RACC Blog

Company bands invited to Battle on May 17

The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) is now accepting registrations for its second annual Battle of the Bands competition slated for Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at the Crystal Ballroom. Eight employee bands, sponsored by their companies, will perform in front of friends, family, co-workers and a panel of celebrity judges as they vie for the title of Best Company Band and other prizes. The event will raise more than $80,000 for RACC’s annual Work for Art campaign.

The debut of Battle of the Bands last year was an unqualified success, attracting seven employee bands, 400 music fans and $70,000 for the cause. Top honors went to Pencil Skirt Paula and The Straight Edge Rulers from ZGF Architects (Best Company Band); Members Only from Kaiser Permanente (Best Showmanship); and Smoke Before Fire from The Standard (Audience Favorite).

While those companies prepare to defend their titles in 2017, five spots remain for the 2017 Battle. Among the rules:

  • In order to perform, companies pay a sponsorship fee of $5,000 or more; sponsorships also include complimentary tickets and other benefits.
  • Spots are offered on a first-come basis. All bands must register by Monday, April 3, 2017.
  • Each band can have between 3-15 members.
  • Bands must be made up mostly of employees working for the sponsoring company; only one musician in each band may be exempted from this requirement.
  • Each band will have 10 minutes to perform, and all genres of music are welcome.

New this year, RACC is providing additional opportunities for local business participation through a lip sync video competition. For more information and application materials, visit http://workforart.org/bob/ or contact Alison Bailey at 503-823-5424.

Work for Art, now in its 11th year, is an annual campaign to raise money and awareness for local arts and culture organizations, primarily through workplace giving and other partnerships with local businesses. The 2017 campaign is led by Kregg Arntson, executive director of the PGE Foundation and director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Portland General Electric. More than 70 companies will participate in this year’s Work for Art campaign, and all proceeds from Work for Art and Battle of the Bands will be granted to approximately 100 nonprofit arts and culture organizations in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties.

Portland City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly and ZGF Principal Sharron van der Meulen are co-chairing the 2017 Battle. Tickets are on sale now for $12 each at The Crystal Ballroom box office, 1332 West Burnside Street in Portland; by phone at 1-855-CAS-TIXX; or online at https://tinyurl.com/jy6pjyg. A limited number of VIP tickets are available for $100 each, including complimentary food and beverage plus reserved seating.

 


Company bands invited to Battle on May 17

PORTLAND, ORE  – The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) is now accepting registrations for its second annual Battle of the Bands competition slated for Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at the Crystal Ballroom. Eight employee bands, sponsored by their companies, will perform in front of friends, family, co-workers and a panel of celebrity judges as they vie for the title of Best Company Band and other prizes. The event will raise more than $80,000 for RACC’s annual Work for Art campaign.

The debut of Battle of the Bands last year was an unqualified success, attracting seven employee bands, 400 music fans and $70,000 for the cause. Top honors went to Pencil Skirt Paula and The Straight Edge Rulers from ZGF Architects (Best Company Band); Members Only from Kaiser Permanente (Best Showmanship); and Smoke Before Fire from The Standard (Audience Favorite).

While those companies prepare to defend their titles in 2017, five spots remain for the 2017 Battle. Among the rules:

  • In order to perform, companies pay a sponsorship fee of $5,000 or more; sponsorships also include complimentary tickets and other benefits.
  • Spots are offered on a first-come basis. All bands must register by Monday, April 3, 2017.
  • Each band can have between 3-15 members.
  • Bands must be made up mostly of employees working for the sponsoring company; only one musician in each band may be exempted from this requirement.
  • Each band will have 10 minutes to perform, and all genres of music are welcome.

New this year, RACC is providing additional opportunities for local business participation through a lip sync video competition. For more information and application materials, visit http://workforart.org/bob/ or contact Alison Bailey at 503-823-5424.

Work for Art, now in its 11th year, is an annual campaign to raise money and awareness for local arts and culture organizations, primarily through workplace giving and other partnerships with local businesses. The 2017 campaign is led by Kregg Arntson, executive director of the PGE Foundation and director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Portland General Electric. More than 70 companies will participate in this year’s Work for Art campaign, and all proceeds from Work for Art and Battle of the Bands will be granted to approximately 100 nonprofit arts and culture organizations in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties.

Portland City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly and ZGF Principal Sharron van der Meulen are co-chairing the 2017 Battle. Tickets are on sale now for $12 each at The Crystal Ballroom box office, 1332 West Burnside Street in Portland; by phone at 1-855-CAS-TIXX; or online at https://tinyurl.com/jy6pjyg. A limited number of VIP tickets are available for $100 each, including complimentary food and beverage plus reserved seating.

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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 www.racc.org.


Arts Oversight Committee Recruitment 2017

The Citizens Oversight Committee is dedicated to supporting arts teachers and arts organizations throughout Portland and they need new members from every area of the city!

The purpose of the Citizens Oversight Committee:

  • Review the disbursements and outcomes of the Arts Education & Access Fund
  • Oversee measures of effectiveness of the funding
  • Annually report findings to Portland City Council

The Citizens Oversight Committee members are appointed to two-year terms by the City of Portland. The Committee meets on a monthly healthcarewell pharmacy basis.

The Citizens Oversight Committee is composed of people of diverse interests, skills, backgrounds, and talents. We’re looking for candidates who have:

  • An interest in art, music, or dance (helpful, but not required)
  • Observation and analysis skills
  • Financial analysis skills (helpful, but not required)
  • An interest in being actively engaged in their school and community organizations

Contact Craig Gibons, Committee Chair, at craig.gibons@multco.us for more information.

AOC Recruiting flyer 

More Committee information here.

Applications for the Committee here.

 


Kalimah Abioto, Artist-in-Residence with Open Signal and RACC, to debut film on First Thursday

Open Signal and the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) have partnered to support an artist-in-residence, Kalimah Abioto. The residency is part of Night Lights, a monthly digital media event in which artists project their work onto the north exterior wall of RACC’s downtown offices on First Thursdays. Abioto will produce a new work for the next edition of Night Lights on Thursday, March 2.

A graduate of the film program at Hollins College, Abioto’s work includes experimentally edited short documentaries and narrative films, with a focus on the Portland and Memphis African-American communities.

Through Night Lights, Abioto was granted a stipend of $5,000 from RACC and use of Open Signal media equipment, facilities and training. In November, she used these resources to travel to Mali, West Africa, where she collected video footage in Dogon Country, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Since returning to Portland, Abioto has collaborated with local dancers, musicians, filmmakers and prop-makers to create her Night Lights film entitled Sight. The film tells the story of three young girls with the ability to travel to different dimensions, who help an adult woman to rediscover her own power.

“It’s a film about spirituality—going inside to retrieve your gifts and share them with the world,” Abioto said. “Embracing your shadow, in a way.”

Through her residency, Abioto had access to Open Signal’s equipment and production studios, which she used to create one of the dimensions in Sight. Dancers Uriah Boyd, Akela Jaffi and Mia O’Connor staged a dance alongside the three young leads in Open Signal’s Cyclorama green screen studio, to music written and performed by Abioto’s sister, Amenta Abioto.

“The green screen studio is phenomenal,” Abioto said. “So is having the office space to meet with the team and the talent, as well as access to the equipment—it’s like having a support team.”

Abioto will debut her film at Night Lights on Thursday, March 2, starting at dusk, at the Regional Arts & Culture Council’s north exterior wall, 411 NW Park Avenue in Portland.

Abioto will also share her work in progress during Open Signal’s first Open House on Saturday, February 25 from 4-8 p.m. at 2766 NE MLK Jr. Blvd. in Portland.

On Wednesday, March 22, she will deliver an artist talk in conjunction with her collaborators at Open Signal at 7:00 p.m., screening her film again, discussing her filmmaking process and taking questions from the audience about its inspiration and production.


Kalimah Abioto, Artist-in-Residence with Open Signal and RACC, to debut film on First Thursday

PORTLAND, ORE – Open Signal and the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) have partnered to support an artist-in-residence, Kalimah Abioto. The residency is part of Night Lights, a monthly digital media event in which artists project their work onto the north exterior wall of RACC’s downtown offices on First Thursdays. Abioto will produce a new work for the next edition of Night Lights on Thursday, March 2.

A graduate of the film program at Hollins College, Abioto’s work includes experimentally edited short documentaries and narrative films, with a focus on the Portland and Memphis African-American communities.

Through Night Lights, Abioto was granted a stipend of $5,000 from RACC and use of Open Signal media equipment, facilities and training. In November, she used these resources to travel to Mali, West Africa, where she collected video footage in Dogon Country, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Since returning to Portland, Abioto has collaborated with local dancers, musicians, filmmakers and prop-makers to create her Night Lights film entitled Sight. The film tells the story of three young girls with the ability to travel to different dimensions, who help an adult woman to rediscover her own power.

“It’s a film about spirituality—going inside to retrieve your gifts and share them with the world,” Abioto said. “Embracing your shadow, in a way.”

Through her residency, Abioto had access to Open Signal’s equipment and production studios, which she used to create one of the dimensions in Sight. Dancers Uriah Boyd, Akela Jaffi and Mia O’Connor staged a dance alongside the three young leads in Open Signal’s Cyclorama green screen studio, to music written and performed by Abioto’s sister, Amenta Abioto.

“The green screen studio is phenomenal,” Abioto said. “So is having the office space to meet with the team and the talent, as well as access to the equipment—it’s like having a support team.”

Abioto will debut her film at Night Lights on Thursday, March 2, starting at dusk, at the Regional Arts & Culture Council’s north exterior wall, 411 NW Park Avenue in Portland.

Abioto will also share her work in progress during Open Signal’s first Open House on Saturday, February 25 from 4-8 p.m. at 2766 NE MLK Jr. Blvd. in Portland.

On Wednesday, March 22, she will deliver an artist talk in conjunction with her collaborators at Open Signal at 7:00 p.m., screening her film again, discussing her filmmaking process and taking questions from the audience about its inspiration and production.

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About Night Lights
Night Lights is a monthly public art event that promotes digital media, urban intervention, and technological innovation. On the First Thursdays of October through April, select artists are able to showcase their work on the north wall of the Regional Arts & Culture Council. Night Lights is a collaboration between Open Signal and RACC.

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, 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.


NEA and NEH Letters to the President

ELOISE BLOG: As we know there has been considerable angst and very little reliable information circulating regarding the President’s position on arts and humanities.

As a first step in advocating for these vital organizations Americans for the Arts (AFTA), the national organization focused on arts advocacy, research, and support to the field, has shared a recent letter to the President from Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Sen Tom Udall (D-NM) in support of continued funding to the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The twenty-two other Senators that signed include our own Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and two GOP members, Senators Capito (R-WV) and Collins (R-ME).

There will be many opportunities going forward for advocacy, but I wanted you to see this letter and encourage the signers to press on.

Read the letter here.


Public Art Reboot

On Friday, 2/3 the Northwest Public Art Collective (NoWPAC) – which is comprised of artists, curators and Public Art administrators from the Pacific Northwest – gathered at Portland State University for Public Art Reboot, a day-long series of conversations where the group discussed practices, curation, growth, excellence and new ideas in the field of public art.

Here is a link to photos from the event. (Photos: Intisar Abioto)

NoWPAC facebook page https://www.facebook.com/NowPAC/


Stephanie Simek presents “Table of Elements (and Minerals)” at the Portland Building, February 21 – March 17

PORTLAND, ORE – Drawing on her previous work exploring materials with unusual and interesting physical properties, Stephanie Simek will install her deftly crafted, hand-built “table of holograms” in the Portland Building Installation Space beginning February 21st.

Simek’s project, titled Table of Elements (and Minerals), was designed with the architecture of the Installation Space in mind. Her installation not only serves as a way to engage visitors with a set of optical illusions (illusions that depend on the clever use of optical principles rather than complicated electronics) but it also functions as a conceptual container or vitrine for the artist’s personal table of elements—silicon, quartz, calcite, iron, copper, and bismuth. “It’s a table within a table, a reliquary for various elemental materials with remarkable inherent potential.” Simek says, “Each possesses unusual magnetic, electrical, or optical capabilities, and all have the ability to do work, such as carrying a signal or storing information.”

These familiar, but perhaps under-recognized, minerals have been used by the artist in her past installations to great effect. Those projects include the design and construction of a room-sized crystal radio, an invisibility cloak, a levitating sculpture, and an 8 byte data storage device.

About the Artist: Portland artist Stephanie Simek produces a wide array of work in multiple mediums. She received her BFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and has shown and performed her work in the Pacific Northwest, New York, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Simek has received two Oregon Arts Commission Career Development Awards and was awarded a Regional Arts & Culture Council Project Grant in 2014. Her work will be included in a two-person show at Oregon State University in 2018.

Viewing Hours & Location: The Portland Building is located at 1120 SW 5th Avenue in downtown Portland and is open 8 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday. Table of Elements (and Minerals) opens Tuesday, February 21 and runs through Friday, March 17.

The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) manages the 13’ x 8’ installation space in the lobby of the Portland Building and presents installation based art there year round. For more information, including images, proposals, and statements for projects dating back to 1994, 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.


Eloise Damrosch announces retirement

PORTLAND, ORE – Eloise Damrosch, the executive director of the Regional Arts & Culture Council in Portland, has announced her plans to retire on June 30, 2017. From 1987 to 2004, Eloise served as the public art director of RACC and its predecessor organization, The Metropolitan Arts Commission. She was appointed executive director in 2004.

“Eloise’s accomplishments are too many to list,” said RACC board chair Mike Golub. “Inarguably RACC has become a much stronger organization during her tenure. The number of artists, arts organizations and students that we serve has grown exponentially under Eloise’s watch. Our programs and impact on arts and culture in the region have grown dramatically under her stewardship. In short, her impact and imprimatur on the arts community in our region is an indelible one.”

“My time at RACC has been an amazing experience,” said Damrosch. “I have been so fortunate to have worked with smart, talented and creative people internally with our board and staff and externally in the arts and culture, business, government and non-profit communities. Together we have faced challenges and opportunities; celebrated wins; broadened our reach to be ever more inclusive; and pushed ourselves to meet our mission. Happily I will leave RACC with confidence in its future, faith in its staff and board, and a knowledge that our arts and culture community is vibrant and resilient.”

Damrosch has earned a local and national reputation as a respected arts administrator while helping create one of the best-known public art collections in the country. During her tenure of Executive Director, the organization developed an annual workplace giving campaign for the arts, Work for Art; established a comprehensive arts integration program, The Right Brain Initiative; increased the City of Portland and Multnomah County percent-for-art ordinances to 2%; and helped secure the passage of Portland’s voter-approved Arts Tax. Damrosch has also worked closely with RACC’s board of directors to develop a comprehensive agenda for equity and inclusion, transforming the way the organization allocates resources to help ensure that everyone in the region has access to culture and the arts. She is a member of the United States Urban Arts Federation, and recently termed off the Board of the Non-profit Association of Oregon.

The Regional Arts & Culture Council will undergo a national search for a new Executive Director. Details on the search are forthcoming.

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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 www.racc.org.


A message from Oregon’s Cultural Advocacy Coalition

Issued on February 8, 2017 by Christine Drazan, Executive Director, Cultural Advocacy Coalition

Last week I sent an email about the state’s daunting $1.8 billion shortfall. This week we have an opportunity to do something about it. Please consider attending a public hearing near you and tell budget-writers to protect arts and culture when they work to balance the budget.

The legislature’s Ways and Means Committee is taking a road trip and traveling across Oregon to invite public comment on possible budget cuts and spending priorities. Concerned Oregonians will be there to speak up for senior services, public safety, education and roads. Will you stand for the arts?

We know that targeted cuts or attempts to tap the Oregon Cultural Trust would deteriorate public funding for arts and culture in Oregon to levels which could cause lasting harm to the state’s cultural ecology.

Given the budget crisis and the risk that arts, humanities and public broadcasting may face at the federal level, we must do all we can to protect current funding for arts and culture here in Oregon.

Please consider voicing your support at one of the following meetings:

Friday, Feb. 10, 2017
STATE BUDGET – PUBLIC TESTIMONY
5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at:
Oregon State Capitol
Hearing Room F
900 Court Street NE
SALEM

Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017
STATE BUDGET – PUBLIC TESTIMONY
12:00 to 2:00 p.m. at:
Portland Community College, Sylvania Campus
Amo DeBernardis College Center
12000 SW 49th Ave.
PORTLAND

Friday, Feb. 17, 2017
STATE BUDGET – PUBLIC TESTIMONY
5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at:
Hermiston High School
Main Commons
600 S 1st Street
HERMISTON

Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017
STATE BUDGET – PUBLIC TESTIMONY
1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at:
Madras Performing Arts Center
412 SE Bluff Street
MADRAS

Friday, February 24, 2017
STATE BUDGET – PUBLIC TESTIMONY
5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at:
Southern Oregon University
Stevenson Union, Rogue River Room
1250 Siskiyou Blvd.
ASHLAND

Saturday, February 25, 2017
STATE BUDGET – PUBLIC TESTIMONY
1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at:
Lane Community College
Forum (Building 17), Rooms 308-309
4000 E 30th Ave.
EUGENE

Friday, March 3, 2017
STATE BUDGET – PUBLIC TESTIMONY
6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at:
Port of Tillamook Bay
Officers Mess Hall
6825 Officers Row
TILLAMOOK

Will you help protect public funding for arts, heritage and the humanities in Oregon? Let’s work together to protect the values that connect us, move us forward and enrich our lives. Your voice matters! Legislators are asking to hear from you. Thank you for all you do to support and strengthen creativity and culture in Oregon, and for using this opportunity to tell budget writers we must protect funding for arts and culture in Oregon.

Additional Resources:

  • Big picture on arts and culture in Oregon? Take a look at this.
  • Current arts & culture funding in Oregon? Here you go!
  • Who received arts grants in your community? And how much was the grant? Check here.
  • Have a specific question? Let us know!

Americans for the Arts (AFTA) Statement on Immigration and Refugee Ban

On January 27, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order that denies entrance into the U.S. by immigrant and non-immigrant visitors from seven Muslim-majority nations for 90 days. It also suspends entry of all refugees for 120 days and bars Syrian refugees indefinitely.

Americans for the Arts stands in opposition to policies that limit the free exchange of art, artists, and ideas based on nationality, faith, race, age or ability—and deplores the discriminatory nature of this travel ban. We urge the President to reconsider and rescind this executive order.

Implications for the Arts

The executive order addresses only entry into the U.S., and not the expulsion of those already inside the country. It does, however, mean that those people lawfully here—such as artists from the seven countries who travel to perform, exhibit, and speak internationally—may be unable to return to the U.S. should they leave the country, even if they hold a visa that permits international travel. This will have a harmful effect on scheduled performing arts programming and will interrupt the creation and scholarship of work in progress, such as museum exhibitions.

The Arts Improve International and Cultural Relations

The arts support dialogue, mutual understanding, and build positive relationships between the U.S. and global publics. They help us articulate our own values and beliefs and better understand those of others. Creatively sharing ideas, values, traditions, and other aspects of culture and identity are the very province of the arts.

  • Cultural exchanges: 650 local arts agencies have international programs that involve artists, teachers, students, and even donors (42 percent involve artists from other countries). 1-in-5 local arts agencies have Sister Cities partnerships that employ the arts.  These programs improve mutual understanding and appreciation of our cultures, both here and abroad.
  • Arts as an export industry: U.S. exports of arts goods (e.g., movies, paintings, jewelry) increased from $50.2 to $59.5 billion between 2009 and 2013, up nearly 20 percent. With U.S. arts imports at just $35.3 billion, the arts achieved a $24.1 billion trade surplus in 2013.
  • Tourism: U.S. cultural destinations help grow the economy by attracting foreign visitor spending. The U.S. Department of Commerce reports that, between 2003-2015, the percentage of international travelers including “art gallery and museum visits” on their trip grew from 17 to 29 percent, while the share attending “concerts, plays, and musicals” increased from 13 to 16 percent.

You Can Make a Difference

  • Make your voice heard. We are staying in contact with Congress on this issue. You should, too. Join the Arts Action Fund to take political action. It’s free. We will send you alerts so you can respond to decision-makers fast.
  • Register to attend National Arts Advocacy Day on March 20-21 in Washington, D.C. where you can add your voice in person.
  • Inform us of any specific actions impacting the arts in your community as a result of the President’s new executive order.  (Email Ruby Harper at rharper@artsusa.org).
  • Tell your story about the power of the arts! The former President of South Africa, F.W. DeKlerk, once told the U.S. Secretary of State that it was his cultural diplomacy visit to the U.S. that changed his ideas about a multiracial democracy. He subsequently released Nelson Mandela from prison and they began the country’s transformation. The arts promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • You are not alone. Our national arts partner, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, released a powerful statement of their support for refugees and immigrants.  It also includes dozens of statements by mayors from across the country.

2/2-4 “Locus Turris” at the Portland Winter Light Festival

Locus Turris by William Rihel and David Valdez is a low tech, real time exploration of visual science. By focusing on the physics of what humans can hear and see, both pattern and reaction transform into art.

Locus Turris explores light and sound in a way that is, not new to many, but is different in how it isolates the results. In addition to the creation of more complicated experiments, festival goers will get a chance to make their own patterns and see what impact their small scale visual concoctions have on a large scale projection.

Locus Turris sheds light on the parallels of the micro and the macro, to see how a simple ripple becomes a big wave, showing how the forces of the universe are constantly in flux.

William Rihel serves as RACC’s Public Art Program Specialist.

See the Portland Winter Light Festival schedule.


RACC’s annual arts and business breakfast is February 8

What happens when you mix one Mexican Folkloric dance troupe, three inspirational acts of collaboration, surgeons who formed an 80s cover band, and Commissioner Chloe Eudaly? Add one giant light-bulb with feet and you get an event called, “Juice.”

On Wednesday, February 8, over 350 arts supporters and practitioners will participate in RACC’s Juice: Fueling Innovation presented by Portland General Electric – hence the appearance of Larry the Lightbulb.  Formerly the Arts Breakfasts of Champions, the longstanding event was renamed Juice to celebrate the creative “juice” that flows through businesses and the arts alike. The hour-long program will honor the Top Corporate Donors to the Arts and Top Work for Art Campaigns from 2016. Mexican dance troupe Ballet Papalotle will perform and local actor La’Tevin Alexander Ellis will emcee the program. La’Tevin lends his powerful acting talent to Hands Up, a production of The August Wilson Red Door Project directed by Kevin Jones. You can also catch La’Tevin at this year’s Fertile Ground Festival in Left Hook, directed by Damaris Webb.

At the heart of Juice are three stories of giving, service and collaboration. RACC’s Business Committee for the Arts (BCA) led the process in which a wide variety of non-profits and individuals submitted nominations in the following categories:

  • Outstanding In Kind Contribution – hear how a gift of time and talent lead to a lasting impression on one aspiring young artist
  • Extraordinary Service to the Arts – see how one passionate board member was a catalyst for equity and inclusion in arts programing
  • Innovative Partnership Award – find out which arts nonprofit wins the cash prize of $5,000 for their imaginative collaboration with a business

What if these stories inspired just one Juice participant to use creativity to improve a workplace or neighborhood, bridge a cultural divide or just help a business build something really awesome? That’s the potential power of Juice. The more people plug in to creative collaboration in our region, the more we thrive as a community. Now, more than ever, is the time to come together as a community.

There will be plenty of opportunities to choose your own creative adventure at Juice. Consider getting trained to serve on an arts board, help bring the Work for Art program to your workplace, or join the Battle of the Bands planning committee. But before you decide, let the rad stylings of Kaiser Permanente’s 80s cover band, “Members Only,” take you back in time. The band won the RACC’s 2016 Battle of the Bands Best Showmanship award and plans to perform again on May 17 at this year’s competition, co-chaired by Portland Commissioner Chloe Eudaly and ZGF Architect’s, Sharron Van der Meulen.

Everyone is invited to attend Juice to see what’s possible in collaboration between business and the arts. Juice is an opportunity to celebrate these innovations, connect to this creativity, to find inspiration and unique ways to engage. We believe that everyone will come away from the Juice event with their own unique experience, inspiration and call to action. The nature of art is that we all bring our own lens. This is also true of our creativity. The possibilities for partnership, innovation and engagement are endless.

Join the movement, see you at Juice!

P.S. There’s also a juice bar.

Juice: Fueling Innovation
Presented by Portland General Electric
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
7:30 – 9:00 a.m.
Portland Art Museum

Tickets and a few tables are still available. To purchase tickets, visit www.racc.org/juice/. For tables please contact Alison Bailey at 503-823-5424 or abailey@racc.org.


Some responses to the current state of our country

ELOISE BLOG: This past Friday and Saturday I participated in meetings with 40 people who lead local arts agencies in large cities across the country. Top in everyone’s minds, of course, is the tornado roaring through national government. The participating leaders represent blue cities in blue states, blue cities in red states, and red cities in red states, so responses and actions vary accordingly. Adding to this political variety the opaque nature of the new administration’s decision making, the constant shifting of communications, and the day to day policy vacillations – charting a sensible set of responses and actions seems next to impossible.  But we cannot wait.

The meetings were organized by Americans for the Arts, the leading arts advocacy organization based in DC, with participation also by our liaison to the National Endowment for the Arts.  Since there has been so much focus on a recent article from The Hill, which reported that Trump plans to shut down the NEA and NEH and privatize NPR, I will start with comments from the NEA. The article is not ”news.” It mimics a position espoused by the Heritage Foundation in the 1970’s and which has popped up often. Obviously since these venerable institutions still exist the proposal has failed every time. Even staunch conservatives value what they are about. I don’t mean to suggest that Trump won’t try to cut costs this way, but reasonable experts are not yet convinced he would get his way with Congress on this one. Also troubling, though, is that the arts are funded through a number of other federal agencies beyond and richer than the NEA and those programs will also be under intense scrutiny.

Americans for the Arts is not in a position to aggressively advocate against the administration for fear of major retaliation, but is reaching out to influential people within current leadership who might be allies. It’s a political dance they are well qualified to do. They also have been calling out to everyone to strongly advocate for the values and beliefs this country was founded on and the important role arts, culture and humanities play in supporting these values.  To learn more please visit http://artsactionfund.org/page/s/trump-arts-petition and sign the petition.

Our group talked at length about the many and varied ways to respond, resist, and reset. Leaders in solidly red states and cities in mixed situations have challenging opportunities for responses, but we all live and work in cities where individuals are still completely free to speak out, reach out, act out. We discussed the benefits of peaceful and positive voices and actions. Since we all stress the importance of equity and inclusion in our work, we agreed upon a core commitment to create a culture of “belonging”. We are all in this together. We need to publicly and prominently create displays of cultural unity slicing through the fear and negativity and focusing on the nation we want to be. After all our constitution opens with “we the people.”

Over the coming days, weeks and months RACC will meet with our local officials to discuss how we as a city and region will move this vital work forward. Please share with us what you as individuals want to do/are doing, how your networks, organizations and associations are responding, what questions need asking, and how together we can ensure that at least our part of this vast nation stays firmly on a positive path for all people. Thank you.

For six valuable action suggestions please see “Here’s What You Can Do To Protect National Arts and Culture Funding,” courtesy of Claire Fallon and The Huffington Post.


RACC temporarily removes “Allow Me” from Pioneer Courthouse Square as brick repair project moves forward

In preparation for the repair and renovation of portions the brick plaza at Pioneer Courthouse Square RACC staff, working with Pioneer Courthouse Square, Portland Parks & Rec, and project contractor Howard S. Wright, removed  J. Seward Johnson’s iconic Allow Me (a.k.a. “Umbrella Man”) sculpture from its location in the square’s southwest corner. The 460 pound bronze will be stored off-site for 6 months while construction proceeds.

During this time Allow Me will receive a spa treatment of sorts as conservators clean the surface, re-freshen the figure’s painted highlights, and apply a hot wax protective finish.

For more information on the PSC renovation: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/68100  To learn more about Allow Me: Allow me info


An Important Message from the Americans for the Arts President and CEO

January 26, 2017

Dear Americans for the Arts Members and Friends,

I am writing to you today about the status of federal funding for the arts in the new Administration and U.S. Congress and about what you should do right now and over the coming months.

Last week on Thursday, January 19, I sent our Americans for the Arts members, stakeholders, and constituents at the local, state, and national levels an alert calling attention to an article in The Hill newspaper which reported that two Trump transition team advisors are recommending elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and privatization of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. I was asked to respond to this troubling news and gave interviews in the following publications: Washington Post, Variety, The Hill, and Paste Magazine among others.

Also last Thursday, Nina Ozlu Tunceli, executive director of our affiliated grassroots advocacy organization Americans for the Arts Action Fund, sent an action alert outlining four quick action steps to its members. The Arts Action Fund website www.ArtsActionFund.org will continue to have the most up-to-date information about ongoing advocacy efforts and actions to take regarding federal funding for the arts. The Arts Action Fund is also working with state arts advocacy groups on a coordinated campaign that will be released next week.

Today, I sent a letter to President Trump asking him to preserve federal funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. But I would like the next letter that I send to the President to be accompanied by a petition signed by 100,000 Arts Action Fund members which can be found here. Over the coming weeks, I expect that there will be a number of opinion articles and targeted attacks regarding public funding for the arts. To help further explain what is—or isn’t—happening right now, Americans for the Arts has prepared a few FAQs from questions the staff have already fielded. We also need to organize and galvanize our forces. Please sign the petition and get at least five of your friends to do the same so we can raise our collective and individual voices with precision and in a unified manner.

I believe our collective job in the arts community is to tell our story and make our case again and again at the federal, state, and local levels. Below are the action steps I hope you will take as soon as possible:

  • Take two minutes to contact your two Senators and your House representatives now.
  • Join the Arts Action Fund (for free) so we can get alerts to you as quickly as possible and you can respond to decision-makers fast.
  • Work to get other colleagues to join the Arts Action Fund. We ask that you pledge to reach out to at least five board, staff, members, or audience members. Two national partners, the Association of Writers & Writing Programs and Blick Art Supply, brought in 42,000 members and 37,000 customers respectively to become arts advocates for our cause.
  • Register to attend National Arts Advocacy Day on March 20–21 in Washington, DC where you can add your voice in person.
  • Inform us of any specific actions impacting the arts in your community as a result of the President’s new executive order on sanctuary cities. Please send an e-mail to Ruby Harper at rharper@artsusa.org.

This is what you can do now, but we will circle back to you at several points along the timeline below to customize and target messages as the process unfolds.

We’ve created a Rapid Response Team here and put together a general timeline of what to expect:

  • The White House will issue dozens of sweeping executive orders and form new policy positions within the first 90 days.
  • Americans for the Arts and the Arts Action Fund will release a coordinated petition, grassroots advocacy, social media, and advertising campaign in early February.
  • The President will address a joint session of Congress on February 28, 2017, and will likely present the Administration’s FY 2018 budget around this time.
  • Americans for the Arts is set to present National Arts Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill on March 21, 2017.
  • The U.S. House of Representatives and specifically the House Appropriations Subcommittees will set initial FY 2018 funding levels for every federal agency in the Spring (March–May) of this year.
  • The federal government’s current FY 2017 Continuing Resolution Appropriations expires April 28, 2017, and we need to keep a watchful eye on continuation of federal funding for the arts through the entire fiscal year ending September 30, 2017.
  • The U.S. Senate and Senate Appropriation Subcommittees will finalize their positions by July 4.
  • A final conference committee agreement between the House and the Senate will be reached by leaders from these committees by September/October.

At the national level, Americans for the Arts will continue to coordinate with national, state, and local arts groups on advocacy efforts through:

  • Ongoing strategizing with our national arts service organization colleagues, especially the 85 national partners of National Arts Advocacy Day, on direct lobbying.
  • Ongoing strategizing with our local arts, state arts, and arts education advocacy colleagues, including the 50+ members of our State Arts Action Network, on grassroots lobbying.
  • Expanding and re-targeting our national advertising strategy.
  • Continuing press and interview pursuits such as the interviews from over this past weekend.
  • Strategizing with, and involving, key pro-arts leaders from business, government, and the arts who connect well with the new Administration.
  • Identifying incoming White House staff liaisons to the arts sector.

Just yesterday, President Trump signed an Executive Order that could potentially deny certain cities, such as sanctuary cities, billions of dollars in federal grants, including NEA funds, if they do not follow new immigration enforcement protocols. Americans for the Arts is already developing strategies about a number of issues related to federal arts funding, and we are proactively investigating new opportunities for arts funding in the coming months; an example is legislation regarding expanding our nation’s infrastructure.

Finally, we are seeing that the current efforts to eliminate the NEA seem to be based on old Heritage Foundation arguments formulated more than two decades ago. Even though these arguments are dated, that does not mean they won’t have weight with new legislative listeners. The argument to eliminate or slash federal arts funding comes up every year, and your collective efforts have stopped that from happening in the past. But in the current political environment, it is critical that all of us redouble our efforts.

I think it is good to know what claims might be put forth so that we are all prepared with locally based strategies and answers. To help with this, our team is preparing rebuttals to each of these potential arguments which will be posted on the Americans for the Arts and Action Fund websites and forwarded to Arts Action Fund members. This information can help you make a case for federal funding with your congressional representatives.

Americans for the Arts is committed to working with you to ensure that all Americans have access to the arts and that we protect and cultivate funding for the arts on the local, state, and federal level.

Thank you for your hard work.

Robert L. Lynch
President and CEO
Americans for the Arts


Stephanie Simek  presents “Table of Elements (and Minerals)” at the Portland Building, February 21 – March 17, 2017

Drawing on her previous work exploring unusual and interesting physical properties of materials, Stephanie Simek will install a deftly crafted, hand-built “table of holograms” in the Portland Building Installation Space.

The holograms consist of three-dimensional images of common minerals that appear to hover in space above the tabletop. The table structure not only serves as a way of building an illusion, but also functions as a container for Simek’s personal table of elements, an offering of silicon, quartz, calcite, iron, copper, and bismuth. “It’s a table within a table, a reliquary for various elemental materials with remarkable inherent potential.” Simek says, “Each possesses magnetic, electrical, or optical capabilities, and all have the ability to do work, such as carrying a signal or storing information.” These familiar minerals have been used by the artist in her past installations, projects that include the construction of a room-sized crystal radio, an invisibility cloak, a compass, and a levitating sculpture.

Viewing Hours & Location: The Portland Building is located at 1120 SW 5th Avenue in downtown Portland and is open 8 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday. Table of Elements (and Minerals) runs from February 21 to March 17, 2017.

The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) manages the 13’ x 8’ installation space in the lobby of the Portland Building and presents installation-based art there year round. For more information, including images, proposals, and statements for projects dating back to 1994, go to www.racc.org/installationspace.


February Night Lights: Laura Heit presents “Hypothetical Stars II” in conjunction with the Portland Winter Light Festival on February 2

PORTLAND, ORE – For February’s installment of Night Lights, artist Laura Heit will present Hypothetical Stars II on RACC’s north exterior wall at 411 NW Park Avenue in Portland on February 2 between 5:00 and 8:00 p.m. This month, Night Lights is an affiliate site for The Portland Winter Light Festival, which is now in its second year.

Hypothetical Stars II is a hand-drawn animated installation that employs the artist’s marks as interventions into 16mm footage taken from the NASA Apollo 12 mission. Being the first mission after the moon landing, it was notable for being the first to bring a color TV camera. And for the fact that, upon landing, the camera was pointed at the sun and inadvertently destroyed, immediately terminating the television broadcast. This piece asks us to consider a new view of that which we cannot see with the naked eye, where images sent back from the outer reaches are not seen as scientific truth but as deeply connected to our own desires and mirrors of our unconscious. Hypothetical Stars II uses thrown shadows from tabletop dioramas and reflected and refracted animated projections to create a universe of hypothetical stars, moons, and planets. Recreated on a large scale for Night Lights this piece transforms the parking lot into a 360 degree speculative star system. This installation coincides with two films completed in 2015 when NASA released its image archive into the public domain that spring.

About the Artist: Laura Heit is a multidisciplinary artist who engages experimental animation, performance, installation and writing. Disquieting and evocative, her work seamlessly crosses genres to unfold poetic visual narratives. Heit employs a strong handmade aesthetic, an irreverent sense of humor, drawing, puppetry, and animation, to bring together ideas and stories about ghosts, catastrophe, and invisibility. Screenings include; Rotterdam IFF, Annecy, Hong Kong IFF, London IFF, Ann Arbor Film Festival (1997, 2012, 2015), Black Maria, Walker Art Center, MOMA, Millennium Film, and the Guggenheim Museum, REDCAT, Aurora Picture Show, Pacific Film Archive, and others. She currently lives in Portland OR, USA.

Night Lights is a monthly public art event that promotes digital media, urban intervention, and technological innovation. On the First Thursdays of October through April, select artists are able to showcase their work on the North Wall of the Regional Arts & Culture Council. Night Lights is a collaboration between Open Signal and RACC.

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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 www.racc.org.

With a commitment to creativity, technology and social change, Open Signal makes media production possible for everyone. We provide skills, equipment, inspiration and we amplify local voices on five cable channels. www.opensignalpdx.org

The Portland Winter Light Festival, is a premier winter event hosted at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI). This outdoor celebration illuminates Portland’s waterfront through contemporary light-based art installations, engaging performance, and fun activities for all ages. Free and open to the public, this nighttime community-supported event generates critical opportunities for artists, designers, creatives, makers and performers to collectively expand art, performance and technology innovations in our region. No tickets are needed for this outdoor event – simply show up and enjoy the show! Go to www.pdxwlf.com for more information and festival locations.


Applications available for RACC Arts Equity grant opportunity; letters of interest due February 22

With funding from Multnomah County and the City of Portland’s voter-approved Arts Education and Access Fund, the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) will invest a total of $100,000 in nonprofit organizations that are providing arts and culture programs and services for marginalized communities, including geographically underserved neighborhoods; communities of color, immigrants, and refugees; persons with disabilities; LGBTQ  communities; homeless and houseless communities; and other under-represented populations.

Nonprofit organizations that are based in the City of Portland and/or Multnomah County are encouraged to submit proposals for artistic programs and projects occurring between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018. To begin the application process, organizations should submit a Letter of Interest form (LOI) in RACC’s online grant portal at racc.culturegrants.org by Wednesday, February 22 at 5:00 p.m. Applicants whose LOIs best meet the objectives of this grant program will be invited to submit a full application in March.

Grant awards will be announced in May, and will range from $1,000 to $7,000 each. The types of activities that RACC intends to fund include, but are not limited to:

  • Events or programs that give underserved artists increased outlets to promote and market their work
  • Programs that provide technical assistance and other learning opportunities for artists in culturally specific communities
  • Arts programming within underrepresented communities
  • Community events that highlight and promote the art and culture of a particular community

“We are excited to offer the RACC Arts Equity Grant again,” said RACC Grant Officer Helen Daltoso. “After launching the online application process and increasing the grant budget in 2016, we saw an incredible amount of interest from the community,” Daltoso added. All guidelines and application materials are available online at racc.culturegrants.org.

RACC provides one-on-one assistance to applicants as needed, including feedback on draft applications and letters of interest. Upon request application materials can also be provided in other languages and formats. Contact Jack MacNichol at 503-823-2928 or jmacnichol@racc.org for more information.

RACC will also host two free information sessions to help community members learn more about the Arts Equity Grant and how to apply:

  • Thursday, February 9, 6-7:30 p.m. at Gresham Library, 385 NW Miller Avenue, Gresham
  • Saturday, February 11, 2-3:30 p.m. at RACC Offices, 411 NW Park Avenue, Suite 101, Portland
  • If you would like to attend an information session, please RSVP online at racc.org/grants or call us at 503-823-2928.

For more information about the Arts Equity Grant, and a summary of other grant programs and deadlines, visit racc.org/grants.

Key deadline: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 by 5:00 pm – LOI due online at racc.culturegrants.org.

How Arts Equity Grants are funded:

  • $50,000 is funded by Multnomah County, which increased its general fund investment to RACC for the purpose of expanding arts access and support for East County and other underserved populations.
  • $50,000 is funded by The Arts Education and Access Fund (AEAF), approved by Portland voters in November, 2012. The AEAF funds at least one art or music teacher in every public elementary school in Portland, and funds RACC to bring arts, culture and creativity to life for every Portland resident. For more information, visit racc.org/aeaf.

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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 www.racc.org.