RACC Blog

Call for Artists: Midland Library | Exterior Canopy Artwork Design

Multnomah County Library Midland Canopy Artist Rendering

Approved by Multnomah County voters in 2020, the Library Capital Bond Project will include expansions and renovations to seven branch libraries; building an East County flagship library; adding gigabit speed internet to all libraries; and creating a materials handling and distribution center, also known as the Library Operations Center. The renovation and expansion of Midland Library is part of the Chapter One Projects phase of the bond project. The exterior canopy artwork at the library is one of three public art elements intended for the new site.

In partnership with Multnomah County Library (MCL), the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) invites artists/artist teams living in Oregon and Washington to submit qualifications for a site-specific exterior artwork at the soon-to-be renovated library.

One artist/artist team will be selected to create a design for a 2-dimensional exterior artwork that will be installed on the underside of the canopy along the south side of the building, visible to vehicular traffic on SE 122nd Ave as well as pedestrians entering the library from the street and parking lot. The budget available for the commission comes from Multnomah County’s Percent for Art Program and is $40,000.

Submissions are due by Wednesday, August 31, 2022 at 5 pm PDT. 

Further information about the project can be downloaded here.

Art Opportunity

We are seeking an artist or artist team to create a site-specific artwork design that will be digitally printed on high pressure laminate (HPL) with production processes specifically selected for a durable exterior installation that can withstand the elements, is graffiti resistant and easily cleanable. The artist/artist team is expected to provide a high definition digital file for printing as a final deliverable for construction and will also work with the design team to select a complementary solid color for adjacent panels. The artist/artist team is not required to have experience in digitizing their work, RACC can support with meeting this technical criteria, as needed. The architectural team will coordinate installation of the HPL directly with the contractor, and the artist/artist team will be invited to review samples, installation drawings and the final install. The HPL will be installed on the underside of the entry canopy which is located on the south side of the building, framing the new Midland Library entrance and public plaza. Pedestrian traffic from the parking lot, street and other neighborhood amenities, including the nearby Midland City Park, will benefit from close interaction with the artwork. We expect the design to translate to scale so that the artwork can also be enjoyed from a distance as people travel by car and public transportation along SE 122nd Ave.

The canopy extends along the width of the south side of the building, spanning approximately 224ft. The horizontal and vertical faces along that stretch range from approximately 5ft to 18ft, giving a total square footage of 3500sq.ft.

The canopy artwork will be highly visible as people arrive at the library, creating a covered outdoor porch that draws people in from the street or parking lot. This front porch brings the experience of the library outdoors, creating a sense of arrival well before walking through the building doors. This space is intended to be flexible, it includes seating and tables for gathering, and may also host resources such as a community bulletin board, shelving that provides space for free used books, activity kits, or a public zine library.  

Information Sessions

  • Wednesday August 17, 2022 at 12.30pm on Instagram Live with Mario and Sophie from RACC. Follow @regionalarts on Instagram to stay informed of this and other upcoming opportunities.
  • Wednesday August 24, 2022 at 5pm on Zoom with Mario and Sophie from RACC and Sophia from Colloqate Design, the design team leading the Midland Library renovation project. RSVP here.

We strongly encourage you to attend an info session, especially if you are a first-time applicant. The project team will share information about this opportunity and go over the steps of how to submit application materials.

If you have questions about the Zoom info session or need any accommodations in order to attend, please email project manager, Sophie, at shook@racc.org.

Artwork Goals and Qualities

The goal is for the artwork to represent the myriad of communities that live, work and play in the Mill Park neighborhood. The community wishes to see themselves reflected in the new artwork through artistic expression and creative storytelling. There is a deep desire for the artwork to instill a sense of place and belonging, creating a warm, inviting and welcoming environment where imagination, interests and engagement can be inspired.

In discussion with the community and MCL team members, we are looking for artwork that has bold and vibrant colors. Other ideas that have come up include geometric shapes and pattern-like design, perhaps reflecting textiles, symbols and color palettes from various cultures weaving together; a representation of numerous tree canopies from different places; or a quilt-like design created through an array of community stories. Further collective visioning will likely stimulate even more creative suggestions.

Examples of communities that frequent Midland Library include Black/African American, Indigenous Peoples, Somali and other East African immigrants, Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin speakers), Vietnamese, Slavic and Eastern European, Malay, Bhutanese, Iraqi, Tongan, Latinx (not just Spanish language speakers), youth and elders, LGBTQIA2S+, people living with disabilities and neurodivergence, houseless. More information from the community engagement process so far, including demographics, will be shared with the artist/artist team to ensure authentic understanding and representation.

Budget

The selected artist/artist team will receive $40,000 for this opportunity to create an artwork design that will be delivered as a digital file. This fee is inclusive of the following expenses; artist fees, design development, community engagement and communication/coordination with the design team, construction team and third-party contractors who will help to fabricate and install the artwork. There is a separate allocation, up to $15,000, for the digitization of the artwork, which will be paid directly to the artist or vendor who completes this scope of work. Costs for materials, fabrication and installation will be covered separately by the Library Bond Project construction budget.

Community Engagement and Participatory Design

The overall concept for the design of Midland Library is based on the idea of weaving. The project aims to weave together a diverse range of stories and lived experiences in a shared communal space. Humans’ relationship to nature, especially in the Pacific Northwest, is also central to this concept. On the interior of the building, this shows up as a focus on water as a connector to all life and environments. As part of the community engagement process, library patrons were asked to participate in the selection of the color palette for the interior design. Option B, the concept inspired by the movement of water, creating a calm space with gentle colors and soft, natural patterns, won the public vote.

We are seeking an artist/artist team who welcomes and reflects the diverse communities that are served by Midland Library within their process and work, while also centering these design principles.

Prior to finalizing a design, the selected artist/artist team will plan and facilitate at least two engagement sessions to meet with community stakeholders for visioning and public review of their design. Midland Library will be available as a venue to host events. Interpretation, translation and other access services can be made available, if needed, and coordinated through MCL and/or RACC, if enough time is given in advance. Working or in-progress design materials and narratives may be requested for wider community communication updates and will be coordinated in conjunction with the project team.

About the Library Capital Bond Project

As part of the Library Capital Bond Project, MCL is expanding the Midland Library to provide additional space and an enjoyable experience for all through renovations to the existing building as well as more robust services. Located on the southwest corner of SE 122nd Ave and SE Morrison St in the Mill Park neighborhood of east Portland, Oregon, the existing 24,000 square foot library will be updated and expanded by 6,000 square feet. The revised site will include a new entryway which creates the opportunity for an exterior art canopy.

The renovation and expansion of Midland Library is part of the Chapter One Projects phase of the Library Capital Bond Project and will be one of the first to reopen, currently scheduled for late spring/early summer 2024.

Eligibility

This opportunity is open to artists/artist teams based in Oregon and Washington. If applying as a team, at least one member must meet the residence eligibility requirement. Applicants who have an interest in and/or experience with community engagement processes, including social practice, which inform their approach and art practice are strongly encouraged to apply. Strong consideration will be given to artists who have experience working with youth and residents from historically underrepresented communities to develop their artwork including communities of color as well as immigrant and refugee communities.

MCL and RACC are committed to reflecting the cultural richness of our city by promoting opportunities for emerging and historically underrepresented artists. Artists/artist teams representing communities of color are encouraged to apply. RACC is committed to engaging new communities of artists and expanding the range of artistic and cultural expression represented in the City’s public art collection.

The selected artist/artist team must be able to create, complete and deliver their digital artwork design by February 2023.

Selection Process

At this time, the selection process will be entirely virtual. A selection panel composed of Multnomah County Library representatives, local artists, community members and East County residents, Library Bond Project team members and Midland Library design team members will review artists’ submissions and choose more than one finalist to invite to  interview for the commission.

Overall, the purpose of the interview is to allow the artist(s) to understand the context and intention the selection panel has for the final art piece and for the selection panel to meet the artist(s). After the interviews are conducted, the selection panel will choose an artist/artist team. The selected artist(s) will then be issued a Design Phase contract during which they will create a community engagement plan, meet with the community and create a proposal that includes a design of the canopy art, a budget and a timeline.

Criteria for selecting finalists for interviews are (1) quality of past work as demonstrated in submitted images; (2) ability  and interest in creating site-specific artwork; (3) how past artwork has fit one or more of the general goals described above, specifically community engagement practices, through process and/or in the final design; (4) interest in and/or ability to create connection to Midland Library and the Mill Park neighborhood.

Please note the selection panel reserves the right to select an artist who does not directly apply to this call, if appropriate.

How to Apply

All application materials must be submitted through the RACC Opportunity Portal, an online application system. Applicants will need to create an account, or log into their existing account at https://racc.org/apply. If you are applying as a team, please assign one person to apply and be the point of contact on behalf of the team.

Application Materials

  • Artist bio/resume. Upload a PDF, no more than two pages, that outlines your creative activities and artistic accomplishments. If applying as a team, submit one PDF that includes a bio/resume for all team members.
  • Statement of interest. In 3000 characters or less, provide a statement that outlines the following:
    • Your interest in this project
      • Why this project, its focus and themes are of interest to you
      • Why you’d be a good match for the project
      • How do you foresee your work connecting to the mission and values of the project
    • Describe your capacity and/or experience to complete the scope of work
    • Explain why you value community engagement in your artistic process and share past examples of successfully incorporating this into a project
    • If you are applying as a team, describe your individual roles on the team and how you anticipate working together
  • Up to 8 past work samples. These work samples are the primary way the quality of your work will be judged. Provide up to two images, no larger than 5MB each, for each work sample. For each image, please provide title, artist name, media, dimensions, year completed, budget and location. Conceptual information is desirable but not required.

Once you have started your application, you can save after each step and sign out. Your application will be saved as a draft that you can continue to work on, as needed. Please note that after you click “Submit,” your application is final and no further edits can be made.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us throughout the process.

Submissions due: Wednesday, August 31, 2022 at 5:00pm PDT

Questions

We are here to support and assist you! If you have questions about the overall opportunity or the RACC application portal,  would like to set up a time for a phone/video call or have any other needs for assistance please email project manager, Sophie, at shook@racc.org.

If you would like to be considered for this opportunity and don’t have a computer or online access, please feel free to contact RACC for support. Also, if you prefer these materials in another language you can contact the RACC project team  for translation services.

We strongly encourage you to submit your application with enough time for any questions to be answered prior to when submissions are due as enquiries received towards the end of that period may not be responded to. We appreciate your understanding and consideration of our capacity.

Interpretation services are available, please email info@racc.org

Servicio de interpretación disponible

Предоставляются услуги переводчика

Có dịch vụ thông

提供口译服务

Important Dates

August 5, 2022 – RFQ launch

August 17, 2022 at 12:30pm – Instagram Live Info Session. Follow @regionalarts on Instagram to stay informed.

August 24, 2022 at 5:00pm – Zoom Info Session. RSVP here.

August 31, 2022 – Applications due

(Early/mid) September 2022 – Panel review and artist selection including interviews

(Late) September 2022-January 2023 – Community Engagement and Participatory Design

February 2023 – Design submitted to contractor for procurement

March-October 2023 – Intermittent construction administration, installation will happen towards the end of this period


RACC Creative Spotlight: Artist James Enos

Artist James Enos, Make | Learn | Build grant recipient

James Enos works at North Pole Studio, a Portland-based progressive art studio for artists with autism and intellectual / developmental disabilities. With James’ consent, this Q&A was answered collaboratively with North Pole Studio staff and his mother, Beth Enos.


Would you share your journey as an artist with us? When did you begin; how did you begin?

James is an entirely self-taught author and illustrator. James began drawing in high school, and was encouraged to expand his drawings with the encouragement of an early teacher. His deep creativity quickly emerged, as he transitioned away from life drawing to more fanciful subjects. It was years before he started making the books that he is now known for, and the catalyst for this shift is still unknown.

James designs and executes each book from scratch. His extraordinary process includes binding, researching, writing, and hand-drawing illustrations— many of which fold-out and can extend upwards of 275 cm. His stories weave together to form a collection inspired by his life experiences, picture books adapted from major motion pictures, and pop-culture of the late 80s and early 90s, among others.

James began by hand-writing his books with penmanship that is a work of art in itself. James’ early books alternate line for line with a slightly different shade of the same color (i.e. light blue, dark blue; pink, red). Over the past two years, James has transitioned to writing on a type-writer. His illustrations have evolved but adhere to a consistent style.

James created art at the Portland Art and Learning Studio (PALS) until it closed in 2020. During his time at PALS, James was discovered by Marshall Weber at Booklyn, Inc. in NYC who began representing him and selling his books nationally. In 2021, James joined North Pole Studio, where he works to date. 

In a very short period of time, James went from being an unknown artist to boasting an impressive resume which includes being collected by major universities including Bainbridge Island Museum of the Arts; University of California, Los Angeles, Special Collections Library; University of Central Florida, Special Collections Library; University of Delaware, Special Collections Library; Yale University, Haas Family Fine Arts Library.

How would your community of peers (family, friends, other creatives/artists) describe you?

James is incredibly focused and has an admirable art practice, working continuously from 10am – 3pm and pausing only for a lunch break. When James is in the writing phase, his typewriter starts buzzing the moment he walks into the studio, and doesn’t stop until he leaves. It has become a beloved soundtrack of North Pole Studio. 

Because of the seriousness James approaches both his art practice and the world with, many don’t know what an incredible sense of humor he has. He is a prankster at heart and has a sharp and sophisticated sense of humor which is best captured in his books. 

James’ artistic genius and extensive knowledge of pop culture, familiar kids’ stories (such as Mulan, Tarzan, and the Chronicles of Narnia) is admired by his peers.

Thinking back to your artistic journey, bridging to where you are at now, how would you summarize your artwork currently? Where are you now with your work?

James continues to hone his craft; his evolution from hand-writing his books to his typewriter has marked a distinctive shift in his process. James’ illustrational style and syntax are consistent across his stories, but he continues to refine both with each book. 

James experimentation with various methods and materials for binding his large-scale, multimedia books is evident over time. James books are often up to 6” thick and well over 5lbs when complete, with fold-out illustrations strategically folded to fit into a structure that can be read cover to cover.

James’ latest books are tighter, both visually and structurally with consideration to decisions around materials and paper size. Additionally, many of his recent works are written in chapters, and can be read as isolated stories or as a collection.

Based on the award/grant you received from RACC how have you continued your direction in your project/artwork/process?

In 2021, James was invited to exhibit his books in a solo booth at the Outsider Art Fair in New York City. The Outsider Art Fair is a world renown art fair, and provides a huge opportunity for lesser known self-taught artists’ work to be viewed by major art collectors alongside the greats. With the support of his team, James applied for a Make | Learn | Build grant to cover the cost of the booth fee. With RACC’s grant award, Bookyln, Inc. represented James Enos at the 2022 Outsider Art Fair in spring of 2022.

Accessing grant funding is rife with barriers for many artists in the disability community, from awareness of opportunities, through application to the disbursement processes. James’ team values RACC’s recognition of his work through this award, and their collaboration in making this grant funding accessible.

What have been some of the speed bumps you have encountered? Did it change your trajectory or direction?

For a long time, James did not have access to the resources needed to fully develop his creative practice. Being part of a progressive studio community has provided James with access to materials, direct support, and advocacy to both structure and develop his existing practice and promote visibility of the work. Having access to progressive studio programming changed everything, as it provided a platform for James’ work to be seen and acquired. Without this platform, it is unlikely that James’ work would be included in the art collections and conversations it is today.

When the pandemic hit, James’ studio program (PALS) closed, putting a temporary pause on his practice as he no longer had access to materials and space to work. In the spring of 2021, James resumed his practice at North Pole Studio. 

What is next for you?

James is currently working on writing and illustrating and original series based on the Chronicles of Narnia. Both North Pole Studio and Booklyn, who represents James in NYC, will continue to facilitate opportunities for James’ work to contribute to the art and literary world.

Artist James Enos sits among his illustrations.

James Enos working in North Pole Studio. Photo by Kaitlin Green


RACC Responds to SCOTUS ruling on June 24th, 2022: The Overturning of Roe v Wade

The Regional Arts & Culture Council believes that human rights include the rights of women and the right to freedom from oppression. We believe that no one is a second class citizen or resident. We believe that women are equal and should be treated as such. As an arts and cultural non-profit organization we support the arts and artists who create using all forms of creative expression. As a social justice organization we cannot remain silent, nor will we.

Our core values include:

  • Accessibility
  • Advocacy
  • Equity
  • Diversity
  • Community
  • Innovation

 For questions, please reach out to us at info@racc.org.


Call for Artists / Convocatoria a artistas: East Portland Cultural Corridor

The Regional Arts and Culture Council and a coalition of local organizations are seeking an artist/artist team for a community-based Artist in Residence to work closely with project partners, community members, neighboring institutions, and businesses to identify, express, and elevate outer SE Division Street’s identity as a cultural corridor. Artists from Oregon and SW Washington are eligible to apply. The budget is $75,000. The due date to apply for this opportunity is 5pm PDT, Thursday, July 21, 2022. Read the full details about this call. Información en español.

*This Artist in Residence means that the artist will be working in and with community. It does not include housing or a living stipend.

Background

The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC), in partnership with TriMet, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO), Division Midway Alliance (DMA), and the Slavic Community Center of NW (SCC of NW), received a $75,000 Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Our Town is NEA’s creative placemaking grants program that supports the integration of arts, culture, and design to strengthen people’s connection within their community. APANO, DMA, and SCC of NW each have community art projects funded through the NEA Our Town grant. The grant will support resident artist fellows (APANO), a design process for a cultural center (DMA), and an international children’s festival (SCC of NW). RACC, PBOT, and TriMet are working with community partners to amplify the cultural corridor through a transportation justice lens. The $75,000 budget for the Artist in Residence is funded by PBOT’s percent-for-art and TriMet as a match for a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Our Town grant.

The Our Town grant launches the East Portland Cultural Corridor (EPCC), a project aimed at generating a unified sense of place and cultural presence in East Portland along SE Division Street from SE 82nd Avenue to SE 175th Avenue. East Portland, the most diverse geographic area of Portland, is home to approximately 25% of the population of Portland and over 40% of the school-age children in the city. This area includes Montavilla, Powellhurst-Gilbert, Hazelwood, Mill Park, and Centennial neighborhoods, as well as Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative Districts at both NE 82nd/Division and in the Division/Midway area.

Who is eligible to apply?

Artists or artist teams living in Oregon and southwest Washington are eligible to apply. If applying as a team, at least one member must meet the residence eligibility requirement. RACC and the coalition of partners are committed to engaging new communities of artists and expanding the range of artistic and cultural expression in our city. Artists who live in or have a relationship to outer Southeast Portland will be prioritized.

How to Apply

All application materials are submitted through the RACC Opportunity Portal, an online application system. Applicants need to create an account or log into their existing account at racc.org/apply. If you are applying as a team, please assign one person to apply and be the contact on behalf of the team. For first-time users of the portal, view a brief video learning how to register here.

Information Sessions for Artists

  • Friday, July 1 at 12pm PDT on Instagram Live. Follow @regionalarts on Instagram to stay informed of this and other upcoming opportunities.

We’re Here to Help!
If you have questions about the overall opportunity or the RACC Opportunity Portal, please email Danielle Davis with questions or to set up a time for a phone call: ddavis@racc.org.

If you don’t have a computer or online access, please don’t hesitate to contact RACC for assistance. Also, if you prefer these materials in another language please contact RACC project staff for translation services.

Interpretation services available, email info@racc.org
Servicio de interpretación disponible
Предоставляются услуги переводчика
Có dịch vụ thông


Fresh Paint: Seeking Artists for Next Round of Murals

The Regional Arts & Culture Council and Open Signal invite emerging Black and brown artists/teams who are currently living in Clackamas, Multnomah or Washington counties in Oregon, or Clark County in Washington to submit qualifications for a temporary mural at Open Signal along the highly visible NE Martin Luther King, Jr Blvd. at 2766 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. Read the full details about this call.

Submissions are due by 5 p.m., Wednesday, July 20, 2022.

Opportunity

Fresh Paint is a partnership between RACC’s Public Art Murals Program and Open Signal, a media arts center carrying a vision for community-driven media focused on creativity, technology, and social change. This partnership provides artists the opportunity to explore working in the public art sector and incorporate new approaches and skills in their artistic practice and experience.

A portion of Open Signal’s west-facing wall along MLK Jr Blvd has been designated as the Fresh Paint space and measures approximately 9’H x 18’W.  Two artists/teams will be selected to have a painted mural featured for six months between October 2022 – September 2023. The selected artists will receive a $2,500 commission for their participation and are offered the opportunity to engage with a range of resources at Open Signal, including the use of equipment.

Artist Information Sessions
  • Thursday, June 16th at noon on Instagram Live. Follow @regionalarts on Instagram to stay informed of this and other upcoming opportunities.
  • Wednesday, June 29th at 6 pm on Zoom. RSVP here. Watch the previously recorded Zoom information session here.

We strongly encourage you to attend an info session, especially if you are a first-time applicant. Staff will share information about this opportunity and go over the steps of how to submit application materials.

Questions about the Zoom info session or need special accommodations to attend?

CONTACT: Daniela Serna at 503.288.1515 ext. 931, daniela@opensignalpdx.org.

Are you eligible to apply?

This opportunity is for emerging artists that identify as a person of color including (but not limited to) Native American/Indigenous, Latino/a/x, Asian, Asian American, Pacific Islander, African American, African, and Southwest Asian and North African.

In addition, you must:

  • live in Clackamas, Clark, Multnomah, or Washington counties,
  • have a consistent visual art practice
  • not have created an exterior-wall mural in the City of Portland (interior murals and murals on non-building infrastructures are fine).

How to Apply

All applications must be submitted through RACC’s Opportunity Portal here.

Applicants must create an account, or log in to their existing account. Instructions in the application portal will guide you through the process.

Questions regarding the application platform and materials and project’s process/timeline?

CONTACT: Salvador Mayoral IV at 503.823.5865, smayoral@racc.org


The Regional Arts & Culture Council to Participate in National ‘Arts & Economic Prosperity 6’ Study

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 17, 2022

Data Collection for Most Comprehensive Study of Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts and Culture Industry has begun in May

Portland, Oregon — The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) is pleased to announce its participation in Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6), the most comprehensive economic impact study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry ever conducted in the United States. Administered by Americans for the Arts, AEP6 will examine the economic impact of the arts and culture in Multnomah County and 386 additional communities representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The Arts & Economic Prosperity® series is conducted approximately every five years to gauge the economic impact of spending by nonprofit arts and culture organizations and the event-related spending by their audiences. In 2017, AEP5 documented that the nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $166.3 billion in economic activity (spending by organizations plus the event-related spending by their audiences) which supported 4.6 million jobs and generated $27.5 billion in government revenue. The AEP series demonstrates that an investment in the arts provides both cultural and economic benefits. In Oregon, our arts industry generated $687 million of economic activity—$364 million in spending by arts and cultural organizations and an additional $323 million in event-related expenditures by their audiences. This activity supported 22,299 full time equivalent jobs and generated $53 million in revenue to local and state governments.

Audience-intercept surveys will be collected from attendees to arts events in Multnomah County from May 2022 through April 2023—in total, the national sample is anticipated to surpass 250,000 surveys. A survey of nonprofit arts and culture organizations will occur from January through April 2023. The national and local findings will be made public in September 2023. At that time, the Regional Arts & Culture Council will receive a customized report on the unique economic impact results for Multnomah County including the number of jobs that are supported and the amount of government revenue that is generated by our community’s nonprofit arts industry.

Americans for the Arts is committed to addressing equity and inclusion as a critical component of the methodology, organizational participation, and collection of data for AEP6 by centering and representing BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and ALAANA (African, Latinx, Asian, Arab, Native American) identifying communities—a segment of the nonprofit arts and culture sector that has been historically underrepresented in past studies. 

For the first time, AEP6 will require that the local and state research partners collect a portion of audience surveys from attendees at events hosted by arts and culture organizations that primarily serve communities of color. The AEP6 study will establish a benchmark of arts and culture organizations that primarily serve communities of color, and the audiences that attend their events. It will also identify organizations that have a chief executive who identifies as BIPOC/ALAANA. Researchers will use this data to calculate and report on the economic impact of the BIPOC/ALAANA arts sector in each of the participating communities.

Carol Tatch, Co-Executive Director Chief of External Operations of RACC reflected, “Our local nonprofit arts and culture organizations continue to be critical to our economic recovery and it’s important to keep up with legislation that supports such recovery  like the Creative Economy Revitalization Act (aka CERA, H.R. 5019). The arts have the potential to impact many aspects of our community, the truth is they also have a power all on their own. The arts are an open invitation to engage in our history, our heritage, our politics, the way we learn—in short, the arts are part of our daily lives and play a key role in all aspects of the human experience.”

Nolen V. Bivens, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts, commented, “The arts are economic catalysts—strengthening the economy by creating jobs, generating government revenue, and driving tourism. Community is where the arts make a difference, and while the national impact data are impressive, at its core, AEP6 is a local story. I look forward to seeing its results, which will be key in persuading decision-makers that the arts benefit all people in all communities.”  

For more information and a full list of the communities participating in the AEP6 study, visit www.americansforthearts.org/AEP6

 

Interested in getting involved in Multnomah County and the Portland City area, please contact Mario Mesquita, Manager of Advocacy and Engagement at RACC, AEP6@racc.org.

More local information about AEP6 can also be found and will be continually updated on our website www.racc.org/aep6.

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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.


Change the Conversation About the Arts-AEP6 Now Open

Our nonprofit arts industry generates
billions in economic activity supporting millions of jobs every year.

CHANGE THE CONVERSATION ABOUT THE ARTS
The arts bring us inspiration and joy, and make our community a beautiful place to live and work. But the arts do so much more. 

Portland, Oregon — The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) is pleased to announce its participation in Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6), the most comprehensive economic impact study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry ever conducted in the United States. Administered by Americans for the Arts, AEP6 will examine the economic impact of the arts and culture in Multnomah County and 386 additional communities representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

After more than a one-year postponement, the Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6) study is getting underway nationally this month of May 2022. This is the sixth national economic impact study of America’s nonprofit arts and cultural industry. It documents the economic contributions of the arts in diverse communities and regions across the country, representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Previous partners have included local arts agencies, community foundations, economic development agencies, chambers of commerce, performing arts centers, and more. And RACC is looking for your participation!

It is now more important than ever to demonstrate that, even in the wake of COVID-19 and the resulting economic recession, the arts will provide a significant boost as we recharge the economy in America’s local communities. The arts will draw people out of their homes and back into community life—spending time with each other and spending their money with local merchants. Studies indicate that audiences cannot wait to return, and we are looking to our community along with them to count us in on that.

While the arts have the potential to impact many aspects of our community, the truth is they also have a power all on their own. The arts are an open invitation to engage in our  history, our heritage, our politics, the way we learn—in short, the arts are part of our daily lives, and play a role in all aspects of the human experience. While most appreciate the cultural benefit provided to our community, few realize that our local arts industry supports jobs, generates government revenue, and is a cornerstone of tourism. Economic impact studies such as these will expand the conversation about how many people view the arts.

In the previous survey, AEP5 showed that nationally the nonprofit arts industry generated $166.3 billion in economic activity, supporting 4.6 million jobs and generating $27.5 billion in government revenue. Locally, our arts industry generated $687 million of economic activity—$364 million in spending by arts and cultural organizations and an additional $323 million in event-related expenditures by their audiences. This activity supported 22,299 full time equivalent jobs and generated $53 million in revenue to local and state governments. Our local nonprofit arts and culture organizations have been and will continue to be critical to our community and economic recovery.

We are currently seeking your help to collect this data for AEP6. While part of a national study, our reports will be based on spending by our own local nonprofit arts and culture organizations as well as the event-related spending by their audiences (at local retail, parking, and restaurant establishments). We believe this important research tool will demonstrate that when we invest our dollars in the arts, we are not doing so at the expense of economic development. Rather, we are investing in an industry that strengthens our local economy. 

Let’s change the conversation. The arts mean business. 

Learn more about the AEP6 study and how you can get involved today: AmericansForTheArts.org/AEP6 

In short, the arts mean business. Help us change the conversation.

Interested in getting involved within the City of Portland or anywhere in Multnomah County, please contact Mario Mesquita, Manager of Advocacy and Engagement at RACC, AEP6@racc.org.

More local information about AEP6 can also be found and will be continually updated on our website www.racc.org/aep6/.

 

 


If you are interested in participating and reside in our sister counties please contact the the following:

Washington County
Raziah Roushan, Executive Director of Tualatin Valley Creates, director@tvcreates.org.

Clackamas County
Dianne Alves, Executive Director of Clackamas County Art Alliance, dianne@clackamasartsalliance.org.


Fresh Paint Artist Zeinab Saab Reflects On Creating Mural, Benni wa Bennek

Zeinab Saab working on the mural, Benni wa Bennek. Photo by Sarah Farahat.

First, I would like to thank the members of the Regional Arts and Culture Council and Open Signal projects for this incredible opportunity. I am honored to have been a recipient of this grant, and creating a mural for the first time has been a dream come true.

Second, I have to thank my mentor, Sarah Farahat, for her patience, guidance, and overall support. As soon as the open call for the Fresh Paint project was released, Sarah was quick to send the opportunity to me and pushed me into applying for it. To tell you that I was nervous about applying would be an understatement. I have no background in this medium, but with Sarah’s 20 years of experience in creating and assisting in murals, I began to feel a sense of comfort in the unknown. When I began, it felt rather intimidating, but Sarah made it feel like a breeze. I am beyond grateful for all the knowledge and feedback she offered within the duration of this project.

The completed mural on Open Signal’s building at NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Photo by Sarah Farahat.

Benni wa Bennek is a love letter to the Arab women I grew up watching on their porches when I was a child playing throughout the neighborhood in Dearborn, Michigan. This was the space to speak of the gossip circling around the block, to share the joy and difficulty of motherhood and womanhood, and to share the intimacy between women using the veranda as either their daily or weekly therapy sessions over a cup of Turkish coffee. The design of the cup in the mural was taken directly from the set my mother had used for occasions such as these, two or more women after a long day of work, who can unwind in each other’s presence on the veranda.

I would also like to dedicate this piece to the Arab and SWANA (Southwest Asia and North Africa) women; and to the femmes, gender-non-conforming, and queer people I have had the privilege of meeting in my life. How we too have been able to build a portal of our own, even in a time when we thought our mirror would not exist at all. Our search for our reflection led us here, being able to spill some tea and gossip, and also getting to trust each other enough to build our own emotional intimacy over a cup of qahwah. We too are now able to sip away our struggles and joy on the proverbial veranda, wherever that may be. And finally, I want to especially extend this dedication to the SWANA community I have met in Portland; a place like this can oftentimes make me feel like a foreigner, but this group of people allows me to find solace and comfort in them.

It is an honor to have been a part of this experience, and to have done this in NE Portland on one of the busiest streets in the city for people to witness. Thank you to the community of NE Portland for this invitation. Again, I am both humbled and honored. Thank you.

See more from the artist at zeinabsaab.com.