RACC Blog

Summer Edition Newsletter 2022

#newsforyourheart with the art in a heart.

K-12 Arts Education Newsletter: June-July-August-September

Where education, creativity and joy collide!

Welcome to our short edition for summer! Below you will find festivals, exhibitions, events, and summer programming. While not a comprehensive list by any means, it simply gives you some flavor of what is out there. Do not forget that many school districts are offering summer programs, as well, and these enrichments might be right next door!  Highlights include programming from local arts organizations and of course links to make things easy for accessing arts & culture in our community.  We wish you a wonderful, healthy, safe and joyful summer 2022! We will see you in the fall. Thank you for everything you do in our community, our schools, our families- and above all sharing your joy and love of arts & culture. #WhereArtThouPDX #PDXaeaf #ArtsEducationforAll Be sure to share with your students and greater school community.

Chanda signature

Chanda Evans (she/her), Arts Education Program Manager


artlook(registered trademark) Oregon, Regional Arts & Culture Council logo

Be sure to check out artlook®oregon to find arts education programing for the summer. Over 250 arts organizations in the tri-county area are listed!


RACC Public Canvas NW resource– your guide to all things public art. Be sure to check out the new permanent work at the Multnomah County Courthouse and the Portland Building. It is free!


A Quick snapshot of SUMMER CAMPS in and around the greater Portland area:

Many camps fill up quickly. Check out the ones below to see if any spots are still available.


 

Oregon Repertory Singers Logo

Oregon Repertory Singers Youth Choir summer camp, Summer Sing

is a day camp for students grades K–5. Each student will learn to read and sing music through fun games, rehearsals, and other activities. The week of singing concludes with a concert and party for all participants and their families. Summer Sing 2022 will be led by Coty Raven Morris, an experienced and sought-after choral director. Scholarships are available for those that qualify.

Summer Sing: West
Dates: August 1–5, 2022
Times: 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Location: Cedar Hills United Church of Christ, 11695 SW Park Way, Portland, OR 97225
Cost: $350.00, financial aid is available

Summer Sing: East
Dates: August 15–19, 2022
Times: 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Location: St. Philip Neri, 2408 SE 16th Ave, Portland, OR 97214
Cost: $350.00, financial aid is available

Vibe PDX Logo

Vibe of Portland

is an arts and music educational nonprofit that aims to provide quality access to arts education for kids in the Portland Metro community. This summer Vibe has several visual arts camps at four locations throughout the city. In addition to visual arts camps, Vibe collaborates with Mt Hood Community College to bring Portland’s premier band day camp for middle and high school students. To check the dates, register or request scholarship support- check out vibepdx.org

Portland Center Stage at the Armory Logo

High School Students: Check out Theatre with Portland Center Stage!

Immerse yourself in the confidence building fun of learning performance skills in a stimulating, supportive environment. Our classes are taught by top theater professionals who are excited to share their passion and experience.

PAM Center for an Untold Tomorrow

The Film Center is now the Center for an Untold Tomorrow (CUT)

and is ready to walk hand in hand with the Portland Art Museum as PAM CUT into the future. Check out their summer offerings.


Check out some of our local arts organizations featured in previous #newsforyourheart editions:

 

 


Professional Development:  Future Opportunities for all K-12 Arts Educators

RACC contracted with a third party to conduct an in-depth arts education survey that went out to all K-12 arts educators at Centennial, David Douglas, Parkrose, Portland, Reynolds and Riverdale school districts. We are thankful to those of you that participated. Your insight was invaluable. If you were unable to fill out our survey, you are in luck. We will repeat the same survey in the fall so please look for that in your inbox. Because of the survey, we have gathered important data on what sort of Professional Development you are looking for from RACC. Top three suggestions:

  1. Content specific Workshops
  2. Learning with an artist
  3. Collaborative workshops with an arts partner

RACC is in the process of making these free opportunities available to you in the next school year. We intend to continue our partnership with Trauma Informed Oregon and intend to hold two yearly workshops.


What brings YOU joy?

A street mural with whimsical robotic characters in front of a bike rack.

Questions for Humans, Gary Hirsch, mural.

Please share with us by emailing cevans@racc.org.

Please email the Arts Education Program about upcoming opportunities so we may include them in our back to school edition Sept-Oct-Nov-Dec of #newsforyourheART

If you would like to highlight student work or a recent performance, please share with us! We would be more then delighted to post on our website. Please be sure to send us media release forms. Thank you.


Workshops • Events • Lectures


Here is a curated list of lectures, workshops, events, and conferences from local colleges and universities. If you know of an event, workshop, performance, lecture, or art exhibition that is coming up please go here to submit an opportunity.

June-July-August-September (just a taste of what is out there!)

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June is Pride Month: Portland Pride Waterfront Festival and Parade- June 18-19, at Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Click here for a list of local events

Portland area Farmers Markets check out your local neighborhood market all summer long for food, music and connecting!

Dragon Boat Races– The Willamette River near the Hawthorne Bridge June 11-12 (free!)

Rose Festival Art Show– June 2-29

JuneteenthCelebration of the 50th anniversary in Oregon on Saturday, June 18

Good in the Hood Multicultural Festival – June 24-26 at King Park School Park

Chamber Music Northwest Summer Festival June 25- July 31, program information here.

Flicks on the Bricks watch some of your beloved films in Portland’s Pioneer Square on Fridays in July-August. Bring your low back chair and enjoy these free movies!

City of Portland free events in July and August (approx. 40) all over the city including the East Portland Summer Arts Festival at Ventura Park

Japanese American Museum of Oregon– Na Omi Judy Shintani’s Dream Refuge for Children Imprisoned, an installation exploring the trauma experienced by children who have been incarcerated. Runs through Sept 4.

Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education– Judy Chicago exhibit June 2-Sept 23.

Nordic Folktales Reimagined Exhibit at the Nordic House-June 11-Sept 25 (free!)

42ndAnnual Cathedral Park Jazz FestivalCheck here for dates in July 2022 (free!)

St Johns Arts Walk– Saturday July 23, Come visit this vibrant neighborhood and celebrate with music, art, and food!

Original Practice Shakespeare Festivalcheck out their 2022 schedule for their free performances in local parks

Vanport Jazz Festival– August 5-6, Come celebrate year 5! ($$)

Pickathon– 3 day family friendly music festival August 4-7 (kids under 12 are free when coming with family)

Bridge Pedal– August 14 (and as we do, we get creative in what we wear!)

India Festival– downtown Portland on Sunday, August 14, a celebration of culture, music, dance food and more!

Montavilla Jazz Festival August 19-21

Neighborhood street fairs Check out local listings for dates & times. Vendors, food, drink, music, art

PNCA Design Week takes place in August. Check for more information on their calendar and events page.

Piano. Push. Play- Click to find the locations of pianos in our community for 2022  

Art in the Pearl, Fine Arts & Crafts FestivalSept. 3-5 in the Northwest Park blocks (free!)


The Scoop – Grow your Brain  

Click here for local LGBTQI resources.

Click here for local youth specific resources.

Click here for national resources.


Regional Arts & Culture Council – Arts Education ProgramWe welcome feedback and suggestions. Please reach out to Chanda Evans (she/her) at cevans@racc.org

Designed by Andrea Blanco, RACC Graphic Design and Content Specialist.

**Featured artwork from RACC’s public art database Canvas NW.

**Some workshops/events/lectures might have changed due to COVID-19. Please check before you make plans.

Disclaimer: The Regional Arts & Culture Council is not held liable for the materials or images in this newsletter.



April – June Edition Newsletter 2022

Where education, creativity and joy collide!

The world has changed since I wrote my last introduction to #newsforyourheART. What continues is our mission to include, advocate, support and share arts and culture in our community. We have the opportunity to uplift one another through our voice, our vision, our instrument, and our craft to build bridges, connect, and establish ties that bind. As we enter a new season, we know that we can find joy in the sun, a loving nudge from a dog on a walk, a hug from a friend, an invitation to grab some coffee, and exploring our community, taking in the things we have missed. I invite you to share this newsletter. Share some joy.

 

Chanda Evans (she/her), Arts Education Program Manager


Features & Highlights

New AEAF logo design by Vincente, a 3rd grade PPS student.

A Reminder that Tax Day is April 18, 2022

Do not forget to remind your neighbors, friends, and family to pay their yearly Arts Education and Access Income Tax Fund (AEAF) Click here to make your $35 payment. To read the recent OP-ED piece in the Portland Tribune by the Chairwoman of the AEAF Oversight Committee, Laura Streib, click here.

Your yearly $35 helps to support arts education in our six school districts- Centennial, David Douglas, Parkrose, Portland Public, Reynolds, and Riverdale. In 2012, residents of Portland passed this measure to provide one arts educator for every 500 students. The fund also supports our community arts nonprofits through grants administered by the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC). For more information on the AEAF click here.  The AEAF Oversight Committee is the body charged with ensuring compliance of the 2012 measure. Their meetings are open to the public. For more information click here. To pay your $35 online click here. Look on social to repost, tag, and retweet our social media campaign.

#PDXaeaf #CreativeEconomy # WhereArtThouPDX #ArtsEducationForAll #RACCgrants #ArtCreatesHope

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Legislative Update: Arts Education for All Act & More

Learn more about Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici’s Arts Education for All Act click here. To advocate for H.R.5581 and to endorse it, click here.

On December 9, 2021 the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Commission on the Arts stated their case in a Congressional Briefing to two architects of the Arts Education for All Act (H.R.5581), Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR1) and Chellie Pingree (D-ME1). Please watch the video below. If you have not read the Commission’s report Art for Life’s Sake, click here.

Oregon Legislative Session: While H.B.4040 failed to go forward in committee in the 2022 short legislative session, we are hopeful that the importance of arts & culture in our state is not lost on our lawmakers. Please be an ally and support arts & culture and a sustained and fully funded STEAM education in our districts. Contact your state legislators.

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Meet Mario Mesquita (he/him/el), RACC’s Advocacy and Engagement Manager

#writingfromtheheART

Sitting in a local venue of limited yet purposefully crafted libations, in our corner of de-masked friends exchanging briefings of our day, we found refuge in our huddled convening, and I asked: Why is art important to us in this moment? Coming from across the globe, professional backgrounds, career choices, and a myriad of life experiences: heartaches, professional successes, lovers, chosen/family, motherhood, im/migration–what makes art so important that we should not forget?

Art is expression. It is a way that we are able to pass knowledge, tradition, culture, views, and identity to our future selves and next generations. It is a way that we can instill moments in history, learn from the past, and process our current events. Healing.

Art is a way of connecting with family (for better or worse), with our roots, and, for those of us who maintain semblances of connection to our unique heritages, with our nation/s of origin (both pre- and postmodern codified borders drawn out arbitrarily on a map–a design). Art is a way to understand our individual and collective paths. Whether it be through making, experiencing, or observing, through art we get a chance to explore ourselves, to better understand and relate to ourselves as children to adults; to connect with those around us; and to understand the impacts and influences in our lives. Like the corner in the local libation venue, art opens up conversation: how better to hold public space?  Art creates space, opens conversation, and can be the place where solutions arise.

“Art” is such a broad term–it encompasses creation from “hand-to-paper,” photography, painting, sculpture, performance, installation, digital recordings, to the literary “arts” (writing, language, and memory)–it seems to be humans’ ability to dream. We can make dreams into reality: capture moments in time, create worlds, envision solutions, magnify and highlight connections, and produce the simplest to the most elaborate designs.

We are solution makers.

It is in this capacity that artists–creative, sensate people–can dream big, think outside the box, and always take a seat at the solution-making table. Not just for cultural planning or skill sharing, but also on decision-making panels–county commission boards, foundations, PTA’s, and city, state, and federal governments. It is important to support and advocate for local and national initiatives that support the arts. We can’t divorce the reaches of art from our current context of an elusive “post-COVID” world, war, the environmental impacts of climate change, political upheaval–the arts offer back to us a space to dream, moments of respite, healing spaces. It is not a wonder that art is recognized for its benefits to mental health.

We need to continue to lobby, support, and advocate ensuring the arts are prioritized in government budget processes and that there continues to be legislation to serve and protect art workers, creatives, and creative economies. Nationally, the Creative Economy Revitalization Act (CERA) is still pending. CERA would get creative workers back into jobs by creating a workforce grants program within the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. The Department of Labor, in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Arts, would administer the grants to government, non-profit, and for-profit organizations. Priority would go to creative workers who became unemployed over the pandemic. Similar to the WPA Federal Project (the Works Progress Administration of 1935), the Creative Economy Revitalization Act would fund creatives to create art that is accessible to the entire community. This can include concert series, large-scale murals, photography exhibits, published stories, and dance performances.

In Oregon, the recent House Bill 4040 would have allocated $50 million to arts and culture entities negatively affected by the pandemic through a grant program administered by Business Oregon. In addition to the funding allocation, the bill would have also provided more specific programmatic guidance for arts agencies while developing the Live Venues and Live Venue Support Businesses program; unfortunately, this bill did not make it through our short legislative session. However, it is important to be aware that parts of the House Bill will be included in upcoming economic recovery initiatives. The bill is still a nod to the importance of the healing capacity of the arts, both for mental health and for economic recovery.

In the city of Portland, the Arts Education and Access Income Tax Fund (AEAF–commonly known by the misnomer “Arts Tax”) was passed by voters in 2012 to support arts education in our schools and arts organizations in our community. The measure funds one arts educator for every 500 students in six school districts in the City of Portland. They include Centennial, David Douglas, Parkrose, Portland Public, Reynolds, and Riverdale school districts. RACC administers grants back out to the community to fund local arts organizations and artists. You can learn more about how the AEAF benefits youth and our future by reading this recently published Op-Ed by Laura Streib, the AEAF Oversight Committee Chairwoman. As my friend said that night in our corner, art allows us “space for questions and possibilities. Art is the public’s record of who we are, can be, and will be.” Advocate, support, show up, and dream. Be a part of the change.  For questions about advocacy & engagement with/for/by RACC, please contact Mario Mesquita.

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Arts Education Resources 

A comprehensive curated resource list from RACC’s Arts Education Program is available for download. Click here.

 

Waterfall at Portland Japanese Garden. Photo by C. Evans.

 

Professional Development: Trauma Informed Care Workshop Series Continues

The Regional Arts & Culture Council, in partnership with Trauma Informed Oregon presents a series of workshops for arts educators. Please join us for our upcoming fourth workshop. This free event will be held in May/June remotely, as we continue to center health and safety for all. Look for our Eventbrite invitation in your inbox if you are a K-12 arts educator.


The Beat: Interviews from the Field

 

Meet Kellie McCarty, Theatre Arts Educator from Centennial High School

What inspires you as a high school theatre arts educator?  What makes high school a unique space in the realm of arts education?  I am inspired daily by my students and by my fellow arts teachers.  What we have all just experienced in the past 2 years has been more challenging than anything else in my 26 years of teaching.  I am in awe of the creativity and light that was still produced during such a dark time.  I saw students take risks every day, and I saw theatre teachers learn new skills to make theatre accessible to their students and their community.  It was a true test of the human spirit, and that continues to inspire me every day.   High school theatre is unique in that we are working with the artists of the near future.  They are going through so much self-discovery as to who they are themselves, and it is amazing to watch them blossom through the journey of creating other characters and sometimes living their shared experiences.  Their energy is infectious, and it either keeps me young or ages me very quickly.

What have you learned from your students? What do you want them to take away from your classes when they graduate?  I learn something new from my students every day!  I think the biggest thing I have learned from my students, though, is their ability to accept each other where they are.  I think in education we spend a lot of time focusing on where they are going, such that we sometimes forget to meet them where they are and love them in that moment.  My students remind me of that daily.  I tell my students on their first day in my class that I am not there to make them the “world’s best actor or technician.”  If that happens, great!  However, my job is to make sure they are more confident in who they are, and more empathetic to the world and those around them, by the time they leave my class at the end of the year.  If that happens, then I consider that a successful year.

What brings you joy when you teach?  Some of my most joyful moments as a teacher have been the little things.  Like when a student who has struggled with memorization finally gets through their whole performance without pausing.  On the other hand, a student who has worked hard on their performance is recognized at Regionals or State.  I am also always joyful when the curtain opens on opening night and I get to watch those kids shine in front of their family and friends.  I have been very fortunate in my career to have so many joyful moments to remember.


What brings YOU joy?

A street mural with whimsical robotic characters in front of a bike rack.

Questions for Humans, Gary Hirsch, mural.

Please share with us by emailing cevans@racc.org.

Please email the Arts Education Program about any summer programming opportunities so we may include them in our short summer one-pager of #newsforyourheART.

If you would like to highlight student work or a recent performance, please share with us! Thank you.


Be sure to check out artlook®oregon to find arts education programing for the summer. Over 250 arts organizations in the tri-county area are listed!


More Interviews from the Field

Featured Arts Organization:

Northwest Children’s Theatre and School, An interview with

 Leigh Mallonee, Education Director

Mission Statement: The mission of Northwest Children’s Theater and School is to educate, entertain and enrich the lives of young audiences.

What are three things you have learned through the years as you worked with youth in theater? They will take you on a more creative and grand adventure than you could ever pre-plan. We refer to our Explore Camps as a week of LARP-ing (live action role-playing). The teachers provide some kindling but the campers light the spark and fan the flames. The characters they

create for themselves, their explanations of “random” events, or their solutions to defeating the villain will always be more creative than anything the adults could think of.

The performance will work out. You may be convinced, based on the 7 weeks of dismal rehearsals that the performance will be a disaster, but when the lights come on and the music starts, they will transform from toads on a log to Michigan J. Frogs singing “Hello My Baby.”

Classroom Management (with a capital C and capital M) does not exist. Theater classrooms are organized chaos. You cannot just announce your four Class Rules and expect students to follow them. The best teachers craft a lesson plan (often on the fly) in which games and activities do the work for them, creating an ebb and flow following or modifying students’ energy levels, and creating moments for all kinds of learners and participants.

Is there a particular performance that resonated with you growing up? Did that experience inspire you to go into the arts? Growing up, my mother and I had a tradition to attend Balanchine’s The Nutcracker every Christmas season. No matter where we were living, we would find a production. I have seen elaborate performances at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, touring productions in Tacoma, and simple community performances in Nyssa. It was a touchstone in my life; something that I knew would always be there. While it did not inspire me to become a ballerina, it did instill a love of performing arts.

What got me into the theater was my high school drama club. We had recently moved to a small town in Pennsylvania where I did not know anyone. I came home from school every day, crying, convinced that I would never make friends. My parents gave me the ultimatum that I had to join an activity. It did not matter what it was but if I did not pick one they would pick one for me. That day, I came home from school and announced that I had joined the Drama Club. They were shocked. I was shy; I had never set foot on a stage before; I had no obvious musical ability. They were convinced that I had joined Drama Club just to spite them; to fail on purpose and continue to be miserably alone. When they attended opening night of Charlotte’s Web, and the curtain went up and I came on stage, they practically hunched in their seats and covered their eyes. When they heard me deliver my first line as Narrator #1, their jaws dropped. “She’s good!” my step-dad said, but more than that, they were amazed at the transformation – from shy, socially awkward 9th grader to confident and LOUD actor. It was finding a group of silly, passionate, supportive, and equally weird peers, and a drama coach that focused our chaotic energy, that finally made me feel at home in the new school.

How does theatre affect/influence/inspire kids who might not go into the arts or become a theater performer/actor? Not every child who participates in theater will go on to star on Broadway or even be involved in the arts professionally. That is okay! I want classes at Northwest Children’s Theater to be a place for children to experiment, imagine, and explore who they are and what they like. Sometimes what they like will be what they are good at and they will pursue being a theater performer. Just doing something you enjoy, something that gets your creative juices flowing can have immediate and lasting effects. Theater is an art of imagination. It challenges you to think and problem-solve creatively. Unlike the realism of TV or movies, theater requires a different kind of resourcefulness and flexibility. It really taps into your creativity center. Creative dramatics teach children how to collaborate with others, forming a whole out of separate pieces. Musical theater teaches body and spatial awareness. The open-ended and uncertain nature of improv can increase tolerance of ambiguity or making new choices when faced with an obstacle. All of these skills are important whatever a child decides to pursue later on in life.

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Public Art & Arts Education: A Dive into the RACC’s Public Art Search, Public Canvas Northwest

By Danielle Davis, Public Art Collections Registrar

As we head into spring in the COVID-era, it can sometimes be challenging to find things to do to get out of doors and enjoy the sun. Fortunately, the public art collection located in our public spaces across the metro area can provide an opportunity for fun and educational experiences. Owned by the City of Portland and Multnomah County, the public art collection is made up of a wealth of diverse artwork that ranges from prints and drawings, to murals, to large scale outdoor sculptures. One such example is Space Plants by Tyler FuQua Creations, located near the playground in Verdell Burdine Rutherford Park. The artist describes the sculptures as “a family of intergalactic plant-like creatures” that have come to visit Earth. These whimsical and joyful touches to our landscape can provide the perfect destination for a sunny afternoon.

Space Plants, Tyler FuQua Creations. Photo by Jeremy Running Photography.

In my role as Public Art Collections Registrar, one of my biggest tasks is to maintain the data for the collection. From the minute an artwork comes into the collection I do what might be considered a mundane process of cataloging the piece—taking correct measurements (to the closest 1/8th of an inch), making sure the media is recorded with the appropriate data standards, noting any condition problems, and on and on and on. While the word ”data” might make some run for the hills, one significant advantage is being able to provide tools that can help the public go out and see the art. One such tool is a free iPhone app called Public Art PDX. In 2011, developer Matt Blair offered to create an app that maps murals and permanent artwork in the public art collection using data that was made publicly available by the City. Both locals and visitors can use the app to discover art they never knew existed, or perhaps plot a walking tour in any part of town for that fun excursion in the sun.

Con Ganas!, Heysus and Carlos Chavez, mural. Located at 8638 N. Crawford St. in Portland.

RACC has also launched an online search tool that displays all the artwork in the collection. Called Public Canvas Northwest, this online tool provides information on the entire collection, featuring new additions as well as background on significant construction projects such as the Portland Building Renovation. This renovation allowed for the purchase of a group of 2D artworks located on the second floor, as well as the commission of several large-scale pieces. One prime example is We’ve Been Here by Kayin Talton Davis. This mural, located in the Lizzie Koontz Weeks Room, features portraits of black women who have made significant

contributions to the Northwest region yet whose stories have been largely forgotten. More information can be found here.  Keep an eye out for new work that will be coming to the building soon.

The Public Art Team at RACC works hard every day to commission, purchase, and maintain this collection to be able to share it with you in new and exciting ways. Take the time to peruse these virtual tools and get out there to explore!

For questions about the collection, contact Danielle Davis.


Workshops • Events • Lectures  

 

Over the River, Renee Zangara, painting.

Here is a curated list of lectures, workshops, events, and conferences from local colleges and universities. If you know of an event, workshop, performance, lecture, or art exhibition that is coming up please go here to submit an opportunity.

April-May-June

Mt Hood Jazz Festival, Mt Hood Community College- May 6-8th 2022

April is Poetry Month! Check out these events

Literary Arts – Verslandia! Youth Poetry Slam Championship, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall- April 28 from 7-9pm

All Classical Portland

Annie Blooms

Powell’s Bookstore

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage and Jewish Heritage Month – check out local events/resources

June is Pride Month: Portland Pride Waterfront Festival and Parade- June 18-19, at Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Click here for a list of local events

42nd Annual Cathedral Park Jazz Festival Check here for dates in July 2022

Original Practice Shakespeare Festival check out their 2022 schedule for their free performances in local parks

Piano. Push. Play – Click to find the locations of pianos in our community for 2022 


The Scoop – Grow your Brain    

Click here for more info.

 

Click here for more info on Juneteenth.

Click here for local resources.

Click here for more info on Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.
Click here for more info. For local resources click here.
Click here for local LGBTQI resources.

Click here for local youth specific resources.

Click here for national resources.

Regional Arts & Culture Council – Arts Education Program

We welcome feedback and suggestions. Please reach out to Chanda Evans (she/her) at cevans@racc.org

Designed by Andrea Blanco, RACC Communications and Advocacy Design Specialist.

 

**Featured artwork from RACC’s public art database Canvas NW.

**Some workshops/events/lectures might have changed due to COVID-19. Please check before you make plans.

Disclaimer: The Regional Arts & Culture Council is not held liable for the materials or images in this newsletter.


January – March Edition Newsletter 2022

As 2022 begins, I know we have been working hard to connect and build community in our schools, districts, families, and friend groups. From Comprehensive Distance Learning to hybrid to in-person instruction, these months have been challenging, yet we have found strength and joy together and have been present in moments of sadness. There is no guidebook; however, we have learned to adapt.

We know that having arts and culture in our lives makes us better humans, more compassionate people, and enables empathy. As an arts educator, you have brought out the kid who was quiet, supported the youth who thought they could not succeed, and given the soon-to-be college-bound freshman the courage to take risks and challenge themselves. We applaud you.

Please feel free to share our newsletter with your school community, families, and students. If you have an idea for a story or want to highlight something that is going on in your district or community, please reach out. It is about joy!

Chanda Evans (she/her), Arts Education Program Specialist



Features & Highlights

 

Vincente, Rose Waterfall, logo design 2021

The Arts Education and Access Income Tax is due April 15 

Your yearly payment of $35 helps to support arts education in our six school districts – Centennial, David Douglas, Parkrose, Portland Public, Reynolds, and Riverdale. In 2012, this measure was passed by voters in the City of Portland to fund one arts educator for every 500 students. The Arts Education and Access Income Tax Fund (AEAF) also supports our community arts nonprofits through grants administered by RACC. For more information on the AEAF click here.

The AEAF Oversight Committee is charged with ensuring compliance with the 2012 measure. Their meetings are open to the public. For more information click here.

Remind your neighbors, friends, and family to make their yearly $35 online payment here.

 


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Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR, District 1)

Arts Education for All Act (H.R 5581).

On Oct. 15, Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR, District 1), Chair of the Education and Labor Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services; Chellie Pingree (D-ME); and Teresa Leger Fernández (D-NM) introduced comprehensive legislation to increase access to arts education. Bonamici hosted a virtual rollout and reception for her Arts Education for All Act (H.R.5581), which addresses equity gaps in access to arts education for K-12 students as well as youth and adults in the justice system. To learn more click here. To advocate for H.R 5581 and to endorse it, click here.  To watch our November 5th interview with the Congresswoman, click here.

 

 

 

 

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Meet Carol Tatch (she/her), RACC’s Director of External Operations and Director of Philanthropic Innovation.
She shares with us a few of her many passions around the arts.

 

What is an early memory you have relating to the arts? Does a particular teacher come to mind?

Well, in the case of literary arts, I started reading very early and my mother ensured that we had excellent books to engage our imaginations. When I was in 4th grade I played the flutophone, and that began my engagement with this musical art form. I now play the flute, oboe, viola, clarinet, and my new instrument friend, Lucinda, who is my cello. I have enjoyed the width and breadth of arts and creativity in a gazillion forms: seeing Rodin’s incredible sculpture at his museum in Paris, chasing original Renoirs to gaze at them (he did incredible work with countenances and light) — well, everything, including needle and culinary arts. If I was influenced by any one teacher the most it was my 6th grade band instructor, who saw greater potential for me musically and moved me from the flute to the oboe, a more challenging instrument.

What brought you to philanthropy? What drives innovation?

A happy circumstance brought me into being a philanthropy professional. My first engagements with service happened with my mother, who was always volunteering and bringing her kids along…and we helped. We grew up caring for others and giving back. I was a volunteer and club leader during high school. Being in service has always been a value of mine. While in college, I started working for an international

Pictured with her is Mimicita, who came with the house!

 undergraduate, graduate, and professional research organization that has field stations in Central America, South America, and South Africa, as I was in a very different academic study practicum. By the time I finished with college, I was a convert from the sciences to being a philanthropic leader. I remain fully taken by how philanthropy, the love of our fellow humans, is a key component of our lives as humans. Innovation is always driven by the need for change and for things to “get better” in our communities. It is fueled by creativity and thinking outside the box—beyond what we know to what we need. It is amazing and humbling to combine the drives of both to create joy, love, understanding, and support.

What brings you joy when you think about arts/culture education?

What brings me joy are the “little things” that have become pivotal in my journey as I sought my own identity. My first instrument was a flutophone in 4rd grade for our school-wide music program. In 5th grade, every student received a recorder. So, by the time I was in 6th grade, I had decided to play the flute in band (my mother played the clarinet in school—hence my own seeking of clarinet proficiency as an adult). It was a natural progression. My band teacher immediately moved me to an oboe, because he needed an oboist and that was that. I was put in a classroom by myself with the double reed, my first, a cup of water to soak it although he said that the mouth was best, and told to practice blowing through it. As an asthmatic, I learned a new way to breathe. It was fantastic. I still remember the first time I blew a true note with no squeaks. He and I were both excited.  I painted, drew, etc. in school. I was fortunate to have full-on engagement with art from kindergarten until I graduated. I am pained that arts education is now a point of negotiation. I want to lean into how this can be relevant here, now. There can be so much joy from arts and cultural engagement. We each have this within ourselves to be so much more.

 

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Arts Education Resources 

A comprehensive curated resource list from RACC’s Arts Education Program is available for download. Click here.

Bruce Orr, The Scrap Mural, 2019

Professional Development: Trauma Informed Care Workshop Series

The Regional Arts & Culture Council in partnership with Trauma Informed Oregon present a series of workshops for arts educators. Please join us for our third workshop this winter. This free event will be held in March and April remotely, as we continue to center health and safety for all. Look for our Eventbrite invitation in your inbox.

“At a time when students are recovering from the trauma and anxiety of not only the pandemic but the breakdown and failing of many of our institutions, the social and emotional benefits of arts education are more important than ever.” (Art for Life, 2021 Report by the Academy of Arts & Sciences)

 

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RACC will be conducting a spring survey for all K-12 Arts Educators in our six AEAF school districts.  The survey will help inform and shape our professional development opportunities which we offer free of charge.

 

 

 



The Beat: Interviews from the Field

 

 

Kelda Van Patten, a Visual Arts Educator
The da Vinci Arts Middle School, Portland Public School District

 

What inspires you when you teach arts education to your MS students? What makes MS unique in arts education?

Middle School students are definitely unique, in the most wonderful ways! They have a special sense of humor that is infectious. I laugh every day with them. They are energetic, emotional (in a very real way), and lively. As such, I try to keep my curriculum fun and engaging. My class is a time for my students to explore techniques and mediums, while developing their ideas and artistic voice. Adolescents go through so many critical changes as they come in from elementary school, and then, poof, before we know it they are eighth graders getting ready for high school! But really, it’s not “poof.” A lot happens during those three yearseducational, artistic, and creative growth, but also social, physical, and emotional changes. It’s a period of intense growth and hormonal changes for many of them, which is just one reason why arts education is so important during these three years. In addition, art is a vehicle to teach so many different subjects in life, and especially a place where students learn that making art is a form of thinking. Art gives my students an outlet, a safe place to express their emotions, ideas, and thoughts. And they have so much to say!

Kelda Van Patten

What have you learned from your students? What do you want them to take away from you?

I learn from my students every day. There are fun facts, like which students would rather be a unicorn or a dragon and why (the why is always very interesting). Over time, I have also learned how important it is to listen to them, and what it really means to listen. There are stereotypes about middle school kids, but really, they are all so unique and different, just like adults. So many of them are mature, responsible, respectful humans, who are very serious about art and learning. However, they are still kids; silly, fun, mischievous, and with so much bubbling energy.

I hope my students remember art in middle school as a place where they could explore a lot of different mediums and techniques; a place where they could freely try out different subject matters that interest them and explore different styles in search of their artistic voice. I want them to think of middle school art as a time where they learned it is okay to fail, and that failure means you tried. I want them to remember how important it is to take creative risks, and what it really means to be mindful and respectful of other people. Even if they take away just one of those concepts, that is big.

What brings you joy when you teach? 

Over time I have learned how it is *everything* when I take the time to build relationships. I really strive to be a positive mentor and I would say this is what matters most in teaching, and it is something I have had to not only learn on an intellectual level but how to truly embody it. In the ’70s and ’80s, most of my teachers did not demonstrate this, so I grew up thinking teaching was more about relaying information and knowledge. Of course, I did have a few teachers who took the time to learn my name, and who were happy to see me, even when I was late or made it clear (with sighs and eye rolling) that it was not my favorite class. When I patiently demonstrate what it means to be mindful, and my students in return are patient and kind, THIS brings me so much joy. Of course, I am also so proud of the art they make, and their willingness to take creative risks throughout the creative and artistic process! As an artist who loves working with materials and learning new things, middle school art is so much fun to teach. Do not get me wrong, it is not easy. In fact, teaching middle school is one of the hardest endeavors I have taken on in my life, but it is also rewarding, especially on those days when I seem to ‘get it right.’ I have had to practice what I preach so to speak, and learn that failure is okay, and that the more I fail, the more I learn. This has really played out for me. LOL.

 


A street mural with whimsical robotic characters in front of a bike rack.

Gary Hirsch, Questions for Humans, 2015

What brings YOU joy?

We would love for you to share your thoughts with this question.

 cevans@racc.org


 

Student Art Showcase

 

K-5 Buckman Elementary, Portland Public Schools (thank you for sharing!)

 

 



More Interviews from the Field

Featured Arts Organization

An interview with Brian Parham (he/him), founder.

Mission statement: Rock Dojo is an award-winning online guitar program for kids. We do not just teach kids about the guitar; we teach kids how to rock out on the guitar! We help students.

 

When youth participate at Rock Dojo, what do you want them to take away from their experiences? What programs do you offer?

The Rock Dojo is an award-winning online guitar-learning platform for kids. We arose from my passion for sharing guitar with children. I believe in the power of rock inspiration. Our award-winning music education program offers students three paths to a black belt in rock: live online private guitar lessons, live online group guitar lessons, and video-on-demand guitar lessons. In addition, we offer live streaming concerts for school assemblies.

When students participate in the Rock Dojo, the number one skill they walk away with are transferable life skills because learning to play the guitar is challenging. Fortunately, the process of overcoming the challenge of learning to play guitar improves self-esteem and self-discipline, and gives kids transferable skills to last a lifetime. Plus, rocking on a guitar is just plain cool.

How can schools help encourage students to include more music (ROCK!) in the arts?

This past school year left many students isolated from their favorite music activities, but Rock Dojo is here to change that! The discipline that comes with playing the guitar influences positive youth development, engages life skills, and teaches youth the importance of academic resiliency, all of which are proven to help students make academic gains. The Rock Dojo ensures that music education is equitable for all students and those students have access to music education despite the challenges of distance learning. All you need is an internet connection, and students will become rock ninjas in no time!

Brian Parham

To that end, I invite schools to invest in music education for all of their students. Whether it is my arts organization, or any other music program, schools can do a better job of making music education more equitable and accessible to all of their students. They can invest in many ways, including innovative online music programs like Rock Dojo, live performances, and musical instruments for their student body.

When you think of art, what inspires you? (And who are your favorite guitarists?)

I grew up one of five children in a small coal mining town in Pennsylvania. My father worked in a coal power plant, and a single mother raised me. Suffice to say, I did not have many opportunities for personal development as a child.

Thankfully, learning to play the guitar changed all of that. The learning process taught me how to set goals and put in the work to achieve those goals. After beginning my guitar studies at the age of 29, I applied those same skills to every other area of my life. Since then, I have gone on to publish eight books, compose an album, build an award-winning small business, win a scholarship to Berklee College of Music, and so much more!

And that’s what I love about art. Art breaks down barriers. Whether sociological, economic, or cultural barriers, art can overcome any obstacle because creativity is the ultimate superpower. That is why I created the Rock Dojo, and that is why I dedicated the last decade of my life to pass that gift to the next generation of young musicians.

My top three all-time favorite guitarists change all the time, but I would have to say as of right now they are: Albert King, Slash, and Jimi Hendrix.

If any school officials are interested in learning more, they can book a Q&A with me at here.

 

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Public Art & Arts Education: Feature Part 1, Fresh Paint Temporary Mural Project 

By Salvador Mayoral IV, (he/him), RACC Public Art Senior Specialist

 

Over the past three decades, Portland has seen a proliferation of murals pop up throughout the city. Adding another dimension to the city’s public art landscape, murals provide a number of benefits to this region such as establishing a location’s identity, preventing unwanted tagging, and providing a platform for community expression. For example, last year’s temporary murals that appeared on the boarded-up windows of stores in the wake of pandemic lockdown and protests of George Floyd’s murder were a great example of this kind expression. Murals provide an opportunity to witness, to feel, and sometimes to heal our collective emotions.

The Regional Arts & Culture Council’s Public Art Murals Program contributes to the city’s public art ecosystem by providing permits and funding to artists, property owners, businesses and community organizations to create murals. My role as a Public Art Senior Specialist is to oversee this distribution of resources and identify other opportunities so that we can continue to support those interested in growing their mural-making practice.

Maria Rodriguez, Bizar Gomez, and Anke Gladnick, 2019

Molly Mendoza 2017

Munta Mpwo, 2019

One such opportunity that launched in the last few years is Fresh Paint, a professional development initiative aimed at offering emerging artists of color the chance to create a temporary mural. Fresh Paint is a partnership between RACC and Open Signal, a media arts center carrying a vision for community-driven media focused on creativity, technology, and social change. This partnership provides artists the space to explore working in the public art sector and incorporate new approaches and skills in their artistic practice and experience.

Since the program’s inception in 2017, ten artists have painted murals on Open Signal’s west-facing wall along busy Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Many of these artists work in different artistic practices beyond painting, such as graphic design, collage, illustration, and even breakdancing. The imagery these artists chose to present touches upon topics and themes of cultural identity, traditions, family, community, technology, and the empowering of youth. Some of these concepts are lighthearted, others are serious; but all carry a sense of joy and hope.

Rob Lewis 2018

Alex Chiu, 2018

Andrea de la Vega and Damien Dawahare, 2018

Limei Lai, 2020

One of our most recent artists, Limei Lai, said of her mural, Together, depicting three generations of women within a family: “The world is extremely beautiful and fun in the kid’s eyes; it is a complex chaos in the woman’s eyes; it is where the loved ones live in grandma’s eyes. The present and the past, the here and there, we are all in this world together, weeping and smiling and hugging, celebrating women’s lives and the world community. We dance with the unknown, changes, and aging, in the dark and in the sun, with the flowers and with the birds.”

For a database of public art in the Portland region, click here.

 

 


Workshops • Events • Lectures*  

Sign-up for alerts about lectures, workshops, events, and conferences from local colleges and universities. Here are a few highlights:

Liz Tran, A Heaviness

January-February-March 2022

Serving Portland artists and audiences, the 2022 Fertile Ground Festival, a program of the Portland Area Theatre Alliance (PATA), will be held January 27-February 6, 2022. Fertile Ground 2022 will be in a virtual format, and uncurated.

32nd African Film Festival, February 2022 (various venues).

7thAnnual Portland Winter Light Festival, February 4-12 (free). Walking tour of light installations across the city. Click here for more information.

 

The Kennedy Center, national partnerships convening. February 7-8, 2022, Any Given Child; February 8-9, 2022, Partners in Education Annual Meeting.  VIRTUAL.

2022 Biamp Portland Jazz Festival February 17-26, 2022 (various venues).

Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism open at the Portland Art Museum, February 19-June 5, 2022.

Educator Workshop: Look Club at the Portland Art Museum, February 26, 2022. Subsequent dates will be: March 12, April 30, and May 14. 

Free days at the Portland Art Museum March 20th and April 24th ( Heart of Portland with Portland Public Schools).

National Art Education Association National Convention, March 3-5, 2022, virtually and in person in New York City.

45th Portland International Film Festival (PIFF), March 5-14, 2022.

 

If you know of an event, workshop, lecture, or art exhibition that is coming up please go here to submit an opportunity.

*Please note: Some workshops/events/lectures might have changed due to COVID-19. Please check before you make plans.


The Scoop – Grow your Brain

We are often curious of what research is happening behind the scenes in the space of arts education. Take a look by clicking the images!

 

 

Thanks to all of our partners, supporters, and funders supporting arts education.


September – December Edition Newsletter 2021

Welcome to the first edition of our new K-12 Arts Educators newsletter, #newsforyourheart. As we work to reconnect and engage with this brave new world, we know it will take time, it will be painful, it will be hard, but we will also find joy, hope, and love. I hope that this newsletter will illuminate some of the work we are doing at RACC, direct you to opportunities, professional development and resources. You’ll find features about our district arts educators and arts partners. With your help we can showcase student work from our six districts. Spread some joy! Please share #newsforyourheart with your colleagues and students!

Chanda Evans (she/her), Arts Education Program Specialist



Features & Highlights

 

Arts Education and Access Fund New Logo

Vincente, Rose Waterfall, logo design 2021

During the Spring of 2021, RACC and the Arts Education and Access Fund (AEAF) Oversight Committee unveiled our new student re-designed AEAF Logo. We encourage you to help guide the process of having your school proudly display this on their websites. As we work to reframe the narrative around arts funding in schools, we know that this is a small step in letting our neighbors, family, and friends know their yearly $35 payment is worth it. It goes to arts education! We thank you. To learn more about how funds from the Arts Education and Access Fund are used to support students and increase access to arts and culture in our community, click here.

All of the AEAF Oversight Committee meetings are open to the public. For more information click here.

 

 

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Two Questions for AEAF Oversight
Committee Chair,
 Laura Streib (she/her).

What is your favorite memory around the arts? My favorite elementary arts memory is in my 3rd-grade class. Our teacher had us do a project where we dipped yarn into various palettes of tempera paint, and then we curled them onto a large piece of black construction paper and then fling/pull it back to create these amazing abstract painted flowers. Now, my adult self is blown away that she had a class of 30 nine-year-olds flinging yarn with paint on it around her classroom! But it was very memorable and fun!

Laura Strieb smiles at the camera. She is wearing a long necklace and blue blouse.

Laura Streib

What made you choose the arts as a career? Growing up within a public school system that was so supportive of the arts and music helped guide me into a career in the arts. By the time I was in high school, half of my school day was filled with arts-focused classes from symphonic band and concert choir to photography. This is why I was motivated daily to go to school, where I developed community, connected, and built life-long friendships. I founded an arts education nonprofit in Portland to help support educators and ensure that kids have an opportunity and access to build a community and have a creative space to flourish. Until our Portland Metro schools have that opportunity for kids to have continuous K-12 arts pathways – that is where I will continue to pour my efforts. Kids deserve to have a robust arts education as part of their K-12 educational experience.

Laura is at aeafpdx@gmail.com

 

________

 

artlook®oregon

Since 2010, RACC has had a unique partnership and relationship with the Kennedy Center, which brings several programs into the fold of Arts Education: Any Given Child and the Partnership for Education. In 2018 RACC was one of nine sites across the United States selected to participate in a 3-year pilot program to launch artlook®. Through this relationship with the Kennedy Center and Chicago-based developer Ingenuity, artlook® provides communities with an arts-based interactive mapping database platform. This allows school districts to understand their local arts and culture landscape and create more equitable and accessible arts and culture education opportunities for all students. School districts, educators, families, and the community can navigate arts and culture education opportunities in their region. One of RACC’s goals in arts education is to expand to other school districts and create robust arts and cultural partnerships across Oregon as they join the artlook® platform.

 

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Arts Education Resources 

A comprehensive curated resource list from RACC’s Arts Education Program is available for download. Click here 

Back-to-school resources on social emotional learning and trauma can be found here. This information is from Trauma Informed Oregon.

Colorful textile art with day of the dead imagery.

Orquidia Violeta, Árbol de la Vida, 2020

 

Professional Development: Trauma Informed Care Workshop Series
In partnership with Trauma Informed Oregon, RACC presents a series of workshops for arts educators. Please join us for our second workshop October 8. This free event will be held remotely, as we continue to center health and safety for all. Look for our Eventbrite invitation in your inbox coming soon.

 

 

 


The Beat: Interviews from the Field

 

Jessica Juday (she/her), Music Educator from West Powellhurst Elementary School, David Douglas School District

What inspires you when you teach arts education to your students?

I believe that children are inherently joyful. When I see them have fun, I am always inspired to find new ways to teach. They love experiencing new things and they are so easily swayed by excitement. Teaching music at the elementary level is so much more than reading rhythm and singing songs…. It’s about creating a love of music and sharing joy with those around you. Every day I get to watch children discover new things, and they do it with such thought and care… it’s hard to not be inspired!

Jessica Juday looks directly at the camera. She has long, curling brown hair and wears a black hat.

Jessica Juday

What have you learned from your students?

I have learned that there is something out there for everyone! Some students may never truly love singing, but they excel at the recorder. Other students who struggle at playing the marimba end up being incredible at rhythm dictations. I even have students who say music isn’t their thing…but they are SO excited to help design the set for our musicals. Working with students from all over the world has taught me that music is just ONE beautiful part of what makes us human! I teach music to teach the whole child, not just the musical parts!

What brings you joy when you teach? 

The children! Being able to watch a student go from struggling to understanding is an incredible thing. I love watching a student develop their skills from just reading rhythm all the way to composing their own song. Every tough part of my job is worth it when I see how proud students are of themselves when they learn a new skill or get better at an old skill. They are always so excited! One of my favorite times during the year is showing Kindergartners the moment in “The Wizard of Oz” when Dorothy opens the door, and the film goes from black and white to color… They gasp with wonder, and it never fails to bring a smile to my face.

 

 

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Mrs. Langston (she/her), Music Educator from Prescott Elementary School, Parkrose School District

What inspires you when you teach arts education to your students?

Inspiration comes from many sources. The students themselves are the most inspiring part of teaching music in schools. Their enthusiasm, engagement, and inquiry for all things musical lifts and carries me through the years. Other inspiration comes from the music I teach…is it of the highest quality? Does it nurture the musical mind? Does it connect us and help us better understand ourselves and the world we live in? Does it endure? High-quality professional development is another source of inspiration. I relish the times when World Music Drumming and Hot Marimba are in town! I also keep an ear to the airwaves and find inspiration in current music-making by all types of artists. Knowing who I teach is yet another way I find inspiration. Who are these people? What are their backgrounds (culture, class, race)? What impedes their access to education? What supports them? What do they want to learn? Ideally, I use all this information to develop tuneful, beautiful, artful humans.

What have you learned from your students?

Bright blue eyes shine out of the smiling face of Mrs. Langston

Mrs. Langston

Flexibility. Let me state that again…FLEXIBILITY. Gone are the days of a meticulously planned lesson with no time or space for anyone or anything that was not anticipated in advance. Don’t get me wrong, I still plan! I plan and prep and practice and plan some more. Then, children enter the room and things shift really shift. What I have learned is to grab onto those shifts and use them to accomplish the same goal. Let the kids drive! My role is to facilitate and guide; going deeper is better than going wider. What’s the rush? Let’s explore together!

What brings you joy when you teach?

Time with students is most joyful for me. When I watch and listen to students who are genuinely struggling to master a skill or concept and then…they get it. I love seeing/hearing others as they break through and gain a level. When there is a room full of 8-year-olds playing drums, and marimbas and we’ve been working on sticking the ending and then…we achieve a perfect cutoff. I love seeing the effect of community and non-verbal communication on young musicians. When we’ve slogged through a particularly difficult piece of music for far too long and then…a child asks “why are we working so hard?” I love helping develop critical thinking in children. When we are invited to perform on our high school stage and these adorably small people are freaking out because they are now “big time” and then…they sing and play so well they get a true standing ovation. I love helping children achieve performance success. Every day I get to work with children, I am filled with joy!

 


A street mural with whimsical robotic characters in front of a bike rack.

Gary Hirsch, Questions for Humans, 2015

What brings YOU joy?

We would love for you to share your thoughts with this question.

 cevans@racc.org


 

A collage made from newspaper pieces show a group of people holding signs of protest

Hampton Rodriguez, Protests in Portland, 2020

Student Art Showcase

Call for student work to be featured in our Winter edition. Student work will be chosen randomly by district submission.

Please submit student artwork to cevans@racc.org by Dec. 1 for consideration.

 

 


 More Interviews from the Field

Featured Arts Organization

 The Independent Publishing Resource Center (IPRC) The mission of the Independent Publishing Resource Center (IPRC) is to provide affordable access to space, tools, and resources for creating independently published media and artwork, and to build community and identity through the creation of written and visual art.

An interview with Alley Pezanoski-Browne (she/they), Executive Director of IPRC. 

When youth participate at IPRC, what do you want them to take away from their experiences?

A group of young art students hold up their colorful prints.

Photo courtesy of IPRC

We want youth to know the history of printmaking and zines as tools for sharing community stories and highlighting historically excluded voices. We also want them to learn that art making & writing are about experimentation, problem-solving, creative thinking, and collaboration. Most of all, we take them seriously as artists, so we give them opportunities to teach what they’ve learned from others (most often their peers or their parents) as well as make art with their instructors and fellow students. We teach them the tools, but we want them to bring their own ideas and originality to making art that will mean something special to each of them. We hope that they will develop a life-long interest in art making and for experiential learning.

How can schools help encourage students to include media in the arts?

I think that a really unique part of printmaking is that, because it’s meant for easy reproduction, it’s meant to be shared. I think that school can help students to include media in the arts by really emphasizing the social  communications element. It is very common in IPRC classes for youth to trade prints and zines. It helps students to be less perfection-minded and to recognize the value in their voices. They also think about how they communicate their thoughts to the world when they know it is made to be shared.

When you think of art, what inspires you? 

I get really inspired by people who make art together in order to change the world they are living in, which is why I admire projects like the Living School of Art, KSMOCA or SHED.PDX. 

 

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Public Art & Arts Education: Featured Artist, Laura Camila Medina

By Morgan Ritter (she/her), RACC Public Art Exhibitions & Collections Coordinator

Image from video shows hands on a blue plate holding a clay figure of a person

Laura Camila Medina, Consuming a Past Self, 2020

What comes to mind when you think of “Public Art”? Maybe a stoic, bronze monument of George Washington or another political figure we may have learned about in U.S. History classes, or a sanctioned street mural. Maybe Public Art for you is a mere landmark that tells you what street to turn on to find your way. Public Art can be so much more than these common perceptionsit can build worlds. It can gesture towards untold histories, bridge communities, and remind individuals of all ages that our imaginations enhance our quality of life.

At RACC, the Public Art Team avidly works to directly support a wide range of artists in the region, including both established and emerging artists. This includes artists who have wildly different approaches to what art can be including artists working in traditional, craft-based practices, or fine art, as well as artists who work experimentally at the nexus of multiple genres.

As the Public Art Exhibitions & Collections Coordinator, a crucial part of my job is engaging directly with local artists and helping RACC to imagine new opportunities for their radical creativity to be supported. One of the new initiatives I manage is Support Beam. Support Beam’s intent is to strengthen artists’ long-term creative practices and overall livelihood, by giving them money to continue making their work, without a fixed expectation of art production or media restrictions. At the end of their work periods, one piece of art is acquired from these artists into the collection. This initiative prioritizes Black, Indigenous, artists of color and emerging artists. Artists were funded between $3-$5,000 each.

Laura Camila Medina, Consuming a Past Self, 2020

Laura Camila Medina is one of the phenomenal, emerging artists that we recently funded through Support Beam. Laura’s practice is based around memory and identity as a response to personal, cultural, and historical research. Her work utilizes a unique combination of traditional mediums within digitally constructed spaces to create immersive visual analogies of cultural hybridity. Medina engages in a practice of self-reflection as a means to create a personal mythology. This mythology brings her closer to building her own world, both real and imaginary, where her identity becomes whole.

“Consuming a Past Self” is the piece she made through the Support Beam initiative, and is now part of the Public Art Collection. It is a hybrid video that combines painted collage, stop-motion animation, and performance.

The following writing is included alongside her video:

Consuming my past self is
Accepting my past self
It is processing my past self
It is digesting my past self
In order to nourish my
Future self

Laura explained that when she eats arepas (a food made from ground maize dough, originating from pre-Columbian South America), she has a memory of sitting in her grandmother’s dining room, looking at the reproduction of a painting that had drastically different colors than it did when it was new, with faded pinks. She remembers the flavor of the arepas combined with her grandmother’s milky coffee while looking at this faded painting. In this memory now, she contemplates the truth that everything ages, and aspires to recreate that taste memory.

Click here to view Laura’s video alongside other artists who participated in Support Beam.

Learn more about the other Support Beam artists on Instagram through the virtual posts #raccsupportbeam 

Laura Camila Medina (b. 1995) is an interdisciplinary artist born in Bogotá, Colombia. Her immersive installations and animated collage work have been exhibited at the Center for Contemporary Art & Culture, PLANETA New York, Fuller Rosen Gallery, Wieden+Kennedy, the Portland Art Museum, and with the Nat Turner Project. She was at Open Signal, Artist in Residence at the Living School of Art, IPRC Artists & Writers in Residence Program, ACRE Residency, and most recently the Centrum Emerging Artist Residency. She earned her BFA at the Pacific Northwest College of Art and is currently based in Portland, OR. Learn more about Laura’s work here: https://lauracamilamedina.com/

For a database of public art in the Portland region, click here.


 

Workshops • Events • Lectures*  

Sign-up for alerts about lectures, workshops, events, and conferences from local colleges and universities. Here are a few highlights:

Patricia Vázquez Gómez, Untitled 1, 2020

Latinx Heritage Month September/October, celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. Teachers guide for Latinx Heritage Month (free).

Portland Latin American Festival, opening at the Hollywood Theatre  in person on the big silver screen. September 22, 2021 at 7:30 p.m.

Oregon Humanities is offering an online fall course of Humanity in Perspective (HIP), a free college-credit class and learning community for students 18 years or older in Oregon who face barriers to continuing their education. Learn more and apply.

Portland Metro Stem Partnership: Join a new Elementary STEAM Leaders cohort. 15 spots for teachers for the NEW 2021-2022 Cohort.  All partner districts elligible to apply, including: Banks School District, Beaverton School District, Forest Grove School District, Hillsboro School District and Portland Public Schools. Click here for more information.

Portland Open Studios October 9-17 (free).

Portland Pumpkin Patches, Corn Mazes and Hayrides, for local fall family-friendly activities and events.

Portland Film Festival Oct. 6-Nov. 8 (various venues).

Save the Dates!
The Kennedy Center National Partnerships Convening Feb. 7-8, 2022
Any Given Child Feb. 8-9, 2022 Partners in Education Annual Meeting – VIRTUAL

If you know of an event, workshop, lecture, or art exhibition that is coming up please go here to submit an opportunity.

*Please note: Some workshops/events/lectures might have changed due to COVID-19. Please check before you make plans.


The Scoop – Grow your Brain

We are often curious of what research is happening behind the scene in the space of arts education. Take a look!

 

Art for Life’s Sake: The Case for Arts Education 2021 report from the American Academy of Arts & Sciences
Americans for the Arts Logo Americans for the Arts COVID-19 July 2021
NEA - edjustice logo edjustice Click here for valuable resources

 

Thanks to all of our partners, supporters, and funders supporting arts education.