Andy Behrle presents his homage to the Bull Run Watershed at the Portland Building Installation Space

PORTLAND, ORE – Andy Behrle’s installation, from there to here, is an arresting visual exploration of Portland’s water system. The artist has gathered and combined into a single composition, digital video footage from the origins of Portland’s drinking water in the Bull Run Watershed and the open storage reservoirs at Mount Tabor Park. In its simplest form this project celebrates the purity of the watershed and the ingenuity of the delivery system for this amazing natural resource. 

The Bull Run Watershed, which provides 85% of Portland’s drinking water, is 26 miles east of downtown, but it can be considered as much a part of the city as any park, street, river, or building. With the system’s inception over 120 years ago, waterborne illnesses and disease were almost completely eradicated, and today the water continues to flow freely to quench the thirst of nearly one million Portland Water Bureau customers.

Beyond trumpeting the wonders of the water system,  from there to here is an investigation into what a place is, how location plays a part in that determination, and how two places can be so interconnected physically as to be indistinguishable when separated. In essence, the watershed is captured and displaced into thousands of miles of pipes and tubes before filling bathtubs, bottles, toilets, and everything at the end of a pipe throughout the city.

At the Installation Space, two digital projectors will shine images of water captured from the open reservoirs in Mount Tabor Park and from the Bull Run Watershed. The projected light, ultimately bound to intersect and illuminate the gallery wall in the back of the space, passes through sheer fabric scrims on its way, causing images to float in space just off of the gallery floor. A map of the watershed and the city’s water delivery infrastructure also intercepts light and overlays a shadow of the system on the moving images dancing and intersecting on the back wall.

On this journey, light has been captured, displaced, filtered, and reflected. Locations trade places,  here is illuminated with light from there, what originates from the right moves to left, while left moves to the right. The images shot on location in the watershed are transposed onto the city and the footage collected in the city is transposed onto the watershed. They are separate, but become one. They were there and are now here.

About the Artist: Andy Behrle lives and works in Zillah, Washington and has shown and lectured on his work widely in the Northwest and greater U.S.  He received his MFA in sculpture from Arizona State University, Tempe, and holds a BA in Philosophy and Religion and Studio Art from Elmira College in Elmira, New York. Behrle was the Artist-in Residence at Tulane University’s A Studio in the Woods program in 2012, and this fall will commence a residency at the Jack Straw Cultural Center in Seattle; he has also been selected to serve as the Visiting Artist for Pacific University’s Art Experiment Workshop in 2016. 

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 – Friday.  from there to here opens August 24th  and runs through September 18th, 2015.

For more information on the Portland Building Installation Space, including images, proposals, and statements for all projects dating back to 1994, go to www.racc.org/installationspace.

RACC to take ownership of key BCA programs

PORTLAND, ORE – The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) and Business for Culture & the Arts (BCA) announced today that some of BCA’s signature programs are being transferred to RACC while BCA winds down its operations as an independent 501(c)(3) organization.

Under the terms of the agreement, RACC will receive all intellectual property and other materials related to theArt of Leadership program, which helps train business leaders to become effective board members for local arts organizations. RACC will also assume ownership of the Arts Breakfast of Champions, an annual event recognizing the community’s top business donors to the arts. RACC intends to continue the Art of Leadership program on schedule this fall, and is developing plans to host the Breakfast of Champions or similar event this November, potentially in collaboration with other partners.

“We are thrilled that RACC will acquire two of BCA’s hallmark programs, ensuring this important part of connecting Portland’s business and arts and culture communities,” said Parker Lee, BCA President.  “We’ve considered many potential partners for acquiring BCA’s valuable programs and assets – but none is more appropriate than the RACC. RACC’s commitment to develop and evolve these programs will be a shining example of how the collaboration of arts, culture and business can build a better and vibrant city.”

Jan Robertson is chair of the RACC board and CEO of Norris Beggs Simpson, a company that helped establish BCA in 1985. She said, “We congratulate BCA on their accomplishments over the last 30 years. Our arts community is stronger because of their efforts, and I believe RACC is the right organization to adopt these programs and forge new connections between arts and businesses in the future.”  

RACC will also establish a new advisory committee, a Business Committee for the Arts, composed of former BCA board members and other business leaders that can help fundraise for these programs and promote arts partnerships with local businesses. This new Committee will also advise the RACC board of directors on important issues involving the intersection between arts and business, and assist in the further development of Work for Art, RACC’s workplace giving campaign for arts and culture organizations.

RACC executive director Eloise Damrosch said, “We appreciate the willingness of former BCA board members to help RACC continue these valuable programs. With their support, we are committed to helping more businesses use arts and culture to inspire employees, stimulate innovation and foster creative collaborations in the workplace.”

Art of Leadership has been one of BCA’s most successful programs in both quality of program and financial sustainability since 2001. Its objective is to train diverse professionals who are ready to contribute as “doers” to serve on arts and other nonprofit boards. The program has graduated over 420 individuals, and 30-40% of the alumni currently serve on nonprofit arts & culture boards. Another 30-40% serve on other nonprofit boards. Companies that are interested in participating in the program in 2015-16 can email jhawthorne@racc.org.

The Arts Breakfast of Champions began in 1995 as a relatively small event held twice yearly. In the early 2000s, the breakfast became an annual event, and has since become a significant gathering place and celebration for 350-420 individuals in the arts community and the businesses that support them. Over the last three decades, BCA and the Breakfast of Champions recognized more than $100 million in business giving to the arts, including $5.2 million in 2014.

About RACC: The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) was established in 1995 and receives funding from 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 its workplace giving campaign, 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 throughout the region through The Right Brain Initiative. Online at www.racc.org.

About BCA: Business for Culture & the Arts (BCA) was founded in 1985 to connect business and the arts to strengthen Oregon’s culture and economy. Over the last 30 years, BCA has built strong relationships between businesses and local arts & cultural organizations. In addition to Art of Leadership and the Arts Breakfast of Champions, BCA has provided national arts leadership recognition for Portland companies and business leaders, including Portland General Electric, John Hampton, the Mark Spencer Hotel, Governor Ted Kulongoski, and US Bank. BCA also connected thousands of Portland’s business people with the arts and culture through programs including Arts Associates, Cultural Concierge, Behind the Scenes and Business Volunteers for the Arts. 

BCA will hold a Membership Meeting on August 27, 2015 to vote on its Board’s recommendation to dissolve the organization and to officially transfer Art of Leadership and Breakfast of Champions program to RACC.

Jeff Hawthorne, RACC Director of Community Engagement, 503-823-5258, jhawthorne@racc.org
Parker Lee, BCA Board President, 415-827-1752, pdx.bca@gmail.com

Regional Arts & Culture announces General Operating Support awards to 19 local arts organizations

PORTLAND, ORE – The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) has awarded an additional $215,886 in public funding to sixteen Portland-based arts organizations that qualify for General Operating Support. This is RACC’s third cycle in calendar year 2015 for distributing the City’s “arts tax” proceeds; the first two cycles were in January and May.

General Operating Support grants are awarded after a rigorous review conducted by a panel of community volunteers and RACC board members. Organizations are evaluated on artistic excellence and fiscal responsibility, and must demonstrate broad community support including a stable base of audiences and donors. The review also includes an objective third-party financial analysis from the Nonprofit Finance Fund to help measure operating health.

General Operating Support grants are funded by the City of Portland general fund, Multnomah County, and the arts tax.  These organizations also receive proceeds from RACC’s workplace giving program Work for Art.

Arts organizations in Portland receiving additional General Operating Support/AEAF funds this cycle:

  • Artist Repertory Theatre, $44,740
  • Chamber Music Northwest, $14,756
  • Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, $2,040
  • Echo Theater Company, $4,833
  • Ethos Music Center, $18,979
  • Imago Theatre, $1,000
  • Independent Publishing Resource Center, $1,000
  • Live Wire! Radio, $2,705
  • NW Documentary Arts & Media, $1,000
  • Oregon Children’s Theatre, $51,160
  • Portland Columbia Symphony Orchestra, $3,040
  • Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, $29,845
  • Portland Piano International, $12,064
  • Profile Theatre Project, $4,408
  • Third Rail Repertory Theatre, $21,953
  • Write Around Portland, $2,362

In addition, three organizations outside of Portland received $54,000 in General Operating Support for FY2015-16. These organizations do not benefit from the arts tax; their funding is provided by Clackamas County, Washington County, and other RACC resources. They include:

  • Lakewood Center for the Arts (Clackamas), $21,000
  • Bag & Baggage Productions (Washington), $10,000
  • Broadway Rose Theatre Company (Washington), $23,000

For more information on RACC’s grants program visit www.racc.org/grants. For a list of organizations and other nonprofits that have received arts tax funding, visit www.racc.org/AEAFgrants.