RACC Blog

Greg Netzer Appointed Interim Executive Director at the Regional Arts & Culture Council

Six New Members Join RACC’s Board of the Directors

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

  • Meech Boakye
  • Communications Lead, RACC
  • Email: mboakye@racc.org

Portland, OR — May 1, 2024. The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Greg Netzer as Interim Executive Director. With over three decades of strategic consulting and leadership experience, Netzer steps into this role committed to fostering an equitable and thriving creative ecosystem in the Tri-County area.

Greg has been an active member of the arts community as the Executive Director of Wordstock now known as The Portland Book Festival. He was previously involved with RACC as a grant recipient, a panel reviewer, and an advocate for RACC offering testimony before the Portland City Council. As Interim Executive Director, Greg will collaborate closely with the staff, board, and community partners to assess and enhance how RACC serves its stakeholders.

Netzer’s diverse experience ranges from leading Fortune 100 companies to advisory roles in startup nonprofits. His extensive background positions him to lead RACC, providing him with deep insights into effective arts administration, strategic innovation, community engagement, and cultural advocacy.

“Greg Netzer is uniquely equipped to lead RACC during this pivotal time. His vast professional experience and personal dedication to the arts are exactly what RACC needs as we look to the future,” says Kathleen Holt, Interim Board Chair. “We are confident that his leadership will invigorate our new initiatives and strengthen our contributions to the region’s cultural landscape.”

RACC is also excited to announce the appointment of six members to our Board of Directors: Toni Tabora-Roberts, Tammy Jo Wilson, Matthew Landkamer, Mayra Arreola, Carla Pilar Salazar, and Bob Deasy. Jointly, these new members bring a rich spectrum of expertise spanning organizational management, artistic and cultural programming, policy implementation, and financial oversight.

“I’m excited to join the RACC Board of Directors at this inflection point in its history, and I look forward to supporting the staff in re-envisioning the future of RACC and identifying innovative and impactful approaches to continue to foster a lively future for arts and culture in the Metro area,” says newly appointed Matthew Landkamer.

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About the Regional Arts & Culture Council:

The Regional Arts & Culture Council is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides impactful and transformative funding for artists and nonprofit organizations in Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington Counties; manages an acclaimed public art program; leads an advocacy and arts education program; and offers a wide range of technical and professional development workshops. RACC advocates for equity, inclusion, and access, working to build a community in which everyone can participate in culture, creativity, and the arts. For more information, visit www.racc.org.


Multnomah County Library and Regional Arts & Culture Council announce community artist as part of diverse work at North Portland Library

Sadé DuBoise will focus on community input as part of artwork for library’s new Black Cultural Center

  • Contact: Liz Sauer, Multnomah County Library Capital Building Projects Communications Manager, 971.350.8733, elizabeths@multco.us
  • Contact: Meech Boakye, Communications Lead, Regional Arts & Culture Council, 503.823.5111, mboakye@racc.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – January 22, 2024

PORTLAND, OR. — Multnomah County Library (MCL) and Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) are continuing their efforts to bring community-centered artwork to libraries throughout Multnomah County. This work is part of the voter-approved 2020 Library building bond which will build, rebuild or expand nine library buildings. Smaller upgrades to 11 libraries are also underway as part of the Refresh projects. Since the bond passed, Multnomah County Library has undergone major updates, with North Portland Library as one of the first projects.

North Portland Library will be renovated and expanded, adding 1,500 square feet to make the library 10,200 square feet. The renovated building will highlight the diversity and history of the community. The design by LEVER Architecture preserves the historic Carnegie building on Killingsworth Street while providing greater space for community gatherings in the new Black Cultural Center.

North Portland Library has long been the library home to the Black community in Portland. That’s why insights from the Black community have guided the vision and purpose for the new Black Cultural Center. Exciting updates at North Portland include:

  • A Black Cultural Center for connection and a celebration of Blackness
  • Outdoor space for community members to relax and be together
  • Updated technology and internet
  • Art that represents the neighborhood’s diversity

Public art for the North Portland community

As part of these updates, local artists are creating unique installations that represent the North Portland community’s history, culture and diversity.

“The historic North Portland Library has long been a cornerstone of the community, and specifically the Black community,” said Vailey Oehlke, Director of Libraries. “Through the library’s partnership with the Regional Arts and Culture Council, North Portland can offer vibrant new artwork that represents the community in a beautiful, inspiring space.”

Portrait of Sadé DuBoise. Photography by Olivia Renee (2020)

At North Portland Library, Sadé DuBoise has been selected to create a site-specific, artist-designed glass wall which will create a backdrop for the west side of the new Black Cultural Center. This permanent glass artwork, measuring 12 ft. high and 16 ft. wide, will be based on an original painting DuBoise will create, grounded in her North Portland upbringing and influenced by North Portland Library community engagement events. Her work is currently featured in the Black Artists of Oregon Exhibition at the Portland Art Museum, curated by Intisar Abioto.

In collaboration with Multnomah County Library and RACC, Sadé DuBoise will host two visioning sessions to welcome the community into the process of developing artwork for the Black Cultural Center. More details are below.

This artwork is developed in coordination with the Regional Arts & Culture Council through the Multnomah County Percent for Art Program, allotting two percent of the construction budget for all county-funded improvement projects toward the investment in public art. Artists are awarded projects as part of a robust public process, which includes selection panels led by local residents, business owners, artists, library staff and project partners.

Valarie Pearce, author, educator, and community panelist for the selection committee, celebrated the announcement, saying:

“As an educator, Portland native, and lifetime library evangelist it has been a great pleasure to be a part of the Multnomah County Library, Regional Arts & Culture Council, and community panel for the inaugural glass art and artist selection for North Portland Library’s Black Cultural Center.

“Art is a universal connector and the historical expression by which the Black Portland community has shared its story across time. North Portland Library’s Black Cultural Center is the legacy and enduring story of resilience, community, and beauty.

“I believe as a city it is important for us to invest in our values. With the focus of centering community voice, steering a broad and diverse artistic selection process, and curating community feedback forums, we have done just that. We have demonstrated our values for collaboration, community-centered voice, and the deliberate celebration of Black artistry in library spaces. Bravo!”

Artists and community working in tandem

Community engagement is at the center of the library’s building projects. The selection panel, made up of residents of the neighborhood, artists, architects, and library staff, prioritized artists with demonstrated experiences and connections to the North and Northeast community around North Portland Library. Most artists selected for these projects are seeking to create and host community engagement opportunities as part of their design phase, including the two events Sadé DuBoise will lead.

Design artwork for the Black Cultural Center at North Portland Library

The first event will be a visioning event where community ideas and perspectives will help shape the artwork for the Black Cultural Center. This gathering is a chance for community members to engage in meaningful dialogue and contribute to the selection of Adinkra symbols that will be featured in the upcoming glass wall art project. Adinkra symbols originated in Ghana and represent concepts or aphorisms. This interactive session will be an inspiring blend of cultural exchange, artistic discussion, and community bonding. Presentations will begin at 10:30 am and there will be handouts and opportunities for engagement for anyone who might come after the presentation begins.

  • Date and Location TBA

The second event will be held in celebration of Black History Month where participants will have the opportunity to create their own symbols, drawing inspiration from traditional Adinkra symbols. This hands-on experience is a chance to explore the symbolism of Adinkra while expressing your personal creativity using ink and paper. Additionally, attendees will get an exclusive sneak peek at the latest developments in Sadè DuBoise’s artwork for North Portland Libary’s new Black Cultural Center. All materials will be provided, and no prior art experience is necessary. Refreshments will be served.

Find more information on Multnomah County Library’s website and follow RACC on social media for updates.

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About Multnomah County Library

A treasured community institution since 1864, Multnomah County Library is one of the nation’s busiest public library systems, providing social, educational and cultural programs, resources and services, online and through its 19 public locations. With an eye toward the future of community-centered spaces, the library is working to build, rebuild or expand nine libraries through a voter approved capital bond. In addition to being Oregon’s largest provider of free internet access, the library offers millions of print and digital resources, in multiple languages for people of all ages. From kindergarten readiness to job training, computer-assisted design and 3D printing, the library supports all people in their pursuits to connect, learn and create. Learn more at multcolib.org

About the Regional Arts & Culture Council

The Regional Arts & Culture Council is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides impactful and transformative funding for artists and nonprofit organizations in Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington Counties; manages an acclaimed public art program; leads an advocacy and arts education program; and offers a wide range of technical and professional development workshops. RACC advocates for equity, inclusion, and access, working to build a community in which everyone can participate in culture, creativity, and the arts.

 


Thirty-three Artworks Inspired by the People and Places of Portland Selected for Purchase

Mika Martinez, Portland Catrinas, 2023, Photography and graphic design on aluminum, 20 x 40 x 2 inches.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 11, 2024

Portland, Oregon — The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC), in partnership with the City of Portland, announces that 33 artworks by 26 artists have been selected for purchase through a competitive application and review process. Celebrating and taking inspiration from the people and places of Portland, the selected pieces include paintings on canvas, photography, works on paper, mixed media, textiles and beadwork.

The selected artists are: Rebecca Boraz, Sarah Bouwsma, Terrance Burton, May Maylisa Cat, Epiphany Couch, Menka Desai, Michael Espinoza, Emily Fitzgerald, Future Prairie, Terrence Gasca, Josh Gates, Elisa Gusdal, Jo Hamilton, Linda Higgins, Anya Keyes, Latoya Lovely, Marne Lucas, Mika Martinez, Christa Nye, Rory ONeal, M Prull, Rebecca Rodela, Hampton Rodriguez, Mona Superhero, Heléna Dupre Thompson, and Aaron Wessling.

Left: Helena Thompson, One Eighty Compulsion 14, 2020, Archival pigment print (photography), 22 x 17 inches. Right: Menka Desai, New Year at Lan Su Chinese Garden, 2023, Gouache and embroidery on handmade paper, 5 x 7 inches.

The artworks will enter RACC’s Public Art Collection of portable works, a rotating collection displayed in accessible municipal spaces throughout the City of Portland and Multnomah County. Fifteen of the works will enter the Visual Chronicle of Portland, a collection consisting of more than 400 works on paper that focuses on artists’ views of the city’s social and urban landscapes as they evolve through time.

Art Selection Process

Facilitated by RACC, an independent panel made up of artists, community representatives, and City employees participated in a three-stage review process to select artworks for purchase. RACC received applications from 155 artists, with up to six artworks submitted per person. The panel participated in thoughtful discussion and collective decision-making to determine which pieces to purchase from the many talented artists who submitted work.

Taking Inspiration from Portland’s New City Map

Funded by the City of Portland, the theme of the artwork purchase project was “Taking Inspiration from Portland’s New City Map.” The theme references Portland’s four new geographic districts, which were created by the City of Portland’s Independent District Commission through extensive community input. Submitted artworks could directly or indirectly relate to the theme, by portraying Portland’s neighborhoods or people; making personal, social, historical, political, or natural connections to the City or districts; and/or exploring broader ideas of borders, maps, place, or community.

Quote from Kristin Calhoun, Director of Public Art: “From celebrating community, to honoring the natural spaces within the City, to reflecting on urban changes, these thirty-three artworks present diverse perspectives on what it means to live, work, and play in Portland now. RACC is grateful to all the artists that submitted work for this opportunity, and we continue to be inspired by the unique viewpoints and creativity of the artists in our region.”

To learn more about the two-dimensional artwork purchase project, the selected artists, or to schedule an interview with RACC or the project team, please contact Eleanor Sandys at esandys@racc.org.

Contact Information: 

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About the Regional Arts & Culture Council:

The Regional Arts & Culture Council is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides impactful and transformative funding for artists and nonprofit organizations in Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington Counties; manages an acclaimed public art program; leads an advocacy and arts education program; and offers a wide range of technical and professional development workshops. RACC advocates for equity, inclusion, and access, working to build a community in which everyone can participate in culture, creativity, and the arts. We remain steadfast in our mission to enrich every neighborhood we serve.


Regional Arts & Culture Council and Port of Portland Announce Selection of PDX Phase 1 Terminal Redevelopment Artists

Left: Sanford Biggers, photography by Matthew Morrocco. Right: Yoonhee Choi, photography by Samuel Gehrke.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – November 16, 2023

Portland, OR – The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) in collaboration with the Port of Portland (Port) is pleased to announce the selection of two artists, Yoonhee Choi and Sanford Biggers. Both artists will be creating a unique artwork to be permanently installed in the new main terminal facility at Portland International Airport (PDX). Choi and Biggers’s artworks will both be a part of the first phase of the terminal core (TCORE) redevelopment project for PDX — the keystone project in an overall $2 billion renovation. Choi and Biggers’ projects will be on display with the opening of the new terminal in May 2024. These are the first of many artworks to be commissioned for TCORE.

Yoonhee Choi (Portland, OR) will be composing an artwork design for two glass walls located in the pre-security queuing area for both North and South TSA security checkpoints. Her first commissioned public artwork, Choi’s two 56-foot long, 11-foot high glass walls will be visible from both the concourse connector passageway and from the security queuing area. These large scale works will be  site-specific compositions developed from Choi’s mixed media collages, which are both whimsical and structured in their design. View images of Choi’s work and full artist bio.

Sanford Biggers (NYC, NY) will be creating two large scale, signature artworks that will be suspended from the ceiling in an area between both entries of the concourse connector passageway and situated around the concession’s pavilions. These post-security artworks will greet travelers once they pass through the TSA checkpoints. This work is Biggers’s first commissioned public artwork in the Pacific Northwest and these sculptures will be in dialogue with his quilt-based works which he has engaged with since 2009 titled the Codex series. View images of Biggers’s work and a full artist bio.

“When we opened the request for proposals last year, in partnership with the RACC, our goal was to create opportunities for historically underrepresented artists and to elevate the visibility of unique perspectives at PDX,” said Wendy Given, Port of Portland Art Program Manager. “With the selection of Yoonhee Choi and Sanford Biggers, I believe we’re meeting those goals. They are both world-class artists, and it will be a privilege to have their stellar work integrated into the fabric of PDX for thousands of travelers to experience every day.”

Yoonhee Choi – “As an immigrant and Portland-based artist, I am especially excited to have this opportunity to create such a significant artwork that will help represent our city to the world. A focus of my practice is creating site-specific artwork that responds to its individual situation and surroundings. I am inspired by the soaring and sensitive design of the PDX redevelopment and captivated by how an airport is the portal at the beginning and end of so many meaningful and memorable journeys.”

Sanford Biggers – “I’m thrilled to showcase a large-scale permanent installation as part of the PDX Terminal Redevelopment Project and for the occasion to be in dialogue with the rich artistic heritage in the Northwest. The unique opportunity of this project and the architecture designed by ZGF Architects inspires me to consider how I can create an artwork that responds directly to the context of a space that embodies transition, energy, interaction, movement, and potential.”

“RACC is simply elated with these selections and our opportunity to continue our partnership with the Port of Portland, and the Arts Selection team there,” said Kristin Calhoun Director of Public Art. “The choice of these artists through an art panel managed by RACC is emblematic of the work we strive to do every day. With Yoonhee Choi, it’s working with the amazing artists in our region by assisting them in the process of developing and transitioning their studio art practice into their first public art commission. Working with Sanford Biggers and his team has been a joy and we at RACC are very proud to be a part of bringing his first Pacific Northwest public artwork to the PDX Airport.”

Contact Information

About the Regional Arts & Culture Council

The Regional Arts & Culture Council is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides impactful and transformative funding for artists and nonprofit organizations in Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington Counties; manages an acclaimed public art program; leads an advocacy and arts education program; and offers a wide range of technical and professional development workshops. RACC advocates for equity, inclusion, and access, working to build a community in which everyone can participate in culture, creativity, and the arts. We remain steadfast in our mission to enrich every neighborhood we serve. For more information, please visit racc.org.

About Port of Portland

With three airports, four marine terminals, and five business parks, the Port of Portland is an economic engine for transforming the region into a place where everyone is welcome, empowered, and connected to the opportunity to find a good job or grow their business. The Port works to pull down barriers and provide access to people and local businesses who have been left out of the region’s economic growth—including people of color, low-income workers, and people with disabilities. Collectively, the Port leads big projects in the region, including expanding PDX airport and making it more accessible and efficient; transforming a former marine terminal into a site for innovation in the housing construction and mass timber industries; and providing more options for Pacific Northwest businesses to send their products around the world. For more information, visit www.PortofPortland.com


Artists Chosen for Mural Project at Arbor Lodge Shelter Lead with a Community-Centric Approach

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 14, 2023

Meech Boakye, Communications Lead, RACC, mboakye@racc.org

Sophie May Hook, Public Art Project Manager, RACC, shook@racc.org

Portland, OR – The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC), in partnership with Multnomah County, the Joint Office of Homeless Services and Do Good Multnomah, proudly announces the selection of artists Lillyanne Pham (LP/she/they) and Paola De La Cruz (she/her) for the creation of a new exterior mural at the Arbor Lodge Shelter, anticipated to be unveiled in the spring of 2024. The mural will be a visual cornerstone of the shelter’s renovation, aimed at providing a range of support and services to North Portland’s houseless community.

Lillyanne Pham, a second-generation Vietnamese artist and cultural organizer, creates through a systemic consciousness framework, focusing on place-based justice and racial equity. LP’s collaborative partner, Paola De La Cruz, of Dominican heritage, weaves digital and analog media into narratives exploring cultural identity and interpersonal growth. Together, they’ve created a collaborative artistic practice, Qué Lo Gì, known for conceiving socially engaged projects that bridge individual stories with communal experiences which resonate with diverse local communities.

Qué Lo Gì, Website, @que_lo_gi

Lillyanne Pham, Website, @lillyannepham

Paola De La Cruz, Website, @happynappystudio

About the Arbor Lodge Shelter Mural Project 

The artwork is developed in coordination with RACC through the Multnomah County Percent for Art Program. The project seeks to add vibrancy to the shelter’s north and west exterior walls, invoking a powerful visual statement at the busy intersection of N Lombard St and N Denver Ave. The artist team of Qué Lo Gì will create an original artwork in collaboration with the local community, instilling a sense of welcome, belonging and joy for the shelter guests and neighborhood alike.

About the Shelter

The Arbor Lodge Shelter, a former pharmacy purchased using federal COVID-19 funding, was first used in February 2021 as a severe weather shelter before going on to serve as a year-round emergency shelter that combined an indoor sleeping space with sleeping pods in its parking lot. Now, as part of an ongoing shelter expansion by the Joint Office of Homeless Services, funded by the Supportive Housing Services Measure, the Arbor Lodge Shelter is being renovated into a long-term, purpose-built 24/7 shelter through reservation/referral only, focused on serving up to 106 people in the community and North PDX area.

The Joint Office of Homeless Services oversees the delivery of services to people experiencing homelessness in Multnomah County. The office represents a shared commitment between Multnomah County and the City of Portland to address homelessness by providing housing assistance, shelter, outreach, case management and other services.

Community-Centric Approach

The approach to this project is deeply rooted in community engagement and trauma-informed design. Pham and De La Cruz will work closely with shelter guests, local community members, and other key stakeholders to ensure that the mural is informed by their collective voice and the cultural richness of North Portland.

“RACC is thrilled to steward this project in collaboration with our partners at Multnomah County, the Joint Office of Homeless Services and Do Good Multnomah. We recognize the immense value this facility will add to the North Portland area and understand that having meaningful art experiences at the site is instrumental in healing and supporting people through life’s challenges. In addition to making fabulous artworks for the public realm, Lillyanne and Paola bring a depth and care in their creation process that we are grateful to have as part of this project. We look forward to the mural becoming a joyous and impactful sight for all those in the neighborhood” Salvador Mayoral IV, Senior Public Art Manager of the Regional Arts & Culture Council

To learn more about the Arbor Lodge Shelter mural project, the artists, or to schedule an interview with RACC or the project team, please contact Sophie May Hook at shook@racc.org.

About the Regional Arts & Culture Council

The Regional Arts & Culture Council is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides impactful and transformative funding for artists and nonprofit organizations in Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington Counties; manages an acclaimed public art program; leads an advocacy and arts education program; and offers a wide range of technical and professional development workshops. RACC advocates for equity, inclusion, and access, working to build a community in which everyone can participate in culture, creativity, and the arts. We remain steadfast in our mission to enrich every neighborhood we serve.


Groundbreaking Study Reveals Economic and Social Impact of Nonprofit Arts & Culture

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: OCTOBER 20, 2023

Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 Study Centers Equity in Economic Research and Highlights Vital Role of Arts and Culture in Building More Livable Communities

PORTLAND, OR. – The Regional Arts & Culture Council announced today that Multnomah County nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $400,700,004 in economic activity in 2022 in Multnomah County, according to the newly released Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6), an economic and social impact study conducted by Americans for the Arts. That economic activity – $400,700,004 in spending by nonprofit arts and culture organizations and $4,495,889 in event-related spending by their audiences supported 5,841 jobs and generated a total of $72,062,487 in local, state, and federal government revenue in the County. Spending by arts and culture audiences generates valuable commerce to local merchants, a value-add that few other industries can compete with.

Building on its 30-year legacy as the largest and most inclusive study of its kind, AEP6 uses a rigorous methodology to document the economic and social contributions of the nation’s nonprofit arts and culture industry. The study demonstrates locally as well as nationally, arts and culture are a critical economic driver of vibrant communities.

Nationally, the Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6) study reveals that America’s nonprofit arts and culture sector is a $151.7 billion industry—one that supports 2.6 million jobs and generates $29.1 billion in government revenue.

“Arts and culture organizations have a powerful ability to attract and hold dollars in the community longer. They employ people locally, purchase goods and services from nearby businesses, and produce the authentic cultural experiences that are magnets for visitors, tourists, and new residents,” said Nolen V. Bivens, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “When we invest in nonprofit arts and culture, we strengthen our economy and build more livable communities.”

AEP6 represents a reset from its previous versions, establishing a new benchmark in the AEP study series.

  • Social Impact: For the first time, AEP6 expands beyond the economic and financial data to include social impact measurements of arts and culture’s effect on the well-being of communities and residents.
  • Equity and Inclusion: AEP6 broke new ground by prioritizing equity, community engagement, and inclusivity. With the goal of reducing systemic bias, Americans for the Arts transformed its approach and expanded the inclusion and participation of organizations serving or representing BIPOC- (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and ALAANA- (African, Latine, Asian, Arab, Native American) identifying communities.

Nationally, the extensive research reveals proportional economic and community impacts among attendees at BIPOC and ALAANA organizations to the overall national average. These findings should initiate new, and escalate existing, critical funding conversations about BIPOC and ALAANA organizations receiving fair and proportional financial support.

Key figures from the City of Portland’s AEP6 study include:

  • The City of Portland nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $4,589,494 in event-related spending by its audiences.
  • The typical attendee spends 36.45 per person per event, not including the cost of admission.
  • 32.1% of arts and culture attendees were from outside the county in which the activity took place. They spent an average of $55.21. All vital income for local merchants.
  • 87.2% of respondents agreed that the activity or venue they were attending was “a source of neighborhood pride for the community.”
  • 87.9% said they would “feel a sense of loss if that activity or venue was no longer available.”

By measuring arts and culture’s wide-ranging impact, public and private sector leaders can work together to secure funding and arts-friendly policies that shape more vibrant and equitable communities. The full report, a map of the 373 study regions, and a two-page economic impact summary for each, can be found at AEP6.AmericansForTheArts.org.

Read more and access study findings here. Join us on Monday, November 6th from 5:30 to 7:30 pm PST at Lakewood Center for the Arts, Lake Oswego for a a comprehensive exploration of Tri-County reports in collaboration with Oregon Arts CommissionTualatin Valley Creates, and Clackamas County Art Alliance.

Virtual Engagement

Event Livestreamed on Zoom from 6-7 pm Register now!


Media Contact: Mario Mesquita, mmequita@racc.org

About the Regional Arts & Culture Council

An independent nonprofit organization, we support greater Portland’s creative economy by providing equitable funding and services to artists and art organizations; managing and growing our diverse, nationally acclaimed public art program; and developing long-lasting public and private partnerships.

For more information visit racc.org.

About the Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 Study

The Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 study was conducted by Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education. It was supported by The Ruth Lilly Endowment Fund of Americans for the Arts. Americans for the Arts’ 297 study partners contributed both time and financial support to the study.

For a full list of the communities who participated in the Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 study, visit AEP6.AmericansForTheArts.org.


Krystal Perez’s Vibrant Caribbean Dreams Heat Up NE Portland in Fresh Paint Collaboration

Image Caption: Sueños Tropicales (2023) by Krystal Pérez. Photograph by the artist.

The mural is now on view at Open Signal on NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd as part of Fresh Paint, a partnership with the Regional Arts & Culture Council

PORTLAND, ORE. – October 17, 2023 A new mural by artist Krystal Pérez brings vibrant Caribbean imagery to a busy NE Portland thoroughfare. The mural, titled Sueños Tropicales, is the latest installment of Fresh Paint, an innovative public arts initiative from partners the Regional Arts & Culture Council and Open Signal. The public is invited to view it through April at Open Signal’s wall on NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, between Graham and Knott Streets.

Sueños Tropicales pays tribute to Perez’s ancestors as well as the flora and fauna of Cuba and Miami. The artwork, portrayed in vivid sunset hues, sets a dreamy scene where plants, wildlife, and culturally-significant objects create a connection between the past and the present. It celebrates the uniqueness of the Caribbean experience within Latine culture while inviting the viewer to explore and appreciate their own roots.

Krystal Pérez is a first-generation Cuban-American artist from Miami currently based in Portland. Her work celebrates Cuban heritage by emphasizing everyday experiences — cuisine, family life — as well as her memories of growing up in South Florida. This mural builds on her multimedia experience and unique approaches to color in a new exploration of scale and technique.

Sueños Tropicales is the twelfth installment in the Fresh Paint mural series, following previous works by artists including Rob Lewis, Zeinab Saab, Jose Valentine Ruiz, and others. Since 2017, this collaboration from the Regional Arts & Culture Council and Open Signal has supported emerging artists of color by offering a unique opportunity to showcase their talent in the public realm. Participating artists gain valuable professional experience and develop new skills for their artistic practice, leading to further public commissions.

“Each new Fresh Paint mural shows us that a personal work of art can speak to people across experiences and add to the character and feeling of a neighborhood,” said Daniela Serna, Open Signal’s Communications Manager and Fresh Paint facilitator. “By centering artists and investing in their stories, we hope to nurture a thriving and inclusive future for all Portlanders.”

See more from the artist at quasikrystal.art.

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Contact

Daniela Serna, Communications Manager
Open Signal
daniela [at] opensignalpdx.org
(503) 288 – 1515 x931

Meech Boakye, Communications Lead
Regional Arts & Culture Council
mboakye [at] racc.org

About Open Signal

Open Signal is an equity-driven media arts center located in Northeast Portland, Oregon. The largest community media space in the Pacific Northwest, we offer production studios and equipment, workshops, artist fellowships, a cable and online broadcast platform, and a professional media production team. We focus on telling stories underrepresented in the mainstream media.

Learn more at opensignalpdx.org.

About the Regional Arts & Culture Council

An independent nonprofit organization, we support greater Portland’s creative economy by providing equitable funding and services to artists and art organizations; managing and growing our diverse, nationally acclaimed public art program; and developing long-lasting public and private partnerships.

For more information visit racc.org.

 


Arts Education for All Act Announcement

Immediate Release

September 27, 2023

The Regional Arts & Culture Council Re-Endorses The Arts Education for All Act (HR 5463) Co-Sponsored by Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR1)

Portland, OR – The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) is pleased to announce our endorsement and support of the reintroduction of the Arts Education for All Act in 2023, announced during National Arts in Education Week on September 15 by Representatives Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR1), and Teresa Leger Fernández (D-NM). This Act will once again support and encourage arts education and programming for PK-12 students, youth, and adults involved in the justice system. The Regional Arts & Culture Council has engaged with numerous supporters throughout the past few years and we hope you will join us in once again supporting this important legislation. The newly established legislative Arts and Culture Caucus coordinated by Representative Rob Nosse (D-42) was launched earlier this year to emphasize the importance of arts and culture in Oregon. We know that arts education is a crucial component of that mission. At RACC, we support arts organizations and artists that make a difference in our community through their impactful engagement in the arts, and The Arts Education for All Act will only enhance these programs.

“The arts spark creativity, critical thinking, and empathy in students … These skills benefit and enrich students throughout their lives regardless of what path they take. It is unacceptable that there is less access to arts education for students from Black, Latino, and low-income families, especially when research shows that students who have arts education perform better in math, reading, and writing. I wrote the Arts Education for All Act to help address these disparities. And with student mental health as a top concern, the arts can help bring healing and wellness.”  Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici

The Arts Education for All Act addresses these gaps in access to arts education and has the potential to improve the lifelong health and achievement of both children and adults. Arts education and programming can be federally funded under various existing programs; however, currently there is a lack of clarity and information available about how the funds can be used. If this becomes legislation, it will support and encourage arts education and programming for our youngest learners, and will also include youth and adults involved in the criminal court and justice systems. The bill also includes provisions that support rigorous arts and arts education research to continue to inform how elementary and secondary education outcomes are affected by a well-rounded education.

A one-page summary of the Arts Education for All Act can be found here. For a link to the press release issued by the Congresswoman, click here. CALL TO ACTION- if you want to endorse Arts Education for All, please add your name to the list here or email artsedu@racc.org. To read the full text of the bill click here.

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MEDIA CONTACT

Chanda Evans, Arts Education Manager, Regional Arts & Culture Council, cevans@racc.org

Communications at Regional Arts & Culture Council, comms@racc.org