RACC Blog

First “Fresh Paint” mural finished

Fresh Paint is a pilot project of the Regional Arts and Culture Council’s Public Art Murals program in partnership with Open Signal: Portland Community Media.

From May 2017 – May 2018, three emerging artists will have the opportunity to paint a temporary mural that will be up for a period of four months on Open Signal’s west-wall facing the highly visible MLK Boulevard.

The first local artist to be featured is Molly Mendoza, an illustrator and graduate of the Pacific Northwest College of Art. As stated in her bio, Molly is “captivated by the relationships that she has built with friends, family, and foes alike over the course of her life. She sets out to emulate those relationships through her chaotic yet rhythmic style to make some dang-good drawings.”

To view a time lapse video of the mural’s installation, click here. The mural will be on display through September 2017.

 

Molly Mendoza painting mural. Photo courtesy of Open Signal.

 


Art Spark on July 21

Art Spark is back the evening of of July 21st, 6-9 p.m. Join us for another evening of education and celebration. This time we will be located at Disjecta Contemporary Arts Center (8371 N Interstate Ave​) for an indoor/outdoor event.

Enjoy the summer vibes and learn about community partners DUG (Deep Underground), Just Seeds, and more!

Connect with Portland Emerging Arts Leaders (PEAL) and network with Portland creatives.

As always, our Art Spark DJ, VNPRT will be providing the the music. “Like” Art Spark by RACC on Facebook to get new information on the event as it is announced.

Event is all ages and free.  We Look forward to seeing you there!

See details at http://bit.ly/2s3h1vZ


Local nonprofit arts and culture organizations generate $330 million in annual economic activity

A new study reveals that the nonprofit arts industry in the Portland tri-county region also supports 11,505 full-time jobs and returns more than $27 million in revenue to state and local coffers

PORTLAND, ORE – The nonprofit arts and culture sector in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties generated more than $330 million in annual economic activity in fiscal year 2015 according to Arts & Economic Prosperity 5, a comprehensive economic impact study released by Americans for the Arts, the Oregon Arts Commission and the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) with additional support from the Clackamas County Arts Alliance and the Westside Cultural Alliance.

“We all know that culture and the arts are essential to our neighborhoods, our schools and our way of life,” said Eloise Damrosch, executive director of RACC. “The arts are also a powerful generator of economic activity, and now we have impressive data to prove it. Nonprofit arts and culture organizations attract tourists, buoy local businesses and support jobs throughout the Portland metro region.”

The study reveals that 183 local nonprofit arts and culture organizations spent $214.4 million during fiscal year 2015. This spending is far-reaching: organizations pay employees, purchase supplies, contract for services and acquire assets within the community.

In addition, these nonprofit arts and culture organizations leveraged $116 million in event-related spending by their audiences. As a result of attending a cultural event, attendees often eat dinner in local restaurants, pay for parking, buy gifts and souvenirs, and pay a babysitter. Attendees from out of town spend even more, including overnight stays in local hotels.

The combined spending by both arts organizations and their audiences results in a total economic impact of $330.4 million – a 30% increase since the last study was published in 2012. A summary of the report is attached, and the report is available online at www.racc.org/economicimpact.

Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish was impressed with the results. “Portland is proud to be a creative city, one that honors and celebrates art and culture,” he said. “It’s in our DNA, and part of what makes Portland special. The economic impact of the arts, quantified in this report, helps to drive our local economy, creating good jobs and supporting a vibrant and growing city.”

Statewide, Oregon’s nonprofit arts and culture sector contributed $687 million and 22,299 jobs to Oregon’s economy in 2015. Nationally, the nonprofit arts industry produced $166.3 billion in economic activity, supporting 4.6 million full-time equivalent jobs and generating $27.5 billion in revenue to local, state and federal governments – a yield well beyond their $5 billion in collective government allocations for the arts.

“This study demonstrates that the arts are an economic and employment powerhouse both locally and across the nation,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “A vibrant arts and culture industry helps local businesses thrive and helps local communities become stronger and healthier places to live. Leaders who care about community and economic vitality can feel good about choosing to invest in the arts. Nationally as well as locally, the arts mean business.”

The Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study was conducted by Americans for the Arts and supported by The Ruth Lilly Fund of Americans for the Arts. Americans for the Arts’ local, regional, and statewide project partners contributed both time and financial support to the study. Financial information from organizations was collected in partnership with DataArts™, using a new online survey interface. For a full list of the communities who participated in Arts & Economic Prosperity 5, visit www.AmericansForTheArts.org/AEP5Partners.


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The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) provides grants for artists, nonprofit organizations and schools in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties; manages an internationally acclaimed public art program; raises money and awareness for the arts through Work for Art; convenes forums, networking events and other community gatherings; provides workshops and other forms of technical assistance for artists; and oversees a program to integrate arts and culture into the standard curriculum in public schools through The Right Brain Initiative. RACC values a diversity of artistic and cultural experiences and is working to build a community in which everyone can participate in culture, creativity and the arts. For more information visit racc.org.

 


Local nonprofit arts and culture organizations generate $330 million in annual economic activity

A new study reveals that the nonprofit arts and culture industry in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties is an economic driver, resulting in $330 million of annual activity, supporting 11,505 full-time jobs and returning more than $27 million in revenue to state and local coffers. The study, Arts & Economic Prosperity 5, was released by Americans for the Arts, the Oregon Arts Commission and the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC).

The study reveals that 183 nonprofit arts and culture organizations spent $214.4 million during fiscal year 2015. This spending is far-reaching: organizations pay employees, purchase supplies, contract for services and acquire assets within the community.

In addition, nonprofit arts and culture organizations leveraged $116 million in event-related spending by their audiences. As a result of attending a cultural event, attendees often eat dinner in local restaurants, pay for parking, buy gifts and souvenirs, and pay a babysitter. Attendees from out of town spend even more, including overnight stays in local hotels.

The combined spending by both arts organizations and their audiences results in a total economic impact of $330.4 million – a 30% increase since the last study was published in 2012.

Download key findings

Download full report


National Endowment for the Arts awards $30,000 for The Right Brain Initiative

PORTLAND, ORE — National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $82 million to fund local arts projects across the country in the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2017. Included in this announcement is an Art Works award of $30,000 to The Right Brain Initiative, the arts integration program of the Regional Arts & Culture Council.

“The arts reflect the vision, energy, and talent of America’s artists and arts organizations,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support organizations such as The Right Brain Initiative, in serving their communities by providing excellent and accessible arts experiences.”

“We are grateful for the continued support from the NEA. This funding helps us build teachers’ capacity to engage all learners through the arts and develop students’ creative and critical thinking skills,” expressed Marna Stalcup, RACC’s Director of Arts Education.

This award will support Right Brain’s innovative, systemic, and equitable approach to arts integrated education in Portland area elementary and middle schools. Its professional development model will equip an estimated 1,475 teachers, arts specialists, principals and teaching artists in the 2017-18 school year with strategies to promote students’ 21st Century Skills, and create environments where they thrive academically, socially and artistically. Through the collaboration of trained teaching artists and classroom teachers, the program will serve nearly 30,000 students in 70 schools across the region.

To join the Twitter conversation about this announcement, please use #NEASpring17. For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, go to arts.gov

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The Right Brain Initiative is a sustainable partnership of public schools, local government, foundations, businesses and the cultural community working to transform learning through the arts for all K-8 students in the Portland metro area. Now in its ninth year, Right Brain serves 68 schools and approximately 27,500 students from urban, suburban and rural communities in the Portland area. In fall of 2014, Right Brain released data connecting the program to an above-average increase in student test scores, with greatest results for English Language Learners. Right Brain is a program of the Regional Arts & Culture Council. Operating partners include Young Audiences of Oregon & SW Washington (Residency Partner), Portland State University Center for Student Success (Research & Evaluation Partner), and Deborah Brzoksa of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Professional Development Consultant). Read more online at TheRightBrainInitiative.org.

The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) provides grants for artists, nonprofit organizations and schools in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties; manages an internationally acclaimed public art program; raises money and awareness for the arts through Work for Art; convenes forums, networking events and other community gatherings; provides workshops and other forms of technical assistance for artists; and oversees a program to integrate arts and culture into the standard curriculum in public schools through The Right Brain Initiative. RACC values a diversity of artistic and cultural experiences and is working to build a community in which everyone can participate in culture, creativity and the arts. For more information visit racc.org.


Help Pass Oregon’s First Ever “Equitable Access to Arts Education Task Force”

Issued by Chris Coleman on behalf of the Oregon Cultural Advocacy Coalition on 6/5/17

….Last week (6/1/17) Christine sent a message asking advocates to take action in support of arts education. And many of you responded (thank you!) but, SB 313 is still sitting in committee. (SB 313 creates Oregon’s first ever Task Force on Equitable Access to Arts Education and has had a public hearing in the Oregon Senate and was moved to the Joint Ways and Means Committee for funding)

The good news is that your advocacy reached key leaders, but we still have work to do—fewer than half of all committee members heard from a constituent on this issue. If you saw Christine’s email but didn’t have a chance to send your message, there’s still time.

With just over 20 working days till this legislature adjourns, we need advocates to take action now. If you have not already done so, please click this link to send an email asking Ways and Means Committee members to support the creation of a Task Force on Equitable Access to Arts Education today……


This Time in Portland

ELOISE BLOG:

A week ago it seemed completely appropriate for me to write a sincere last Arts Notes post prior to my June 30th retirement. The idea was to talk about all the wonderful experiences I have had over 30 years with MAC/RACC and to thank the thousands of wonderful people I have had the privilege to know.

Then the tragedy struck on the MAX Friday and completely changed my focus. Since November Portland and communities across the country have clearly experienced a distressing increase in verbal assaults focused on people of  color going about their peaceful everyday lives. That is wrong and not what our city is about. Yet it happens and swells into violent protests and becomes what a fringe element of our population is very much about.

Last Friday three incredibly brave people stepped up to defend two young women being barraged with hate and threats by an individual known for incendiary racist behavior. Their own outrage and selflessness saved the women. In doing so two perished and one was saved though gravely wounded. I cannot imagine the horror of that scene though it has haunted me since that day.

In trying to think about how to move on all I can think to suggest is proving to hateful people that they will not prevail. I think we need to pull together as concerned, committed, peaceful and loving citizens to raise our voices against hatred, write and sing our music, paint our fears and feelings, act out our responses and hopes for the future, teach our children by example and conversations, gather in places we gather to explore the ways out, support our leaders who are caught in an impossible bind, face this current reality with passion to protect everyone. It has to stop.

And I will get back with my grateful letter to all of you in a few weeks, because I will not let this tragedy get in the way of thanking you and celebrating the wealth of creativity, excellence and positive human interaction, which to me is what my time here has been most about.


Summer events celebrate Eloise’s legacy

We invite the community to join us for two events honoring Eloise Damrosch, who will retire as RACC’s executive director on June 30. A free community event will take place on June 29, and a fundraising event to support local artists is scheduled for July 30.

  • On Thursday, June 29, join us for an open house and block party with music, food, drinks and entertainment – plus a special ceremony honoring Eloise. Scheduled performers include drummers and dancers from NAYA, Joaquin Lopez, Unit Souzou and Portland Lee Association Dragan and Lion Dance Team. This event is free and open to the public; RSVP here.
  • On Sunday, July 30, RACC presents In the Garden of Artistic Delights, a benefit for individual artists and a tribute to Eloise. This event is sponsored in part by Arlene Schnitzer, and takes place at Bella Madrona Gardens in Sherwood. Tickets are $150 each and include paella dinner, hosted beverages, entertainment and a brief live auction. Only 200 tickets are available for this limited capacity event; visit  gardenofartisticdelights.org for tickets and information.

RACC announces new structure for project grants

RACC has long offered project grant support to individual artists and organizations in the region, helping to support the creation and presentation of artmaking of all kinds. More than 140 artistic projects were funded last year, ranging from solo dance performances to an audio documentary series exploring gentrification to afterschool Taiko ensemble classes for youth.

Traditionally, RACC’s project grant application has been offered once a year, in the summer, to support the many performances, exhibitions, readings, screenings, broadcasts, festivals, tours, workshops, events, installations, and happenings that occur in the following calendar year. Now it is time for something new.

RACC is responding to community needs

Project grants are the most popular funding program at RACC by volume, and the interest and need for public support has increased significantly over the years. In 2008, RACC received 192 applications; two years later that number had increased to 267, and by 2014 RACC received a record 358 applications. This growth in the creative community needs to be met by a granting structure and timeline that better serves the artmakers, rather than the grantmakers.

In the most significant project grant change in years, RACC is moving from one deadline annually to three deadlines a year. The arts community can plan for the next project grant deadline coming up on Wednesday, August 2, 2017 by 5:00 p.m.  Subsequent project grant deadlines will be in February, June and October of 2018. RACC’s professional development grants will also move to the same multiple deadlines every year.

With the more frequent grant deadlines, artists and organizations can apply when they are ready to present their projects for consideration rather than when RACC’s application is available.

Grantmaking for Equity

Over the last two years, RACC staff have collected community feedback through online surveys and focus groups, and have researched and incorporated national best practices in grantmaking. Project grant enhancements are building on the lessons learned in administering RACC’s Arts Equity Grant program that was launched last year, and are a direct response to community need.

As always, RACC project grants are available to individual artists and non-profit organizations in Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties. The project grant categories and the application itself are slightly different than in previous years, so RACC encourages applicants to explore the categories and other grant requirements well in advance. The new categories for project grants will be:

  • Arts Equity & Access. Arts Equity Grants, which were first awarded in 2016, are now being folded into project grants and made available to individual artists as well as organizations. This change also allows RACC to expand Arts Equity Grant funding to all three counties when it had previously only been available to City of Portland and Multnomah County applicants. Arts Equity & Access projects will support arts programs and services that involve direct community participation from communities that are underserved, students, and other events and festivals that are community based.
  • Arts Services. Arts Services is a new category to artists and organizations that are providing technical assistance and other services to the field. RACC has seen an increasing number of these proposals over the last few years, and this new category makes funding available to projects that support the arts community with activities such as workshops and conferences.
  • Artistic Focus. The Artistic Focus category remains unchanged with the vision, innovation, creativity and high artistic quality of the artist or arts organization at the heart of the proposal.

As returning grant applicants read through the project grant guidelines and application, they may notice some additional changes. For example, organizations will no longer be required to meet a one-to-one match in their proposed budgets, and the review criteria has been revised.

Two-step process

RACC is also implementing a new two-step application process that will include a shorter Inquiry Application, followed by a Full Application for those proposals that are ready to be considered by a grant review panel. The Inquiry Application is brief, including several short questions plus a narrative opportunity to describe the proposed project, but will allow a staff review panel to determine that the details and timing of the proposed project are far enough along to be competitive.

“This new process will help save applicants from doing all the work of a full application at once,” says grants officer Helen Daltoso. The Inquiry Application will be reviewed by staff, and projects most likely to be competitive will be invited to submit a Full Application. Proposals that are not selected to submit a Full Application will have an opportunity to prepare further and re-apply in the next project grant deadline.

“If a project isn’t quite ready to move forward and needs more time to work out some of the details, there will always be another opportunity to re-submit another application in a few months,” said Daltoso. “Applicants will no longer have to wait a full year for the next opportunity to apply.”

Summary of Key Changes

Taken together, these changes will give artists and arts organizations more flexibility, and more opportunities for success at the Full Application stage. With three annual deadlines, applicants can come forward with proposals when they, and the projects they are developing, are truly ready for consideration.

  • Move from one annual deadline in August to three deadlines February, June and October beginning in 2018.
  • Applicants will be establishing their own project timeline, rather than having to adhere to the calendar year.
  • Revising grant categories to include Artistic Focus, Arts Equity & Access, and Arts Service projects.
  • Two-step application process:
    • Step one: Inquiry Application – a short application outlining project details
    • Step two: Full Application – only projects most likely to be competitive will be invited to submit a full application

The RACC staff and board are excited to launch this evolution of project support and how we serve the many dancers, filmmakers, composers, actors, artists, writers, performers, producers and creatives throughout the tri-county region.

How to Apply

The first step in the application process is to read the Project Grant Guidelines. This document outlines all the details of the program and can help applicants determine whether their project is eligible for a grant.

RACC is moving to a new online grant application system, so first time and returning applicants alike will need to create a new account in the new system at racc.org/apply.

Applicants who submit an Inquiry Application will receive a response from RACC within 5 weeks. Full Application proposals will be grouped by discipline and reviewed by a panel of community volunteers who have interest and experience in arts and culture programming.

The next four project grant deadlines are:

  • Wednesday, August 2, 2017 by 5:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, February 7, 2018 by 5:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, June 6, 2018 by 5:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, October 3, 2018 by 5:00 p.m.

GRANT ORIENTATIONS

For more detailed information on Project Grant applications you may attend the following free, optional orientation sessions. It is important that you register for these orientations by either going to racc.org/rsvp or emailing Jack MacNichol at  jmacnichol@racc.org.

  • Thursday, July 13, 2017 | 6:00-7:30pm | Beaverton Library Auditorium 12375 SW 5th St, Beaverton
  • Friday, July 14, 2017 | This session is full and we are not able to accept additional registrations
  • Monday, July 17, 2017 | 6:00-7:30pm | Kenton Library Meeting Room – 8226 N Denver Ave, Portland
  • Wednesday, July 19, 2017 | 6:00-7:30pm | Midland Library Meeting Room – 805 SE 122nd Ave, Portland
  • Thursday, July 20, 2017 | 3:00-5:00pm | RACC Office – 411 NW Park Ave #101, Portland
  • Wednesday, July 26, 2017 | 6:00-7:30pm | Hollywood Library Meeting Room – 4040 NE Tillamook St, Portland
  • Thursday, July 27, 2017 | 9:00-11:00am | RACC Office – 411 NW Park Ave #101, Portland

Questions?

You can learn more about Project Grants and read the new Grant Guidelines on our Project Grant page. Please contact Jack MacNichol with questions about RACC grants, or with translation and technical assistance requests, at 503-823-2928 or jmacnichol@racc.org.


RACC board taps Jeff Hawthorne to serve as Interim Executive Director

PORTLAND, ORE – The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) has announced that Jeff Hawthorne will fill the position of Executive Director on an interim basis, effective July 1 until the new Executive Director is hired. RACC’s current Executive Director, Eloise Damrosch, retires on June 30.

“We are very pleased to announce the appointment of Jeff as the Interim Executive of RACC,” said Mike Golub, chair of the RACC board. “Jeff is extremely talented, experienced and respected in the arts community and is the perfect person to steward RACC during our transition.”

As a 15 year veteran of the organization and RACC’s director of community engagement, Hawthorne is responsible for securing a large majority of the organization’s public and private revenue each year. He supervises RACC’s advocacy efforts, research activities, communications strategies and fundraising campaigns. Among his accomplishments at RACC, Jeff designed and implemented the state’s first United Arts Fund campaign (Work for Art), and secured funding for RACC to launch a new arts integration program in classrooms in 2007 (The Right Brain Initiative). He co-authored the region’s 2009 cultural action plan, Act for Art, which laid the groundwork for the city’s arts tax. In 2015 Jeff received the Michael Newton Award from Americans for the Arts, recognizing his innovative work in developing private sector partnerships and funding for the arts.

Hawthorne is expected to serve in this role for at least three months; he is not a candidate for the position permanently. The search for the new Executive Director is being managed by the RACC-appointed search committee. A formal posting of the position is expected in June. For regular updates, visit www.racc.org/executive-director-search-update. The search committee can be reached anytime by emailing EDSearch@racc.org.


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The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) provides grants for artists, nonprofit organizations and schools in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties; manages an internationally acclaimed public art program; raises money and awareness for the arts through Work for Art; convenes forums, networking events and other community gatherings; provides workshops and other forms of technical assistance for artists; and oversees a program to integrate arts and culture into the standard curriculum in public schools through The Right Brain Initiative. RACC values a diversity of artistic and cultural experiences and is working to build a community in which everyone can participate in culture, creativity and the arts. For more information visit racc.org.


RACC awards Arts Equity Grants to 24 organizations

PORTLAND, ORE — The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) has awarded $126,540 in Arts Equity Grants to 24 organizations that are advancing RACC’s goals for equity and inclusion. These grants are funded by City of Portland’s Arts Education & Access Fund, or arts tax, along with support from Multnomah County.

Arts Equity Grants provide financial support to organizations that are conducting arts and culture projects and programming for communities of color, immigrants, refugees, underserved neighborhoods, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ communities, people experiencing homelessness and houselessness, and other communities that have historically been marginalized.

A total of 75 nonprofit organizations submitted eligible Letters of Interest in this cycle and 31 organizations were invited to submit full applications. A panel of RACC Board Members and community representatives reviewed the 29 submitted applications and recommended full or partial funding for 24 applicants, totaling $126,540. The RACC Board of Directors approved the final grant awards on May 24, 2017.

Here is a brief summary of the 24 Arts Equity Grants awarded (*First-time RACC Grant recipient):

  • Autism Society of Oregon – Art workshops for adults on the autism spectrum. $1,250
  • Cinema Project – Social justice film screenings at correctional facility in partnership with Liberation Literacy. $1,480
  • Cymaspace – Oregon Arts & Accessibility Festival to showcase the work of deaf and hard of hearing artists. $6,500
  • Fuse Theatre Ensemble – OUTwright Theatre Festival, celebrating the contributions of the LGBTQI+ community to the art of theatre. $5,000
  • Girls Inc of the Pacific Northwest* – Five week summer documentary filmmaking program that inspires girls to share the stories of Portland women. $6,500
  • Hmong American Community of Oregon* – New Year Celebration at Glenhaven Park. $6,000
  • Instituto de Cultura y Arte In Xochitl In Cuicatl – Dia de los Muertos ceremony and accompanying workshops/programming. $5,000
  • Jim Pepper Native Arts Festival* – 5th Annual Festival featuring and supporting Native American/First Nations artists, activists, and vendors. $6,000
  • Kukatonon Children’s African Dance Troupe – After-school African dance and drumming program, including partnership with The Portland Ballet. $6,500
  • Latino Network – Multi-media video art project with Latino youth in East County. $6,500
  • Morpheus Youth Project – Breakdancing workshop in partnership with Department of Community Justice, Juvenile Services.  $6,500
  • NAYA Family Center – Neerchokikoo Honoring Powwow, an annual celebration honoring Native American Cultural Arts. $5,000
  • New Expressive Works – Weekend of workshops and activities highlighting the experiences of urban South Asians. $6,500
  • Outside the Frame* – Intensive filmmaking workshop and subsequent weekly programming for youth experiencing homelessness. $6,000
  • Portland Art & Cultural Center* – Annual Chinese New Year Cultural Fair. $6,000
  • Portland Interfaith Gospel Choir* – Free community concert at St. Andre Bessette Catholic Church. $4,500
  • PreSERVE Coalition* – 12-week collaborative arts series with The Geezer Gallery for older African Americans. $6,500
  • Public Annex* – Two terms of art classes for people with disabilities and arts community. $5,000
  • Right 2 Survive – Support Ambassador Project to host writing and art workshops integrating housed and homeless people. $6,500
  • ROSE CDC* – Comprehensive music education, production, and performance program in partnership with Holla Mentors. $6,500
  • Slavic Community Center of NW* – Cultural music event for Slavic immigrants featuring local musicians performing music by Russian composers. $5,000
  • The Giving Tree – 4 session class for residents to explore their mental health diagnosis in relation to their creativity and art-making. $1,810
  • The Rosewood Initiative – Role Models Apply Positive Peer Pressure (RAPP) Music Program. $4,000
  • World Stage Theatre – Imagination Express Arts Education mobile outreach program in East County. $6,000

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The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) provides grants for artists, nonprofit organizations and schools in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties; manages an internationally acclaimed public art program; raises money and awareness for the arts through Work for Art; convenes forums, networking events and other community gatherings; provides workshops and other forms of technical assistance for artists; and oversees a program to integrate arts and culture into the standard curriculum in public schools through The Right Brain Initiative. RACC values a diversity of artistic and cultural experiences and is working to build a community in which everyone can participate in culture, creativity and the arts. For more information visit racc.org.


Williams Avenue Artwork Community Celebration

Williams Ave. was once the vibrant heart of Portland’s Black community. Formerly known as the “Black Broadway,” the corridor included a concentration of Black churches, businesses, social service organizations and nightclubs that were thriving and active community institutions.

Although the landscape has changed, there is much to remember, celebrate and build upon. In 2012, the Williams Ave. Safety Project Stakeholder Advisory Committee recommended to the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) that these stories be honored through an art history project that would have a prominent place on the corridor. Thus, the community-led Honoring History of Williams Ave. Committee and the Historic Black Williams Project were born.

Since then, local artists Cleo Davis and Kayin Talton Davis have been collecting stories, memories and histories from Black community members. Their artwork is now complete and ready for installation. We hope that this project will serve as both a visual archive and an inspiration for future community efforts. Please join us on June 3rd as we honor this history and project contributors. During this event we will have a brief speaking program and then launch group and self-guided walks of the corridor to view the art pieces. A map of the art walk will be available at the event and online post-event.

ART UNVEILING + COMMUNITY WALK

Saturday, June 3, 2017
12:00 PM – 2:00 PM (Program at 12 PM; community art walk to follow)
Dawson Park, N. Williams Ave. + N. Stanton St.
Portland, OR, 97227

RSVP: historicblackwilliamsproject@portlandoregon.gov or (503) 823-4239


Oregon Arts Funding Update

Issued by Christine Drazan, Executive Director at Oregon Cultural Advocacy Coalition and Craig Campbell, Lobbyist, on May 26, 2017.

As we move into this Memorial Day weekend, we only have five weeks remaining in the Oregon Legislative Session. The process has narrowed the policy and spending bills that still have the opportunity to move. This narrowing of legislative measures allows the legislature to move noncontroversial policy bills early in the session and following the revenue forecast, shift their full attention to issues around the budget shortfall and discussions of new transportation and business taxes. Priority legislation for the cultural community is likely to remain in committee until these larger issues are resolved.

BALANCING THE BUDGET

The May Revenue Forecast was released on May 16th.   2017-2019 budgets are based on this forecast, and now that it has been released, the legislature will begin to finalize budgets and advance discussions around new revenues needed to limit cuts as they work to balance the state budget.

PRIORITY LEGISLATION

The Cultural Advocacy Coalition continues to lobby to restore funding for the Oregon Arts Commission and is supporting a package of endorsed capital construction projects in the cultural sector. Many proposals over the session to address the larger issues of balancing the budget and raising revenues have had the potential to harm the cultural sector. We have worked hard to ensure these issues are understood in their larger context as proposals that would harm the nonprofit sector broadly and would damage access to the arts in Oregon.

The session has been a whirlwind, and the final five weeks will be intense. The Coalition’s priority legislation is listed below. And, you can keep up-to-date on legislation we are tracking by visiting the Take Action section of our website.

  • Restore state-level cuts to the Oregon Arts Commission—HB5025
    • $272,000 proposed cut expected to be implemented by the OAC through a 30% cut in operating support grants
  • Support continuation of capital investments in cultural projects statewide—HB5530
    • $6 million in lottery bonds requested for construction projects in Cave Junction, Bend, Corvallis, Newport, Portland, Eugene and Cottage Grove that support economic development in the cultural sector.
  • Establish a Task Force on Equitable Access to Arts Education—SB313
    • The legislature’s first ever arts education task force is charged with quantifying existing access to arts education; identifying barriers to equity and recommending changes needed to encourage access to the arts within a well-rounded education

Restored funding for the Oregon Arts Commission and the appointment of an arts education task force will be difficult to achieve without substantial grassroots advocacy. If you have not already contacted your own legislators, please do so here. Thank you if you were among the many who sent a message to your legislator this month. Nearly 300 messages went out to 70 legislators, but we need to continue to keep the pressure on! When you click on the link to send your message, please personalize the intro and/or close to your email if you can—the more local and personalized your message is, the greater the impact.

ARTS AND CULTURE ADVOCACY DAY

Once again, thank you, to the many advocates who joined the Coalition for Arts and Culture Advocacy Day. Legislator meetings were plentiful and productive. It is so valuable when stakeholders take the time out of their schedules to connect as engaged constituents. With your help, we will continue to fight to ensure Oregon culture is preserved and protected in this session’s challenging budget environment.

MEMBERSHIP

Coalition members make this work possible. Your support defends fine art from harmful taxes, advances the conversation to address equitable access to arts education and fights for full funding for Oregon’s cultural sector.

For those of you who reading this but are not yet members of the Coalition, I hope you will take a moment to join. Individual memberships range from $50-$500 and can even be set up online with a monthly contribution that fits your budget. $5 a month or a $500 gift today—both memberships help keep the Coalition at the table on your behalf and sustain advocacy for arts and culture.

Thank you for your membership support and for your commitment to the growth and health of the cultural sector in Oregon.


Artist Helen Lessick marks the 30th anniversary of “House for Summer” with a “Tree Celebration” and exhibition

House for Summer, artist Helen Lessick’s living tree sculpture located within Portland’s Hoyt Arboretum, is turning 30 years old! This captivating installation of birch trees, part of the City of Portland’s public art collection, has been pruned and shaped to take the form of a house, a house that changes with the seasons and is a reflection of the shelter of the forest canopy. House for Summer is a prime example of the work Lessick has done over the past three decades investigating the imagery and metaphor of plants.

Coinciding with this anniversary Lessick’s is having an exhibition at Jeffrey Thomas Fine Art and the Murdoch Exhibition Space. Titled CANOPY, the exhibition showcases Lessick’s recent works with trees across the American west and features a number of her site-specific installations as well as sculpture, artists’ books, and works on paper.

A Tree Celebration: Join us for an on-site event celebrating the 30th anniversary of House for Summer on Wednesday, June 21, from 3:30 to 5:30 pm. The Hoyt Arboretum is located at 4000 SW Fairview Blvd., in Portland—within the Arboretum House for Summer is located adjacent to the intersection of SW Fairview Blvd. and SW Knights Road. Refreshments will be served to honor the trees and will be followed by a human reception at Jeffrey Thomas Fine Art at 6 pm.

Jeffrey Thomas Fine Art and the Murdoch Exhibition Space are located at 2219 NW Raleigh Street, Portland www.jefferythomasfineart.com  For a map to House for Summer contact RACC Collections Manager Keith Lachowicz klachowicz@racc.org  CANOPY runs from June 10 – July 29 with an artist reception on June 10 from 4 to 6 pm.

About the Artist

Helen Lessick is a visual artist working in sculpture, installation, artists’ books and public art. She has received a Pollock Krasner Foundation fellowship, project grants from Art Matters, the Warhol Foundation and the Oregon Arts Commission and was the 2000 Bonnie Bronson Foundation fellow. Helen has been honored with solo shows at the Bellevue Art Museum, Tacoma Art Museum and the Sierra Nevada Museum of Art, she has created commissioned artworks in Europe and Africa as well as across the US. Helen earned her BA in Art from Reed College and her MFA in Studio Art from the University of California Irvine. She maintains her practice in Los Angeles.  helenlessick.net


Artist Crystal Schenk presents “I’m Not a Barnacle, I’m Just a Boy” at the Portland Building Installation Space, June 5 – June 30

PORTLAND, ORE – RACC is pleased to present a new work by sculptor and installation artist Crystal Schenk in the Installation Space located adjacent to the Portland Building lobby. I’m Not a Barnacle, I’m Just a Boy, opens June 5 and features an arresting sculpture that asks the viewer to look beyond their common understanding into the complexities of the mother/child relationship.

Schenk’s project is an expansive ceramic piece recently completed during her artist residency at Leland Iron Works in Oregon City. The work consists of a field of rocks—each handmade with black clay—which are smooth and satiny, as if tumbled by the sea. Over these rocks large white porcelain barnacles appear to have fastened themselves. The center of the field reveals a sculpture of her three-year-old son, also made in black clay with barnacles growing on his body.

“I like to let one material mimic and charade as another—as the process of discovery lends to an unfolding of understanding.” Schenk says. “Although some species of barnacle are parasitic, most are so harmless their hosts may not even notice them growing to cover their bodies. My relationship to my son has been similar. Starting as an almost unnoticeable seed in my body, he soon grew to take it over—and once on the outside he has been continuously attached to me, even now at three years old. This work was inspired by a moment while we were beachcombing, when he randomly told me, ‘Momma, I’m not a barnacle. I’m just a boy.’ The sculpture exposes my mixed emotions to being a parent, and my bond with this tiny being who is both autonomous and vaguely parasitic.”

About the Artist: Crystal Schenk has a labor-intensive and detail-oriented way of working, in which craftsmanship and material choices play a large role. Her mediums vary as she relies on a combination of material meaning and personal/cultural iconography to build concept. Her work incorporates a wide range of skills, including welding, stained glass, woodworking, crochet, beading, and casting to name a few. Woven through what may initially appear as visually disparate works are common themes of class structure, heritage, and the fluctuating perceptions of memory.

Schenk received an MFA from Portland State University in 2007, and a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1999. She lives and works in Portland, Oregon and is an adjunct professor at Pacific Northwest College of Art and Portland State University. She was awarded the International Sculpture Center’s Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award for 2006, and was selected as the recipient of ISC’s residency program at Art-st-urban in Switzerland. In 2009 Art-st-urban awarded Schenk with the institution’s first Emerging Sculptor Award, and represented her at Art Basel in 2013 and Open 18 in Venice Italy in 2015. Locally, Schenk’s work was represented at the Oregon biennial, Portland 2010, and has been exhibited at Bullseye and Linfield galleries. This All Happened More or Less, a public art commission Schenk completed with Shelby Davis in SE Portland was recently recognized by Americans for the Arts one of 2014’s top public projects nationwide. www.crystalschenk.com

Meet the Artist: Join us for an opportunity to discuss I’m Not a Barnacle, I’m Just a Boy with Crystal Schenk in person at the Portland Building Installation Space on Thursday, June 8th at 4 PM.

Viewing Hours & Location The Portland Building is located at 1120 SW 5th Avenue and is open 8 am to 5 pm, Monday – Friday. I’m Not a Barnacle, I’m Just a Boy opens Monday, June 5 and runs through Friday, June 30. For more information on the Installation Space series go to www.racc.org/installationspace.


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The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) provides grants for artists, nonprofit organizations and schools in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties; manages an internationally acclaimed public art program; raises money and awareness for the arts through Work for Art; convenes forums, networking events and other community gatherings; provides workshops and other forms of technical assistance for artists; and oversees a program to integrate arts and culture into the standard curriculum in public schools through The Right Brain Initiative. RACC values a diversity of artistic and cultural experiences and is working to build a community in which everyone can participate in culture, creativity and the arts. For more information visit racc.org.


Hampton Lumber, ZGF Architects and Stoel Rives win top prizes at RACC’s second annual Battle of the Bands

PORTLAND, ORE – Six employee bands competed in RACC’s Battle of the Bands competition on Wednesday night, a benefit for Work for Art. More than 600 people attended the second annual event, held at the Crystal Ballroom. Celebrity judges Valerie Day, Rindy Ross and Edna Vazquez awarded the top prize – Best Company Band – to The Bears, from Stoel Rives. The Best Showmanship prize went to the ZGF Architects band, Pencil Skirt Paula and the Straight Edge Rulers.

Joey Meador, lead singer for the Best Company Band, The Bears, from Stoel Rives. (Photo by Erica Ann Photography)

The Audience Favorite award, as determined by cash votes from the audience and online, went to Hampton Lumber’s Petty Crimes, a Tom Petty cover band. Audience voting raised over $11,000 for the cause, and while the overall fundraising totals from sponsorships and other donations are still being tabulated, all proceeds will benefit the 2017 Work for Art campaign and will be shared with more than 100 arts organizations that are funded by RACC and Work for Art.

The event was held at the Crystal Ballroom and co-chaired by Portland City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly and ZGF Architects principal Sharron van der Meulen. Sarah G. from WE 96.3 FM emceed, and Alpha Media will provide the winning Bears an opportunity for an encore performance at the Skype Live Studio in downtown Portland (performance date to be announced).

The Audience Favorite from Hampton Lumber, Petty Crimes. (Photo by Erica Ann Photograph)

Portland jazz musician Christopher Brown mentored the competing bands, which also included Copper Goddess (Portland City Hall), Members Only (Kaiser Permanente), and Hair Nation (KeyBank). The Last Regiment of Syncopated Drummers kicked off the event, and The Standard presented a special performance by Strawberry Jam from the Rock N Roll Camp for Girls. The Brothers Jam, led by BodyVox artistic director Jamey Hampton, and a Timbers Army band, Greenhorn, also performed.

RACC’s second annual Battle of the Bands was sponsored in part by Hampton Lumber, KeyBank, The Standard and Alpha Media/KINK 101.9 FM. Additional sponsors included Kaiser Permanente, The Portland Business Journal, Stoel Rives, The Portland Timbers, ZGF Architects, Erica Ann Photography, Ben & Jerry’s/New Avenues for Youth, Performance Promotions and Poster Garden.

Companies interested in competing in next year’s Battle are encouraged to contact Alison Bailey, RACC’s business partnership manager, at abailey@racc.org, 503-823-5424.

To make a contribution to this year’s Work for Art campaign, visit workforart.org. Donors who give $60 or more receive a special benefit – The Arts Card, which provides 2-for-1 tickets to hundreds of arts and culture events in the Portland area.

Pencil Skirt Paula and the Straight Edge Rulers, from ZGF, won the Best Showmanship prize. (Photo by Erica Ann Photography)

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The Regional Arts & Culture Council
(RACC) was established in 1995 and is funded by public and private partners to serve artists, arts organizations, schools and residents throughout Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties. RACC provides grants for artists, nonprofit organizations and schools; manages an internationally acclaimed public art program; raises money and awareness for the arts through workplace giving and other programs; convenes forums, networking events and other community gatherings; provides workshops and other forms of technical assistance for artists; and integrates the arts into K-8 curriculum through The Right Brain Initiative. Online at racc.org.


Oregon Arts Funding Alert

Issued by the Oregon Cultural Advocacy Coalition (5/15/17)

Last week 138 messages went out to legislators in support of funding for arts and culture in the Oregon Legislature. But we still have work to do, because at last check, 33 legislators did not receive any messages from their constituents. This includes the Speaker of the House! So, we need your help. The revenue forecast (this is the estimate legislators will use to balance the state budget) is released at 8:30AM tomorrow (5/16) –which means legislators need to hear from you right away!

As of today (5/15), budget-writers have slated the relatively small budget of the Oregon Arts Commission for cuts of up to 12%, which could result in reduced funding in grants for arts organizations–of up to 30 percent. Proposals at the federal level to eliminate funding for cultural agencies in FY18 could result in crippling shortfalls in state funding and direct grants to arts, public broadcasting and the humanities. The potential adoption of these proposals, and the proposed cuts at the state level, places arts and culture in Oregon at grave risk.

If you have already contacted your legislators through another email address–thank you!

If not, please use the link below to send a message to your legislators immediately to ask that legislators work together to protect Oregon culture. If you know your legislator personally don’t click a link to send a standard message–take a moment to make a personal call to the legislator’s office to thank them for their hard work this session, and request that arts funding to be restored.

Click the link below to log in and send your message:
https://www.votervoice.net/BroadcastLinks/XfxJTj5mpXxCupG–XUsQw


Temporary mural wall pilot program Fresh Paint, a partnership between RACC and Open Signal, to launch in May

Local artists will paint temporary murals at Open Signal over the next year

PORTLAND, ORE – Fresh Paint, a temporary mural wall project, begins in mid-May as part of a new professional development initiative of RACC’s Public Art Murals programming. Three artists have been selected to paint a temporary mural on an area of the exterior west-wall of Open Signal facing the highly-visible Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. Each mural will be up for a period of four months and then painted over in preparation for the next mural.

The pilot program for Fresh Paint is a partnership between RACC’s Public Art Murals program and Open Signal, a community-driven media arts center. Artist participation required living in the Portland metropolitan area, having a consistent studio or mural practice, and not having received any public art commission through RACC nor having created an exterior mural in the City of Portland. The selected artists will receive a stipend for their participation and are offered the opportunity to engage with the myriad of resources at Open Signal.

Public Art Manager Peggy Kendellen elaborates: “This program offers emerging artists the opportunity to work in the public realm—and, in many cases, on a larger scale —with the support of both RACC and Open Signal. The partnership provides artists additional resources that they would not typically have access to as they explore working in the public sector and incorporating new approaches and skills in their artistic practice and experience.”

Open Signal is a 13,000-square foot media arts center that provides the public with easy access to media tools, training, broadcast and opportunities for experimentation. According to Open Signal Executive Director Justen Harn, “We have been working hard this year to reimagine our physical space and connect with the community in new ways through that space. We are thrilled to work with RACC to explore new forms of public engagement.”

Illustrator Molly Mendoza will be the first artist to paint. Her mural is a nod to Open Signal’s youth programs with a vibrant image of Portland youth engaging with the community through broadcasting and video media. It will be painted in mid-late May and remain up through September. The second artist will be Alex Chiu painting in the early October. The third artist will be featured in early 2018.

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About Fresh Paint
Fresh Paint is a temporary mural wall project that furthers mural painting skills and promotes digital media engagement. From May 2017 – May 2018, selected artists are able to showcase their work on an area of the west wall of Open Signal. The program is a partnership between Open Signal and RACC.

About Open Signal, Portland Community Media Center
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, an equipment library, artist residencies and programs five cable channels with locally produced content. Open Signal delivers media programming with a commitment to creativity, technology and social change. Learn more at opensignalpdx.org.

About RACC
The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) was established in 1995 and is funded by public and private partners to serve artists, arts organizations, schools and residents throughout Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties. RACC provides grants for artists, nonprofit organizations and schools; manages an internationally acclaimed public art program; raises money and awareness for the arts through workplace giving and other programs; convenes forums, networking events and other community gatherings; provides workshops and other forms of technical assistance for artists; and integrates the arts into K-8 curriculum through The Right Brain Initiative. Online at racc.org.


Help Stop Cuts to the Arts in Oregon

Issued by the Oregon Cultural Advocacy Coalition on May 4, 2017

We need your help. While legislators work to address budget and revenue challenges, the relatively small budget for the Oregon Arts Commission faces substantial cuts. Current proposed cuts to the commission’s budget of 12% could result in reduced funding in grants for arts organizations of up to 30 percent. Proposals at the federal level to eliminate funding for cultural agencies in FY18 could result in crippling shortfalls in state funding and direct grants to arts, public broadcasting and the humanities. The potential adoption of these federal proposals, combined with potential cuts at the state level, places arts and culture in Oregon at grave risk.

We are asking advocates to use the link below to send a message to their legislators immediately, to ask that they work with their colleagues to restore funding to the Arts Commission and protect Oregon culture.

Thank you for taking the time to act now.

Click the link below to log in and send your message:
https://www.votervoice.net/BroadcastLinks/pktLUadBBD0z7XQtGCY3pQ


Congress Gives the Arts a Funding Boost

Issued by Americans for the Art on May 1, 2017

Congress has reached a bipartisan agreement on a bill to fund the nation’s federal agencies and programs for the remaining balance of the current FY2017 fiscal year, which ends on September 30, 2017.  None of the nation’s arts and cultural agencies nor programs incurred a budget cut. In fact, many of them received funding increases for this year (see chart below).

Special thanks:

Special thanks to House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Ken Calvert (R-CA) for initiating a funding increase for many of these cultural programs in the House Interior bill and to Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) for matching the funding increases in the Senate version of the bill. Many thanks to Congressional Arts Caucus co-chairs Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ) and Senate Cultural Caucus co-chairs Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) for keeping member pressure on Congressional leaders to increase funding for these critically important cultural agencies. Huge thanks to our 350,000 Arts Action Fund members for contacting their Members of Congress, signing our petitions to the White House, and sharing their stories on social media and with traditional media.

Key Federally Funded Arts & Culture Agencies/Programs FY 2016 Enacted Appropriations
(in millions)
FY 2017 Omnibus Proposal
(in millions)
National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) $148 $150
National Endowment for Humanities (NEH) $148 $150
Assistance for Arts Education through U.S. Department of Education $27 $27
New ESSA Well-Rounded Education grants $400
Corp for Public Broadcasting (forward funded) $445 $445
Office of Museum Services $31 $32
Smithsonian Institution $840 $863
U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum $54 $57
Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts $36 $36
U.S. Commission of Fine Arts $2.65 $2.8
Nat’l Capital Arts & Cultural Affairs Program $2 $2
National Gallery of Art $148 $155.5

Next Steps:

  • FY2017:  Both chambers of Congress will next vote on this bipartisan Omnibus Appropriations bill before it proceeds to the President’s desk for him to sign/veto by this Friday, May 5th.  Despite the President recently proposing funding cuts to many of these cultural programs (i.e. $15 million cut to NEA), it appears that he will sign the bill.
  • FY2018:  Please note that the FY2018 appropriations bill for funding the federal government from October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2018 is still very much in play and going through the legislative process. This is the bill that the President recommended eliminating the NEA, NEH, IMLS, CPB, etc.  We remain focused on getting all of these agencies fully funded as well in the coming months.

Our #SAVEtheNEA campaign continues to go strong to advance the FY2018 message to Congress and the White House.  Please consider sending a #SAVEtheNEA message to your Congressional delegation as well as supporting our advocacy campaign efforts with a contribution.