RACC Blog

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.


Arts & Economic Prosperity 6

THE ARTS MEAN BUSINESS IN THE GREATER PORTLAND AREA

The Arts & Economic Prosperity (AEP6) survey is back.

AEP6 documents the economic contributions of the arts in over 250 diverse communities and regions across the country, representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia. During 2015, AEP5 in Oregon the nonprofit arts and culture 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.

The study put to rest a misconception that communities supported arts and culture at the expense of local economic development. In fact, what AEP5 showed was that communities were investing in an industry that supports jobs, generates government revenue, and is the cornerstone of tourism. This economic impact study sent a strong signal that when we support the arts, we not only enhance our quality of life, but we also invest in the Greater Portland Area’s economic well-being, including Clackamas and Washington Counties.

This year, we have a chance to study the impact of the past few years along with the resilience of our creative community. Nonprofit arts and culture organizations are active contributors to our business community. They are employers, producers, and consumers. They are members of the Chamber of Commerce as well as key partners in the marketing and promotion of their cities, regions, and states. Spending by nonprofit arts and cultural organizations totaled $364 million during fiscal year 2015.

To measure the impact of spending by cultural audiences in the Greater Portland Area, data were collected from 1,474 event attendees during AEP5. Researchers used an audience-intercept methodology, a standard technique in which patrons are asked to complete a short survey about their event-related spending (while they are attending the event). Event-related spending by these attendees totaled $116 million in the Greater Portland Area during fiscal year 2015, excluding the cost of event admission.

Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 showed conclusively that, locally as well as nationally, the arts mean business!


Read more about RACC’s lead in the City of Portland and Multnomah County here.

Audience surveys will be collected from attendees at performances, events, exhibits, venues, and facilities during the 12 months from May 2022 through April 2023. Venue Eligibility

If you are interested in getting involved as either a venue to be counted please submit your live event for consideration here (for the tri-county area) and/or are interested in volunteering in Multnomah County, please contact Mario Mesquita, Manager of Advocacy & Engagement at Regional Arts & Culture Council at AEP6@racc.org

Raziah Roushan, Executive Director of Tualatin Valley Creates, director@tvcreates.org, for Washington County
Dianne Alves, Executive Director of Clackamas County Art Alliance, dianne@clackamasartsalliance.org, for Clackamas County

Read more at Americans for the Arts.


Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 Regional Findings:
Oregon Study Regions Comparison

Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 Oregon Summary

Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 Greater Portland Area Summary

Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 Clackamas County Summary

Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 Washington County Summary


 


Regional Arts & Culture Council’s What’s Next Survey Summary

What’s Next: Connecting artists and creatives to opportunity and access

What's Next Respondents

What’s Next Respondents

Over a year and half ago, the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) reached out early on during the COVID-19 shutdown to our community and stakeholders to ask what their needs were during this extremely challenging time. Administered in 2020, the What’s Next survey sought to understand the types of support that the arts community most needed to survive and thrive during the pandemic and what it would need to recover. A total of 392 people responded to our survey, 63% of respondents identifying as artists. (Read the What’s Next Survey Summary for a visual breakdown summary of respondents and findings. Note: the report was published in May of 2021 and contains opinions, language, and information that has since been addressed by RACC. Clarification is indicated by brackets.)

You can read full results and report here.

 

Key Findings and Highlights

The following are key highlights and some findings, along with a summary of the initiatives RACC implemented to address these answers and continue to inform our future plans. Full results from the 2020 What’s Next survey can be found here

The What’s Next survey centered around themes of support, service, engagement, and connection during the early period of the shutdown, a time when the creative sector was hit hard by the impact of the global pandemic and successive shutdowns. RACC was interested in understanding how we could support and build resilience for the challenges, changes, and opportunities that would, and still do, lay ahead of us. With a commitment to equity and access, we intentionally sought to gather information on how best to support artists of color and others marginalized by traditional and mainstream support systems. 

The survey results revealed that the most critical needs across all respondents were as follows (language pulled from the original survey and answers given by respondents, listed here in order of importance determined by the frequency of each response):

  • Funding
    There remains an overwhelming need for arts funding in the region as organizations and individual artists face extreme challenges resulting from the Covid pandemic and struggle to remain financially viable.
  • Professional Development
    Training, professional development, collaboration, and mentorship opportunities remain essential, especially with the need to reinvent and reimagine the ways in which art is presented during and while recovering from a pandemic with limited in-person gatherings.
  • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion [and Advocacy]
    More than ever before support is needed for inclusion of local artists from underrepresented groups and those who work in unconventional art genres. Outreach efforts are essential to attract and retain more diverse audiences.
  • Space [both physical and time/ability to work]
    A shortage of spaces, both physical and mental, was highlighted by respondents as a challenge to surviving and thriving in the past and still current environment. Physical spaces have been lost due to rising rents and limitations on in-person capacity. Reductions in mental space for creativity and networking opportunities have been difficult.
  • Connection
    Community-building is essential in the arts and respondents found it lacking here in Portland. It was indicated that collaboration is needed now more than ever. New ways to engage communities need consideration and are required.
  • Marketing Support
    Artists and arts organizations need assistance with advertising, marketing, and promotion in order to help recover from the ongoing pandemic losses. Reaching and engaging an audience is complicated with the ebb and flow of restrictions more than ever.

Responses from a combination of participants indicated an overwhelming need for funding to ensure viability as well as a sustainable future. Artists needed income and arts organizations needed patrons to survive the pandemic restrictions.

“Without audiences or with limited ones, operational funds are the highest priority, to avoid cultural organizations totally going under and disappearing.”

Apart from asking respondents about the most helpful financial support needs, the What’s Next survey also asked respondents to identify their top future professional development priorities to help RACC focus its resources to best meet the needs of the arts community.

Artists Identified:
Survey participants were given a list of possible professional development, technical support, or other related services and asked to identify which ones would be most helpful in the next 6-18 months.

  1. Social Media and marketing support (35%) 
  2. One-on-one coaching with RACC staff or other professional (28%) 
  3. Skill development workshops (25%) 
  4. Review and feedback of draft proposals (22%) 
  5. Post-decision feedback (22%) 
Artists Professional Development

Artists Professional Development

Arts Organizations Identified:
Survey participants were given a list of possible professional development, technical support, or other related services and asked to identify which ones would be most helpful in the next 6-18 months.

  1. Skill development (34%) 
  2. Coordinated political advocacy (29%) [RACC as guide for calls to action and coordination]
  3. One-on-one or group coaching for staff, board and/or professionals (27%) 
  4. Group info sessions for opportunities (grants, public art calls) (21%) 
  5. Convening discussion around urgent topics (20%)
Arts Organizations Professional Development

Arts Organizations Professional Development

How RACC Continues to Respond

As a result of the What’s Next survey findings, RACC responded by bolstering programming and processes already in place along with stepping into new arenas. Some, of these included:

  • Make | Learn | Build Grants: To increase financial assistance to a greater number of recipients, these flexible awards supported artists, creatives, organizations, and businesses during a time of rapid change and creative innovation. Funds were provided to 317 artists and 99 businesses in FY21, with the programming continuing through the pandemic.
  • Capturing the Moment supported by PDXCARES funding: In response to current social concerns, this initiative called for submissions from Portland artists of color that captured a creative response to the global pandemic, Black Lives Matter movement, racial justice protests, climate crisis, and/or the political environment. Work was purchased from 34 Black, Indigenous, and other artists of color.
  • Capacity expansion for grant funding: By partnering with multiple governmental entities, RACC was able to support Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) funds impact in the community. Additional grants supported projects, Oregon Film, venues, and emergency operational support.

Looking Forward

The Regional Arts & Culture Council continues to be focused on making the greatest impact and aligning its investments with its commitment to community, racial equity, and access. RACC continues enhancing support for the creative community in the tri-county region through investment, centering and lifting up artists’ voices, and promoting connection and collaboration.

We will continue to reach out to engage our community by asking for their thoughts and insights to ensure we are effectively meeting their needs. We look forward to your consideration in participating in our next survey in Winter 2022.


Montavilla wine shop bets on jazzy future

Vino Veritas, located in Portland’s Montavilla neighborhood, features live jazz music

In mid-November, the day that Governor Brown’s 4-week “freeze” in Multnomah County went into effect, Vino Veritas General Manager, Trevor Gorham called RACC. Trevor was anxious to learn when his wine shop, Vino Veritas, would receive their grant funding. In business since April 2017, Vino Veritas is a small wine bar and bottle shop located in the Montavilla neighborhood of Southeast Portland with a devoted following thanks, in part, to their live music. They started offering music when the owner’s son asked if his band could play at the shop one-night a week. Customers liked it and before long, they had a robust rotation of jazz trios and other small groups playing live sets throughout the week. Because they normally provide a performance space, Vino Veritas was eligible for a portion of the $2.5 million in PDX Cares Venues funding administered through a partnership between Prosper Portland and the Regional Arts & Culture Council.

Jazz Concert – Eunice Parsons, 1984

After the initial shut down order in March, Vino Veritas pivoted their business model. They kept their doors open by focusing on phone and on-line orders bottle sales and offering curbside pick-up or delivery. As summer approached and restrictions loosened, they resumed more of their regular operations. Continuing to innovate, they added virtual programming, including on-line wine tastings. They also brought back the music. “At first our outside area could only hold a solo musician or a duo,” Trevor explained. Their customers responded, returning to Vino Veritas to enjoy the music and regain a feeling of normalcy. They expanded the covered area to hold a trio and a larger audience. “It meant so much to the musicians – and to the customers – to have live music again,” he added.

In April, Vino Veritas received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan but decided not to take the full amount. Like many, they underestimated the impact the virus would have on their business and were unsure of all the strings attached. “We also wanted to be sure other businesses like us had access to the funds,” Trevor explained. “When we first got the news (about the PDX CARES grant) we were speechless. This additional money helps us so much. We can now see the end and see how we are going to get through this.”


Oregon Artists and Arts Organizations report $56M lost revenue

Survey results forecast 3-month financial impact of COVID-19 on arts & culture community

Portland, Ore – Across the world, life has changed dramatically as the impact of the coronavirus pandemic continues to unfold. The picture of that impact on the arts community came into sharp focus this week as the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) tallied results from a statewide survey conducted last week.

The Oregon COVID-19 Impact Survey is an effort to measure estimated losses during March, April and May 2020 on individuals working in the arts as well as arts organizations. Reported losses include revenues from lost contracts, shows and teaching work that have all been cancelled in order to comply with restrictions on group sizes, gatherings and requirements for social distancing during this health crisis.

RACC, the nonprofit arts council for the tri-county area including Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties, collected more than 1,200 responses from individuals and more than 260 arts organizations across 25 counties. Multnomah County-based artists provided the bulk of the data with more than 900 respondents reporting a total of $46 million in losses for the single quarter. Initial analysis of the data show impacts increasing month over month. RACC intends to share the data to support efforts at the state, federal and local levels and to lead advocacy efforts and guide resource collection and distribution for individuals and organizations.

“Thank you to the people who took the time to respond to the survey,” said Madison Cario, RACC Executive Director. “They have collectively confirmed that many individuals and organizations working in arts and culture lack sufficient infrastructure and resources to sustain continued financial and social disruptions.” The information is well-documented in the field, Cario added, “The survey data empowers advocates and funders with specific financial details of what is currently being lost as we work towards solutions.”

As part of the response to COVID-19, RACC is relaxing funding restrictions in order to get dollars out the door faster, and partnering with other grant makers to deepen impact. “We are grateful to have the Oregon Community Foundation and the Miller Foundation at the table with the shared goal of relief for the arts community, said Cario.  “This relief is intended as breathing room so we can be creative about possible pivots and planning adaptations for the long haul.”


Candidates share their views on arts and culture issues

RACC is working to ensure that elected officials can articulate the value of arts and culture in society, and asks candidates to prioritize funding decisions to ensure that everyone in our community has access to the arts and arts education.

For the spring 2018 primary election, RACC distributed a questionnaire to all candidates running for Portland City Council; Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington County Boards of Commissioners; and Metro Council. Each candidate was asked five questions on March 13 or 14, and given the opportunity to respond by March 30 when this story was first published.  RACC will continue to publish responses from candidates even after the deadline has passed.

Please click on the link for each candidate to read their response. If there is no hyperlink, that candidate has not submitted a response.

For Portland City Council, Position 2:

For Portland City Council, Position 3:

For Clackamas County Commissioner, Position 2:

For Clackamas County Commissioner, Position 5:

For Multnomah County Chair:

  • Chuck Crockett
  • Deborah Kafoury
  • Wes Soderback
  • D. Bora Harris

For Multnomah County Commissioner, District 2:

For Washington County Chair:

For Washington County Commissioner, District 2:

For Washington County Commissioner, District 4:

For Metro Council President:

For Metro Councilor, District 1:

For Metro Councilor, District 2:

For Metro Councilor, District 4:

 


Art Spark is on February 26

The first Art Spark of 2018 is here!!! Join us for another evening of education and celebration as we share space with Orí Gallery, UNA Gallery, and Portland Open Studios (celebrating their 20 year anniversary!!). This February, Art Spark is trying something NEW and will raise funds for these amazing organizations and the important work they are doing for artists in the community.

The evening will include a 30 minute community discussion and panel. Our Community Partners (and guests) will investigate the barriers and best practices for artists responding to open calls. They will share the work they are doing to address equity, inclusion, and diversity in the Portland art scene. Artist Performances (TBA), music by VNPRT, raffle prizes, food, drinks & more.

This event is open to the entire community. While there is no formal cost to attend (Art Spark is always free!) donations are welcome, with all proceeds distributed among the three Community Partners: UNA Gallery, Orí Gallery, and Portland Open Studios. Alcohol sales will contribute to fundraising efforts!

More information on upcoming and past events on https://portlandartspark.com.

Location:  Lagunitas Community Room, 237 NE Broadway St,

Date:  February 26th 6-8 PM

Photographer:  Renee Lopez

DJ:   VNPRT


COMMUNITY PARTNERS

UNA Gallery is a contemporary art space dedicated to highlighting the work of POC, Queer, Femme and Gender Non-Conforming artists. We aim to offer a consistent and constructive platform for the collaborative and solo efforts of non-established and experimental artists.

Ori Gallery is the brain child of the creative duo Maya Vivas & Leila Haile. Together they seek to reclaim and redefine “the white cube” through amplifying the voices of Trans and Queer Artists of color, community organizing and mobilization through the arts.

Portland Open Studios creates a unique educational opportunity for the public to witness art in the making, and learn about media, materials and the business of creative endeavor. Through this interaction, Portland Open Studios creates a platform for local artists to thrive, engage and fosters a community that values the arts.

FEATURED ORGANIZATIONS

Artists and Craftsman North Portland– Art supply store located in North Portland, OR. Employee owned and operated, we pride ourselves in our ability to bring the highest quality products to artists in our community at a price that is affordable to all