RACC Blog

Fresh Paint Call for Muralists! A temporary mural project for emerging artists of color, 2023-2024

Jerome Sloan painting his mural in 2022

The Regional Arts & Culture Council and Open Signal invite emerging Black and Brown artists or artist teams to apply for a temporary mural project along the highly visible corner of NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and NE Graham St. To apply, artists must currently live in Clackamas, Multnomah or Washington counties in Oregon or Clark County in Washington. Submissions are due by 11:59 pm, Wednesday July 12th, 2023.

What is Fresh Paint? 

Fresh Paint is a professional development initiative offering emerging artists of color the opportunity to work in the public realm. Artists are invited to apply to paint a temporary mural on an area of the exterior west-facing wall of Open Signal along Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. Each mural is up for six months. Through this initiative artists develop skills and experience for their artistic practice. Once the work is complete, artists are added to the Regional Arts & Culture Council’s Public Art Muralist Roster.

Designated area on Open Signal wall for mural

A portion of Open Signal’s west-facing wall (at 2766 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd) has been designated for Fresh Paint murals, measuring approximately 9’H x 18’W. Two artists or teams are selected to paint a mural over two weeks, to be featured for six months (October 2023 – March 2024, April 2024 – September 2024). Selected artists will receive a $3,000 commission to complete the scope of work.

Submission Due Date: Wednesday July 12, 2023, 11:59pm

Liberate by Pearlyn Tan

Are You Eligible to Apply?

This opportunity is for emerging artists of color, including, but not limited to, those who are:

  • Native American/Indigenous
  • Black or African-American
  • African
  • Latino/a/x/e
  • Asian or Asian-American
  • Pacific Islander
  • Southwest Asian/North African

In addition, you must:

  • live in Clackamas, Clark, Multnomah, or Washington counties
  • have a consistent visual art practice
  • not have created an exterior-wall mural in the City of Portland (interior murals and murals on non-building infrastructures are fine)

Installation Dates:

  • October 2023 – March 2024 or
  • April 2024 – September

Selection Process and Criteria:

Two artists or artists teams will be selected by a panel of past muralists based on the artist’s/team’s past work. Remember, this is about professional development, we aren’t looking for experienced large-scale muralists — let us know who you are, what your work is about, and how your personal artistic experience applies. Selected artists will present a proposed mural design to the panel before installation. Selected artists will work with RACC and Open Signal to schedule a timeline for painting the mural. Artists will retain the copyright of the temporary mural.

Artist Responsibilities:

Selected artists will receive a $3,000 commission. Artist responsibilities include:

  • designing and presenting a mural concept
  • painting the mural as proposed and reviewed by panel of past muralists
  • purchasing and transporting all materials needed for the mural to the site
  • painting on a timeline agreed upon by project administrators and artists

Timeline

Monday, June 12                                Instagram Info Session

Wednesday, June 21                          Zoom Info Session

Wednesday, July 12                    Submissions due

August 2023                                        Artist Selection

August – September 2023                Design Phase

October 2023                                      1st Mural Painted

April 2024                                            2nd Mural Painted

Fresh Paint Legacy Artists

In the program’s pilot year of 2017 – 2018, three artists were invited to paint a mural: Molly Mendoza, Alex Chiu, and Rob Lewis. Since 2018, artists or teams have been selected through an open call: Andrea de la Vega and Damien Dawahare; Bizar Gomez, Maria Rodriguez, and Anke Gladnick; Munta Mpwo; Limei Lai; Jose Ruiz Valentine; Zeinab Saab; Jerome Sloan and Pearlyn Tan.

Artist Information Sessions

  1. Monday, June 12th at noon on Instagram Live. Follow @regionalarts on Instagram to stay informed of this and other upcoming
  2. Wednesday, June 21st at 6pm over Zoom. RSVP here.

We strongly encourage you to attend an info session, especially if you are a first-time applicant. Staff will share information about this opportunity and go over how to apply, and there will be opportunities to ask questions. For questions about the Zoom information session, including accommodations, reach out to Benjamin Fainstein at bfainstein@racc.org.

How to Apply

  1. Create an account or login to RACC’s Opportunity Portal here. Instructions in the application portal will guide you through the process (learn how to create an account here).
  2. Once you have started your application, you can save after each step and sign out. Your application will be saved as a draft that you can continue to work on as
  3. Submit! Once you hit “Submit,” your application is

Please include the following application materials:

  • Statement of Interest (3000 characters or less): Tell us about your interest in this project. Describe any experience and past work — how do you envision completing this project? If you are applying as a team, please describe your individual roles and how you anticipate working
  • Eight (8) images of past work: Submit up to eight (8) images of past work examples that feel relevant to this mural project. File size should be no larger than five (5) megabytes and .jpg format is required. Please attach no more than two (2) images per artwork. For each artwork, please provide title, media, dimensions, year produced, budget, and location. Brief conceptual information is optional but

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions during the process. For any questions about applying, reach out Salvador Mayoral IV at smayoral@racc.org

Tips for Applying to Public Art Commissions

Watch this video. Yes, this was made for Seattle’s program, but everything applies to the Fresh Paint application proces


Multnomah County Library and Regional Arts & Culture Council announce community artists as part of wide-reaching public art commissions

Immediate Release

May 22, 2023

Artists bring community-centered approach to their artwork across libraries

PORTLAND, Ore. —Multnomah County Library (MCL) and Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) are teaming up to bring artwork to libraries throughout Multnomah County. This effort is part of the voter-approved 2020 Library building bond which will build, rebuild or expand nine library buildings while providing smaller upgrades to 11 libraries as part of the Refresh projects. Since the bond passed, Multnomah County Library has been hard at work on major updates, with the Operations Center and Holgate and Midland libraries leading the way as some of the first projects.

Public art for the community

As part of these updates, local artists are creating unique installations at each of these sites that represent the community’s history, culture and diversity.

“At the center of these new libraries is the belief that beauty and transformative spaces should be accessible for everyone,” said Vailey Oehlke, Director of Libraries. “Working with the Regional Arts and Culture Council offers an opportunity to bring the library, community and artists together in a vibrant way to ensure these new library spaces are not just functional for everyone, but also beautiful and inspiring.”

This artwork is developed in coordination with the Regional Arts & Culture Council through the Multnomah County Percent for Art Program, allotting 2% of the construction budget for all county-funded improvement projects toward the investment in public art. Artists are awarded projects as part of a robust public process, which includes selection panels led by local residents, business owners, artists, library staff and project partners.

The first library buildings to plan for public art include the Operations Center. As the heart of the library, it’s where every item placed on hold is sorted in addition to being the first stop for new books and materials. Plus, items for outreach to schools, shelters and more will be centered here. On July 6, 2022, the library broke ground on the Operations Center on the site of a former Safeway grocery store (221 NE 122nd Ave, Portland, OR 97230). This 73,000 square foot building is scheduled to open in late 2023.

Holgate Library will be a brand new two-story building, triple the size of the current space for a total of 21,000 square feet. It will be one of the largest libraries in Multnomah County. To begin on this new building, Holgate Library closed to begin construction on December 5, 2022 and will reopen in 2024.

Midland Library will undergo important renovations and an expansion to add 6,000 square feet of space, or an increase of about 25 percent. To complete these exciting upgrades, Midland Library closed to begin construction on December 23, 2022 and will reopen in 2024.

Thanks to feedback from members of the community, exciting new features at Holgate and Midland will include:

  • Outdoor spaces for community connection.
  • Large play and learning spaces for children.
  • Teen rooms with space for technology, homework and creative expression.
  • Art that represents diverse cultures.

Community artists representing community vision

Community engagement is a core value for the building projects. Selection panels prioritized artists with demonstrated experience and expressed interest in embedding community into their practice and work. Most artists selected for these projects are expected to create and host community engagement opportunities as part of their design phase. Some of these arts-focused events have already taken place and more are on their way in the coming months.

“We are immensely grateful for our continued partnerships with other community-centered, value-aligned organizations such as Multnomah County Library. RACC and MCL are prioritizing equity, accessibility, community, and innovation within our approaches to these significant projects. The expansive nature of libraries and the creativity with which MCL is approaching the library building improvements align well for the inclusion of public art. Providing opportunities for artistic growth is integral to our mission, as is the development, strengthening, and expansion of our arts and culture ecosystem. We are committed to centering the creativity and prosperity of artists and communities who, historically, have not been represented in the cultural fabric of this region. We are thrilled with the artists who have been selected by the community panels and extend our gratitude to all those working to bring these artworks into being,” said Carol Tatch, Co-Executive Director & Chief of External Operations, Regional Arts & Culture Council.

 

Meet the artists

Operations Center: Exterior entrance

A new, large-scale, 2-dimensional permanent exterior artwork at the Operations Center entrance will be created by artist Tenya Rodriguez (they/them). The site-specific original artwork will greet staff and visitors alike with vibrant colors and energy as they enter the new building, which is considered the heart of the library system. The artwork will also be visible to vehicular and pedestrian traffic along NE 122nd Avenue, capturing the attention of those who pass by. Tenya is a queer, Latinx, self-taught artist whose practice centers on mark-making and layering as a way to communicate through experimental expressionism. Instagram: @tenyarodriguez

Midland Library: Exterior canopy

As part of the overall building renovation, Midland Library will acquire a new entry canopy, framing the redesigned entrance and exterior public plaza. The underside of the canopy, spanning the width of the building, will feature artwork by local artists Lillyanne Pham (LP) and Paola De La Cruz (she/her). Lillyanne is a second-generation Vietnamese artist and cultural organizer who creates through a systemic consciousness framework and lens, specifically place-based justice and racial equity. Paola, originally from the Dominican Republic, interweaves digital and analog media, patterns, stitching and shape-based illustrations to evoke intimacy while challenging the themes of cultural identity, coming of age and interpersonal growth. Together, Lillyanne and Paola conceive and actualize socially engaged projects which blend one another’s strengths, passions and creativity. Instagram: @happynappystudio / @lillyannepham / @paola.lillyanne

Midland Library: Gathering Circle

Kanani Miyamoto (she/her) has been selected to create an original 2-dimensional wall-mounted artwork which will frame Midland Library’s interior Gathering Circle, a communal seating area that encourages and fosters connection. The artwork will be located directly across from the new main entry doors and will be one of the first things visible as people arrive at the library. Kanani is a practicing artist, curator, adjunct instructor and teacher whose work focuses on sharing and celebrating her unique mixed heritage in the hopes of representing her community and the beauty of intersectional identities. Through Kanani’s community-centered work she brings awareness to the damaging effects of capitalism and settler colonialism on Pacific Island people and land. Instagram: @mamakanani

Holgate Library: Interior/exterior wall

The Interior/Exterior Wall public art project at Holgate Library is multi-dimensional in name and practice. Salomée Souag’s (she/her) artwork will be etched onto exterior panels of the building’s façade creating a permanent sculptural drawing on the outside. Elements of these exterior panels will be replicated inside along the full length of the ground floor lobby wall as part of a large-scale, site-specific, 2-dimensional digital mural. Salomée is a muralist, designer and creative from Switzerland who holds her Peruvian and Algerian ancestors closer to her heart, her community and her work. In her consistent and continuous evolution and artistic practice, she creates revolutionary work to give power to the people, youth and artists. Salomée’s bold and powerful work encourages everyone to break down boundaries and borders and to imagine expression. Instagram: @c.hroma

Holgate Library: Exterior site enclosure

Arts activist Crystal Meneses (she/her) will be creating a 2-dimensional wall-mounted artwork for Holgate Library’s Exterior Site Enclosure. The artwork will wrap the enclosure, creatively anchoring the north entry outdoor patio. Located between the new library and the new parking lot, the artwork will be highly visible from SE 79th Avenue as people arrive at the library. In addition, the artwork will act as the backdrop to ground floor flex spaces that will be used by library staff and patrons for classes and events. Crystal creates from a communal perspective, centering connection and relationship and ensuring inclusion. Her mission is to inspire arts activism in the community while supporting others in discovering their passions and talents. Crystal’s expansive approach and ability to cultivate community is, in itself, a work of art. At the heart of everything Crystal generates is the desire to elevate collective healing, particularly amongst marginalized communities. Instagram: @crystalakinsmeneses

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Experience East Portland’s Vibrant Culture this June at “Our Space of Possibilities”

Every Saturday this June, we invite you to celebrate the communities along the East Portland Cultural Corridor through arts and culture at Our Space of Possibilities. This project is supported generously by the National Endowment for the Arts’ Our Town grant, matched with local funding from RACC, Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), and TriMet.

Our Space of Possibilities lies at the core of the East Portland Cultural Corridor initiative. Envisioned by artist-in-residence Patricia Vázquez Gómez, the project is a dynamic cultural space housed within a transformed TriMet bus that will live at four locations along SE Division Street. Every Saturday from June 3rd to June 24th from 12-8 pm, you will have the opportunity to join a workshop, attend a screening, watch a performance or view an exhibition curated by local East Portland organizations and residents.

Patricia Vázquez Gómez is a multidisciplinary artist exploring the intersection of aesthetics, ethics, and politics; the social functions of art and the expansion of community-based art practices, with her methodologies deeply informed by her experiences in immigrant rights and social justice movements in the US and Mexico.

Southeast Division Street serves as the geographic backbone of a diverse and growing community, now with improved transportation options for residents thanks to TriMet’s FX2-Division high-capacity bus service. By seamlessly intertwining people, culture, and transportation, the East Portland Cultural Corridor strives to nurture a resilient community and celebrate the unique cultural identity of East Portland. 

Our Space of Possibilities 

Every Saturday in June from 12-8 pm

  • June 3rd at SE Division and 166th Pl
  • June 10t at: SE Division and 138th Ave
  • June 17th at SE Division and 121st Ave
  • June 24th at SE Division and 93rd Ave (at Caruthers)

Collaborators 

Naomi Likayi, is a first-gen, Congolese American creative based in Portland, OR. She aims to create daring and exciting work, finding new ways to innovate beyond what is offered in the current state of design and illustration. Likayi’s work will be featured in Our Space of Possibilities as a bus wrap designed in collaboration with Fir Ridge High School students Lia and Ricky. Handle: @mungala_nao

Marissa Perez and Patricia Vázquez are creating the first exhibition for Our Space of Possibilities, How to Love Division, centered on the history of East Portland and the opportunities for Civic Engagement. This exhibition will be on view on May 3rd, 12-8 pm. Handle: @marissa_perezzzzz

Friends of Trees inspires people to improve the world around them through a simple solution: Planting Trees. Together. Friends of Trees and Patricia Vazquez are creating a garden inside the bus for June 10th, open 12-8 pm. Come get a plant and learn about the Environment! Friends of Trees staff Andrew, Harrison and Winnie will be at Our Space of Possibilities teaching you how to take care of plants on June 10th 1-3 pm. Handle: @friendsoftrees

Amenta, Kalimah, Farados, Oniyah, José, Oak, Brian and Tito are creating an exhibition together based on Afrofuturism for Our Space of Possibilities.  Amenta Abioto is a musician and producer. Originally from Memphis, TN, she came to Portland in 2010 with her artist family. Her background in musical theater helped inspire her live looping one-woman band, Yawa. She has released two projects, Opening Flower Hymns and Wade. Amenta Abioto is currently an artist in residence with her family, Studio Abioto, at the Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center. Amenta Abioto and will also do a special performance on June 17th at 7.30 pm. Kalimah Abioto aka Dr. Woodchopper is a multimedia teaching artist, filmmaker, drummer, writer, dancer and entrepreneur. The Afrofuturism exhibition will be on view on June 17th, 12-8 pm. Handles: @yawamusic, @kalimahabioto

The 082 Art Crew at Apano is an art collective of local BIPOC artists and community members creating art centered around the experiences, wants, and needs of BIPOC residents and neighbors of Southeast Portland. The exhibition the 082 Art Crew is creating for Our Space of Possibilities is called How do you Division? This exhibition will explore how we express our love of East Portland through street art, highlighting community history and the issues of gentrification through interviews with local street artists and by asking participants questions about their relationship to East Portland in a creative way. ⁣ How to Love Division will be on view on June 24th, 12-8 pm. Handle: @apanonews

Evan and Daniel are two 10 year old students from East Portland who will be teaching origami, on June 3rd and 17th, from 1-2 pm.

Lillyanne Pham is a 25-year-old artist and cultural organizer raised by Vietnamese refugees. Ackida Omar is a 21-year-old first-generation Burundian American, artist, musician, and soccer player. LP and Ackida will lead a workshop on June 3rd and 17th, 2-3 pm; based on a short film they are creating for Our Space of Possibilities called “(Our)Flavs,” which highlights the stories of local immigrant and refugee restaurant owners and their relationships with herbs and spices. “(Our)Flavs,” will be screened on June 3rd and 17th, 5-6 pm. Handles: @lillyannepham, @ackida_

Chanell Cortez Gonzalez is a student at Fir Ridge HS, loves art and dreams of becoming an art teacher. Chanell will be leading a surprise art workshop on June 3rd and 17th from 4-5 pm. 

Medicine Bear provides spiritual guidance and cultural mentoring to at-risk youth, families, and houseless communities through traditional Native American Ceremony, Sobriety Promotion, and Education. Medicine Bear and Rudy Serna will hold a Native Circle at Our Space of Possibilities, on June 10th from 3-5 pm, for Native-American residents, workers and students of East Portland. Handle: @rudysernaredstone

Thea Gahr is a bilingual artist and printmaker engaged in education and image-making that aims to catalyze positive social & environmental change. Thea will facilitate the creation of a collective lino carving on June 24th, 1-3 pm. 

Aden Catalani is a Portland painter who will lead a spray painting workshop. Aden will lead a spray-paint workshop on June 24th, 3-5 pm.

Karina Lomelin Ripper is a Mexican-American film director.  Her films often explore bicultural points of view, telling stories that center Latina/x characters. Karina’s films “Visions” and “Niña¨ (made in collaboration with Marc Ripper) will be screened on June 10th and 24th from 5-6 pm. Handle: @karinaripper

Sika Stanton is an African-American cinematographer. She has a background in both documentary and narrative filmmaking. Her work has screened at the Portland International Film Festival, the Portland Art Museum, and Portland Oregon Women’s Festival. In 2019, she joined IATSE Local 600 and the Oregon Media Production Association selected her for their Rising Star Award. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Cinematography at the American Film Institute Conservatory and holds a BA in Studio Art from Stanford University. Sika’s film “The Numbers” will be screened on June 3rd and 10th from 5-6 pm; and her film “Imagine Black” (made in collaboration with Ariella Tai and Donielle Howard) will be screened on June 10th and 24th from 5-6 pm. Handle: @sikaafi 

Metro East Community Media is a nonprofit community media center based in Gresham, Oregon, and for over 35 years has used media to invigorate civic engagement, inspire diverse voices, and strengthen community life. Gene, Yasmin, Chloe and Seth from MECM are supporting the creation of videos made by a group of youth from the African Youth Community Organization for Our Space of Possibilities.  Handle: @metroeastmedia

The African Youth Community Organization (AYCO) is a community-based organization led by and for the East African immigrant and refugee community in Portland. AYCO’s mission is to settle the past, engage the present and hope for the future. The videos that Farhiya, Yasmin, Amrin, Sabine, Ayub, Hashim, Hussein, and Imraan are creating will be be screened at Our Space of Possibilities on June 10th and 24th from 5-6 pm. Handle: @ayco.world

Edna Vazquez is a fearless singer, songwriter, composer, and guitarist whose powerful voice and musical talent transcend the boundaries of language to engage and uplift her audience. She is a creative musical artist with a vocal range that allows her to paint seamlessly with her original material, an intersection of Mexican Tradicional, rock, pop and other genres. Edna will perform on June 10th at 6:30 pm.  Handle: @ednavazquezmusic

DJ Anjali made her public debut in December of 2000 and has since pushed forward a working class, immigrant feminist agenda on the dance floor all the while exploring her own identity through the power of sound and dance. She uses the dance floor as a place to build solidarity between communities of color. Music and movement have long been her tools to explore and share her unique identity as a mixed Desi immigrant daughter. With her partner, The Incredible Kid, she hosts TROPITAAL! A Desi Latino Soundclash & ANDAZ, two of the Northwest’s longest running dance parties. She teaches Bhangra & Bollywood weekly at The Viscount Dance Studio. Archives of her years spent as a radio host on XRAY & KBOO can be found online. DJ Anjali will play for Our Space of Possibilities closing party on June 24th at 6 pm! She will also be leading a Bollywood dance class on June 3rd from 3-4 pm. Handle: @anjaliandthekid

Lita Thilavanh, Julie Ammalathithada, and Maddie Thippraxay are 14-year-olds who perform at the Lao New Year celebrations and are involved in the APISU (Asian Pacific Islander Student Union) club at their school. They’re preserving their heritage by participating in traditional ceremonies and learning traditional Lao dances. Lita, Julie, and Maddie will perform on June 3rd and 17th!

Follow @regionalarts to learn about additional collaborators!

 


Reflecting on Fiscal Year 2022

We invite you to read our most recent Annual Impact Report for FY21-22.  There you will find some of our recent accomplishments, program reflections, financial information, future plans, and the joy we have in supporting arts and culture in our community.

“A look at RACC’s activities in the past year offers an invigorating picture of organizational culture change undertaken alongside monumental social transformation occurring in our community and around the world. Beginning in 2020, RACC embarked on a transformative journey of community engagement and connection. Two years into this journey, organizational development continues to focus on transforming our culture, making solid internal infrastructure investments, and creating meaningful opportunity for professional development.”

 

Image of performers in colorful costumes holding poles that actively move a large dragon structure.

White Lotus Foundation, Dragon and Lion Dance Performance, MLB grant recipient | Photo: Elvis Nguyen

 


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you! 


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

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

CONTACT: Randy Gragg,

503-799-2655; rgragg@portlandpf.org

Thompson Elk Fountain Restoration Feasibility Study Update

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Change the Conversation About the Arts-AEP6 Now Open

Our nonprofit arts industry generates
billions in economic activity supporting millions of jobs every year.

CHANGE THE CONVERSATION ABOUT THE ARTS
The arts bring us inspiration and joy, and make our community a beautiful place to live and work. But the arts do so much more. 

Portland, Oregon — The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) is pleased to announce its participation in Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6), the most comprehensive economic impact study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry ever conducted in the United States. Administered by Americans for the Arts, AEP6 will examine the economic impact of the arts and culture in Multnomah County and 386 additional communities representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

After more than a one-year postponement, the Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6) study is getting underway nationally this month of May 2022. This is the sixth national economic impact study of America’s nonprofit arts and cultural industry. It documents the economic contributions of the arts in diverse communities and regions across the country, representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Previous partners have included local arts agencies, community foundations, economic development agencies, chambers of commerce, performing arts centers, and more. And RACC is looking for your participation!

It is now more important than ever to demonstrate that, even in the wake of COVID-19 and the resulting economic recession, the arts will provide a significant boost as we recharge the economy in America’s local communities. The arts will draw people out of their homes and back into community life—spending time with each other and spending their money with local merchants. Studies indicate that audiences cannot wait to return, and we are looking to our community along with them to count us in on that.

While the arts have the potential to impact many aspects of our community, the truth is they also have a power all on their own. The arts are an open invitation to engage in our  history, our heritage, our politics, the way we learn—in short, the arts are part of our daily lives, and play a role in all aspects of the human experience. While most appreciate the cultural benefit provided to our community, few realize that our local arts industry supports jobs, generates government revenue, and is a cornerstone of tourism. Economic impact studies such as these will expand the conversation about how many people view the arts.

In the previous survey, AEP5 showed that nationally the nonprofit arts industry generated $166.3 billion in economic activity, supporting 4.6 million jobs and generating $27.5 billion in government revenue. Locally, our arts industry generated $687 million of economic activity—$364 million in spending by arts and cultural organizations and an additional $323 million in event-related expenditures by their audiences. This activity supported 22,299 full time equivalent jobs and generated $53 million in revenue to local and state governments. Our local nonprofit arts and culture organizations have been and will continue to be critical to our community and economic recovery.

We are currently seeking your help to collect this data for AEP6. While part of a national study, our reports will be based on spending by our own local nonprofit arts and culture organizations as well as the event-related spending by their audiences (at local retail, parking, and restaurant establishments). We believe this important research tool will demonstrate that when we invest our dollars in the arts, we are not doing so at the expense of economic development. Rather, we are investing in an industry that strengthens our local economy. 

Let’s change the conversation. The arts mean business. 

Learn more about the AEP6 study and how you can get involved today: AmericansForTheArts.org/AEP6 

In short, the arts mean business. Help us change the conversation.

Interested in getting involved within the City of Portland or anywhere in Multnomah County, please contact Mario Mesquita, Manager of Advocacy and Engagement at RACC, AEP6@racc.org.

More local information about AEP6 can also be found and will be continually updated on our website www.racc.org/aep6/.

 

 


If you are interested in participating and reside in our sister counties please contact the the following:

Washington County
Raziah Roushan, Executive Director of Tualatin Valley Creates, director@tvcreates.org.

Clackamas County
Dianne Alves, Executive Director of Clackamas County Art Alliance, dianne@clackamasartsalliance.org.


Arts & Economic Prosperity 6

THE ARTS MEAN BUSINESS IN THE GREATER PORTLAND AREA

The Arts & Economic Prosperity (AEP6) survey is back.

AEP6 documents the economic contributions of the arts in over 250 diverse communities and regions across the country, representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia. During 2015, AEP5 in Oregon the nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $687 million of economic activity—$364 million in spending by arts and cultural organizations and an additional $323 million in event-related expenditures by their audiences. This activity supported 22,299 full time equivalent jobs and generated $53 million in revenue to local and state governments.

The study put to rest a misconception that communities supported arts and culture at the expense of local economic development. In fact, what AEP5 showed was that communities were investing in an industry that supports jobs, generates government revenue, and is the cornerstone of tourism. This economic impact study sent a strong signal that when we support the arts, we not only enhance our quality of life, but we also invest in the Greater Portland Area’s economic well-being, including Clackamas and Washington Counties.

This year, we have a chance to study the impact of the past few years along with the resilience of our creative community. Nonprofit arts and culture organizations are active contributors to our business community. They are employers, producers, and consumers. They are members of the Chamber of Commerce as well as key partners in the marketing and promotion of their cities, regions, and states. Spending by nonprofit arts and cultural organizations totaled $364 million during fiscal year 2015.

To measure the impact of spending by cultural audiences in the Greater Portland Area, data were collected from 1,474 event attendees during AEP5. Researchers used an audience-intercept methodology, a standard technique in which patrons are asked to complete a short survey about their event-related spending (while they are attending the event). Event-related spending by these attendees totaled $116 million in the Greater Portland Area during fiscal year 2015, excluding the cost of event admission.

Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 showed conclusively that, locally as well as nationally, the arts mean business!


Read more about RACC’s lead in the City of Portland and Multnomah County here.

Audience surveys will be collected from attendees at performances, events, exhibits, venues, and facilities during the 12 months from May 2022 through April 2023. Venue Eligibility

If you are interested in getting involved as either a venue to be counted please submit your live event for consideration here (for the tri-county area) and/or are interested in volunteering in Multnomah County, please contact Mario Mesquita, Manager of Advocacy & Engagement at Regional Arts & Culture Council at AEP6@racc.org

Raziah Roushan, Executive Director of Tualatin Valley Creates, director@tvcreates.org, for Washington County
Dianne Alves, Executive Director of Clackamas County Art Alliance, dianne@clackamasartsalliance.org, for Clackamas County

Read more at Americans for the Arts.


Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 Regional Findings:
Oregon Study Regions Comparison

Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 Oregon Summary

Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 Greater Portland Area Summary

Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 Clackamas County Summary

Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 Washington County Summary