RACC completes our 2023 Fiscal Year with record number of grant awards investing in our creative community

The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) is pleased to announce the distribution of substantial funds made between July 2022 and June 2023, totaling over $7.8 million, to support individual artists, arts organizations, and many art projects across the tri-county region. Grant funding is made possible by public investment and partnership from the City of Portland, Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington Counties, Metro, and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). RACC grants are awarded through competitive programs, primarily General Operating Support (GOS) and the new Arts3C Grant, that engage with Community Reviewers in the decision making process. These evolving grant programs are a testament to RACC’s commitment to foster a vibrant arts community and ensure equitable access to artistic experiences for all residents

Our ability to strategically ensure that our community continues to be centered as we navigate the changes brought about by the recent pandemic and social justice and equity initiatives is informed by our community, who holds us accountable, and who can see and experience the returns on their investment in RACC. These funds are from community, for community. We are grateful stewards and leaders ensuring an equitable process and program. Our private/public partnerships with our local, state, and national governments are the bedrock for these opportunities. Our success relies on thoughtful collaboration and transparency in our processes,” Carol Tatch, RACC’s Chief for External Operations.

This past years’ increased number of applicants reflect the growth in creative activity and the expanding needs of art producers. Over 60 artists, arts administrators, and arts board members reviewed applications, participated on panels, and contributed to the work in making the record number of grant awards. Four arts organizations, Alberta Abbey Foundation, Caldera, Lan Su Chinese Garden, and Resonance Vocal Ensemble, were accepted into the General Operating Support program partnership, bringing the total number of groups that receive ongoing unrestricted grant support up to 70. A list of all GOS organizations and their award amounts is available online at racc.org/ grants/grant-awards/.

Most notably, in two cycles of Arts3C grants in the last year, RACC received a total of 1100 eligible applications and awarded $1,735,000 to 452 unique recipients. RACC received 856 eligible applications and awarded $1,143,000 to 385 unique recipients in the comparable program in FY22. This ongoing growth in arts activities and interest in public grant support follows a trend that RACC has been tracking since before the pandemic.

This last year, RACC was able to make a special allocation of $2.4 million to our GOS and Capacity Building arts organizations, made possible thanks to Portland residents that voted for and paid into the Arts Education & Access Income Tax Fund (AEAF), also known as the Arts Education Tax. RACC has had a Board-approved reserve fund since 2018 when they received an unexpected allocation of arts tax revenues collected by the city. Some of those funds were distributed to partner arts organizations in a special allocation that same year and another distribution was made three years ago during the pandemic. The funds distributed through the AEAF will enhance the capacity of diverse art organizations–from visual arts institutions to performing arts organizations and cultural event programmers–to sustain their programs, outreach initiatives, and administrative functions. By providing general operating support, RACC’s distribution of its portion of AEAF funds strengthens the foundational pillars of these organizations and supports their continued vitality and the community’s access to meaningful engagement with the arts.

RACC launched the Fall cycle of Arts3C Grants on July 26, 2023, and will be offering the opportunity to apply to be a Community Reviewer in early August. While the number of applicants grows and the processes remain competitive, RACC team members continue to invest in artists and applicants through time, information, support, and learning opportunities, not to mention grant funding. RACC’s Grants team is available to answer questions and support applicants in all the grant programs.


RACC grants team: grants@racc.org