Fall campaigns bring Work for Art to 83% of goal with four months remaining

Thirty-three workplaces have announced their employee giving totals for the 2011-12 “Work for Art” campaign, and those gifts, combined with other contributions received between July 1, 2011 and January 31, 2012, total $703,326. With several more campaigns scheduled for the spring, Work for Art is on track to beat last year’s campaign total of $765,000 by June.

Among all employee giving campaigns conducted thus far, Portland General Electric leads the pack, raising $78,699 from 238 employees, including the company’s 50% match. Last year’s top company, The Standard, currently ranks second in campaign revenue at $68,094 from 82 employees, including a 100% match of employee gifts. NW Natural also matches 100% of its employees’ contributions, and has raised $55,893 from 119 employees.

The executive director of the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC), Eloise Damrosch, also announced today the results of a friendly challenge that was issued last fall by Carole Morse, president of the PGE Foundation and honorary chair of this year’s Work for Art campaign. “Carole and our other top companies went into the campaign with a little competition: which company could increase their number of donors the most? We are thrilled to announce that PGE won that challenge, and their employees stepped up this year in record numbers – 238 employee donors in all, up 59% over last year. Several other companies bested their numbers from last year as well, including NW Natural, OHSU, and Multnomah County employees, and we congratulate them all.”

Overall, workplace giving campaigns account for $367,522 of the total raised thus far. Gifts from individuals not associated with any workplace, and other miscellaneous gifts, have brought in an additional $43,656. And, because Work for Art features a matching challenge fund (which includes the City of Portland, Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties, and RingSide Fish House as its investors), all gifts from employees and other individuals are matched dollar for dollar, adding another $292,148 to the campaign to date.

“We are truly grateful for all of the companies and individuals who are participating in this year’s campaign,” Morse said. “With a little help from our spring campaigns yet to come, it’s going to be a record year.”

At least 20 companies are lined up to help Work for Art raise an additional $146,674 this spring in order to meet its aggressive goal of $850,000. Burgerville, which raised over $16,000 last year, kicks off its employee giving drive this month, culminating in a “Feed the Arts” Day on Thursday, March 8. A portion of every sale at all 38 Burgerville locations on that day will benefit Work for Art.

KeyBank is also gearing up for a strong campaign in March, led by Brian Rice, President of KeyBank Oregon and SW Washington District. “Banks have consistently cared about their community, and this is a wonderful opportunity for us to demonstrate that again,” he said. “At KeyBank, we truly believe that funding the arts is everyone’s business, and we invite financial institutions of every shape and size to join us in raising money for arts education and all of the other vital services that our arts organizations provide in our community.”

Several more companies will be running a Work for Art campaign for the first time this spring, including Bank of the Cascades, the Portland Timbers, and the Portland Business Alliance.

All workplace campaigns are wrapped up by early June, and the official campaign total will be announced before July 1st. A full 100% of all money raised through Work for Art is passed on to arts organizations through RACC’s competitive grant programs. Although Work for Art raises most of its money through workplace giving, anyone can make a contribution and receive the related benefits, including the Arts Card, which provides a full year of 2-for-1 tickets at hundreds of local arts and culture events for donors who contribute $60 or more. For more information, and to contribute online, visit www.workforart.org.

Major private funders renew support for The Right Brain Initiative

The Collins Foundation and the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation have renewed their support for The Right Brain Initiative with major two-year grants, the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) announced today. Each foundation awarded the program a total of $100,000 to be used over the next two years.

A unique community-wide partnership managed by RACC, The Right Brain Initiative is committed to equity in arts education. In 2009, the program entered 20 Portland area K-8 schools to integrate visual, performing, media and literary arts with math, reading and other classroom subjects. Received enthusiastically by teachers, students and district staff, the program has since grown to serve nearly 11,500 students and 31 schools in five school districts. Further expansion is anticipated each year until the program serves all 110,000 K-8 students in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties.

This funding will directly support the program’s growth, particularly to high-need schools in the region.

These recent foundation contributions are supported by increased private contributions from JPMorgan Chase and the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. Individual giving is also up, due partly to the success of Right Brain’s 2011 Willamette Week Give!Guide campaign, which raised $8,590 from nearly 200 donors (a 30% increase from last year’s campaign).

Private funds currently make up just over 50% of the program’s $900,000 budget. Ongoing private sector funders include:  U.S. Bank/U.S. Bancorp Foundation, the PGE Foundation, The Harold and Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation, The Standard and KeyBank. Annual public funders consist of the City of Portland, Clackamas and Multnomah Counties and the five participating school districts. Find a full list of program donors and partners at TheRightBrainInitiative.org/funding

The Right Brain Initiative is a sustainable partnership of public schools, local government, foundations, businesses and the cultural community, which launched its programming in Portland area classrooms in January 2009. The program’s vision is to transform learning for all children through the arts, creativity, innovation and whole-brain thinking. The Right Brain Initiative is a project of the Regional Arts & Culture Council, with Young Audiences of Oregon & SW Washington serving as Implementation Partner. Read more online atTheRightBrainInitiative.org.

The Regional Arts & Culture Council is the local arts agency for Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties, providing grants for artists, schools and nonprofit organizations; conducting workplace giving for arts and culture (“Work for Art”) and other advocacy efforts; presenting workshops and other forms of technical assistance; providing  printed and web-based resources for artists; and integrating  art into public spaces. Online at racc.org.

Regional Arts & Culture Council publishes “2011 Year in Review”

The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) has released its annual report for 2011. The year in review, available online at www.racc.org/2011AnnualReport, includes highlights of last year’s activities in service to artists and arts organizations throughout the Portland metropolitan region.

Among the organization’s highlights in 2011:
• RACC moved to new office on North Park Blocks
• New connections were made through Art Spark and Colored Pencils
• A new public art app was created: Public Art PDX
• Artists and arts organizations received increased funding
• Arts for All offered $5 tickets to arts events and cultural programs
• Work for Art raised a record sum
• The Creative Advocacy Network continues to build support for a dedicated public fund for the arts

Electronic copies (HTML or PDF) of the report can be accessed at www.racc.org/2011AnnualReport – and hardcopies are also available upon request; contact RACC at 503-823-5111 or mbauer@racc.org.