RACC Blog

Portland Building Installation: 20th Annual City and County employee art exhibit opens December 15

RACC will host the 20th annual City of Portland and Multnomah County employee art exhibit, all the art that fits, opening on Thursday, December 15. The exhibit will be held in the Portland Building lobby Installation Space and is a yearly favorite for both the artists and regular visitors.

Only original artwork created by current employees of the City or County is eligible. All the artwork submitted will be installed salon style—wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling. For those eligible and interested in participating, submissions must be dropped off Wednesday, December 14th, between 8:00 and 10:00 am, at the Portland Building lobby located at 1120 SW 5th Ave. between SW Main and SW Madison.

RACC will also invite exhibit visitors to vote for their favorite artwork as part of the People’s Choice Award. To celebrate the exhibit’s 20th anniversary, the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners will each receive a special prize. The exhibition will run through Monday, January 9th, and the People’s Choice Award winners will be announced on January 10th, 2017.

Viewing Hours & Location: The exhibition is free and open to the public 8 am to 5 pm, Monday – Friday. The Portland Building is located at 1120 SW 5th Avenue in downtown Portland.

The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) manages the 13’ x 8’ installation space in the lobby of the Portland Building and presents installation based art there year round. For more information, including images, proposals, and statements for projects dating back to 1994, go to www.racc.org/installationspace.


Next Night Lights is on December 1

NIGHT LIGHTSSt. Julian the Hospitaller: Second and Third Chances on December 1st , 5pm-8pm

The Portland Community College Painting Team will be presenting a visual adaptation of Gustave Flaubert’s short story, The Legend of St. Julian the Hospitaller, a retelling of the medieval folk tale about self-transformation and personal redemption.  With visual asides to Ivan Albright’s painted iterations of an aging Dorian Gray, PCC painters will be animating a series of still photographs showing a single painting undergo dramatic changes, paralleling Flaubert’s hallucinatory description of events.

Participating artist are students from Painting I&II classes that are part of the Visual and Performing Arts Department at Portland Community College’s Sylvania campus instructed by Mark Smith.

Lead Painter

Shannen Muhl

Featured Artists

Courtney Allan

Emma Buckle

Luisa Carrillo

Sami Chesborough

JD Corral

Adolfo Gonzalez

Addie Groendes

Daisy Hammock

Shyanne Henry

Amy Jack

Brooke Johnson

Tamara Kharchenko

Cole Krikac

Stephanie Luerken

Mayumi Maeda

Jessica Martinez

Marilyn Navarro Yoves

Donna Robichaud

Oliver Rock

Julian Roth

Cali Schmeckpeper

Ariana Stanley-Krause

Paul Thomas

Kat Vanegas

Gabby Walder

RACC and Portland Community Media sponsor this event. The screening takes place on the north wall of RACC’s offices at 411 NW Park, Portland. Screens at dusk.


RACC distributes $555,358 in Work for Art proceeds, adds three organizations to its General Operating Support program

PORTLAND, ORE – At its October 26 board meeting, the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) board of directors approved to expand by three the number of organizations that receive General Operating Support annually from RACC, awarding grants to My Voice Music ($9,800), Portland Playhouse ($23,000) and The Circus Project ($12,800).

A total of 51 arts organizations in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties now receive annual unrestricted financial support from RACC to help them provide a wide range of arts programming for the public. Other General Operating Support organizations are listed at http://bit.ly/2e5lp9j. These grants are funded by Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties, the City of Portland general fund, and the city’s Arts Education & Access Fund, or arts tax.

In addition, RACC has distributed proceeds from its 10th annual Work for Art campaign to 49 local arts organizations, including:

Artist Repertory Theatre, $17,018

Bag & Baggage Productions, $ 8,980

Blue Sky Gallery, $5,086

BodyVox, $12,348

Broadway Rose Theatre Company, $21,543

Cappella Romana, Inc., $5,430

Chamber Music Northwest, $13,531

Children’s Healing Art Project, $5,787

Disjecta, $3,600

Echo Theater Company, $11,880

Ethos Music Center, $9,169

Friends of Chamber Music, $10,458

Hand2Mouth, $3,000

Hollywood Theatre, $9,768

Imago Theatre, $9,008

Independent Publishing Resource Center, $5,574

Lakewood Center for the Arts, $21,738

Literary Arts, Inc., $14,827

Live Wire! Radio, $5,653

Metropolitan Youth Symphony, $11,922

Miracle Theatre Group, $13,988

Northwest Children’s Theatre, $13,451

Northwest Dance Project, $10,190

NW Documentary Arts & Media, $3,699

Oregon Ballet Theatre, $19,581

Oregon Children’s Theatre, $22,757

Oregon Symphony Association, $19,388

PDX Jazz, $5,931

Pendulum Aerial Arts, $3,600

PHAME, $6,309

PlayWrite, Inc., $5,857

Portland Art Museum/Northwest Film Center, $24,109

Portland Baroque Orchestra, $12,196

Portland Center Stage, $23,163

Portland Columbia Symphony Orchestra, $6,690

Portland Gay Men’s Chorus, $9,691

Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, $14,564

Portland Opera, $23,956

Portland Piano International, $8,256

Portland Youth Philharmonic, $14,961

Profile Theatre Project, $10,595

The Portland Ballet, $10,325

The Right Brain Initiative, $10,000

Third Angle New Music Ensemble, $4,850

Third Rail Repertory Theatre, $6,939

Triangle Productions, $3,000

White Bird, $14,760

Write Around Portland, $9,161

Young Audiences of Oregon, $17,069

Work for Art is a program of the Regional Arts & Culture Council that raises money and awareness for arts and culture organizations, primarily through workplace giving. More than $912,000 was paid or pledged in the Work for Art campaign that ended June 30, 2016. Approximately 20% of all campaign donations are designated for specific arts organizations, but a large portion of the proceeds were unrestricted, and RACC distributes 100% of those to its General Operating Support organizations and through other grant programs throughout the year. A total of $555,358 was distributed to the groups listed above, and additional proceeds will be distributed to other arts organizations during the course of the year.

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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.


Portland Building Installation Space: Artist Alex Luboff’s pipeline installation: November 14 – December 9

Beginning November 14th artist Alex Luboff will offer visitors to the Portland Building a timely reminder of how the development of extractive energy infrastructure is confronting communities in Oregon and across the continent. His series of hand-crafted wooden pipelines, unavoidable as they cleave and intersect the exhibition space, can be seen as craft objects, or as a design composition, but the impression of the imposing physical presence that pipelines represent in our landscape is unavoidable.

Luboff’s project examines the physical, metaphorical, and systemic obstructions dealt to nature and society by the continued expansion of extractive energy infrastructure through the metaphor of “pipeline.” Projects ranging from the Keystone XL pipeline, the proposed LNG terminal in Coos Bay, and the current face-off over construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline are just a few of the growing number of energy infrastructure projects with the potential to significantly alter our surroundings and force communities into confrontation with government, industry, and their fellow citizens. As Luboff puts it “As a systemic obstruction these infrastructure projects reinforce a value system that may not prioritize a sustainable vision for humanity and the planet.”

The Portland Building is located at 1120 SW 5th Avenue in downtown Portland. The exhibition is free and open to the public from 8 am to 5 pm, Monday – Friday. For more information on the Portland Building Installation Space series, including images, proposals, and statements for all projects dating back to 1994, visit http://racc.org/installationspace


RACC funding brings art classes to residents living in affordable housing

By Heather Morrill, The Giving Tree NW

For eight weeks, beginning September 2016, two groups of residents living in affordable housing took part in The Giving Tree’s Art Explorations. These class sessions, brought directly on-site to the community rooms at Alder House Apartments and Station Place Tower, were funded in part by an Arts Equity Grant from the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC).

The Giving Tree NW provides opportunities for residents living in affordable housing to gather together as a community, and improve their quality of life, through art, education and recreation. Participants are seniors, veterans, people with mental illnesses, physical limitations, developmental disabilities and/or recovering from addictions, all united by low or fixed incomes. They are also artists, makers, musicians, writers, dreamers and doers.

Art Explorations breaks isolation and brings diverse individuals together to share a new experience. These classes are a chance for participants to build community, utilize art as a means of communication, and tap wells of strength and creativity that had been previously hidden.

RACC funding helped expand The Giving Tree’s existing 6-session Art Explorations curriculum by two sessions to include self-portrait work, to deepen lessons in self-expression, and see all the unique beauty each one of us offers. Artist and Art Instructor Suki Allen Olson, of Bird’s Eye View Studio, taught the eighth class session of the series, a self-portrait in ink. Taking a class at Suki’s studio captivated participants, expanding their technical skills and knowledge of working artists in the community.

J. King, an artist and affordable housing resident who completed Art Explorations on October 19th, is a shining example of the change engaging undeserved communities in art making can bring about.

“I suffer from a traumatic brain injury,” says King, “and expressing myself through art helps with my memory, thought patterns, ideas, and gives me something positive to do. A year and a half ago I was homeless (for 9 years, on the streets of Portland). I believe that Art Explorations has tapped a vein in me to express myself more through art, to participate in group art shows and try to make a name for myself and my work.”

With co-hosts Innovative Housing, Inc. and Erickson Gallery, The Giving Tree NW will display artwork created in 2016 during Art Explorations at Erickson Gallery, 9 NW 2nd Ave., for the month of November.

The celebratory First Thursday opening on November 3rd, 2016 from 5-7 p.m. will give the greater community of Portland an opportunity to see creative expressions that are usually invisible. It will give a creative voice to an under represented portion of our population, broadening our entire creative community and showing the impact and role of art in the goal of creating diverse, equitable communities.

RACC Arts Equity Grants provide financial support to organizations in Multnomah County and the City of Portland conducting arts and culture projects and programming for communities of color, immigrants, refugees, underserved neighborhoods, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ communities, and other under-represented communities. These grants help further RACC’s commitment to ensuring that everyone in our region has equal access to arts and the fundamental right to express their culture through the arts. A listing of other Arts Equity grantees for 2016-17 is available online. Arts Equity Grant applications will be available again in early 2017, and RACC anticipates the deadline will be in late February. Watch racc.org and Art Notes for further information.

Art by participants in The Giving Tree NW's Art Exploration classes.

Art by participants in The Giving Tree NW’s Art Exploration classes. The artists (L to R in order of their artwork) are: Cat Moncrieffe, Christi Hart, and Rosella Golden.


Light a Fire Award: George Thorn

Eloise’s Blog:

The Regional Arts & Culture Council heartily congratulates George Thorn for receiving a Light a Fire Lifetime Achievement Award from Portland Monthly. George has been the quiet force of wisdom and advice for countless arts organizations in our community for many years. Happily for us after working all around the country with his partner in Arts Action Research he settled here. He is essentially a part of the RACC family shepherding our Cultural Leadership Program, which helps many arts organizations large and small every year with all kinds of arts management challenges. I compare his work to that of a therapist, listening to leaders articulate the problems they have identified and then talking through how best to address and resolve them. And these invaluable services come at no charge to the arts non-profits.

George also teaches the Art of Leadership, a program RACC inherited when Business for Culture and the Arts closed last summer. This series of classes trains business and other professionals in all aspects of serving on non-profit boards with a focus on arts & culture organizations.

When people ask how Portland has developed such a vibrant arts community part of the answer is certainly George Thorn. We are so lucky that he landed in our midst. Congratulations George!

Read: How George Thorn Guides Portland Arts Organizations to Sustainability


Portland city council candidates Steve Novick and Chloe Eudaly share views on arts and culture

In March 2016, RACC distributed a questionnaire to all official candidates for Portland Mayor and City Council during the spring primary. The questions were:

(1) In what specific ways have you supported arts and culture in Portland?

(2) Artists and arts organizations add measurable value to our region’s economy, our education system and our quality of life, and yet there are a number of pressing needs in our community that often compete for attention and investment.  What is Portland’s proper role in supporting arts and culture in the region?

(3) The region’s affordability is a serious concern for all of us, including artists and arts-related businesses. What are your plans for making housing and creative spaces more affordable?

(4) Are there other unmet needs when it comes to shaping Portland’s arts and culture policy for the future? If so, what steps would you take to help ensure those needs are met, and how should they be funded?

(5) The Arts Education & Access Fund, or arts tax, has delivered on its promise of providing arts specialists for all K-5 schools in Portland, but the fund hasn’t generated enough revenue to support as many grants for arts and culture organizations as envisioned. If elected, would you take any steps to modify the arts tax, improve administration of it, and/or fulfill the voters’ vision of supporting arts education and access through other means?

For the November 8 general election, Steve Novick and Chloe Eudaly are in a run-off for Portland City Commissioner Position 4. You can read their responses to these questions by clicking the links below.

For Portland City Commissioner, Position 4:

Steve Novick

Chloe Eudaly


The third annual “Día de los Muertos” installation comes to the Portland Building, October 19 to November 4

PORTLAND, ORE – In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, Unidos Latinos Americanos (ULA) will present a site specific Día de los Muertos installation in the exhibition space adjacent to the Portland Building lobby starting October 19th.

Día De Los Muertos is a national holiday in Mexico and is now celebrated widely throughout Latin America, the U.S., and beyond. In keeping with the holiday’s tradition of remembering and celebrating the lives of loved ones who have passed on, ULA will build a Día De Los Muertos altar in the center of the exhibition space. The central display will be framed by an arch on the back wall made of vibrant crepe paper flowers, each one handmade by ULA members and friends. The installation will also include photos, objects, and food & drink favored by loved ones. To personalize the project and engage the audience, the public is invited to join this celebration and remembrance by submitting images of their own loved ones who have passed, anyone can participate; submitted images will regularly be printed out and added to the display.

To submit images of your loved ones for inclusion in the project select a photo of the person and take a digital image of it with your camera or phone; then email a your jpeg to PortlandArtAltar2016@gmail.com Please size the jpeg no larger than 8”x10”. If your loved one’s photo is framed, leave it in the frame when you photograph it. (Unframed photos will have a frame digitally added.) Printouts can be picked up at the end of the installation.

About Unidos Latinos Americanos: ULA is an affinity group of City of Portland employees committed to developing a professional network to promote advancement and mentoring opportunities for all Latino City employees. The organization highlights contributions made by the Latino culture, helps recruit Latinos for employment, and advocates for strengthening community inclusiveness through public outreach. ULA also regularly collaborates with other regional Latino community organizations and institutions on projects, shared goals, and accomplishments.

Viewing Hours & Location: The Portland Building is located at 1120 SW 5th Avenue in down-town Portland and is open 8 am to 5 pm, Monday – Friday. Día de los Muertos opens mid-day Wednesday, October 19th and runs through mid-day Friday, November 4th.

The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) manages the 13’ x 8’ installation space in the lobby of the Portland Building and presents installation based art there year round. For more information, including images, proposals, and statements for projects dating back to 1994, go to www.racc.org/installationspace.

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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.