RACC Blog

RACC’s annual arts and business breakfast is February 8

What happens when you mix one Mexican Folkloric dance troupe, three inspirational acts of collaboration, surgeons who formed an 80s cover band, and Commissioner Chloe Eudaly? Add one giant light-bulb with feet and you get an event called, “Juice.”

On Wednesday, February 8, over 350 arts supporters and practitioners will participate in RACC’s Juice: Fueling Innovation presented by Portland General Electric – hence the appearance of Larry the Lightbulb.  Formerly the Arts Breakfasts of Champions, the longstanding event was renamed Juice to celebrate the creative “juice” that flows through businesses and the arts alike. The hour-long program will honor the Top Corporate Donors to the Arts and Top Work for Art Campaigns from 2016. Mexican dance troupe Ballet Papalotle will perform and local actor La’Tevin Alexander Ellis will emcee the program. La’Tevin lends his powerful acting talent to Hands Up, a production of The August Wilson Red Door Project directed by Kevin Jones. You can also catch La’Tevin at this year’s Fertile Ground Festival in Left Hook, directed by Damaris Webb.

At the heart of Juice are three stories of giving, service and collaboration. RACC’s Business Committee for the Arts (BCA) led the process in which a wide variety of non-profits and individuals submitted nominations in the following categories:

  • Outstanding In Kind Contribution – hear how a gift of time and talent lead to a lasting impression on one aspiring young artist
  • Extraordinary Service to the Arts – see how one passionate board member was a catalyst for equity and inclusion in arts programing
  • Innovative Partnership Award – find out which arts nonprofit wins the cash prize of $5,000 for their imaginative collaboration with a business

What if these stories inspired just one Juice participant to use creativity to improve a workplace or neighborhood, bridge a cultural divide or just help a business build something really awesome? That’s the potential power of Juice. The more people plug in to creative collaboration in our region, the more we thrive as a community. Now, more than ever, is the time to come together as a community.

There will be plenty of opportunities to choose your own creative adventure at Juice. Consider getting trained to serve on an arts board, help bring the Work for Art program to your workplace, or join the Battle of the Bands planning committee. But before you decide, let the rad stylings of Kaiser Permanente’s 80s cover band, “Members Only,” take you back in time. The band won the RACC’s 2016 Battle of the Bands Best Showmanship award and plans to perform again on May 17 at this year’s competition, co-chaired by Portland Commissioner Chloe Eudaly and ZGF Architect’s, Sharron Van der Meulen.

Everyone is invited to attend Juice to see what’s possible in collaboration between business and the arts. Juice is an opportunity to celebrate these innovations, connect to this creativity, to find inspiration and unique ways to engage. We believe that everyone will come away from the Juice event with their own unique experience, inspiration and call to action. The nature of art is that we all bring our own lens. This is also true of our creativity. The possibilities for partnership, innovation and engagement are endless.

Join the movement, see you at Juice!

P.S. There’s also a juice bar.

Juice: Fueling Innovation
Presented by Portland General Electric
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
7:30 – 9:00 a.m.
Portland Art Museum

Tickets and a few tables are still available. To purchase tickets, visit www.racc.org/juice/. For tables please contact Alison Bailey at 503-823-5424 or abailey@racc.org.


Some responses to the current state of our country

ELOISE BLOG: This past Friday and Saturday I participated in meetings with 40 people who lead local arts agencies in large cities across the country. Top in everyone’s minds, of course, is the tornado roaring through national government. The participating leaders represent blue cities in blue states, blue cities in red states, and red cities in red states, so responses and actions vary accordingly. Adding to this political variety the opaque nature of the new administration’s decision making, the constant shifting of communications, and the day to day policy vacillations – charting a sensible set of responses and actions seems next to impossible.  But we cannot wait.

The meetings were organized by Americans for the Arts, the leading arts advocacy organization based in DC, with participation also by our liaison to the National Endowment for the Arts.  Since there has been so much focus on a recent article from The Hill, which reported that Trump plans to shut down the NEA and NEH and privatize NPR, I will start with comments from the NEA. The article is not ”news.” It mimics a position espoused by the Heritage Foundation in the 1970’s and which has popped up often. Obviously since these venerable institutions still exist the proposal has failed every time. Even staunch conservatives value what they are about. I don’t mean to suggest that Trump won’t try to cut costs this way, but reasonable experts are not yet convinced he would get his way with Congress on this one. Also troubling, though, is that the arts are funded through a number of other federal agencies beyond and richer than the NEA and those programs will also be under intense scrutiny.

Americans for the Arts is not in a position to aggressively advocate against the administration for fear of major retaliation, but is reaching out to influential people within current leadership who might be allies. It’s a political dance they are well qualified to do. They also have been calling out to everyone to strongly advocate for the values and beliefs this country was founded on and the important role arts, culture and humanities play in supporting these values.  To learn more please visit http://artsactionfund.org/page/s/trump-arts-petition and sign the petition.

Our group talked at length about the many and varied ways to respond, resist, and reset. Leaders in solidly red states and cities in mixed situations have challenging opportunities for responses, but we all live and work in cities where individuals are still completely free to speak out, reach out, act out. We discussed the benefits of peaceful and positive voices and actions. Since we all stress the importance of equity and inclusion in our work, we agreed upon a core commitment to create a culture of “belonging”. We are all in this together. We need to publicly and prominently create displays of cultural unity slicing through the fear and negativity and focusing on the nation we want to be. After all our constitution opens with “we the people.”

Over the coming days, weeks and months RACC will meet with our local officials to discuss how we as a city and region will move this vital work forward. Please share with us what you as individuals want to do/are doing, how your networks, organizations and associations are responding, what questions need asking, and how together we can ensure that at least our part of this vast nation stays firmly on a positive path for all people. Thank you.

For six valuable action suggestions please see “Here’s What You Can Do To Protect National Arts and Culture Funding,” courtesy of Claire Fallon and The Huffington Post.


RACC temporarily removes “Allow Me” from Pioneer Courthouse Square as brick repair project moves forward

In preparation for the repair and renovation of portions the brick plaza at Pioneer Courthouse Square RACC staff, working with Pioneer Courthouse Square, Portland Parks & Rec, and project contractor Howard S. Wright, removed  J. Seward Johnson’s iconic Allow Me (a.k.a. “Umbrella Man”) sculpture from its location in the square’s southwest corner. The 460 pound bronze will be stored off-site for 6 months while construction proceeds.

During this time Allow Me will receive a spa treatment of sorts as conservators clean the surface, re-freshen the figure’s painted highlights, and apply a hot wax protective finish.

For more information on the PSC renovation: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/68100  To learn more about Allow Me: Allow me info


An Important Message from the Americans for the Arts President and CEO

January 26, 2017

Dear Americans for the Arts Members and Friends,

I am writing to you today about the status of federal funding for the arts in the new Administration and U.S. Congress and about what you should do right now and over the coming months.

Last week on Thursday, January 19, I sent our Americans for the Arts members, stakeholders, and constituents at the local, state, and national levels an alert calling attention to an article in The Hill newspaper which reported that two Trump transition team advisors are recommending elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and privatization of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. I was asked to respond to this troubling news and gave interviews in the following publications: Washington Post, Variety, The Hill, and Paste Magazine among others.

Also last Thursday, Nina Ozlu Tunceli, executive director of our affiliated grassroots advocacy organization Americans for the Arts Action Fund, sent an action alert outlining four quick action steps to its members. The Arts Action Fund website www.ArtsActionFund.org will continue to have the most up-to-date information about ongoing advocacy efforts and actions to take regarding federal funding for the arts. The Arts Action Fund is also working with state arts advocacy groups on a coordinated campaign that will be released next week.

Today, I sent a letter to President Trump asking him to preserve federal funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. But I would like the next letter that I send to the President to be accompanied by a petition signed by 100,000 Arts Action Fund members which can be found here. Over the coming weeks, I expect that there will be a number of opinion articles and targeted attacks regarding public funding for the arts. To help further explain what is—or isn’t—happening right now, Americans for the Arts has prepared a few FAQs from questions the staff have already fielded. We also need to organize and galvanize our forces. Please sign the petition and get at least five of your friends to do the same so we can raise our collective and individual voices with precision and in a unified manner.

I believe our collective job in the arts community is to tell our story and make our case again and again at the federal, state, and local levels. Below are the action steps I hope you will take as soon as possible:

  • Take two minutes to contact your two Senators and your House representatives now.
  • Join the Arts Action Fund (for free) so we can get alerts to you as quickly as possible and you can respond to decision-makers fast.
  • Work to get other colleagues to join the Arts Action Fund. We ask that you pledge to reach out to at least five board, staff, members, or audience members. Two national partners, the Association of Writers & Writing Programs and Blick Art Supply, brought in 42,000 members and 37,000 customers respectively to become arts advocates for our cause.
  • Register to attend National Arts Advocacy Day on March 20–21 in Washington, DC where you can add your voice in person.
  • Inform us of any specific actions impacting the arts in your community as a result of the President’s new executive order on sanctuary cities. Please send an e-mail to Ruby Harper at rharper@artsusa.org.

This is what you can do now, but we will circle back to you at several points along the timeline below to customize and target messages as the process unfolds.

We’ve created a Rapid Response Team here and put together a general timeline of what to expect:

  • The White House will issue dozens of sweeping executive orders and form new policy positions within the first 90 days.
  • Americans for the Arts and the Arts Action Fund will release a coordinated petition, grassroots advocacy, social media, and advertising campaign in early February.
  • The President will address a joint session of Congress on February 28, 2017, and will likely present the Administration’s FY 2018 budget around this time.
  • Americans for the Arts is set to present National Arts Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill on March 21, 2017.
  • The U.S. House of Representatives and specifically the House Appropriations Subcommittees will set initial FY 2018 funding levels for every federal agency in the Spring (March–May) of this year.
  • The federal government’s current FY 2017 Continuing Resolution Appropriations expires April 28, 2017, and we need to keep a watchful eye on continuation of federal funding for the arts through the entire fiscal year ending September 30, 2017.
  • The U.S. Senate and Senate Appropriation Subcommittees will finalize their positions by July 4.
  • A final conference committee agreement between the House and the Senate will be reached by leaders from these committees by September/October.

At the national level, Americans for the Arts will continue to coordinate with national, state, and local arts groups on advocacy efforts through:

  • Ongoing strategizing with our national arts service organization colleagues, especially the 85 national partners of National Arts Advocacy Day, on direct lobbying.
  • Ongoing strategizing with our local arts, state arts, and arts education advocacy colleagues, including the 50+ members of our State Arts Action Network, on grassroots lobbying.
  • Expanding and re-targeting our national advertising strategy.
  • Continuing press and interview pursuits such as the interviews from over this past weekend.
  • Strategizing with, and involving, key pro-arts leaders from business, government, and the arts who connect well with the new Administration.
  • Identifying incoming White House staff liaisons to the arts sector.

Just yesterday, President Trump signed an Executive Order that could potentially deny certain cities, such as sanctuary cities, billions of dollars in federal grants, including NEA funds, if they do not follow new immigration enforcement protocols. Americans for the Arts is already developing strategies about a number of issues related to federal arts funding, and we are proactively investigating new opportunities for arts funding in the coming months; an example is legislation regarding expanding our nation’s infrastructure.

Finally, we are seeing that the current efforts to eliminate the NEA seem to be based on old Heritage Foundation arguments formulated more than two decades ago. Even though these arguments are dated, that does not mean they won’t have weight with new legislative listeners. The argument to eliminate or slash federal arts funding comes up every year, and your collective efforts have stopped that from happening in the past. But in the current political environment, it is critical that all of us redouble our efforts.

I think it is good to know what claims might be put forth so that we are all prepared with locally based strategies and answers. To help with this, our team is preparing rebuttals to each of these potential arguments which will be posted on the Americans for the Arts and Action Fund websites and forwarded to Arts Action Fund members. This information can help you make a case for federal funding with your congressional representatives.

Americans for the Arts is committed to working with you to ensure that all Americans have access to the arts and that we protect and cultivate funding for the arts on the local, state, and federal level.

Thank you for your hard work.

Robert L. Lynch
President and CEO
Americans for the Arts


February Night Lights: Laura Heit presents “Hypothetical Stars II” in conjunction with the Portland Winter Light Festival on February 2

PORTLAND, ORE – For February’s installment of Night Lights, artist Laura Heit will present Hypothetical Stars II on RACC’s north exterior wall at 411 NW Park Avenue in Portland on February 2 between 5:00 and 8:00 p.m. This month, Night Lights is an affiliate site for The Portland Winter Light Festival, which is now in its second year.

Hypothetical Stars II is a hand-drawn animated installation that employs the artist’s marks as interventions into 16mm footage taken from the NASA Apollo 12 mission. Being the first mission after the moon landing, it was notable for being the first to bring a color TV camera. And for the fact that, upon landing, the camera was pointed at the sun and inadvertently destroyed, immediately terminating the television broadcast. This piece asks us to consider a new view of that which we cannot see with the naked eye, where images sent back from the outer reaches are not seen as scientific truth but as deeply connected to our own desires and mirrors of our unconscious. Hypothetical Stars II uses thrown shadows from tabletop dioramas and reflected and refracted animated projections to create a universe of hypothetical stars, moons, and planets. Recreated on a large scale for Night Lights this piece transforms the parking lot into a 360 degree speculative star system. This installation coincides with two films completed in 2015 when NASA released its image archive into the public domain that spring.

About the Artist: Laura Heit is a multidisciplinary artist who engages experimental animation, performance, installation and writing. Disquieting and evocative, her work seamlessly crosses genres to unfold poetic visual narratives. Heit employs a strong handmade aesthetic, an irreverent sense of humor, drawing, puppetry, and animation, to bring together ideas and stories about ghosts, catastrophe, and invisibility. Screenings include; Rotterdam IFF, Annecy, Hong Kong IFF, London IFF, Ann Arbor Film Festival (1997, 2012, 2015), Black Maria, Walker Art Center, MOMA, Millennium Film, and the Guggenheim Museum, REDCAT, Aurora Picture Show, Pacific Film Archive, and others. She currently lives in Portland OR, USA.

Night Lights is a monthly public art event that promotes digital media, urban intervention, and technological innovation. On the First Thursdays of October through April, select artists are able to showcase their work on the North Wall of the Regional Arts & Culture Council. Night Lights is a collaboration between Open Signal and RACC.

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The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) was established in 1995 and is funded by public and private partners to serve artists, arts organizations, schools and residents throughout Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties. RACC provides grants for artists, nonprofit organizations and schools; manages an internationally acclaimed public art program; raises money and awareness for the arts through workplace giving and other programs; convenes forums, networking events and other community gatherings; provides workshops and other forms of technical assistance for artists; and integrates the arts into K-8 curriculum through The Right Brain Initiative. Online at www.racc.org.

With a commitment to creativity, technology and social change, Open Signal makes media production possible for everyone. We provide skills, equipment, inspiration and we amplify local voices on five cable channels. www.opensignalpdx.org

The Portland Winter Light Festival, is a premier winter event hosted at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI). This outdoor celebration illuminates Portland’s waterfront through contemporary light-based art installations, engaging performance, and fun activities for all ages. Free and open to the public, this nighttime community-supported event generates critical opportunities for artists, designers, creatives, makers and performers to collectively expand art, performance and technology innovations in our region. No tickets are needed for this outdoor event – simply show up and enjoy the show! Go to www.pdxwlf.com for more information and festival locations.


Applications available for RACC Arts Equity grant opportunity; letters of interest due February 22

With funding from Multnomah County and the City of Portland’s voter-approved Arts Education and Access Fund, the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) will invest a total of $100,000 in nonprofit organizations that are providing arts and culture programs and services for marginalized communities, including geographically underserved neighborhoods; communities of color, immigrants, and refugees; persons with disabilities; LGBTQ  communities; homeless and houseless communities; and other under-represented populations.

Nonprofit organizations that are based in the City of Portland and/or Multnomah County are encouraged to submit proposals for artistic programs and projects occurring between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018. To begin the application process, organizations should submit a Letter of Interest form (LOI) in RACC’s online grant portal at racc.culturegrants.org by Wednesday, February 22 at 5:00 p.m. Applicants whose LOIs best meet the objectives of this grant program will be invited to submit a full application in March.

Grant awards will be announced in May, and will range from $1,000 to $7,000 each. The types of activities that RACC intends to fund include, but are not limited to:

  • Events or programs that give underserved artists increased outlets to promote and market their work
  • Programs that provide technical assistance and other learning opportunities for artists in culturally specific communities
  • Arts programming within underrepresented communities
  • Community events that highlight and promote the art and culture of a particular community

“We are excited to offer the RACC Arts Equity Grant again,” said RACC Grant Officer Helen Daltoso. “After launching the online application process and increasing the grant budget in 2016, we saw an incredible amount of interest from the community,” Daltoso added. All guidelines and application materials are available online at racc.culturegrants.org.

RACC provides one-on-one assistance to applicants as needed, including feedback on draft applications and letters of interest. Upon request application materials can also be provided in other languages and formats. Contact Quinn MacNichol at 503-823-2928 or grants@racc.org for more information.

RACC will also host two free information sessions to help community members learn more about the Arts Equity Grant and how to apply:

  • Thursday, February 9, 6-7:30 p.m. at Gresham Library, 385 NW Miller Avenue, Gresham
  • Saturday, February 11, 2-3:30 p.m. at RACC Offices, 411 NW Park Avenue, Suite 101, Portland
  • If you would like to attend an information session, please RSVP online at racc.org/grants or call us at 503-823-2928.

For more information about the Arts Equity Grant, and a summary of other grant programs and deadlines, visit racc.org/grants.

Key deadline: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 by 5:00 pm – LOI due online at racc.culturegrants.org.

How Arts Equity Grants are funded:

  • $50,000 is funded by Multnomah County, which increased its general fund investment to RACC for the purpose of expanding arts access and support for East County and other underserved populations.
  • $50,000 is funded by The Arts Education and Access Fund (AEAF), approved by Portland voters in November, 2012. The AEAF funds at least one art or music teacher in every public elementary school in Portland, and funds RACC to bring arts, culture and creativity to life for every Portland resident. For more information, visit racc.org/aeaf.

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About RACC: The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) was established in 1995 and is funded by public and private partners to serve artists, arts organizations, schools and residents throughout Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties. RACC provides grants for artists, nonprofit organizations and schools; manages an internationally acclaimed public art program; raises money and awareness for the arts through workplace giving and other programs; convenes forums, networking events and other community gatherings; provides workshops and other forms of technical assistance for artists; and integrates the arts into K-8 curriculum through The Right Brain Initiative. Online at www.racc.org.


Applications available for RACC Arts Equity grant opportunity; letters of interest due February 22

PORTLAND, ORE — With funding from Multnomah County and the City of Portland’s voter-approved Arts Education and Access Fund, the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) will invest a total of $100,000 in nonprofit organizations that are providing arts and culture programs and services for marginalized communities, including geographically underserved neighborhoods; communities of color, immigrants, and refugees; persons with disabilities; LGBTQ  communities; homeless and houseless communities; and other under-represented populations.

Nonprofit organizations that are based in the City of Portland and/or Multnomah County are encouraged to submit proposals for artistic programs and projects occurring between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018. To begin the application process, organizations should submit a Letter of Interest form (LOI) in RACC’s online grant portal at racc.culturegrants.org by Wednesday, February 22 at 5:00 p.m. Applicants whose LOIs best meet the objectives of this grant program will be invited to submit a full application in March.

Grant awards will be announced in May, and will range from $1,000 to $7,000 each. The types of activities that RACC intends to fund include, but are not limited to:

  • Events or programs that give underserved artists increased outlets to promote and market their work
  • Programs that provide technical assistance and other learning opportunities for artists in culturally specific communities
  • Arts programming within underrepresented communities
  • Community events that highlight and promote the art and culture of a particular community

“We are excited to offer the RACC Arts Equity Grant again,” said RACC Grant Officer Helen Daltoso. “After launching the online application process and increasing the grant budget in 2016, we saw an incredible amount of interest from the community,” Daltoso added. All guidelines and application materials are available online at racc.culturegrants.org.

RACC provides one-on-one assistance to applicants as needed, including feedback on draft applications and letters of interest. Upon request application materials can also be provided in other languages and formats. Contact Jack MacNichol at 503-823-2928 or jmacnichol@racc.org for more information.

RACC will also host two free information sessions to help community members learn more about the Arts Equity Grant and how to apply:

  • Thursday, February 9, 6-7:30 p.m. at Gresham Library, 385 NW Miller Avenue, Gresham
  • Saturday, February 11, 2-3:30 p.m. at RACC Offices, 411 NW Park Avenue, Suite 101, Portland
  • If you would like to attend an information session, please RSVP online at racc.org/grants or call us at 503-823-2928.

For more information about the Arts Equity Grant, and a summary of other grant programs and deadlines, visit racc.org/grants.

Key deadline: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 by 5:00 pm – LOI due online at racc.culturegrants.org.

How Arts Equity Grants are funded:

  • $50,000 is funded by Multnomah County, which increased its general fund investment to RACC for the purpose of expanding arts access and support for East County and other underserved populations.
  • $50,000 is funded by The Arts Education and Access Fund (AEAF), approved by Portland voters in November, 2012. The AEAF funds at least one art or music teacher in every public elementary school in Portland, and funds RACC to bring arts, culture and creativity to life for every Portland resident. For more information, visit racc.org/aeaf.

About RACC: The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) was established in 1995 and is funded by public and private partners to serve artists, arts organizations, schools and residents throughout Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties. RACC provides grants for artists, nonprofit organizations and schools; manages an internationally acclaimed public art program; raises money and awareness for the arts through workplace giving and other programs; convenes forums, networking events and other community gatherings; provides workshops and other forms of technical assistance for artists; and integrates the arts into K-8 curriculum through The Right Brain Initiative. Online at www.racc.org.


Regional Arts & Culture Council elects new board members

PORTLAND, ORE – The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) board of directors has elected four new members. They include:

  • Eve Connell is a writer, editor and trainer of professionals in communications. She is the managing editor of University of Hell Press and visiting professor for various MA/MFA/MBA programs in California and Oregon, including OCAC and PNCA.

         

  • Katherine Durham is vice president, Individual Disability Insurance and Corporate Marketing & Communications, for Standard Insurance Company. Durham’s experience includes 20 years as a leader in a variety of positions in both start-up and Fortune 500 companies.

         

  • Frances Portillo of Portillo Consulting, International is an international independent consultant specializing in Cross-Cultural Communication, Social and Emotional Intelligence and Conflict Resolution. She has worked in over 33 countries as a presenter, trainer, facilitator and coach.

         

  • James Smith is a member of the Fort Peck Sioux Tribe of Montana and a descendant of the Warm Springs Tribe of Oregon. He is currently a Financial Analyst for Morrison Child & Family Services, and volunteers as Treasurer for the Concerned Indian Community.

RACC board officers include Mike Golub, board chair; Phillip T. Hillaire, vice chair; Eileen L. Day, treasurer; Steve Rosenbaum, secretary and Jan Robertson, chair emeritus.

Other continuing RACC Board members include Nik Blosser, Verlea G. Briggs, Raymond C. Cheung, CPA, Representative Lew Frederick, Debbie Glaze, Osvaldo ‘Ozzie’ Gonzalez, Angela Hult, Dana Ingram, Susheela Jayapal, Parker Lee, Linda McGeady, Brenda L. Meltebeke, Anita Menon, Mitchell Nieman, Joanna Priestley, Shyla M. Spicer and Anita Yap.

Board and staff profiles are available online at racc.org/about/staff-board.

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The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) provides grants for artists, nonprofit organizations and schools in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties; manages an internationally acclaimed public art program; raises money and awareness for the arts through Work for Art; convenes forums, networking events and other community gatherings; provides workshops and other forms of technical assistance for artists; and oversees a program to integrate arts and culture into the standard curriculum in public schools through The Right Brain Initiative. RACC values a diversity of artistic and cultural experiences and is working to build a community in which everyone can participate in culture, creativity and the arts. For more information visit racc.org.