RACC Blog

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


 


Congressional Briefing: The Value of Equitable Arts Education

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 (HR5581), Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR1) and Chellie Pingree (D-ME1). During the briefing members of the Commission, including Co-Chairs John Lithgow (Actor), Deborah Rutter (The Kennedy Center), and Natasha Trethewey (Professor and Poet) presented their findings from their report released this past summer, Art for Life’s Sake 

The Regional Arts & Culture Council has endorsed the Arts Education for All Act, along with hundreds of other arts organizations across the country and 31 current House Members including, Oregon’s Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR3). Click here if you would like to join us in support of HR5581. 

During the hearing, an arts education partner Paul S Sznewajs, Executive Director from Ingenuity-Chicago, spoke to the importance of data to address inequity in arts education. Locally in Multnomah County, we have partnered with Portland Public School and Parkrose to gather real-time data on the state of the arts in our schools through our online platform artlook® with our partners,  the Kennedy Center’s Any Given Child program and Ingenuity-Chicago. The data available to the districts can demonstrate the gaps in arts education in our schools, as well as highlight our successes.  

These data points better inform and guide districts to address shortcomings and establish strong community relationships with arts organizations across the city. We know  arts not only provide a skill set that is critical in our creative economy but the arts help heal, connect, build relationships and can help move us forward out of trauma. We know having a robust well-rounded education, which includes the arts, keep kids in school, exposes us to diverse cultures, teaches empathy and compassion, expands our knowledge, encourages us to think critically, participate in civic engagement, and most importantly, bring us joy. Chanda Evans, who leads the Arts Education Program, at RACC was able to ask the question— “How can parents become more involved?” Congresswoman Bonamici replied “…Telling stories. It really makes a difference. When we talk about policy in the abstract, it is not nearly as compelling as telling a story about a child who benefited from arts education…” Our recent interview with the Congresswoman on November 5, 2021 also highlights the need for telling our personal stories on the impact of an art education in our lives.  

This act of storytelling resonates with RACC and we ask you to share your arts education stories with us. We all have that one teacher who made all the difference. They may have been a librarian who said to you, “Wow, you read a lot, have you thought about writing?” The science instructor, who noticed you had a knack for constructing robotics, suggested you might enjoy stop animation. Maybe you seemed bored and did not participate in class and your teacher said, “Hey, why don’t you think about band?” Arts education that is infused in our lives through a well-rounded education connects us to the world around us, enables us to thrive and survive and makes us better humans.  

What can you do? Endorse the act as an individual or organization. Share your stories with RACC.  Don’t forget to pay your Arts Education and Income Tax Fund (AEAF) of $35 by April 15th if you are a resident of Portland, which puts k-5 arts educators in the classrooms of 6 districts. They include Centennial, David Douglas, Park Rose, Portland Public, Reynolds, and Riverdale School Districts. We thank you.  

 

 

#ArtsEducationForAll #ArtsCreateHope #ArtsEducation #ArtsAdvocacy #ArtEd #ArtEquity #region411 #ArtSavesLives #artsforall 


Next steps for toppled and removed monuments – Updated FAQ

Updated following RACC Board Action 10/13/2021

What is the status of statues that were removed or toppled in 2020 protests?
The statues from the City of Portland’s public art collection are secured in a temporary storage facility. This includes: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt: Rough Rider, Harvey Scott, Promised Land, and Elk.

Will these statues be returned to their former locations?
RACC’s Public Art Committee (PAC) oversees and guides Public Art Program policies for the selection, placement, and maintenance of works of art acquired through the Percent for Art Program and other public/private programs RACC manages. When necessary, RACC also oversees the review, re-contextualizing, relocation and removal of artworks from these public collections. On Sept. 29 the RACC Board endorsed the Public Art Committee’s recommendation not to automatically return five of the toppled or removed statues to their previous locations (excluding the Elk).

What about the Elk statue?
City officials and RACC have determined separately that the Elk will return to downtown Portland. The project details, budget and timeline are being developed.

What happens next?
On Oct. 13, the RACC Board approved Monument Review Guidelines for City of Portland outlining the criteria and process for determining the next steps for these five statues. If accepted by Commissioner Rubio (City liaison to RACC) and the City Arts Program, it sets in motion a process of determining next steps for each individual monument. Should the monuments be assigned a new home? Should all of them remain in the public collection? According to the Monument Review Guidelines, consideration of these questions requires meaningful community engagement that centers the voices of community members whose culture and histories have not been represented in public spaces. Each of these statues has its own unique story and engagement may vary depending on the stakeholders.

How can the community get involved?
Community engagement and stakeholder input is required as part of the process. Follow this link to be notified of engagement opportunities and provide input.

Why is RACC recommending these monuments for review?
In our role as the steward of the City of Portland and Multnomah County’s public art collections, the Regional Arts & Culture Council works intentionally with artists, community organizations, and public partners to ensure that the public’s art collection represents our diverse cultural histories and identities. As we consider the disposition of monuments toppled or removed in 2020, our mission and values guide our recommendations and consideration of next steps. Similarly, we look to the City’s adopted policies for guidance and find this recommendation to be consistent with recent action by the Portland City Council recommending new public art representing more diverse cultural identities and histories for the South Park Blocks. The George Washington statue cannot be returned to its former site as that site is privately owned and the owners do not wish to have it in that location anymore.

RACC’s Public Art Committee revised policies regarding the donation and removal (deaccession) of art from the public collection. What were the major changes?
The committee, in consultation with city leadership, reviewed the Public Art Program policies and criteria as they relate to donation and deaccession (removal) of memorials, monuments, and statues. The PAC updated those policies to align with RACC’s mission, vision, and values and the City’s value of antiracism. The updated policy states that public artworks can be removed if the “subject or impact of an artwork is significantly at odds with values of antiracism, equity, inclusion.” They also expanded circumstances that can lead to the removal of a piece of artwork, if it becomes a rallying place for “gatherings centered on racist or bigoted ideology.” RACC’s board endorsed these changes in May 2021. The Monument Review Guidelines approved by the RACC Board are consistent with these policies.

What happens to a statue if a determination is made to remove it from the public art collection?
If a decision is made to “deaccession” an artwork (remove it from the collection), it could be traded or sold, returned to the donors, recycled or destroyed.


Creative Work Is Work

Creative Economy Revitalization Act

Art has the power to remind us of all we have in common. It’s what turns a group of individuals into a community. As our nation recovers from the pandemic, the Creative Economy Revitalization Act (CERA) offers an opportunity to put Americans to work creating art that brings our communities together.

Our creative sector is a critical and robust part of our economy. As Oregon and the U.S. begin to recover from the pandemic, we have a responsibility to lift up those who were hit the hardest. This includes our creative workers and the communities they serve. Through the Creative Economy Revitalization Act (CERA) we have the opportunity to put Oregonians to work creating art that unites our communities. In a time when our nation is divided, the diversity of our cultures, as well as our differences and overlapping shared experiences, binds us together.

On a teal background in black letters: $.83 of every dollar invested in an artist is reinvested in local economies.

The Creative Sector Drives Travel, Tourism, and Hospitality
$.83
of every dollar
Invested in an artist is reinvested in local economies in the form of supplies, rentals, supplemental hiring, and other expenses that would not occur without that initial investment
$31.47 Average amount each arts attendee spends beyond the ticket cost on meals, retail, parking, lodging, local transportation, childcare, and souvenirs. That’s over $100 billion each year to support local merchants, energize downtowns, and pay salaries and wages in non-arts sectors directly due to cultural events.

 

 

The creative economy drives our community’s economy! If our local creative economies collapse or are unable to effectively restart, communities across the country could face economic catastrophe, with an even more difficult time recovering and restarting. The 675,000 small businesses within the creative economy anchor highly interdependent local commercial ecosystems that create and sustain retail, restaurants, hospitality, tourism, and transportation. Of those, more than 9-in-10 are solo entrepreneurs. Previously, those businesses employ as many as 5 million people – over a third are independent or gig workers (more than 3.5 times the national average).

Who are Creative Workers?
You probably know a creative worker, now! There are 5.1 million creative workers in the U.S., as identified by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. A creative worker is anyone who earns income from creative, cultural, or artistic-based pursuits, whether they earn that income independently (as an independent contractor, solo entrepreneur, or gig worker, for example) or via an employer. Creative workers use the unique human quality of individual expression to produce ideas, content, goods, and services.

As outlined in CERA, job titles that fall into the “creative worker” category include: art director, artist, animator, sculptor, writer, author, poet, photographer, musician, singer, producer, director, actor, announcer, storyteller, comedian, dancer, architect, designer (of any type), programmer, choreographer, technician, backstage or behind-the-scenes staff, curator, or other support staff who make creative work possible.

Creative workers pictured above selected from our “Capturing the Moment” call for artworks of all media created during 2020 pandemic.

On a teal background in black letters: 76% of artists have used their art to raise morale and create community cohesion during the pandemic

Creative Workers and Businesses Stand Ready to Aid Recovery
76% Of artists have used their art to raise morale and create community cohesion during the pandemic.
83% Of creative workers are ready today to put their creative practice to use as part of the national recovery.
89% Of arts nonprofits boosted morale through their art during the pandemic.

 


Creative Workers to Help Community Recover
CERA is a $300 million program that will mitigate creative worker displacement, stimulate local creative workforce growth, strengthen connections for local creative small businesses and networks, create a pipeline for new creative jobs, enrich communities, increase access to culture, and invest in creative workers and local economies that have been harmed by COVID-19.

The presence of arts and culture sparks additional spending on local businesses, restaurants, and hotels. It can increase property values, improve education outcomes for students, boost community pride and social cohesion while inspiring political and social activation. In addition to driving 4.3% of the country’s gross domestic product, arts and culture have significant local economic, social, and individual impact.

At the height of the pandemic, two-thirds of all creative workers (2.7 million people) were completely unemployed. Today, creative workers are 3-4 times more likely to be unemployed compared to the national rate. Nationally, creative economy jobs dropped by 53% between the end of 2019 and the middle of 2020, and have only recovered about half of that to date. The emergence of new variants of COVID-19 continues to threaten the fragile, partial re-opening of the creative sector that has begun. CERA seeks to employ artists/creatives and strengthen local economies by incentivizing investment in civic infrastructure fueled by creative workers and a recovering creative workforce.

CERA calls for the authorization of $300 million to the new grant program to be housed and administered at the Department of Labor, with advice and collaboration from the National Endowment for the Arts. The grants will go to local, state, and tribal agencies, workforce investment boards, and public or private nonprofit entities that can hire local creative workers and produce creative projects that meet local needs and priorities. These projects could include public artworks, festivals, performances, written works, anthologies and narrative collections from first responders and historically marginalized communities, and arts education work.*

*Adapted from creativeworkers.net

Click here to send an Action Alert to your representatives telling them to co-sponsor and vote for the Creative Economy Revitalization Act.

Read our previous blogpost about CERA.

#regional411
#artsadvocacy
#ArtsHero
#WPAForTheArts
#PutCreativeWorkersToWork
#CreativeWorkers
#CreativeEconomyRevitalizationAct
#AFTA

Reference Links
www.creativeworkers.net


What is the Creative Economy Revitalization Act (CERA)? Why Do We Need It?

The Creative Economy Revitalization Act (CERA) will help communities recover by putting creative workers to work across the country—if it becomes law!

“Creative workers have been some of the most severely impacted by the COVID pandemic. At the height of the pandemic in 2020, 63% of creative workers experienced unemployment, translating to over 2 million Americans. The creative economy is essential to the U.S. economy. Our country exports art, music, and film to the entire globe…. Since the start of the pandemic, the U.S. has lost an estimated $15.2 billion in the arts and cultural sector alone. Just as important as these livelihoods, is the well-being of the communities they serve. The pandemic has not only affected individuals and families, but eroded our social fabric as people were unable to gather, to mourn, and celebrate together, to support each other and their communities in person.”
– Rep. Teresa Leger Fernández

On September 28th, U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) led a group of his colleagues in introducing the Creative Economy Revitalization Act (CERA). U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), and Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) are co-sponsors of the legislation. In August, U.S. Reps Teresa Leger Fernández (D-NM) and Jay Obernolte (R-CA), introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives, H.R. 5019. Read the press release.

In September, the U.S. Conference of Mayors adopted a resolution in support of the Creative Economy Revitalization Act. More than 175 organizations endorsed the legislation, including the Cultural Advocacy Coalition of Oregon, Tualatin Valley Creates, and the Regional Arts & Culture Council to name a few locally.

To rebuild and reimagine our communities, Oregon, and the nation, must put creative workers to work.
Pledge YOUR support for creative workers here by contacting your legislator today!

Oregon’s Creative Economy is Big Business
The creative economy is big business in Oregon. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis, the creative sector is among the most heavily impacted nationally and locally. Direct investments in the arts will not only improve the health and recovery of our communities, but the broader economy as well – boosting tourism, travel, and spending at hotels, local businesses, and restaurants.

Teal blue square. Black lettering reads creative workers in Oregon. 69,549

OREGON’S CREATIVE ECONOMY*
$9.1 billion Generated in Oregon by the creative economy.
3.6% Percent of Oregon’s annual economic output from the creative economy.
11,606 Creative businesses in Oregon.
69,549 Creative workers in Oregon.

 

Bright orange square with black letters reads lost revenue for creative economy businesses in Oregon in 2020. Black numbers $1.6 BILLION

COVID-19 HAS DEVASTATED OREGON’S CREATIVE ECONOMY*
$1.6 billion Lost revenue for creative economy businesses in 2020 in Oregon (est).
70% Oregon creative businesses were severely impacted.
43,332 (64% unemployed) Creative workers made unemployed in Oregon.
$1.1 billion Total loss of revenue for creative workers in Oregon in 2020 (est).
$15,069 (a 40% loss/person) Average loss of creative revenue per creative workers in Oregon in 2020.
63% Creatives in Oregon now have no savings.

*Source – Americans for the Arts

How CERA works
The Creative Economy Revitalization Act (CERA) will create a workforce grant program within the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, putting creative workers back into jobs.  The Department of Labor, in coordination with the National Endowment for the Arts, will administer the grants to eligible government, nonprofit, and for-profit organizations. Priority will go to creative workers who became unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Creative Economy Revitalization Act will require that grantees create art that is publicly accessible to the entire community such as free concert series, large-scale murals, photography exhibits, published stories, or dance performances. It is modeled on the WPA Federal Project One which hired creatives across the country as the U.S. recovered from the Great Depression.

To rebuild and reimagine our communities, Oregon, and the nation, must put creative workers to work.
Pledge YOUR support for creative workers here by contacting your legislator today!

Resources
https://www.americansforthearts.org/sites/default/files/pdf/2021/covid-19-one-page/State_One_Sheet_OR.pdf

http://www.creativeworkers.net/

#regional411
#artsadvocacy
#ArtsHero
#WPAForTheArts
#PutCreativeWorkersToWork


RACC Board of Directors Confirm Statues Should Not Be Returned

RACC Team and Public Art Committee to outline next steps for community review process

Today the Regional Arts & Culture Council Board of Directors endorsed a recommendation that toppled and removed monuments not be returned to their previous location and to inform City officials of this recommendation. The recommendation not to return statues to their previous location does not mean that works will be permanently removed from the City of Portland’s public collection. The statues include: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt: Rough Rider, Harvey Scott, and Promised Land. City officials have decided that Elk will return to downtown Portland.

RACC’s Public Art Committee (PAC) made the recommendation not to return the five statues to their previous locations. The committee oversees and guides Public Art Program policies for the selection, placement, and maintenance of works of art acquired through the Percent for Art Program and other public/private programs RACC manages. The committee is made up of artists, art administrators, and community stakeholders. The PAC recommendation is consistent with recent action by the Portland City Council recommending new public art representing more diverse cultural identities and histories for the South Park Blocks. The George Washington statue cannot be returned to its former site as that site is privately owned and the owners do not wish to have it in that location anymore.

The recommendation not to return these statues to their previous locations raises the question of what happens next. Should the monuments be assigned a new home? Should all of them remain in the public collection? According to RACC’s Public Art Program policies, consideration of these questions requires meaningful community engagement. The Board directed the RACC team and PAC to come back to them at a meeting in October with a process for engaging stakeholders in a conversation about what happens next with each statue.

How can the community get involved?
Community engagement and stakeholder input are part of the process. Follow this link to provide input. Sign up for RACC’s online newsletter to be notified of future engagement opportunities at www.racc.org/about/newsletter/

Public Art Program Background
The Public Art Committee, in consultation with city leadership, reviewed the Public Art Program policies and criteria as they relate to donation and deaccession of memorials, monuments, and statues. The PAC updated those policies to align with RACC’s mission, vision, and values and the City’s value of antiracism. The updated policy states that public artworks can be removed if the “subject or impact of an artwork is significantly at odds with values of antiracism, equity, inclusion.” They also expanded circumstances that can lead to the removal of a piece of artwork, if it becomes a rallying place for “gatherings centered on racist or bigoted ideology.” RACC’s board endorsed the policy changes in May 2021.

###

An independent nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, we support greater Portland’s creative economy by providing equitable funding and services to artists and art organizations; managing and growing our diverse, nationally acclaimed public art program; and developing long-lasting public and private partnerships. For more information visit racc.org

MEDIA CONTACT
Heather Nelson Kent
Communications Manager, Regional Arts & Culture Council
503-823-5426
hnkent@racc.org