RACC Blog

Fresh Paint Opportunity Re-Opens to First Time Muralists

Artist standing on a ladder painting image of a person on a wall mural

Artist Eric Mbungu Mpwo works on his Fresh Paint mural

Open Signal had a wall. We had experience creating murals. Salvador Mayoral, who facilitates our Public Art Murals Program, recalls how Fresh Paint, the partnership to provide emerging Black and brown artists a place to become muralists, got its start. “We were looking for a high visibility spot for a temporary mural pilot project,” he said. Open Signal’s Director of Strategy, Rebecca Burrell, remembers, “We were looking for a way to bring visibility to our mission and bring more art into our neighborhood.” The two organizations joined forces and their new initiative, Fresh Paint, kicked off in 2017. Since then, 10 artists have been selected to paint a temporary mural on an exterior wall of Open Signal’s building facing the highly visible Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Each mural is hosted for at least four months and then painted over in preparation for the next artist.

Installation Dates for Murals
  • October 2021 – March 2022
  • April 2022 – September 2022
The Opportunity

Fresh Paint is a professional development initiative providing emerging artists of color with a paid opportunity to paint a public mural for the first time in Portland. “We wanted artists who didn’t have experience as muralists but the desire to create murals get the support and resources they need to develop a new skill set and build their portfolio,” Mayoral explained. For several artists, the mural projects have led to other public commissions or funding opportunities. The wall currently features Limei Lai’s mural, Together.

RACC and Open Signal, announce a new call for Fresh Paint muralists. Interested artists have until July 14th, 2021 to apply. To qualify for the opportunity, artists must live in the greater Portland metropolitan area, defined as Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties in Oregon and Clark County in Washington. The selected artists receive a commission for their participation and are offered the opportunity to engage with a range of resources at Open Signal, including the use of equipment.

To be considered, artists can submit information about their background and interest through RACC’s online application portal. No proposals are required. Because the program is designed to support artists in establishing their careers, applicants may not have received any public art commission through RACC nor created an official exterior mural in the City of Portland. Regional Arts & Culture Council’s Public Art Murals Program will run the selection process, relying on past Fresh Paint muralists to review submissions and recommend which new artists should be selected.

Get Help with your Application

Questions regarding the application platform and materials and project’s process/timeline?

CONTACT: Salvador Mayoral IV at 503.823.5865, smayoral@racc.org

Artist Information Sessions
  • Monday, June 14 at noon on Instagram Live. Follow @regionalarts on Instagram to stay informed of this and other upcoming opportunities.
  • Tuesday, June 22 at 6 p.m. on Zoom. RSVP here.

Questions about the Zoom info session or need special accommodations to attend?

CONTACT: Daniela Serna at 503.288.1515 ext. 931 daniela@opensignalpdx.org.

 

About Open Signal

Open Signal is a media arts center making media production possible for anyone and everyone in Portland, Oregon. Launched in 2017, the center builds upon the 35-year legacy of Portland Community Media to create a resource totally unique in the Pacific Northwest. Open Signal offers media workshops, a public equipment library, artist residencies and five cable channels programmed with locally produced content. Open Signal delivers media programming with a commitment to creativity, technology and social change. Learn more at opensignalpdx.org.

About the Regional Arts & Culture Council

An independent non-profit organization, the Regional Arts & Culture Council supports greater Portland’s creative economy by equitably providing 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. RACC connects artists and creatives to opportunity and access. Learn more at racc.org.

 

 


Artists and youth strengthen community connections within East Portland

Mario De León is a local artist whose playful, detailed murals and paintings can be found throughout East Portland and Gresham. Passionate about his art and sharing it with the community, De León is bringing his talent to a new project engaging youth from the nonprofit Play Grow Learn. In May, these young artists brightened the intersection of 148th Avenue and East Burnside by transforming this traffic signal box into a larger-than-life vintage boombox. Coming up next, they plan to transform the TriMet service building across the street with a large new mural featuring human rights leader Malcolm X. The public art project seeks to connect the City of Portland to the City of Gresham in an area where predominantly Black communities reside and where public resources remain under-invested and under-prioritized.

Muralist Mario De León and youth from Play, Grow, Learn turned this signal box into a work of art.

The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) has teamed up with Portland’s Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) supporting local Black-led art projects around the city with financial and technical support and a streamlined permitting process. Locations vary but are focused in North and Northeast Portland’s Historic Albina Area and East Portland, neighborhoods with strong community and cultural connections.

Six community-based organizations are leading or partnering in this initiative including:

  • Play Grow Learn
  • Somali Council of Oregon
  • African Youth Community Organization
  • Albina Vision Trust
  • Self Enhancement Inc.
  • Soul District Business Association

The nonprofit City Repair Project is providing technical assistance and partnership facilitation.

Project Partners
Play Grow Learn strives to help community members feel a sense of positivity, pride, and belonging in public space and to uplift Black and East Portland community spiritually, mentally, and physically during the converging crises of the pandemic, systemic racism, and climate chaos.  Find out more.

The Regional Arts & Culture Council is an independent nonprofit 501(c)3 organization supporting 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. 

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is a community partner in shaping a livable city. PBOT plans, builds, manages, and maintains an effective and safe transportation system that provides people and businesses access and mobility. Find out more.

City Repair facilitates artistic and ecologically-oriented placemaking through projects that honor the interconnection of human communities and the natural world. City Repair has accomplished many projects through a mostly volunteer staff and thousands of volunteer citizen activists. They provide support, resources, and opportunities to help diverse communities reclaim their culture, power, and joy. Find out more.


National Endowment for the Arts awards grant to create East Portland Cultural Corridor

$75,000 NEA grant to connect people, culture, and transportation; strengthen the sense of community in East Portland

The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC), in partnership with TriMet, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), APANO, Division Midway Alliance, and Slavic Community Center of NW, will receive a $75,000 Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Our Town is NEA’s creative placemaking grants program that supports the integration of arts, culture, and design to strengthen people’s connection within their community. The NEA grant funds will be matched locally by $50,000 from RACC (with funding from PBOT’s percent-for-art program) and $25,000 from TriMet.

“The Division Transit Project is not only about bringing better, faster, more reliable bus service to the neighborhoods along Division Street, it is also about community,” said TriMet interim General Manager Sam Desue, Jr. “We appreciate the National Endowment for the Arts recognizing the heart of Portland, a feeling that all belong and are welcome, whether on transit or elsewhere in our community.”

The NEA grant will launch the East Portland Cultural Corridor, a project aimed at generating a cohesive sense of place and cultural presence in East Portland along Southeast Division Street from SE 82nd Avenue to SE 175th Avenue. The project will leverage TriMet’s Division Transit Project, currently more than halfway through construction, as a geographic backbone and future travel option that will become a part of the daily life of many East Portland residents.

“It’s exciting to see a transit project that celebrates creativity and recognizes the role artists and the creative process can have in achieving a community vision,” said Kristin Calhoun, RACC’s Public Art Director. “Arts and cultural activities bring people together to strengthen connections to each other and the places we care about.”

Artists and community-based organizations will lead the following initiatives throughout the corridor:

  • An artist in residence to engage community members and project partners in creating a cohesive district identity.
  • APANO Art + Justice Lab Fellows Project will provide fellowship pairings of one established and one emerging artist that will design a public project or performance.
  • Division-Midway Alliance will initiate cultural district planning for a cultural center.
  • Slavic Community Center of NW will produce an International Children’s Festival and participate in cultural district planning.

TriMet initiated the grant application as a means to address current federal transit funding restrictions on public art on the Division Transit Project. As the grant recipient, RACC will oversee and administer the funding to the community-based organizations and artists, with project management by TriMet. This is a first of its kind collaboration between the City of Portland, PBOT, RACC, and TriMet to provide direct support to non-profit organizations to support some of the cultural needs identified by the community.


Capturing the Moment artist – Terrance Burton

Writer, poet, multi-media artist, and educator, Terrance Burton, breaks it down like this, “If I can inspire someone – another artist – not to give up, that would be it. My art is what inspired me as a survivor.”

Watercolor painting of people holding signs protesting the killing of George Floyd, systemic racism and supporting the movement for Black Lives.

Terrance Burton, Black Lives Matter, watercolor, 2020

Terrance Burton credits being an artist to his parents, the ways that they expressed themselves in dance, music, and clothing design. “Who I am starts from my parents,” he says. “My mother made clothing. She would draw her dress patterns freehand. I got the bug about 8 years old.” He cofounded Bum-Rush Productions while still a teen living in LA, for years playing house parties, MCing, working with friends in rap or hip hop groups. Like so many artists, Terrance Burton adapts to thrive, survive, and make a living. “I lost my father at a young age,” he explains. “Writing poetry, making music, drawing, dance – especially dance – was how I got through.”

Black and white photo of artist Terrance Burton

Writer, poet, multi-media artist, and educator Terrance Burton

Today, he works his pop-up in the Lents neighborhood in Southeast Portland. An independently owned cannabis dispensary, The Dime Store, has given him the space to sustain himself as an artist. He first set up in their parking lot at Southeast 82nd and Holgate, until being adopted last year as their “resident artist”. “Like a lot of folks, I took a hit with this pandemic,” he said. “The Lents community has supported me through the tough times we’ve all been through this past year. It’s changed my life. I don’t know where I’d be without that community support. It makes me want to keep fighting.” Much of the art Terrance produces he makes with an eye for what sells. The pieces he shared for Capturing the Moment were different. “This was actually art that I created for me.”

At 35, Terrance decided he needed to pursue a college degree because he continued to hit “the glass ceiling” in his professional career. Am I Next, came from his experience of being assaulted on the MAX on the way home by TriMet’s Transit Police. On his way home to East Portland from class at PCC’s Sylvania Campus, another black man with an open container got on the train and rode in his car for a bit. The man left the train and, a few stops later, a TriMet officer boarded and ordered Terrance to get off. On the platform, he was met by four police cars – and pulled guns. “I was distraught. They proceeded to go through my bag. All they found were my school papers,” he said. “The worst thing of all, it (an open container) wasn’t worth the threat on my life. Going to college was a stress. Just trying to get home.”

 

Black and white watercolor painting of a teen-aged black youth standing behind a sign that says

Terrance Burton, Am I Next, 2020

The artworks Terrance submitted for Capturing the Moment were inspired by movements of the past that he saw in person today.  “When I think back to those pieces….same imagery, still the same thing. We fought for civil rights but we’re still a commodity. Our humanity is still on the line. I wanted to capture what so many are facing at the time, including now.” This moment, he says, makes him hopeful. “What’s happening, the movement, has changed my life. This is finally time that people, not just African Americans, are saying ‘we’re with you, we support,’” he says.

Watercolor painting of people holding protest signs saying

Terrance Burton, Untitled, Watercolor, Acrylic, 2020


Capturing the Moment – Selected Artists April 2021

Just over a year ago, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown issued her executive order putting our state into lockdown due to the COVID-19 virus. Last fall the Regional Arts & Culture Council asked artists to submit works of all media “Capturing the Moment,” reflecting their artistic response to the economic and health crisis in our communities. It was an effort to reflect and record our collective experiences of change, uncertainty, loss, and hope. Submissions flooded in–sculpture, illustrations, video, photography, painting, and more.

In addition to sharing their work “Capturing the Moment,” artists also shared the ways they were impacted by lost opportunities for funding or revenue due to COVID-19. Some were laid off from regular employment, many lost freelance gigs, canceled tours, postponed debuts of new works, and other productions. Some used makeshift spaces to continue working; painting on a friend’s porch or editing in a loaned studio after being evacuated by summer wildfires. Despite the challenges, they demonstrated their resilience and creativity. They adapted, adjusting projects that were canceled or delayed because of the pandemic. They found new life – and continued living – as artists and creatives.

A community curatorial team composed of four Black artists and creatives reviewed the submissions and made selections. The curatorial team included: Christine Miller, visual artist; Bobby Fouther, visual and performing artist; Ambush, Creative Consultant/DJ;  and Stacey Drake Edwards, textile artist.

Artworks from 34 Black artists, Indigenous artists, and artists of color were selected by the curators for Capturing the Moment. This new public art collection showcases work in a wide scope of media, created by emerging artists and creatives across the region in response to this particular moment in time.

See and hear the works of seven of these local artists (details and links attached). The featured artwork includes the timely and moving video, Sayonara Mata Ashita, conceived and directed by Michelle Fujii in collaboration with Unit Souzou Ensemble; Somya Singh’s “memoir comics” which capture the isolation and familiar scenes of the quarantine including social distancing, protests, and the disconnection experienced through screens and social media. An elegant collection of natural dyed meditation seats and altars, ceramic hand-thrown planters, and vessels from multimedia artist janessa bautista were included along with a short thriller, Vent, by filmmaker Ashley Mellinger. Julian Saporiti’s multi-media No-No Boy media project, Orient Oregon, and May Maylisa Cat’s video Farang Kee Nok (Bird Sh!t Foreigner) confront both the invisible stories of early Japanese American immigrants and today’s appropriation of food culture and racialized labor. Finally, Waves 1-5, a series painted in acrylic on 8” x 8” canvases by Valerie Yeo uses this metaphor to suggest how the rhythmic, steady power of moving water creates permanent change.

Read their stories. Learn more.

 

#PDXCARES Supported Capturing the Moment

This initiative of the Regional Arts & Culture Council was intended to further and support Portland-based artists making work during the 2020 COVID-19 crisis. The call for submissions aimed 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 during this historic moment. Artist submissions selected for Capturing the Moment will be shared via RACC and the City of Portland’s communication channels including digital formats and social media accounts.

Funding for Capturing the Moment came from the City of Portland’s federal allocation of CARES funding (#PDXCARES). It was specifically dedicated by the city to Asian, Black, Indigenous artists, and all artists of color who reside in the City of Portland.

 

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Capturing the Moment artist – Michelle Fujii

Fourth-generation Japanese-American Michelle Fujii creates contemporary work centered in the Japanese art forms of taiko (drums) and folk dance. “The work I create is rooted in my cultural identity and lived experiences,” she explains. “It responds to current events, community conversations and societal issues. Being personal and authentic is the foundation of my work, investigating notions of identity, otherness, and home against an American landscape.”

Her submission, Sayonara Mata Ashita, debuted May 16, 2020. She explains, “Fifty-two people sang along that are a significant and inspirational part of our taiko lives – our mentors, our Unit Souzou taiko family, our Women & Taiko community connections, our Warabi-za family, our organizational partners. It was such a beautiful and overwhelming journey. As our communities face duress, self-isolation, social distancing, this song was written with the hope that the narrative of this time is not of more othering, but of more togetherness.”

Credits: Conceived and directed by Michelle Fujii in collaboration with Unit Souzou Ensemble – Ian Berve, Toru Watanabe, David Wells, Vicky Zhang. Special Thanks to: Amy Naylor – Video Editing, David Wells – Sound Editing, Michelle Fujii – Video Project Manager, Koto-Izumi Kuroki, Shakuhachi-Tsuyoshi Ozawa.

 

#PDXCARES Supported Capturing the Moment

Funding for Capturing the Moment came from the City of Portland’s federal allocation of CARES funding (#PDXCARES). It was specifically dedicated to Asian, Black, Indigenous artists, and all artists of color who reside in the City of Portland.


Capturing the Moment artist – janessa bautista

Multimedia artist janessa bautista’s artistic practice involves natural dyeing with plant material, some of which she harvested or grew herself. “I dye natural fibers in the form of fabric and rope.” she explains. “The work I create is about everyday needs and the energy that is put into the making process. I do my best to always have compassion for myself and for others, with this comes healing and growth. The energy I put into my artistic process creates a healing vibration, as it is a healing experience. My objects carry the vibration into your home and life by embodying the healing work in the experience. I create healing offerings using ritual, handmade vessels and a beautiful altar to honor the five senses, four elements and the four directions. Let us explore our relationship to the objects, their relationship to each other and how their use supports our healing process and all those around us.”

janessa bautista, Tea Ceremony, 2020. Set includes includes: Indigo meditation seat, woven planter, hibachi grill, altar yoni spoon.

 

Fiber art sculpture. Natural dyed indigo cotton rope woven on walnut wood. Rope, natural dyes, wood, clay.

janessa bautista, Hanging Altar Indigo detail, 2020.

Find out more about artist janessa bautista.

 

#PDXCARES Supported Capturing the Moment

This RACC initiative was intended to further and support Portland-based artists making work during the 2020 COVID-19 crisis. The call for submissions aimed 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 during this historic moment. Artist submissions selected for Capturing the Moment will be shared via RACC and the City of Portland’s communication channels including digital formats and social media accounts.

Funding for Capturing the Moment came from the City of Portland’s federal allocation of CARES funding (#PDXCARES). It was specifically dedicated to Asian, Black, Indigenous artists, and all artists of color who reside in the City of Portland.


Capturing the Moment artist – May Maylisa Cat

May Maylisa Cat is a multidisciplinary artist whose work lies at the intersection of food culture, racialized labor, and identity. Her work spans new media, painting, glass, and performance.

Multidisciplinary artist May Maylisa Cat

 

The panel of curators selected two of May Maylisa Cat’s works for Capturing the Moment.

The first, a video titled Farang Kee Nok (Bird Sh!t Foreigner), she describes as an “absurdist video artwork that touches on the hypocrisy of ex-pats who fetishize the cultures of the countries they move to.” She explains that the video purposely utilizes ADR (Automated Dialog Replacement) to add a surreal dissonance to the piece. It was created during a mentor workshop with visual artist Kalup Linzy at Chautauqua Visual Arts residency. Play the video here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIfdl3pm0Q8

The second, titled Across, Whom? was constructed of found materials including nylon fabric, rice bag, and hardware. Made in collaboration with Sean Brady.

Nylon fabric, rice bag, and hardware Ricebag conformed to a luggage / migration prop.

May Maylissa Cat, Across, Whom?, 2020

Follow May Maylissa Cat on Instagram @maymaylisacatz or Twitter @maymaylisacat.

 

#PDXCARES Supported Capturing the Moment

This RACC initiative was intended to further and support Portland-based artists making work during the 2020 COVID-19 crisis. The call for submissions aimed 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 during this historic moment. Artist submissions selected for Capturing the Moment will be shared via RACC and the City of Portland’s communication channels including digital formats and social media accounts.

Funding for Capturing the Moment came from the City of Portland’s federal allocation of CARES funding (#PDXCARES). It was specifically dedicated to Black artists, Indigenous artists, and all artists of color who reside in the City of Portland.


Capturing the Moment – Stories from a Pandemic

Just over a year ago, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown issued her executive order putting our state into lockdown due to the COVID-19 virus. Last fall we asked artists to submit works of all media “Capturing the Moment,” reflecting their artistic response to the economic and health crisis in our communities. Submissions flooded in–sculpture, illustrations, video, photography, painting, and more.

See and hear their art. Read their stories. Learn more.

Sayonara Mata Ashita

Michelle Fujii, creates contemporary work centered in the Japanese art forms of taiko (drums) and folk dance. She describes how, as a fourth generation Japanese-American, her art “navigates the multifaceted complexity of identity in our communities, and reveals my journey to claim my own identity story.” Her submission, Sayonara Mata Ashita  debuted May 16, 2020. “Fifty-two people sang along that are a significant and inspirational part of our taiko lives,” she explains. “Our mentors, our Unit Souzou taiko family, our Women & Taiko community connections, our Warabi-za family, our organizational partners. It was such a beautiful and overwhelming journey. As our communities face duress, self-isolation, social distancing, this song was written with the hope that the narrative of this time is not of more othering, but of more togetherness.”

We think you will agree. Have a listen. (Play button located lower left hand corner of the image below).

Credits: Conceived and directed by Michelle Fujii in collaboration with Unit Souzou Ensemble: Ian Berve, Toru Watanabe, David Wells, Vicky Zhang. Special Thanks to: Amy Naylor – Video Editing; David Wells – Sound Editing; Michelle Fujii – Video Project Manager; Koto-Izumi Kuroki, Shakuhachi-Tsuyoshi Ozawa.

Artists tell their stories

In addition to sharing their work for “Capturing the Moment,” artists also shared the ways they personally were impacted by lost opportunities for funding or revenue due to COVID-19. Some were laid off from regular employment, many lost freelance gigs, canceled tours, postponed debuts of new works, and other productions. Some used makeshift spaces to continue working; painting on a friend’s porch or editing in a loaned studio after being evacuated by summer wildfires. Despite the challenges, they demonstrated their resilience and creativity. They adapted, adjusting projects that were canceled or delayed because of the pandemic. They found new life – and continued living – as artists and creatives.

See and hear the works of these local artists and their response to the moment.

Terrance Burton

janessa bautista

Julian Saporiti

May Maylisa Cat

Ashley Mellinger

Valerie Yeo

Somya Singh

Michelle Fujii

Funding for Capturing the Moment came from the City of Portland’s federal CARES money (#PDXCARES). It was specifically dedicated to Asian, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, multiracial, and Pacific Islander artists living in the City of Portland.


Capturing the Moment artist – Somya Singh

Somya Singh makes “memoir comics” from lived experiences. “I have been making comics in ink for over ten years. They often depict painful or difficult moments that I’m trying to reconcile for myself,” Somya explains. The comics selected for Capturing the Moment depict what the lockdown has looked like, conceptually, and include familiar scenes from quarantine: protests, isolation, social distancing, etc.

Somya Singh, Scenes from Quarantine, 2020

 

Somya Singh, Out To Sea, 2020

 

#PDXCARES Supported Capturing the Moment

This RACC initiative was intended to further and support Portland-based artists making work during the 2020 COVID-19 crisis. The call for submissions aimed 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 during this historic moment. Artist submissions selected for Capturing the Moment will be shared via RACC and the City of Portland’s communication channels including digital formats and social media accounts.

Funding for Capturing the Moment came from the City of Portland’s federal allocation of CARES funding (#PDXCARES). It was specifically dedicated to Black artists, Indigenous artists, and all artists of color who reside in the City of Portland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Capturing the Moment artist – Ashley Mellinger

Ashley Mellinger strives to “re-imagine traditional narratives and include marginalized voices in ways that are not centered on their identities and, specifically, the trauma associated with their experiences. I am particularly committed to telling stories in the spirit of afro-futurism.” Her artistic practice straddles both theatre and film. She co-founded Desert Island Studios to increase artists’ accessibility to film resources. Follow them on Facebook or Instagram.

Actor and Producer Ashley Mellinger

Ashley describes the short film, Vent, selected for Capturing the Moment, as an “Indie Thriller” that she co-created with a small team to enter into the Asian American Film Lab 72 Hour Shootout close to the start of quarantine. “We created a timely, relatable narrative short that explores the effects of isolation and viral misinformation,” she said. The result is a film that won Second Runner Up, Best Editor, and Best Screenplay and was nominated for Best Cinematography.

You can watch the five-minute film here.

Ashley Mellinger, VENT, 2020

 

#PDXCARES Supported Capturing the Moment

This RACC initiative was intended to further and support Portland-based artists making work during the 2020 COVID-19 crisis. The call for submissions aimed 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 during this historic moment. Artist submissions selected for Capturing the Moment will be shared via RACC and the City of Portland’s communication channels including digital formats and social media accounts.

Funding for Capturing the Moment came from the City of Portland’s federal allocation of CARES funding (#PDXCARES). It was specifically dedicated to Black artists, Indigenous artists, and all artists of color who reside in the City of Portland.


Capturing the Moment artist – Valerie Yeo

Valerie Yeo is a psychologist in her “day job” and, she says, “an artist in all parts of my life.”

Valerie Yeo, Wave 2, 2020

A visual artist primarily working with ink, watercolor, and acrylic mediums, her series, Waves, painted in acrylic on 8″ x 8″ canvas panels, captures, as she says, “the collective trauma of 2020.” It made her consider the power of water as a force for change. “I feel very drawn to the power of this particular element, which has both the capacity to heal and destroy. The movement of water is also slow and steady, and can create permanent changes and paths forward, even through the most solid seeming entities. This is a time of grief, resistance, and awakening; and a time to allow for the outflow of stagnant ways of being.”

Follow Valerie on Instagram.

 

#PDXCARES Supported Capturing the Moment

This RACC initiative was intended to further and support Portland-based artists making work during the 2020 COVID-19 crisis. The call for submissions aimed 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 during this historic moment. Artist submissions selected for Capturing the Moment will be shared via RACC and the City of Portland’s communication channels including digital formats and social media accounts.

Funding for Capturing the Moment came from the City of Portland’s federal allocation of CARES funding (#PDXCARES). It was specifically dedicated to Black artists, Indigenous artists, and all artists of color who reside in the City of Portland.


Capturing the Moment artist – Julian Saporiti

Artist Julian Saporiti describes collaborating with community group Portland Taiko, to create Orient Oregon. “It was a historical song/film work composed against the backdrop of 2020. Through music it highlights the often invisible story of early Japanese American immigrants who worked as shopkeepers, loggers, farmers, and more. Over the course of a century, they endured racism and mass incarceration in concentration camps. Through original songs we get a sense of this 20th century narrative all set to rare footage of Japanese-American home movies filmed between 1920-1960, situating faces of color amongst the waterfalls, mountains and cities of Oregon, broadening a general understanding of who is woven into Oregon’s history.”

No-No Boy is a multi-media project blending film, sound, story and song into works which illuminate untold histories of immigrants and refugees in the United States. Through original lyrics, sound design, and carefully curated and edited archival imagery, difficult histories come to life in a pastiche which attunes multiple senses to the stories unfolding in each work.

 

#PDXCARES Supported Capturing the Moment

This RACC initiative was intended to further and support Portland-based artists making work during the 2020 COVID-19 crisis. The call for submissions aimed 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 during this historic moment. Artist submissions selected for Capturing the Moment will be shared via RACC and the City of Portland’s communication channels including digital formats and social media accounts.

Funding for Capturing the Moment came from the City of Portland’s federal allocation of CARES funding (#PDXCARES). It was specifically dedicated to Black artists, Indigenous artists, and all artists of color who reside in the City of Portland.


Arts and Culture 2021 Legislative Priorities

A message from Madison Cario, Executive Director, Regional Arts & Culture Council

Play the video.

2020 was a year like no other in RACC’s 49-year history. Through the lens of a devastating pandemic, we learned anew that arts, culture, history, heritage, and humanities are, and will continue to be, essential in our state, our nation, and around the world. Humanity has had to adapt to survive – changing the faces of communities throughout the world. Too many people have paid far too high a cost. We know the value that creative expression brings to us all and that public investment helps to ensure deeper access for all of our residents. Through this, we continue to stand strong as a community of creative providers.

2021 is a crucial legislative year for Oregon’s vital cultural sector. We are urging our state policymakers to prioritize arts, culture, heritage, and the humanities in order to encourage creativity, contribute to Oregon’s economic recovery, and rebuild community. Investing in Oregon’s creative and cultural life supports Oregonians’ values, promotes whole person health, strengthens communities, and attracts and retains workers in an innovation economy 

RACC’s mission is to enrich our communities through arts and culture and our vision is a thriving region, powered by creativity, with arts and culture in every neighborhood. To do this, RACC promotes equity, diversity, inclusion, and access and uses a racial equity lens to advocate for the equitable distribution of resources and the creation of public policies that will provide support for the arts ecosystem now and into the future. 

Find out more and register for virtual Advocacy Day on April 23, hosted by many arts and culture organizations from around the state, and the Cultural Advocacy Coalition. Keep reading to learn about our shared legislative priorities and alignment with our coalition partners. 

ADVANCE EQUITABLE ACCESS TO A WELL-ROUNDED ARTS EDUCATION FOR OREGON STUDENTS 
RACC supports and will monitor the specific recommendations of the Joint Committee on Student Success for funding arts and music specialists in elementary schools as they are closely linked with work across the six Portland school districts receiving Arts Education Access Fund dollars.  

More on Portland’s Arts Education Access Fund explained here.  

EXPAND OREGON’S INVESTMENT IN ITS CULTURAL AGENCIES AND PARTNERS 
SB 5023 – Business Oregon Budget Bill; SB 5025 – Oregon Parks and Recreation Department Budget Bill 
Increased state funding of cultural agencies and partners leverages the full potential of Oregon’s creative and cultural resources to attract and retain business, increase tourism, improve education and enrich the lives of Oregonians through greater opportunity to access meaningful experiences in the arts, heritage, and the humanities, statewide. Now more than ever it is essential that the cultural sector be supported as Oregonians recover from the economic strains imposed by the pandemic. The statewide partners include:   

  • Oregon Arts Commission   
  • Oregon Cultural Trust   
  • State Historic Preservation Office and Heritage Commission   
  • Oregon Humanities   
  • Oregon Historical Society   

PROTECT TAX POLICIES ALLOWING THE CULTURAL SECTOR TO SERVE ITS PUBLIC MISSION, INCLUDING HISTORIC PRESERVATION OF OREGON’S GEMS
SB 108 – Historic Property Tax Credit Extension for 10 Years 
Critical this year is renewal of the Historic Property Special Assessments which assist owners of commercial properties. We support an extension of at least ten years, through 2031, to provide time for local governments, preservation advocates, and others to update Oregon’s approach to current preservation needs.   

EXTEND OREGON FILM AND VIDEO OFFICE TAX CREDIT 
SB 43 – Tax Credit Extension for Six Years 
We support extending the sunset for labor rebates for qualifying film production and the tax credit for certified film production development contributions.   

CONTINUE TO INVEST IN CULTURAL INFRASTRUCTURE 
HB 5534 – Lottery Bonds 
By creating the Cultural Resources Economic Fund in 2013, the State established its role in expanding and strengthening cultural infrastructure by leveraging lottery bonds to invest in arts, heritage, and humanities infrastructure projects.  

WORK WITH KEY LEGISLATORS AND OTHER INTERESTED PARTIES TO REIMAGINE THE STATE SONG 
RACC supports legislative deliberations on revising the lyrics to the state song or starting fresh. We applaud suggestions for a broad participatory process grounded in equity and inclusion. To date, the Cultural Advocacy Coalition, Oregon Historical Society, Oregon Humanities, and the Oregon Community Foundation have led these conversations. More information on the State song can be found here. 

PROTECT ITEMIZED DEDUCTIONS FOR CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTIONS 
HB 2255 – Limits Itemized Personal Income Tax Deductions for Charitable Contribution 
While tax policy is an important tool to incentivize activity and fund government services, the nonprofit sector is a partner in the service of public policy goals and should be promoted and strengthened through tax policy where possible. RACC does not support tax policy that discourages charitable giving by individuals.   

You can find more details on the Cultural Advocacy Coalition’s  legislative session priorities.   


Advocacy Day | Friday, April 23 

SAVE THE DATE & REGISTER TODAY

Image description: blue rectangle with a green silhouette of the state of Oregon sits under a green banner at the top that reads: “Advocacy Day, Friday, April 23rd.” Credit: Cultural Advocacy Coalition.

Join with us, many arts and culture organizations from around the state, and the Cultural Advocacy Coalition, for this year’s virtual Advocacy Day.  

Advocate for the arts from wherever you call home. Find links to the lineup of special guests, a fabulous training, and the premiere of the Cultural Advocacy Coalition’s new look. Register today and stay tuned for more details! 

We are urging our state policymakers to prioritize arts, culture, heritage, and the humanities in order to encourage creativity, contribute to Oregon’s economic recovery, and rebuild community. Investing in Oregon’s creative and cultural life supports Oregonians’ values, promotes whole person health, strengthens communities, and attracts and retains workers in an innovation economy 

Learn more about our legislative focus for arts and culture advocacy in Oregon.

Questions about Advocacy Day? Write to Jamie Painter at jamie@oregonculture.org.  

RACC’s mission is to enrich our communities through arts and culture, and our vision is a thriving region, powered by creativity, with arts and culture in every neighborhood. 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


Call for Art at Errol Heights Park – East Portland’s “Little Gem”

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

The Regional Arts & Culture Council seeks proposals for design, fabrication and installation of new artwork in Errol Heights Park. The budget for the commission comes from the City of Portland’s Percent for Art Program and is approximately $85,000. Artists and artist teams living in Oregon or Washington invited to submit proposals. Park construction is planned for completion summer 2022.

With its forested setting, topography, creek, and wetlands, the four seasons have dramatic visual impact on Errol Heights Park. Art can play a role in showcasing the changing seasons and add a long-lasting amenity. This project seeks art that can strengthen our connections to nature, respond to the natural processes found in the park, and create engaging and dynamic interactions for park visitors. Materials with proven longevity in the outdoor environment are encouraged.

Read the full details about this call and the park design goals, themes, and site constraints.

Submissions Due:  5 p.m., Wednesday, April 28.

Sun reflecting on the Beaver Pond at Errol Heights Park. Photo credit Portland Parks & Recreation

Who can apply?

Artists or artist teams living in Oregon or Washington are eligible to apply. If applying as a team, at least one member must meet the residence eligibility requirement.

Selection criteria and decision-making

The Regional Arts & Culture Council and the City of Portland are committed to engaging new communities of artists, as well as expanding the range of artistic and cultural expression represented in the Public Art Collection.

A selection panel of artists, the park projects’ landscape architect, and community members will review artists’ submission materials and choose up to four finalists to interview for the commission. Criteria for selecting finalists for interviews are (1) quality of past work as demonstrated in submitted images; (2) ability and interest in creating site-specific artwork; (3) how past artwork has fit one or more of the general project goals through process and/or in the final design.

Artists are encouraged to visit the park prior to submitting their applications.

Find the submission information here.

Apply online in the RACC Opportunity Portal.

Funding comes from the City of Portland’s Percent for Art Program and is approximately $85,000.

Learn more at three upcoming information sessions for artists

  • Facebook Live – 1 p.m., Wednesday, March 24
  • Instagram Live – 6 p.m., Thursday, April 1
  • Zoom –  Recording Monday, April 12Watch the Info Session 

Follow Regional Arts & Culture Council on Facebook or @regionalarts on Instagram to stay informed of this and other upcoming opportunities.

Attendance is encouraged but not required to apply for the project.

We’re Here to Help!

Questions?

Contact: email project manager Salvador Mayoral IV with questions or to set up a time for a phone call: smayoral@racc.org.

 

About Errol Heights Park

Errol Heights Park is fondly described as a “little gem of a Park” in Portland’s Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood. Comprising more than 16 acres, the park is located in East Portland between Southeast 45th to 52nd avenues and Southeast Harney to Southeast Tenino streets. Adjacent to the park are two other neighborhoods, Woodstock to the west and Ardenwald-Johnson Creek to the south.

Approximately 1,477 households are within a half-mile walking distance of the park. Volunteer groups such as Friends of Errol Heights, Friends of Trees, and Johnson Creek Watershed Council have been dedicated stewards of the Errol Heights property for many years and members have participated in important ecological enhancement projects at the park. The defining feature of the park is a topography that creates an ideal setting to escape the city’s busy pace, enjoy the gurgling stream, and absorb the sounds of nature. A community garden of 55 plots in the park’s upper area near Southeast Tenino Court has been a focal point of the undeveloped park and a community gathering place.


Arts Education and Access Fund 2021 Logo Competition

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 3, 2021

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

Winner

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

Finalists

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.

 

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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

Winner

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

Finalists

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 underrepresented 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 4/23/2021

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program opens April 24

The long-awaited Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) application portal postponed the relaunch to Monday, April 26, 2021 @ Noon ET. Links below may be subject to change.

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s grant program for shuttered arts and culture venues allows for a grant of up to $10 million for eligible businesses, including live venue operators, promoters, theatrical producers, live performing arts organizations, museums, zoos, aquariums and theaters.

Technical Assistant-only for the Application Portal through SBA Call Center 1-800-659-2955.  For application assistance, SBA recommends contacting one of their local assistance providers.

  • Tips:
    • Register in advance and read through the FAQs for changes and clarifications. Those questions with an * asterisk before it are new additions.
    • Upload as much evidence documentation as possible and that can include explanation statements.
    • SBA will allow post-submission corrections for technical errors and omissions only.
    • Application portal server may get overwhelmed during the busiest times. SBA has created a “waiting room” system to keep your application in the queue.
    • The application now asks for both gross and earned revenue schedule. Remember, accrual method is requested for the gross revenue schedule in determining priority period, but you can use cash or accrual method for the earned income schedule.

Paycheck Protection Program Round 2:

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

Business Oregon Commercial Rent Relief Grants

Oregon small business owners who have struggled to pay their rent during the coronavirus pandemic can apply for help from the state through Monday, March 22. Business Oregon, the state’s economic development agency, is administering the program. Grants up to $100,000 per business tenant and a maximum of $3 million for each landlord may be awarded.

Landlords must complete the initial application, but both the businesses and property owners need to participate in the application process and sign the grant agreement in order to qualify for funding.

More information here.

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