Work for Art annual report reviews 10th anniversary campaign

Work for Art, RACC’s annual fundraising campaign for local arts organizations, has released its 2015-16 report of accomplishments and financial summaries.

The report acknowledges more than 1,800 donors and 75 companies who contributed to the program’s most successful campaign yet. A record $912,213 was raised from employee and individual giving, company match, local governments, and special events – including Work for Art’s first annual Battle of the Bands.

In August, RACC and Work for Art recognized the top workplace giving campaigns, and celebrated outgoing co-chairs Mike Golub, president of business at the Portland Timbers, and former regional president of KeyBank, Dave Lofland, for their leadership during the 10th anniversary.

The full report can be viewed online: workforart.org/annual-report-2016.

Work for Art concludes tenth anniversary campaign

On June 30, RACC concluded its tenth annual Work for Art campaign. And while it will take a few more weeks to count and confirm all of this year’s campaign contributions, one thing is certain: the 2015-16 fundraising drive will break all records for participation and revenue.

Ten years ago Work for Art burst onto the scene raising $447,000, but this year organizers expect to clear more than $900,000, with all proceeds benefiting local arts and culture organizations. Workplace giving campaigns remain the program’s largest source of revenue, with more than 2,000 individuals in 75 companies participating this year. In addition, 30 individuals stepped up with leadership contributions of $1,000 more, and Work for Art’s first annual Battle of the Bands competition added $70,000 to the campaign total in May.

Work for Art has also enjoyed significant exposure during its tenth anniversary, including a generous contribution from Portland General Electric. If you attended the Rose Festival Starlight Parade or Grand Floral Parade this year, you may have seen – and heard – the PGE float saluting Work for Art. Musicians from Metropolitan Youth Symphony (one of Work for Art’s 100 funded arts and culture groups) jammed out atop a colorful larger-than-life guitar. PGE employees have been the top donors to Work for Art for four years running.

The 2015-16 campaign total and top companies will be announced at a special event on August 4. Local arts and business leaders will celebrate outgoing campaign chairs, Mike Golub and Dave Lofland, and applaud Work for Art’s program manager, Kathryn Jackson, who departs this month after 10 years with the organization. Over the last 10 years, Work for Art has raised more than $7.1 million for local nonprofit arts organizations.

The 2016-17 campaign will be chaired by Kregg Arntson, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility for Portland General Electric and the Executive Director of the PGE Foundation.

For more information on Work for Art and the 2016-17 campaign, contact Jeff Hawthorne at jhawthorne@racc.org or call 503.823.5258.

Kaiser Permanente, The Standard and ZGF Architects win top prizes at Work for Art’s Battle of the Bands

Seven employee bands competed in Work for Art’s first annual Battle of the Bands, which drew more than 400 music fans to the Crystal Ballroom on Thursday, May 12. Celebrity judges Christopher Brown, Steve Pringle and Rindy Ross awarded the top prize – best company band – to Pencil Skirt Paula and The Straight Edge Rulers, from ZGF Architects. The Best Showmanship prize went to Kaiser Permanente’s 1980s cover band, Members Only.

The Audience Favorite award, as determined by the band that raised the most money from the audience, went to The Standard’s Smoke Before Fire. In all more than $75,000 was raised through event sponsorships, ticket sales, a silent auction, a raffle and other cash donations.

Kaiser Permanente’s 1980s cover band, Members Only.

Kaiser Permanente’s 1980s cover band, Members Only, photo by Erica Ann Photography.

All event proceeds will help Work for Art draw closer to its fundraising goal of $1 million by June 30. Work for Art is a program of the Regional Arts & Culture Council that raises money and awareness for local arts and culture organizations, primarily through workplace giving. RACC distributes all campaign proceeds to more than 100 local nonprofit organizations – including Oregon Children’s Theatre, Ethos Music Center, Portland Opera and the Children’s Healing Art Project.

The Standard’s Smoke Before Fire.

The Standard’s Smoke Before Fire, photo by Erica Ann Photography.

Battle of the Bands was the first-ever public fundraising event for Work for Art, which is now in its tenth year. The event was emceed by Joe Vithayathil of KPTV Fox 12 Oregon, and by singer-songwriter Merideth Kaye Clarke. The Brothers Jam, led by BodyVox artistic director Jamey Hampton, opened the show, and one of the Timbers Army bands, Greenhorn, played the final set.

Other competing bands included The Legal Limit (Tonkon Torp), The Red Keys (KeyBank), Larry and the Lightbulbs (PGE), and Dystopia (Burgerville). Companies that are interested in competing in next year’s Battle should contact Jeff Hawthorne, Director of Community Engagement for the Regional Arts & Culture Council, at jhawthorne@racc.org, 503-823-5258.

To make a donation that will help Work for Art reach its million-dollar goal, visit workforart.org.

Celebrity judges Christopher Brown, Rindy Ross and Steve Pringle. Photo by Erica Ann Photography.

Celebrity judges Christopher Brown, Rindy Ross and Steve Pringle. Photo by Erica Ann Photography.

State of the Arts

Eloise’s Blog:

Many thanks to all who attended our annual presentation to City Council when we thank Council for their on-going support. While we also talk about how we invested the City’s allocation to RACC over the past year, we focus even more on how powerful the impacts of these dollars are to artists, arts organizations, schools, and arts enthusiasts around our region and beyond.

The Obo Addy Legacy Project opened the event on April 21st with rousing and reverberating Ghanean drumming as people entered Council Chambers. RACC’s Board Chair, Jan Robertson, and I then ran through some highlights of our programs in 2015 and we were all treated to music performed by a quintet from Bravo Youth Orchestra.

These talented Rosa Parks Elementary students are evidence of what magic can happen thanks to their music teacher paid for by the Arts Tax, and an arts organization, Bravo, providing learning experiences inside the school. Jan also described the ever growing Right Brain Initiative and how supportive our City leaders have been since day one.

I ran through images of recent public art projects including a Buster Simpson sculpture in South Waterfront and a wide array of murals funded in part by RACC’s Murals Program and Forest for the Trees, an organization that brings together local artists and others from around the world to create large scale murals around our city. The audience also saw sneak previews of upcoming public art  in the works. To see some of these images for yourselves, click here (slides 27-31).

RACC Board member and Chair of our Grants Review Committee, Susheela Jayapal, described the various ways we award City funds to artists and organizations and the challenges facing RACC and the organizations who benefit from the Arts Tax, which currently is not bringing in the full amount voted approved by Portland voters in 2012. Susheela also introduced jazz musician and PSU professor, Darrell Grant, who described what he was able to achieve thanks to a RACC Project Grant. Literary Arts Executive Director Andrew Proctor explained the phenomenal success of the inaugural year of its Wordstock Festival, newly adopted by his organization, a longtime member of RACC’s General Operating Support program. And finally Luann Algoso spoke about APANO’s Expanding Cultural Access grant, which supported their well-received Cultural Events Series in the Jade District.

RACC’s Board member Mike Golub introduced RACC’s on-going programs which beneficially connect arts and business. When Business for Culture and the Arts closed last summer, RACC was asked to take on two of the organization’s most successful programs. Art of Leadership under George Thorn’s leadership provides seminars to train business people to be Board members of nonprofit arts organizations. RACC now also hosts The Arts Breakfast of Champions, which recognizes top donors and champions of the arts. We hope to expand the event’s scope going forward to celebrate all the ways arts and business can partner to inspire employees and foster creative collaborations.

Mike Co-Chair’s Work for Art, our workplace giving program, which typically raises about $750k a year for arts organizations. In this 10th anniversary year RACC hopes to raise a $1 million, through workplace campaigns and events such as the upcoming Battle of the Bands, May 12th. Part of ZGF’s competing band, Pencil Skirt Paula and the Straightedge Rulers, treated the audience to a musical tribute to Prince.  Finally Ian Mouser of My Voice Music testified about the amazing work his organization can do for kids with City funding, and the grand finale was a moving duet sung by Matthew Gailey and Lea Mulligan of PHAME (below).


We so value and appreciate everyone’s time and enthusiasm and the long-standing and heartfelt commitment by our supportive City Council!

Eight company bands head to Battle on May 12

Preparations are underway for our first annual Battle of the Bands, a celebration of employee creativity and a benefit for Work for Art! The event takes place Thursday, May 12 at the Crystal Ballroom. Doors will open at 6:00 p.m. and the competition begins at 7:00.

Eight employee bands, sponsored by their companies, are currently tuning up their ten-minute sets.

Brothers Jam, featuring Jamey Hampton of BodyVox and Hampton Lumber, will open the show.  Seven other bands will perform in a variety of genres to vie for the title of “Best Company Band,” as determined by our panel of celebrity judges. The judges will also award a “Best Showmanship” prize, while everyone else gets to select an “Audience Favorite” by voting for their favorite band with cash. The competing bands include:

  • Burgerville, Dystopia
  • Kaiser Permanente, Members Only
  • KeyBank, The Red Keys
  • Portland General Electric, Larry and the Lightbulbs
  • The Standard, Smoke Before Fire
  • Tonkon Torp, The Legal Limit
  • ZGF Architects, Pencil Skirt Paula and the Straight Edge Rulers

The Portland Timbers Army band Greenhorn will also perform.

Tickets are just $10 each, available at the Crystal Ballroom Box Office or online at http://bit.ly/WFABattleOfTheBands. A limited number of VIP tickets are available for $100 each and include hosted food and beverage, table seating area, validated parking and a complimentary concert t-shirt.

All proceeds benefit Work for Art’s 10th Anniversary Campaign to raise $1 million for local arts and culture organizations. This is an all-ages event, accessible for people with disabilities. For more information visit http://workforart.org/battle-of-the-bands/.

Battle of the Bands

A benefit for Work for Art

Thursday, May 12 at 7:00 pm (doors open at 6:00)

At the Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside, Portland

General Admission $10, VIP $100


Battle of the Bands scheduled for May 12 at the Crystal Ballroom

PORTLAND, ORE — Tickets are now on sale for Work for Art’s first annual Battle of the Bands competition, a celebration of employee creativity at the Crystal Ballroom on May 12, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. All proceeds benefit Work for Art, a program of the Regional Arts & Culture Council.

Eight company bands (employees who play music on the side) will perform in front of friends, family, co-workers and a panel of celebrity judges as they vie for the title of Best Company Band. Several other prizes will be awarded as well, including Audience Favorite.

Each band will have 10 minutes to perform any genre of music they choose, with a five minute break between each band. Six of the eight available spots have been filled; confirmed bands include NW Natural, Portland General Electric, KeyBank, The Standard, Tonkon Torp and ZGF Architects.

Work for Art, celebrating its 10th Anniversary this year, is on a mission to raise $1 Million for local nonprofit arts organizations by June 30th, primarily through workplace giving and other partnerships with local businesses. The 2015-16 campaign co-chairs are Mike Golub, President of Business Operations for the Portland Timbers, and David Lofland, President of KeyBank Oregon and SW Washington. All proceeds from Work for Art and Battle of the Bands will be granted to approximately 100 nonprofit arts and culture organizations in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties.

Sponsorship and underwriting support for Battle of the Bands is provided by Alpha Media/KINK 101.9, Burgerville, NW Natural, Portland General Electric, Portland Timbers, KeyBank, Oregon Cultural Trust, The Standard, Willamette Week and ZGF Architects.

Tickets are $10 each, available at The Crystal Ballroom box office at 1332 West Burnside Street in Portland; by phone at 1-855-CAS-TIXX; or online at http://bit.ly/WFABattleOfTheBands. A limited number of VIP tickets are available for $100 each, including complimentary food and beverage plus reserved seating. For sponsorship opportunities and other information, contact Jeff Hawthorne at 503-823-5258 or visit http://workforart.org/bob.

The Right Brain Initiative and Work for Art release reports

PORTLAND, ORE — Two programs of the Regional Arts & Culture Council – The Right Brain Initiative and Work for Art – have published summaries of their accomplishments and finances for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2015. 

The Right Brain Initiative’s 2015 Progress Report illustrates RACC’s unique approach to supporting K-8 educators in the Portland tri-county region. Through workshops, coaching, and collaboration with artists, Right Brain helped 1,220 Portland area educators integrate the arts into their teaching during the 2014-15 school year. The report features profiles of teachers who are served by the program, all of whom describe how Right Brain has helped them and their colleagues learn to teach differently.

“Supporting and training teachers helps us catalyze a new relationship between public schools and the arts, making creative thinking a fundamental part of the learning process for all kids,” said Marna Stalcup, director of arts education at RACC. “We haven’t always talked a lot about this aspect of our work, but it’s part of our DNA.”

The Right Brain Initiative benefited 19,324 students last school year, 55% of whom qualify for the free and reduced lunch program. This school year, Right Brain is growing to serve 63 schools in seven Portland area school districts. Read more by downloading the full report.  

The Annual Report for Work for Art provides a summary of RACC’s 9th workplace giving campaign for the arts. A total of $750,350 was raised between July, 2014 and June, 2015, and the report includes the names of all campaign donors – including nearly 2,000 employees at 75 companies in the region. Work for Art donations are matched dollar-for-dollar by a public-private matching challenge fund, and proceeds are distributed to approximately 100 arts organizations every year.

“Over the past nine years, Work for Art has distributed more than $6.2 million in grants and direct gifts to arts and culture organizations based in Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties,” said program manager Kathryn Jackson. “Their work plays out every day in theaters, concert halls, galleries, hospitals, libraries, classrooms and community centers throughout the region.”

Earlier this year, Work for Art announced that it has set an ambitious goal to raise $1 million in celebration of its 10th Anniversary Campaign that began in July, 2015 and runs through June 30, 2016. Mike Golub, President of Business Operations at the Portland Timbers, and Dave Lofland, President of KeyBank Oregon and SW Washington, are co-chairing the campaign. To learn more and contribute, visit workforart.org.

In late December, RACC will publish its “Year in Review” for all programs along with audited financial statements for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2015.

Burgerville to “Feed the Arts” by donating portion of proceeds to “Work for Art” on March 8

Non-profit provides financial support to more than 80 vital arts and culture organizations serving the Northwest region

VANCOUVER, Wash.  – On Thursday, Mar. 8, Burgerville, a long-standing tradition in Oregon and Southwest Washington, will donate 1.5 percent of all sales that day to Work for Art, a non-profit that supports arts and culture services throughout the Northwest region. Additionally, Burgerville cardholders who make a purchase before 11 a.m. will generate another 5 cents for the program.

“Burgerville is committed to giving back to the communities where we live, work and serve. Our partnership with Work for Art gives us an opportunity to do just that,” said Jeff Harvey, president and CEO of Burgerville. “Work for Art funds more than 80 vital arts and culture organizations each year, and they are an important part of keeping the arts alive in the Pacific Northwest.”

This isn’t the only way Burgerville is giving back to Work for Art; Burgerville employees can also personally donate money to the non-profit through Burgerville’s employee giving campaign. Burgerville believes art and creative vitality are essential to thriving communities and Work for Art perfectly embodies this message.

Burgerville will host two more partnership days with their other payroll-giving partners this year. On March 29, a percent of sales will be donated to the United Way of the Columbia-Willamette, and on April 29, sales will benefit EarthShare of Oregon and Washington.

For a list of Burgerville locations visit http://www.burgerville.com/find-a-restaurant.

About Work for Art
Donations to Work for Art’s Community Fund and Arts Education Fund provide grants to more than 80 vital arts and culture organizations every year – encompassing dance, visual arts, music, literary arts, media arts, theater, cultural arts, and arts education. 100% of all donations to Work for Art are passed through to these organizations – no administrative fees are deducted. These groups provide: Thousands of arts education experiences every year in our schools; Partnerships with the clients of more than 100 health and social service agencies; as well as thousands of performances and events in our neighborhoods and communities. Gifts from employees and other individuals are matched dollar-for-dollar by a challenge fund. Those who give $60 or more to Work for Art will be thanked with an Arts Card, providing 2-for-1 tickets at hundreds of arts and culture events.

About Burgerville
Burgerville is a quick-service restaurant company with 38 locations throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington, serving guests fresh, great-tasting food from a mission to “serve with love.” Burgerville’s values extend beyond locally grown berries, all-natural Country Natural Beef, Walla Walla onions and cage-free eggs. At Burgerville, the commitment to fresh, local and sustainable values is about helping people and communities thrive. The innovative company, established in 1961, is redefining industry norms by providing affordable health care for hourly employees and their dependents, purchasing wind power equal to their electricity use, converting used trans-fat free cooking oil to biodiesel and implementing comprehensive resource stewardship and recycling. For more information about Burgerville, please visit www.burgerville.com.

Media contact
Kathryn Jackson, Work for Art

Jamie Godfrey, LANE PR for Burgerville