lifeline for social, emotional, and mental health.

Arts Education and Access Fund 2021 Logo Design Competition


Vincente, a third-grader at Rose City Park Elementary School


Edison, a fifth-grader at Rose City Park

Cate, a seventh-grader at Sunnyside Environmental School

All students attend Portland Public Schools.

The design competition was open to all students from kindergarten to eighth grade who receive arts education in Portland’s six school districts: Portland Public, Parkrose, Reynolds, David Douglas, Centennial and Riverdale. The design challenge was to for students create a new AEAF logo over Winter Break 2020. The competition was a collaboration between RACC and the City of Portland’s Arts Oversight Committee.

A panel of judges including professors and officials from Reed College, University of Portland, Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland State University, Portland Art Museum, Echo Theater Company, Office of Commissioner Dan Ryan and the City of Portland Department of Revenue reviewed the submissions and selected the winner.

Read Vincente’s interview with RACC’s Arts Education Access Fund Specialist, Chanda Evans.

Vincente, AEAF Logo Design Competition 2021 Winner

Vincente, why did you decide to submit your art for the AEAF Competition?
Because I wanted to see how good at art I am. I tried my best.

What inspires you about art?
Happiness. I have a sign in my room “Build Yourself Up and Never Give Up” I want people to become happy when they see my art.

Did you have fun doing the drawing? What is the title of your piece?
Yeah – the name is The Rose Waterfall. Because there is a waterfall behind the rose.

How do you feel about your logo design used by different School Districts and Arts Organizations across the Portland Metro region?
Excited! I thought I would never win!

Your Art Teacher is Ms. Vang, what is your favorite part of having art at Rose City Park Elementary?
She helped me in first grade making faces – so she helped me learn art. She is nice.

If you could give advice to a budding artist, someone who is just starting to draw or paint, what would you tell them?
Become yourself. Draw any art in the future – what you do is art. All art. Just be true.


Learn more about Portland’s Arts Education and Access Fund.

The Arts Education & Access Fund Oversight Committee seeks new members. Commitments include quarterly meetings, with a variety of projects in between.

Current Chair Laura Streib explains the committee’s purpose, “The committee engages with City of Portland officials, the Regional Arts & Culture Council and school districts to make sure the AEAF is doing what the charter set out for it to do – ensure funding for K-5 Arts Education teachers and support for accessibility and access to the arts and arts organizations.” Find out more.

ART PURCHASE OPPORTUNITY: Ecology, Wellness & Connectivity

Interpretation services available, email info@racc.org

Servicio de interpretación disponible   |  Предоставляются услуги переводчика   |   Có dịch vụ thông dịch   |   通訳サービスあり

Art Purchase Opportunity

Hobbs Waters, 51018, mixed media on canvas, 2018. Currently installed at the Multnomah County Health Headquarters in Portland, Oregon.

Artists from Oregon & Washington can add to the vitality of Portland’s Public Art Collection by submitting portable scale two dimensional works for purchase by the Regional Arts & Culture Council. Types of artwork that qualify for this opportunity are prints, paintings, photographs, drawings, textiles, collage, Bas relief, mosaic, glass, ceramic, and metal, intended to be hung on a wall with a 4” depth maximum. Special consideration will be given to artwork that relates to key concepts that guided the development of the Vanport Building: Ecology, Wellness, and Connectivity. Learn more about these concepts in the “About the Vanport Building” section below.

Selected artworks will initially be displayed in publicly accessible spaces in the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability offices on the 7th floor of the new Vanport Building, located at Southwest Fourth Avenue and Southwest Montgomery Streets in downtown Portland. All purchased artwork will become part of the Portable Works Public Art Collection, consisting of more than 1,300 pieces exhibited in publicly accessible buildings owned and operated by the City of Portland and Multnomah County. To view the current collection, visit our online gallery.

Submissions Due:  5 p.m., Wednesday, March 31, 2021


Selection criteria and decision-making

Selected works will strongly meet the criteria based on panel rankings, available budget, and The City of Portland and the Regional Arts & Culture Council’s commitment to supporting artists from historically under-represented communities, as well as expanding the range of artistic and cultural expression represented in the Public Art Collection.  This opportunity prioritizes Black artists, Indigenous artists, and artists of Color to acknowledge the disproportionate impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has on BIPOC communities.

A panel of artists, curators, community and City representatives will select artwork for purchase.

Find the submission information here.

Apply online in the RACC Opportunity Portal.

Funding for investments in artworks created by local Northwest artists comes from the City of Portland’s Percent for Art Program and is approximately $65,000.



Marie Watt, Part and Whole: Ripple, Hoop, Baron Mill, reclaimed wool blankets and thread, 2011. Currently installed at the Portland Building.

Learn more at two upcoming info sessions for artists

Instagram Live – 6 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 23

Follow @regionalarts on Instagram to stay informed of this and other upcoming opportunities.

On Zoom, 6 p.m., Tuesday, March 16, RSVP HERE


We’re Here to Help!

Questions about the overall opportunity?

Contact: Morgan Ritter at 503.823.5046, mritter@racc.org

Questions about the online portal and application materials?

Contact: Danielle Davis at ddavis@racc.org





About the Vanport Building

If you want to learn more about the history of the Vanport flood, see Vanport Mosaic, “The Time Nature And Racism Teamed Up To Wipe Out A Whole Town” on NPR’s Code Switch, and the “How Oregon’s Second Largest City Vanished in a Day” in the Smithsonian Magazine.

Portland State University, Portland Community College, Oregon Health & Sciences University and the City of Portland join together in the Vanport Building to share resources, enhance programs, and further expand their impact in our communities. This vibrant ecology of collaborators work together toward climate protection, energy efficiency, green building and sustainability. Natural light fills the building, creating comfortable environments to work and learn, whether in introspection or interaction. The building’s guiding principles center health and include wellness, universal access, and social justice and equity. Through this dynamic partnership, the building holds collaboration and connectivity at its core.

Learn more about the Vanport Building here.

Relief funding for arts organizations, artists, and performance spaces 2021

RACC is reposting here the latest information we have about federal, state, and local resources to support our community. Check for updates and sign up to receive RACC’s e-newsletter for timely notifications.

updated 2/24/2021

Paycheck Protection Program Round 2:

Beginning Wednesday, February 24 until March 9, the Small Business Administration will process Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan applications exclusively from businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees. The recent changes to the PPP mark a major step towards promoting equitable relief – supporting not only our nation’s smallest nonprofits, but also minority-owned small businesses that may have previously missed out on accessing emergency funds during the pandemic.

The SBA continues to issue updated guidance and forms for next phase implementation of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Following is a collection of the latest links to new information.

SBA Paycheck Protection Program Resources:

SBA Resources on PPP First Draw and Forgiveness:

SBA Resources on PPP Second Draw

Shuttered Venue Operator Grant (SVOG) News and Resources:

The Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) Grant program was established  to support “live performing arts organization operators” by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, signed into law on December 27, 2020. The program includes $15 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance.

SBA website continues to be updated with  new information so if you’re looking into either of these funding sources, it’s worth checking the website frequently.

Eligible entities will apply directly to the SBA, either via its own portal or through https://www.grants.gov/. (yet to be determined, but you can save a potential step now by signing up your venue on grants.gov.) Please note that the SVO grant program is new, unlike the PPP program, and so it is taking the SBA a little while longer to get it up and running. Find out more here:


More details as we have them.

Check for updates and sign up to receive RACC’s e-newsletter for timely notifications.

Catalyst Grants support local artists

Every year, RACC invests hundreds of thousands of dollars through Project Grants to support the creation or presentation of performances, exhibits, and other publicly accessible creative endeavors.

RACC Catalyst Grantee and Filmmaker Kanani Koster

In 2019, RACC created a special category of Project Grants specifically designed for applicants who have never before received a RACC grant. The new Catalyst Grant features a shorter and simpler application, with awards fixed at $3,000 each. These grants also come with enhanced RACC staff support to help recipients with grant administration.

Last fiscal year Catalyst Grants provided 75 first-time awardees with $225,000 in funding. We’ve received feedback from Catalyst grantees that this first experience with RACC has helped them successfully apply for other RACC grants and build their grant writing skills. Additional flexibility and support during this pandemic has also been invaluable.

In their own words, learn more about three of last year’s amazing Catalyst Grantees: filmmaker Kanani Koster, painter Ameera Saahir, and DJ and speaker designer Michael Davis-Yates.


Award-winning filmmaker Kanani Koster

“I’m a Hapa director, filmmaker, AD, and producer here in Portland. My pronouns are she, her. Hapa is Pigeon or Hawaiian for half. I’m Japanese-Hawaiian and white. That is a big part of the work that I make in a lot of different ways. I have been living in Portland for the last year and a half. Moving to Portland was the main thing that’s driven my career forward! I lived in Seattle beforehand and felt stunted and didn’t feel connected to the community. The second my partner and I landed in Portland, I started getting jobs. I started meeting the coolest people here who were supportive and excited to work on my projects and excited to have me on to help with theirs. That’s meant a lot to me. I find it essential to bring BIPOC people onto my projects and working with women-identifying people because the set is different when you have a nice mix of everyone coming together. When I was younger and middle and high school, I took a lot of film production classes. I remember I enjoyed the classes at first but eventually got frustrated. Many girls were doing those types of courses because many of the dudes would do all my work for me. They said, ‘Oh, I’m going to help you out here — you can be in front of the camera. Well, honestly, I hate being in front of a lens! I’ve always loved period pieces, mostly old westerns, but I loathe watching them because John Wayne and all these old white cowboys are unappealing to me. But I love the imagery. I love the aesthetic of it. I love the idea of what the Old West was because it was such a diverse time. You know, we had many people of color who were building our nation up. I’m filming my own stories now. ” — filmmaker Kanani Koster.

Her Catalyst Grant supported her work reclaiming nostalgic film tropes and aesthetics for diverse audience members who’ve historically been left off-screen. She is the director of the award winning short, The New Frontier, and the docu-short, Any Oregon Sunday.


Painter and business owner Ameera Saahir

“My name is Ameera Saahir. I recently turned 74. I’m an African American woman, highly educated, I grew up in southwest Portland and was gentrified to southeast Portland; been here 16 years. I’m an artist and business owner. I was looking into my ancestry. That’s where the idea came up for the show that the Regional Arts and Culture Council funded. I’ve always captured stories and ideas. I found out from talking to family members that we have a narrative that has been circulating within our family at the family reunion. I took that information, the story, and I modeled my art exhibit after the milestones that the narrator had left for us. I took our family and I put it into historical references. Then I started looking into the story of the African migration. I’m from a large family. I saw family members becoming homeless, and I was like…oh, no. My own sister was living in terrible transitional housing; it became personal. I went backward instead of going forwards, and I traced through that story, and I looked at the housing. It started in Africa. I made some paintings of housing. There’s a slave ship called Minerva in my family history story. The woman who was captured and enslaved and brought here from Africa, well, her name was Minerva Jane. In my research, I learned—and I went, it took me months, but I traced it back—that was the name of the slave ship. That’s where our story begins. I have the narrative. I found records of the ship that carried my ancestors.” — Painter Ameera Saahir

Her Catalyst Grant supported the creation of a series of paintings called “Uninhabitable Living Conditions”. The pieces connect historical images of slave ships and sharecropping with transitional housing for African Americans.


DJ and speaker designer Michael Davis-Yates

“As a kid, I was kind of an oddball nerd, and I spent a lot of time alone as an only child, even though I had pretty hardcore group of friends in my neighborhood. I always found time for myself to find things out by breaking electronics by accident and then taking them apart with a screwdriver to see what was inside. Junior High was a big one; I blew up my first speaker with too much power from an amplifier. The smell of the electronic smoking and the impact of the driver blowing out was pretty cool. I wanted to know more, and I kept with it. Yeah, I’m a huge nerd. I still keep a day job, which was heavily brought to me due to Cstm Math and my speaker building. It all turned into a portfolio. Now I’m working for a company that I’ve been with for about four years that’s in Portland. We build studio monitor speakers for professional recording studios. That takes up a lot of my time. I’ve been DJing at night and on weekends (until COVID hit). Now I’ve gotten a lot more time to focus back into things and realizing that there is no rush. The ideas are there and working on them and making them better has been a great asset to me. I’m making speakers and boomboxes. A lot of my boombox work now has been based around vector recreations of retro boomboxes, or imagination stuff that pops out. I work with plywood mostly. Laminated plywood is my favorite thing to work with, stacking the layers of Baltic birch to get a really cool edge effect. My biggest dream would be chilling somewhere, in a small manufacturing shop, making stuff.” — DJ and speaker designer Michael Davis-Yates.

His Catalyst Grant was for “Custom Mathematics”, a series of speakers he designed and hand-built from the ground up, inspired by teachings from the Nation of Islam as well as the spirit of classic vintage boomboxes.


Check out more stories about local artists, and see these ones, on RACC’s Instagram and Facebook pages.

Montavilla wine shop bets on jazzy future

Vino Veritas, located in Portland’s Montavilla neighborhood, features live jazz music

In mid-November, the day that Governor Brown’s 4-week “freeze” in Multnomah County went into effect, Vino Veritas General Manager, Trevor Gorham called RACC. Trevor was anxious to learn when his wine shop, Vino Veritas, would receive their grant funding. In business since April 2017, Vino Veritas is a small wine bar and bottle shop located in the Montavilla neighborhood of Southeast Portland with a devoted following thanks, in part, to their live music. They started offering music when the owner’s son asked if his band could play at the shop one-night a week. Customers liked it and before long, they had a robust rotation of jazz trios and other small groups playing live sets throughout the week. Because they normally provide a performance space, Vino Veritas was eligible for a portion of the $2.5 million in PDX Cares Venues funding administered through a partnership between Prosper Portland and the Regional Arts & Culture Council.

Jazz Concert – Eunice Parsons, 1984

After the initial shut down order in March, Vino Veritas pivoted their business model. They kept their doors open by focusing on phone and on-line orders bottle sales and offering curbside pick-up or delivery. As summer approached and restrictions loosened, they resumed more of their regular operations. Continuing to innovate, they added virtual programming, including on-line wine tastings. They also brought back the music. “At first our outside area could only hold a solo musician or a duo,” Trevor explained. Their customers responded, returning to Vino Veritas to enjoy the music and regain a feeling of normalcy. They expanded the covered area to hold a trio and a larger audience. “It meant so much to the musicians – and to the customers – to have live music again,” he added.

In April, Vino Veritas received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan but decided not to take the full amount. Like many, they underestimated the impact the virus would have on their business and were unsure of all the strings attached. “We also wanted to be sure other businesses like us had access to the funds,” Trevor explained. “When we first got the news (about the PDX CARES grant) we were speechless. This additional money helps us so much. We can now see the end and see how we are going to get through this.”

Support Beam Round Two Funded through PDXCARES Announced

We are excited to announce 17  additional artists selected to receive financial support through our Support Beam initiative.

Support Beam is designed to support emerging artists’ long-term creative practice and livelihood during an unprecedented time. This new opportunity prioritizes Black artists, Indigenous artists, and artists of color to acknowledge the disproportionate historical and ongoing systemic inequities, and the impact this pandemic is having on BIPOC communities.

Inspired by the depression-era Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.), this program utilizes City of Portland PDXCARES (#PDXCARES) funding to commission a piece of public art without restriction to media or themes, and aspires to sustain as many artists as possible during a precarious economic and political time.

Through intentional efforts like these, our public art begins to more accurately represent the many distinct communities who enliven our region. Learn more about the artists selected for initial round of Support Beam.

Over the coming months, Support Beam artists are giving us a peek into their art practices, studios, works in progress, and creative lives. Follow along with their posts and stories on Instagram at #raccsupportbeam.





Iván Carmona



Jodie Cavalier



Daniela del Mar



Sade DuBoise



Sarah Farahat



Marcelo Fontana



Tiana Garoogian



Laura Camila Medina



Lucia Monge



Dana Paresa



Diego Morales-Portillo



Ameera Saahir



Orquidia Velasquez



Mike Vos



Tazha Williams



Tammy Jo Wilson


Limei Lai Mural Signals Return of Fresh Paint Temporary Mural Program Partnership

New mural artist Limei Lai

Artist Limei Lai’s new mural, Together, enlivens the street scape at Open Signal located on NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Portland. This is the seventh mural to adorn Open Signal’s exterior as part of the Fresh Paint program. A partnership between Open Signal and RACC, Fresh Paint is a professional development program providing emerging artists of color with the opportunity to paint a public mural in a high-traffic setting for the first time. Artists learn new ways of creating art for public spaces and build their portfolio. For several artists, the mural projects have lead to other public commissions or opportunities.

Limei Lai’s mural, Together, depicts three generations of women.

The mural depicts three generations of women. “The world is extremely beautiful and fun in the kid’s eyes; it is a complex chaos in the woman’s eyes; it is where the loved ones live in grandma’s eyes. The present and the past, the here and there, we are all in this world together, weeping and smiling and hugging, celebrating women’s lives and the world community,” notes the artist.

Lai, originally from China and now based in Portland, is currently getting her Bachelor’s degree at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. In paint, fabric and clay, she explores themes of change, weakness, and aging through generational stories. Her work is informed by her experiences as an immigrant and her Chinese roots. She believes that art not only evokes issues and problems in society, it celebrates the beauty of this world in its entirety.

This work marks a return for the program, which took a hiatus as Oregonians were directed to stay at home due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The piece was completed on Sept. 28, 2020, and will remain on display until March 2021.

Capturing the Moment – Call to Portland Artists and Creatives

Interpretation services available, email info@racc.org

Servicio de interpretación disponible   |  Предоставляются услуги переводчика   |   Có dịch vụ thông dịch   |   通訳サービスあり

Application window closed Monday, Oct. 26.

Artists are essential. In times of crisis, artists express what they see and feel, helping us process what we are going through, activating, and uplifting the community.

Capturing the Moment is a new call for Black artists, Indigenous artists, and all artists of color to submit works in all media created in this moment. ANY work that captures a creative response to the COVID-19 global pandemic and Black Lives Matter movement, racial justice protests, and/or the political environment of the moment. Submissions of all media will be considered – murals, paintings, photos, films, essays, poetry, performances captured on film or video, posters, stickers, t-shirt art, etc.

This new call aims to reflect and record this time of change, uncertainty, loss, and hope. It will continue to serve and showcase some of the work emerging from artists and creatives at this moment in our history. Artist submissions selected for Capturing the Moment will be shared via RACC and the City of Portland communication channels including digital formats and social media accounts.

Supported with City of Portland #PDXCARES funding dedicated to Black artists, Indigenous artists, and all artists of color who reside in the City of Portland.

Hampton Rodriguez, Bike, 2019, newspaper on canvas, 12 x7. Recent addition to Visual Chronicle of Portland


  • RACC will purchase actual physical artworks/memorabilia of all media. (Framing will be provided by RACC, as appropriate.)
  • RACC will also purchase written works, digital images of works, digital recordings of performances, etc. to show/use through RACC & the City of Portland’s communication channels.

Only works created since March 2020 will be considered. Selected artists will receive up to $1,500 per individual. The overall budget for this initiative is $38,000.

A panel of RACC staff and BIPOC curators selected by RACC will review and curate artist submissions. RACC reserves the right to select works from artists and creatives who do not directly apply to this call, if appropriate.


This opportunity serves artists who reside in the City of Portland only. Funds may only be awarded for submissions from Black artists, Indigenous artists, and artists of color who meet the eligibility criteria.

Additionally, priority will be given to artists who have not received RACC Support Beam 2020 commissions or a 2020 Project Grant or are not already well represented in Portland’s Portable Works Public Art Collection.

Elijah Hasan, See It Through, 2019, Inkjet print, 11×14. Recent addition to Portland Visual Chronicle.


All artwork for consideration must be submitted through RACC’s Opportunity Portal: racc.org/apply.

Artists must create an account, or log into their existing account. Instructions in the opportunity portal will guide you through the process. Incomplete submission forms cannot be considered.

Once you have started your Capturing the Moment submission form, you can save after each step and sign out. Your proposal will be saved as a draft you can continue to work on as needed. Complete all the tasks and hit “Submit.” Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions during the process.


Artists must include the following in their proposal:

  • Up to eight (8) works that “Capture the Moment,” including images, writing, or video. File size should be no larger than 5 megabytes. The .jpg format, PDF format, or links to video work online is preferred. Provide no more than two (2) images per artwork/item. For each submission, provide title, media, dimensions/length, date produced, and (if applicable) background or conceptual information.
  • Artist bio: A short paragraph that briefly describes your artistic practice (150-200 words).
  • Applicant demographics
  • Applicant W-9 form

Contact hnkent@racc.org

We’re Here to Help! Talk with the Program Staff. Ask questions and seek help early; last minute help can be in short supply.

If you have questions about the RACC application portal or if using the application portal presents a barrier to applying, contact Ingrid Carlson: icarlson@racc.org.


Application closes 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 26, 2020.

Use RACC’s Opportunity Portal to apply racc.org/apply


Give Because There Is A Need

by Carol Tatch, Director of Philanthropic Innovation

What a pleasure to join the staff of RACC in August 2020. Already I have had a whirlwind of opportunities, learning more about our creative community, connect with folx, and work with my colleagues to envision our “next”!  In this new role, Director of Philanthropic Innovation, I am thrilled to be charged with helping to imagine new and renewed ways to harness resources for this region’s incredible arts communities. As RACC repositions itself to increase support for artists, the creative economy, and arts organizations, we also look to steward and expand community investments by working with local partners across sectors as an advocate for this work. I am grateful for those who worked diligently over RACC’s 47 years, 25 years as a 501(c)(3), to make this moment possible for me.

Dana Paresa, Under Quarantine II, 2020, new acquisition to the Visual Chronicle of Portland

I look forward to each conversation and engagement that helps this happen. I encourage your participation and your challenge to RACC to serve our community – and our partners – in thoughtful, forward-thinking, and life-affirming ways. Without our creativity, we are not whole. Let’s embrace the change we want to see and make it happen for our creative community and for each of us. Supporting Arts and Culture supports us all.

As some funding opportunities are receding, we are seeking to new opportunities to gather partners to invest in the artistic and cultural expressions that bind us all together and help to shape the better world we want to live in. From every level of our communities, artists are using their powers of self-expression to radically change the prevailing narrative. They are creating new stories and imagining new frameworks for how we continue the work of social justice, social change, and racial equity reform that starts at the community-level and reaches high into political spaces where deep conversations make real change.

When (RACC) pivoted its grantmaking focus this spring to support artists and creative impacted by COVID-19, we knew it was the right thing to do. As a part of that effort, our Emergency Fund for Artists and Creative Workers was launched in an effort to support the most vulnerable amongst of creative community during this time. The over 800 applications we received from creatives in our community let us know it was the correct action.

Thanks to our wonderful donors and community partners we are able to report that we have met the need of over 50% of these requests. Our sincerest appreciation and gratitude to every person who saw or heard our request and responded to help anchor our artists so strongly. Each award is $500 and the application process is simple—let us know that you have need.

“What absolutely extraordinary news!! I am so grateful for this critical assistance. It feels so good to be held-up a bit by my community. Thank you again.” – Emergency Fund grant recipient

We would like to keep this outlaying of direct community funding going, so please consider a gift to our Emergency Fund for Artists and Creative Workers. Every penny goes to support the incredible artistic and cultural expression we love to embrace and share.

We accept gifts via credit card, direct debit (sign up to become a sustainer!), and stock. Click this link to support your creative community today! You can also send your support via U.S. Postal Service to our office: RACC, 411 NW Park Ave., Suite 101, Portland OR 97209-3356.

Chanda Evans, our new Arts Education and Access Fund Specialist

A note from Chanda Evans the new Arts Education and Access Fund Specialist (AEAF) at RACC.

What is the role of the Arts Education and Access Fund Specialist at RACC?

A large part of my role at RACC is to support and advocate for our arts education teachers. RACC teachers are in six school districts throughout the Portland Metro area. In 2012, the Portland voters passed the Art Education Access Fund (Art Tax) with overwhelming support. In addition to supporting more than 90 music, dance, theater and visual arts teachers in Portland’s public schools, the Art Education Access Fund provides support to other art organizations in the greater Portland Metro area. RACC also works with The Arts Oversight Committee, required in the measure approved by voters to ensure we comply with the funding and City of Portland requirements.

What does advocating for arts education mean for RACC?

It’s my job to listen, support, and help navigate systems for our teachers and advocate on their behalf. RACC participates on numerous committees, which engage, advocate for, and support our community in arts education. Partnerships are a critical component of the work that RACC does in arts education and we have ongoing relationships with many regional organizations and a few on the national level, like the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. It is part of my responsibility to maintain these relationships and work to develop new ones.

What do you hope to accomplish in this new role?

I will continue to focus on what really matters – the stories we tell connect us to the greater world. We use art as that medium for expression. It is no different for our students. Without sustained and continued support for arts education, we will deplete our community of creative, critical thinkers. Arts education is one of the threads that binds us. Covid-19 has not changed that. Most of us acknowledge arts education is essential;  I want to support an equitable education for our students and eliminate their barriers to success.


Millions in new state and local funding is coming available for arts non-profits and artists, performing arts spaces, music venues, and small businesses. Timelines are short. Read below to see where you or your organization can tap into these new resources.

Watch our COVID-19 resources page for details on new grants and relief opportunities as we know them.

#PDXCARES Venues Funding – Application Closed

Funds for performing arts spaces, music venues, independent film theaters

In July Portland City Council allocated $2.5 million in federal COVID relief funding for Portland-based businesses and non-profit organizations that program  public space for music, dance, and independent film and that are unable to open until Phase III of the state’s re-opening due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health shutdown.

Up to $2 million will be available in grants ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 for commercial entities with eligible expenses related to the coronavirus closure in accordance with federal requirements.  An additional $500,000 is dedicated to non-profit entities for the same purpose.

Priority will be placed on supporting applicant organizations that are led by or serve Black, Indigenous, and all people of color (BIPOC) community members, that have not previously received other state funds, or that present or partner with local artists and musicians.  The federal CARES Act requires that funding be used only to cover expenses that are necessary expenditures incurred due to the economic shutdown and that were incurred during the period that began on March 1, 2020, and ends on Dec. 30, 2020.

Prosper Portland and RACC will host a panel review process. Staff will screen for eligibility and priority
criteria. Panels made up of a diverse group of community representatives will review eligible
applications using the following priority and review criteria. More details in the application guidelines.

Businesses and organizations apply here www.racc.org/apply Application closes 5 p.m.,  Monday, Nov. 2.

Read the FAQ for more details.


With City of Portland #PDXCARES funding, RACC offers a new call for submissions from Black artists, Indigenous artists, and all artists of color living in Portland.

Capturing the Moment is a new call for artists and designers of all media to submit works created in this moment. ANY work that captures a creative response to the global pandemic, Black Lives Matter movement, racial justice protests, and/or the political environment of the moment. Submissions of all media will be considered – murals, paintings, photography, essays, poetry, performances, posters, stickers, t-shirt art, etc.

Application closed Monday, Oct. 26, 5 p.m. 

Read the full description and find out how to apply here: https://racc.smapply.org


New Round of Small Business Assistance Grants – application closed Sept. 24, 2020

Individual cities and counties have their own deadlines and requirements for these funds.

Resources and information here: https://www.mesopdx.org/grants/

Opened Sept. 14 in Portland: https://prosperportland.us/[portfolio-items][portland-small-business-relief-fund]

In Washington County: https://www.co.washington.or.us/CAO/business-recovery.cfm



Application Closed – Oregon Cultural Trust Coronavirus Relief Funds

Funding for Cultural Nonprofits and Community Venues

When: Application closed Aug. 24 at noon.

Cultural Coalitions in each county will help make funding decisions by September 14.

Find out more about how the City of Portland allocated $114 million in federal CARES ACT funding

Learn more about State COVID Relief funding for arts and music


Keep any eye out here and on our COIVD-19 resources page for more updates.

Five muralists transform vacant building in Chinatown/Japantown

Diverse local artists commissioned in Portland

Last weekend, five local artists began new murals on boarded up sections of the former House of Louis restaurant, located in Portland’s Chinatown/Japantown Historic District (NW Fourth and Davis). The murals add to the building’s colorful and distinct façade. The Old Town Community Association is managing the project with funding for the artists provided by the Regional Arts & Culture Council.

Although many businesses throughout Portland closed their doors in March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the House of Louis restaurant has sat shuttered since January 2018. It was the last Dim Sum restaurant to operate in Old Town. The buildings new murals face a section of NW Davis Street designated the Davis Festival Street, recently revitalized and restored by the Association.

“So many artists out there creating important work are not being paid. We were thrilled to be brought into this project to support individual artists financially, provide a platform for diverse voices, and give the community something inspiring and beautiful,” said the art council’s Executive Director, Madison Cario.

The five commissioned artists:

  • Amaranta Colindres*
  • Latoya Lovely
  • Rebecca Rodelo*
  • Yasmin Correa*
  • Devin Finley

*pictured above

The Regional Arts & Culture Council’s murals program is designed to deepen our communities’ sense of place, uplift diverse voices, tell stories and empower local artists.

Regional Arts & Culture Council elects new board members

On July 1, Parker Lee became RACC’s new board chair, succeeding Linda McGeady who will serve as Chair Emeritus until June 30, 2021. Founder and managing partner of the design consultancy, Territory, and co-author of “The Art of Opportunity,” Parker Lee is a veteran of the technology, entertainment and sports marketing industries.

Joining Parker on the Executive Committee are Treasurer James Smith, and Secretary Frances Portillo. The Vice Chair position remains open.

The RACC board also elected three new members. Full board and staff profiles are available online at racc.org/about/staff-board.


Shani Marie Harris-Bagwell

Shani recently launched Shani Bagwell Consulting, a firm focusing on EDI and accessibility, committed to empowering underserved communities, and giving voice to the voiceless. She serves on the Basic Rights Oregon Equity PAC Board, the Multnomah County Commission Audit Review Committee, and the Portland Bureau of Transportation Pricing Options for Equity for Mobility Committee. Shani holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance with an emphasis in Contemporary Commercial Music. She has performed throughout the United States and internationally.

Gender Pronouns: She/Her/Hers


Leesha Posey

Leesha Posey is an organizational leader, small business coach, educator and advocate for intentional and purposeful equity, diversity and inclusion. She is currently the Equity Manager for the City of Portland’s Bureau of Development Services. She is a member of the Community Budget Review Committee for Portland Public Schools, National Forum for Black Public Administrators, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People as well as the other local and national organizations. She has served as co-chair for the North/Northeast Community Development Initiative Oversight Committee for Prosper Portland, and is an alumna of Emerge Oregon Leadership program.

Gender Pronouns: She/Her/Hers


Nathan Rix

Nathan is passionate about elevating the social value of public art because of how it influences the imagination of Oregonians. Nathan is currently the Deputy Director, Strategy & Policy with the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. Nathan has served on numerous non-profit and public sector boards and commissions that serve the tri-county area (Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas counties), including as the Chairman of the Budget Committee with the City of Tigard. He currently serves as a Commissioner with Oregon Volunteers, which funds state-based AmeriCorps programs and promotes service, volunteerism and civic engagement across all of Oregon diverse communities.

Gender Pronouns: He/Him/His


Support Beam artists announced

by Morgan Ritter, Support Beam Project Manager, Public Art Exhibitions & Collections Coordinator

Support Beam intends to strengthen artists towards a long-term re-imagination and multi-pronged activation of their work, with no restrictions on media. Participating artists will contribute virtual work-in-progress share-outs which will be released on RACC’s web and social media platforms—follow along! At the conclusion of the artists’ work period, one art piece will be acquired into the Portable Works Public Art Collection.

Support Beam is not structured by simple transaction or purchase; its goal is to support artists’ long-term creative practice and livelihood, outside of a fixed expectation of production. Inspired by the depression-era Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.), this program utilizes “Percent for Art” funds from Multnomah County to commission a body of public art without restriction to media or themes, and aspires to sustain as many artists as possible during a precarious economic and political time.

This new opportunity prioritizes Black artists, Indigenous artists, and artists of color for several reasons. Initially this prioritization was made to acknowledge the disproportionate impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has on BIPOC communities. With the rise of racial justice movements, and our country’s expansive confrontation and dialogue around privilege, we collectively began to define this disproportionate impact as a direct result of historical and ongoing systemic inequities. In addition, the Public Art Collection is being increasingly diversified. Through these Support Beam additions, and intentional additions to the Visual Chronicle of Portland, the collection begins to more accurately represent the many distinct communities who enliven our region.

The artists were selected by a group of panel members that similarly reflect the artist community Support Beam is intended to uplift and give voice. This panel of artists, arts workers, County staff and writers reviewed almost 200 artist applications and, through hours of conversation and collective decision making, awarded about 10 percent of artists who applied.

Panelists included:

  • Sharita Towne
  • Monique Smiley
  • Jiseon Lee Isbara
  • Matthew Juniper
  • Garrick Imatani

With pleasure, we announce the first round of recipients:

John Akira Harrold


Jessica Mehta


garima thakur


manuel arturo abreu


Donovan Smith


Tabitha Nikolai & deSolid State

https://tabithanikolai.com/, desolidstate.com

Jonathan Sanders

Alan Page


Lehuauakea Fernandez


Daren Todd

Maya Vivas


Ivan Salcido


rubén garcía marrufo


Terresa White




Patricia Vázquez Gómez


Beck Smith


Mami Takahashi


Eddie Melendrez


Time for Review of Public Art

The toppling of the statue of George Washington on June 18, 2020, is part of our critical national conversation about systemic racism and injustice. Portland is part of this conversation as people examine the point of view these statues represent and consider the impact on Black Portlanders.

Last Wednesday, City Council adopted six core values to guide the City’s decision-making and workplace culture: anti-racism, equity, transparency, communication, collaboration, and fiscal responsibility. Together, the City Arts Program and the Regional Arts & Culture Council are working to determine what pieces in the public art collection no longer align with the City’s values. RACC has a short list of statues in the collection that have been identified by staff and community members as problematic or harmful. RACC is preparing to make a recommendation to the City about pieces that should be removed from the public collection.

The City Arts Program also intends to work with RACC over the coming months to review the entire collection, including portable works. But with more than 2000 pieces, that will take time, research, listening and learning.

George Washington statue, toppled by protesters, June 18, 2020

Standing for Justice

This past week has been devastating, with the murder of George Floyd painfully following so many others who were also victims of state-sanctioned violence. Systemic racism and white supremacy need to be stopped. The impact of what is going on across this country, across Portland, and in our neighborhoods is – all-at-once – deeply traumatic, long overdue, relevant and impossible and it feels wildly inappropriate to just jump back to business-as-usual. Going back is not an option.

At RACC we are working to create an equitable, diverse, inclusive, and accessible organization. The process is long. For many it is painfully slow, and for others, still inadequate. While we have had successes making our programs more equitable; we are struggling to center the voices of those that have been systematically marginalized. We have blind spots.

As the leader of this organization, I know I must do more, do it better, and do it now. Recognizing and acknowledging structural inequities that exclude individuals and communities from opportunities based on race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, class, age, and geography is not enough. We must act to counter those inequities and biases in ourselves and our work. I commit myself and this organization to stand in solidarity with others who are doing this work.  

This is the time for our community to come together and take action for justice. Whether we are standing shoulder to shoulder, supporting from behind or leading from the front – there are many ways that those who are non-BIPOC can, and should, show up. I hope you will join us as we stand with artists, activists, organizers, and communities working together to make change.

 –  Madison Cario, Executive Director

RACC has developed a list of places your money or your volunteer time can have a direct impact for Black communities –  local, regional and national organizations where you can show up, connect, donate, volunteer. Please share:

Don’t Shoot Portland

Black United Fund
For over 30 years, Black United Fund of Oregon has been committed to providing financial support and life-changing programs for low-income communities and communities of color in Oregon. The ultimate goal of the Black United Fund of Oregon (BUF) is to increase opportunities for growth by encouraging philanthropic activity in our state and putting funds in the hands of organizations providing resources for underserved communities.

Coalition of Communities of Color
The Coalition of Communities of Color’s mission is to address the socioeconomic disparities, institutional racism, and inequity of services experienced by our families, children and communities; and to organize our communities for collective action resulting in social change to obtain self-determination, wellness, justice and prosperity.

The Portland African American Leadership Forum helps our Black community imagine the alternatives we deserve and build our civic participation and leadership to achieve those alternatives.

NAACP of Portland

The NAACP of Portland works to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights of all persons and eliminating racial hatred and discrimination.

The Urban League of Portland
The Urban League of Portland’s mission is to empower African-Americans and others to achieve equality in education, employment, health, economic security and quality of life.

The MRG Foundation
The MRG Foundation believes in the power of collective action to change the world.

Our message to audiences is: “Please stay with us. We’re in this together.”

Arts consultant George Thorn on strategizing for a post-COVID world

By Joni Renee Whitworth


George Thorn is a co-founder of Arts Action Research, a national arts-consulting group. The focus of his consulting is the Regional Arts & Cultural Council’s Cultural Leadership Program. He also co-leads RACC’s Art of Leadership, a six-part board training program offered annually. More about George, below.

George shared his thoughts about navigating the uncertainty of this pandemic and creating a strategy for engaging with artists and audiences. 


Arts and culture will never be needed more than they are today. Considering artists and arts organizations, we know that everyone’s going to be hurt in some way, except for the very wealthy. There are a lot of people and a lot of sectors’ going to hurt really, really badly. That’s the world that we are inhabiting. Our message to audiences is: “Please stay with us. We’re in this together.”

What’s the next step for arts orgs in putting together a strategic plan for after the pandemic? Some people are in relatively good shape, some of them really have cash flow problems, whatever it is. We know that we’re not going to go back to the way it was. It’s going to be a very different reality. It’s time to ask the leadership of each organization to begin to envision what they think this new reality will be for them, how they begin to think about it, what needs to be in it, who needs to be in it, what are the needs within that, what do we need to learn? Knowing as they develop this vision of the next reality, they’ll have to be very adaptive and keep learning.

How are we going to evolve? We need a very simple sort of plan of evolution and financial framework and a programmatic framework. With that plan, which will keep changing, leaders can say to everyone who’s close to them, “This is what we know now. These are things we’re envisioning. We have a timeline that we want to begin. We have intended to do this project here and there. At a certain point, we have made a decision whether or not we can do that project.” Then it’s a matter of helping keep that information going. So, as an arts leader, you’re really saying, “Knowing what we don’t know, so and so, what we’re doing, please stay with us, we’re in this together. We can’t wait to get back into a room with you, with artists making art.”

There is a point of no return. If we want to do a show in October, what’s the point of no return when we have to do that, when we have to make that decision? What artists are doing now, in terms of streaming and video, that’s all testing. Is this a good experience for the artists? Is this a good experience for the audience? It’s different from someone teaching yoga. I think it’s pretty straight ahead. We could consider hosting one-person shows, but we also know that people at some point will want to get into a room again with artists making their work, or get into a gallery to see art in person.

I had some contact with some arts leaders, and they said, “We don’t know anything, so we can’t plan.” Well, now’s the time to plan, because if we wait till we know everything, we’ll be too far behind. A good example of someone who’s doing good work is Samantha from Shaking the Tree Theatre. When the pandemic began, I said, “Samantha, so what are you doing?”

She said, “I spent half the day in the office. The other half of the day, I’m in the theater. I’m painting eight, six by eight panels. I’m working with a sound engineer and a lighting engineer. I’m going to create an immersive experience called Refuge.” That production may have a life in the fall. But this is the artist’s way of thinking: “I want to be back in the studio. I want to be making work.”

Art’s now going to be redefined in different ways by different people. What is that connection with audiences, with readers, with gallery goers?

Artists give us perspective. They give us a way of thinking. It’s in their responses to what they’re seeing and hearing and thinking about. We saw that so much after 9/11: people went out eventually, but they wanted a wide range of things. Some people wanted Beethoven. Some people wanted to laugh, so they went to a comedy club. Some people needed to write. We will come back together, but people will want to experience art in a very personal way, and in all forms: theater, dance, music, literary, AR/XR, visuals. We may get some new audiences through that. Some people may not think of going into a performance venue, but they somehow got into streaming one artist or another online during COVID-19. Oregon Shakespeare Festival is streaming video of shows they’ve done, but it’s a different experience.

Many arts organizations want “the younger audience”. In Gen Z, everyone is a storyteller, a videographer. They’re making work. They’re showing their work. They’re influencers. They participate; their communication is totally participatory. Most traditional art is observational; you sit and observe – a totally different experience. Smart arts leaders need to think about how to market, then, to these people. Normally, when you go into a theater, the house lights go to half, then you turn off your phones and devices. We may be ready to change that model. We need to be thinking about meeting everyone’s needs and making art more participatory. We do have examples of, “After the show, please go on the web and leave a comment”, but that’s not a real talk back; that is still observing.

Now, if we have phones out at a concert, the older audience may resist it. They want to have a singular focus. We have tension there. It’s time to address it. This is an interesting space. Let’s see if there is some other way to address this, creatively. This is what artists do every day. Artists come up with an idea for a project, whatever it is, and they invest in that, whether it’s a single artist or a group project, it’s about problem solving. What they do is they solve problems, they have vision! There’s never enough time, people or money, but they still make it happen. How do we collaborate, who do we need to collaborate with? Where is our audience and our buyers? What artists do every day is solve problems, move forward, have a vision, and keep the project going. In that way, the pandemic is not as new – this is the type of thinking artists do every day.

For any artist starting any project, there’s a risk. You have no idea how it’s going to turn out, whether anyone’s going to be interested in it, what’s the audience that we want for this work, etc. But we do have a process. Scientists and artists share a process: trial, discovery, vision. With a scientific process, the idea is someone puts forth an assumption, and everybody does everything they can do to disprove it. If you can’t disprove it, it becomes a new reality. With making art, someone puts forth an assumption and through collaboration and work and so forth, something new and larger is created. The making of art, the creative process, is the best planning, problem solving and decision-making process available to human beings. I’m amazed every day by what artists make with so little. 

George Thorn works as a consultant in all aspects of organizational development as well as making presentations to conferences and workshops. In parallel with his consulting activities, for eighteen years he directed the graduate program in Arts Administration at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. He was the Associate Director of FEDAPT. Prior to these activities, he was the Executive Vice-President of the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. George spent sixteen years in New York where he had a general management firm that managed Broadway, Off-Broadway, and touring companies. George began his career as a stage manager of Broadway productions. In 1996, he relocated to Portland, Oregon, to open the West Coast office of Arts Action Research. In Portland, he has consulted with over three hundred and fifty arts and cultural organizations and artists.

Announcing two new calls for public art; more support for artists

In response to the impact on artists of COVID-19, the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) announces two calls for new public art; an initiative to further emerging visual artists making work in Oregon and Southwest Washington and a direct purchase of artwork for the Visual Chronicle of Portland. Eligible artists may apply to either or both opportunities.

Consistent with RACC’s equity framework, the selection panels will prioritize submissions from artists not already well represented in the Portable Works Public Art Collection including Black and Indigenous artists, and artists of color.

The Visual Chronicle of Portland – a collection of works on paper that portray artists’ perceptions of what makes the city of Portland, Oregon unique. The budget for new acquisitions is $15,000. To serve as many artists as possible, individual pieces must be priced no more than $1,000. Funding is from the City of Portland.

Submission Closing: Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 5 p.m. PST.

Support Beam – intended to strengthen artists towards the production of new work over a period of three to six months. The overall budget for this initiative is $70,000. Selected artists will receive between $3,000 and $5,000. Funding is from Multnomah County’s Percent for Art Program.

Submission Closing: Wednesday, June 3, 2020 at 5 p.m. PST.

Details about the new calls for public art.


Two new supports announced for our artists and art organization partners

Arts and culture organizations, individual artists and creative workers need support now – we have been uniquely impacted and are among the first folks hurt financially by the limits on public gatherings and physical distancing requirements. 

That is why RACC moved quickly to advocate for and provide relief to the arts community. Our first actions included setting up the Emergency Fund for Individual Artists and bringing together arts funders from around the state to create a one-stop, pooled fund for nonprofit arts organizations administered by the Oregon Community Foundation. 

Last week, more than 200 artists were awarded emergency funds of up to $500. Next week, awards will go out to another 100+ artists – thanks to generous community support (donate here). 

We’ve been asking  what other support can we offer to artists and art organizations right now? 

I’m pleased to say we announced today two new efforts 

Two new calls for public art  $85,000 total to invest in artists from Oregon and Southwest Washington, including new acquisitions of art for The Visual Chronicle of Portland. Find out more on our website – submissions due end of May. 

Distribution of $800,000 from RACC reserves directly to our local arts organization partners this fiscal yearThese additional funds will go to the 68 arts organizations already receiving annual awards of general operating AND capacity building support from RACC. The reserve funds are available thanks to Portland residents that voted for and paid into the Arts Education and Access Fund also known as the “arts tax”. In 2018 RACC was given an unexpected allocation of arts tax revenue collected by the city. While much of that windfall went directly to our partners, placed a portion of those funds in reserve for the unexpected – such as we are now facing. 

We know the toll this pandemic is taking on our creative community and arts organizations. That is why we’ve moved quickly to provide emergency relief – collecting data, mobilizing resources and collaborating with other funding partners on behalf of artists and our arts nonprofits.  

We must also be strategic about what will follow, planning for the future and how to fortify and rebuild the region’s arts ecosystem. I look forward to continuing our work together on behalf of the artists and arts community that will help all of us build and heal our City.

-Madison Cario, Executive Director, Regional Arts & Culture Council