RACC Blog

Regional Arts & Culture Council urges Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley to support Arts & Culture funding in Congress

Join Us! SIGN BY FRIDAY, NOV. 25, 2022

The final FY23 Interior Appropriations budget, which includes annual funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) will be negotiated by current members of both the United States Senate and the House of Representatives. Currently the House version sets allocations at an all-time high of $207 million each for the NEA and NEH, whereas the Senate Appropriations Committee (chaired by Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley) has allocated only $195 million each. 

RACC, the City of Portland, and Oregon arts and cultural organizations ask you to join us in respectfully urging Senator Jeff Merkley, Chair of the Interior Appropriations Committee, to accept the House-approved level of $207 million for both the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

View the letter, written by Americans for the Arts here.

Add your organization’s signature here. Please share with others and be sure to sign up by November 25th for the impact to be felt in Washington, DC.

As part of the arts and cultural sector, we know that investment strengthens our economy and the social fabric of our communities. Please join in advocating your support of this measure to Senator Jeff Merkley for increased funding!

Thank you! 


RACC shares update on the Thompson Elk restoration plan from the Portland Parks Foundation

Released to media on 10/3/22 from the Portland Parks Foundation

CONTACT: Randy Gragg,

503-799-2655; rgragg@portlandpf.org

Thompson Elk Fountain Restoration Feasibility Study Update

Portland Parks Foundation’s team completes study and preliminary cost estimate

The Portland Parks Foundation has completed its feasibility study and preliminary cost estimates for the restoration and reinstallation of the Thompson Elk Fountain. PPF and its consultants, Architectural Resources Group (ARG) and the landscape/urban design firm MIG have submitted its restoration plan to the Portland’s Office of Management and Finance (OMF). In turn, OMF has submitted it to the Bureau of Development Services for an anticipated November “Design Advice Request” with the Portland Historic Landmarks Commission. That hearing, in which the team will get feedback from the Landmarks Commissioners, is open to the public for listening and testimony. For updates on the hearing, go to portland.gov/bds/landmarks.

“We are honored to present to the city this restoration design, which restores and returns the elk and fountain to their original location,” said Randy Gragg, executive director of PPF. “We’ve also developed potential street improvements to make the fountain a safer, universally accessible, and more welcoming place to visit.”

The study determined that 18 of the fountain’s 50 pieces will have to be remade. They include some of the most complex. All four of the fountain’s five-foot-long troughs and some of the most intricately carved ornaments will have to be refabricated. “But the good news,” according to ARG project lead Maya Foty, “stone from the original stone quarry is still available.”

The study also incorporates seismic stabilization and a recirculating pump for the fountain. The team developed preferred street upgrades that would create better access and a “viewing area” for the statue and fountain. Building on PBOT’s recently implemented separation of bikes and motorists around the fountain area on Southwest Main Street, ARG and MIG’s design provides two wheelchair accessible access points to a viewing area protected from passing traffic by elegant granite domed bollards.

“The design provides a refuge for people and it better protects the fountain from vehicles,” said Rachel Edmonds of MIG, “and also creates a sense of place around the fountain using historically compatible materials.” Based on 30-percent schematic design, the cost for the fountain restoration, new pump mechanism and reinstallation is estimated to be $1.2- $1.3 million. The street improvements would add approximately $670,000.

“We anxiously await what the city’s insurance settlement will yield and what the City Council determines the city can afford,” said Gragg. “We at PPF believe there is wide community support to pitch in if the final gap is not too large.”

PPF continues to accept contributions to restore the Thompson Elk Fountain. Donate here.

The Thompson Elk Fountain was badly damaged during the civil unrest of summer, 2020 that followed the murder of George Floyd. The city quickly moved the elk and the fountain pieces into storage. PPF’s study was overseen by a seven-member Project Advisory Committee of preservation and street design experts and informed by a technical advisory committee of city bureau representatives with oversight of the parks, street, and infrastructure, along with the Regional Arts & Culture Council who oversees the bronze elk.

Besides looking comprehensively at the restoration and streetscape, PPF hired two historians, Keith Eggener, a professor at the University of Oregon’s School of Architecture and Milo Reed, a freelance historian who works with Oregon Black Pioneers and Vanport Mosaic and currently chairs the Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries. They researched both the history of the elk fountain’s making and the social history of the fountain and its surrounding parks since its installation in 1900.

Former Mayor David P. Thompson commissioned the sculpture to honor the Humane Society which he cofounded. In the decades since, the historians found, the elk has stood at the center of protests over such perennial issues as free speech, workers’ rights, deportation of immigrants, and police shootings.

“For 120 years, people have gathered at the fountain to enjoy it as a thing of beauty and a symbol of nature, but also to give voice to their convictions,” noted Gragg. “Our goal is to renew it, reinstall it, and make it a safer, more inviting public space.”

PPF will release the full feasibility study and the findings of its historians in advance of the Design Advice Request hearing.

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City of Portland Urgency/Stability ARPA Grants Awarded

The Regional Arts & Culture Council has awarded $450,000 to 196 artists through the City of Portland’s Urgency/Stability Support for Artists grant program, a part of the American Rescue Plan: Investing in Portland initiative.

The Urgency/Stability program was designed to support artists and other creatives working in the arts who identify as under-served or under-represented, including Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, Pacific Islander and People of Color; LGBTQIA+ artists; and artists with disabilities.

Grants between $500-$5,000 were made to support artists and other creatives working in the arts who live in the City of Portland, had lost income or opportunities due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and had an ongoing practice creating work and sharing it with the community.

Submitted by a grant recipient:

“Thank you for supporting my artistic practice through the City of Portland Urgency/Stability Grant! As we continue to experience collective crises, we need art to help us reflect, reframe, and reimagine our world together. Your funding creates that crucial access for so many.”

Program funds came from Federal grant funds from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA); the process was administered by the Regional Arts & Culture Council.


RACC Creative Spotlight: Artist James Enos

Artist James Enos, Make | Learn | Build grant recipient

Introducing the Regional Arts & Culture Council’s Artist and Organization Creative Spotlight, where each quarter we will feature one artist and one organization in consecutive months that have been impacted by the support of programming, training, grants, or other services through RACC, and/or have been nominated for their impact on our community.

James Enos was a Make|Learn|Build grant recipient in June 2021. RACC’s Make|Learn|Build Grant Program was designed to address the ways the arts community in the tri-county region needed support during the COVID-19 pandemic. Artists, creatives, organizations, and businesses were awarded either $1,500 or $3,000 to make work, gain skills, or build up their arts business.

With RACC’s grant award, Booklyn, Inc. represented James Enos at the 2022 Outsider Art Fair. The Outsider Art Fair is a world renowned art fair that provides a stage for self-taught artists, art brut, and Outsider Art and takes place biannually in New York City and Paris.

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


Uprooted: An Art Exhibition Inspired by Refugee Identity and Resilience

Photo by Maryam Azizpour, “Marwa graduated from preschool and she is celebrating her graduation ceremony.”

Exhibition & Artist Talk
Uprooted: An Art Exhibition Inspired by Refugee Identity and Resilience

Wednesday, September 14
5–8 pm

As part of the City of Portland’s Welcoming Week 2022, the Regional Arts & Culture Council, in partnership with Lutheran Community Services Northwest and the Civic Life Immigrant and Refugee Program, is proud to present works in Uprooted: An Art Exhibition Inspired by Refugee Identity and Resilience by four refugee artists from around the world who have resettled here in the Portland area. Come and meet the artists to hear their stories and learn what inspires them.

The theme of this year’s Welcoming Week, “Where We Belong,” aims to spark reflection on how and why belonging occurs, and on ways we can break barriers to foster belonging for all, including immigrants and refugees.

Exhibition Opening Reception & Artist Talk

RACC is excited to open our doors and welcome community members into our very own office space for this community gathering and in-house art presentation. Uprooted: An Art Exhibition Inspired by Refugee Identity and Resilience opening reception and artist talk will take place on Wednesday, September 14th, from 5 – 8 pm. The exhibition features work by artists Mahshid Erfanfard, Akram Sarraj, Maryam Azizpour, and Luba Gonina, who are all refugees who have resettled in the Pacific Northwest. The exhibition will showcase works of art that give visual representation to the artists’  stories, dreams, and experiences. The artist talk will begin at 6 pm. Light refreshments will be served. We ask that you register for the opening reception.

The exhibition will be on view in the RACC offices through the end of September. Please contact us to make an appointment to view the exhibition after the opening reception at mmesquita@racc.org.

COVID-19 protocol is required: Please note that this will be a masked event. Masks will be available if you are in need of one. Masks will be required at all times while in the offices with the exception of when guests are eating or drinking.

Register today!

 

More on 2022 Welcoming Week

This is the second year the Office of Community & Civic Life’s Immigrant & Refugee Program will lead Portland’s Welcoming Week. Since 2012, Welcoming America has led the national Welcoming Week celebration and campaign to encourage communities to gather neighbors of all backgrounds to build strong connections and affirm the importance of welcoming and inclusive places.

This year’s theme for Welcoming Week is Where We Belong and is taking place September 9-18, 2022. “Where We Belong” aims to spark reflection on how and why belonging occurs, and ways we can break barriers so that places can foster belonging for all, including immigrants and refugees.

Welcoming Week Opening Ceremony will be held at Ventura Park on Friday, Sept. 9, from 6 – 8 p.m. The event will feature music, dance performances, food, speakers, and informational booths. And RACC will be there! Come say hello.

Welcoming Week 2022 Full Schedule

 


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.