Search update for February 27

Working with our executive search firm, Koya Leadership Partners, the RACC Search Committee has selected four semi-finalists for our Executive Director position.

The Search Committee is organizing a diverse sample of community members to meet the semi-finalists. The sample will include board members, staff members, individuals representing organizations, individual artists, and public officials.

All four semi-finalists prefer not to be publicly identified at this time, and as such, all people meeting the semi-finalists will be subject to non-disclosure agreements.

Members of the sample will meet with all four candidates individually in small groups (5-10 people per session) with two representatives of the Search Committee present as facilitators and observers. These meetings will occur March 14-23, and the stakeholders participating in those meetings will fill out feedback forms. The Search Committee will then consider the feedback and make its recommendation to the RACC Board in early April.

We are excited that we have a candidate pool that is diverse in terms of gender, race and current location of the candidates. We are also proud that we selected our semi-finalists through a deliberative and inclusive process that included listening to the community, implicit bias training and removal of bias-inducing personal information during the initial screenings.

The Search Committee welcomes your feedback. Please send emails to EDsearch@racc.org.



Privacy Policy


Your privacy is very important to us. Accordingly, RACC has developed this policy in order for you to understand how we collect, use, communicate and disclose and make use of personal information. The following outlines our privacy policy for www.racc.org, www.therightbraininitiative.org, www.workforart.org and www.portlandartspark.com.



RACC websites have links to other websites as a convenience to our constituents. These include links to websites operated by other nonprofit organizations, government agencies and for-profit businesses. When you use one of these links, you are no longer on a RACC website and this Privacy Policy will not apply. When you link to another website, you are subject to the privacy policy of that new site.

When you follow a link to another site, neither RACC, nor any officer or employee of RACC warrants the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of any information published by these external sites, nor endorses any content, viewpoints, products, or services linked from these systems, and cannot be held liable for any losses caused by reliance on the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of their information. Portions of such information may be incorrect or not current. Any person or entity that relies on any information obtained from these systems does so at their own risk.


If you do nothing during your visit to a RACC website but browse or download information, we automatically collect and store the standard data collected by all web server software. That information is as follows:

  • The Internet Protocol (IP) address used. The IP address is a numerical identifier assigned either to your Internet service provider or directly to your computer. We use the Internet IP to respond to your browser request. Example:;
  • The domain name (DNS) assigned on the Internet to your IP Address (if there is one). Example: somename.com;
  • The type of browser and operating system you used.
  • The date and time you visited this site;
  • The web pages or services you accessed at this site; and
  • The website you visited prior to coming to this website. (Note: this is included so that summary analysis can be done on how visitors get to our site, i.e., from a search engine, from a link on another site, etc.)

We do not track individual user navigation choices. We do, however, summarize the information listed above to determine:

  • What organizations are our most frequent users, to better target our content for the audience.
  • What browsers are being used on our site to determine what techniques we can use to develop pages that will work with different browsers.
  • How often our pages are being used.
  • By the traffic from organization names such things as the search engines that are good at directing people to the site.

For site security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, this site may monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage. If security monitoring reveals evidence of possible abuse or criminal activity, system personnel may provide the results of such monitoring to appropriate officials. Except for authorized law enforcement investigations, no attempts are made to identify individual users or their usage habits. Unauthorized attempts to upload information or change information on this service are strictly prohibited and may be punishable under the state law and federal statutes including the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 and the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act of 1996.


If you send us an electronic mail message with a question or comment that contains personal information, or fill out a form that e-mails us this information, we will only use the information needed to respond to your request. We will not share your information with any other party unless clearly indicated on the form, or when you specifically approve the sharing of this information.


For secured-data transmission, this site uses the industry standard encryption software, Secure Socket Layer (SSL). The URL in your browser will change to “HTTPS” instead of “HTTP” when this security feature is invoked. Your browser may also display a lock or key symbol on its task bar to indicate invoked secure transmission. If these indicators are not present, any information is susceptible to interception by other parties. Most Internet e-mail communication will not be secure. If you are communicating sensitive information, you may wish to consider sending it by postal mail.



Requests for refunds (ticketed events, donations and otherwise) must explain the reason for the request in writing and be signed by the individual requesting the refund. They will be reviewed on a case by case basis. RACC cannot guarantee any refunds. In the event that your request is honored, please allow 4 to 6 weeks to receive your refund.


If you have any questions about this policy, please contact info@racc.org.

Subashini Ganesan is Portland’s new Creative Laureate

Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish has announced the city’s next Creative Laureate, Subashini Ganesan! She was introduced at the Wednesday January 17th City Council meeting.

“Our inaugural Creative Laureate, Julie Keefe, served the City with distinction and set a high bar for her successor,” said Commissioner Fish. “Suba will bring passion, innovation, and a wealth of experience to this position.”

“The Creative Laureate is the City Council’s connection to Portland’s creative community,” said Mayor Ted Wheeler. “I’m excited to work with Suba to build stronger partnerships with Portland’s creative class.”

Subashini Ganesan is a leader in the regional arts community, an educator, a performer, and a non-profit founder. Her non-profit, New Expressive Works (N.E.W), is a performing arts venue in Southeast Portland. N.E.W. showcases multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary performance arts. It also provides affordable studio space and a choreography residency program where diverse artists can work together and benefit from unique experience.

An immigrant from Singapore, Suba’s goal as Creative Laureate is to “offer my story, of artistic excellence and community building experiences, as a way for the City to celebrate how independent artists of all races, ethnicities, religions, genders, identities, and abilities can thrive.”

A professional artist who teaches with The Right Brain Initiative and Young Audiences of Oregon & SW Washington, Suba also practices Bharathanatyam, an ancient dance form of South India. She has performed at numerous Portland-area and regional festivals. In 2017, Artslandia named Ms. Ganesan a “Change Artist.”

“Suba has a unique ability to inspire audiences, educate youth, and bring communities together,” said Jeff Hawthorne, Interim Executive Director of the Regional Arts and Culture Council. “Her vision, leadership, and passion for equity will enhance Portland’s reputation as a global center of creativity. We look forward to collaborating with her.”

Subashini Ganesan honored by Portland City Council


The City of Portland’s Creative Laureate, established in 2012, serves as the official ambassador for the broader creative community in Portland. The Laureate participates in community education, advocacy, and public events including speaking engagements, workshops, and ceremonial functions.

Photographer Julie Keefe has served as the City’s Creative Laureate since its inception in 2012. “I’m thrilled that the enormously talented Subashini Ganesan will represent and serve Portland as our next Creative Laureate, and that she will have the opportunity to illuminate issues from her unique perspective, giving us all the chance to engage with this city through her creative lens.”

Download Subashini Ganesan’s Creative Laureate Speech (WORD)

General Operating Support Grant survey

The General Operating Support (GOS) Grant Program – the single largest funding program at RACC – seeks to fund arts organizations across the community spectrum and help support a wide range of quality arts programming made available to the Portland tri-county public. Last year the GOS program funded 54 arts organizations and distributed over $2.4 million.

The program was most recently revised in 2014, in anticipation of the Arts Equity & Access Fund (Arts Tax) in the City of Portland. Since 2014 we have had the opportunity to evaluate the way GOS funds reach the community and how much of our community benefits from GOS programs. RACC has also seen significant volatility in Arts Tax funding. Over the next several months, we will be re-evaluating the GOS program and making modifications that address these conditions while ensuring that the program is more transparent, flexible, and inclusive. By strategically revising our funding model, RACC hopes to foster a richer, stronger, and more diverse arts community.

With change comes uncertainty and we understand how challenging that can be for our arts community. RACC has committed to holding member organizations receiving General Operating Support at current funding levels though next year (FY18-19), but anticipates announcing the new grant program structure in Summer 2018 to be implemented in FY19-20.

The stakeholder survey is now closed, however organizations representatives and community members can continue to ask questions and provide input to the process by emailing grants@racc.org

RACC Audit Services Request for Proposals

RACC is conducting a Request for Proposals (RFP) for Audit Services. The Finance & Audit Committee seeks three-year audit service proposals from CPA firms with extensive experience in providing audit services to non-profit organizations. Interested firms must send a Letter of Intent to apply to: auditrfp@racc.org by 12/15/17.

The Letter of Intent (LOI) must include:

  • A description of how your firm is qualified to provide audit services to RACC and why your firm is interested in participating in the audit services RFP.
  • Brief description of your firm, including location, staff size, and industries served.
  • Brief description of engagements that your firm currently conducts in the non-profit sector. Include a list of local non-profit clients that you believe are comparable to RACC in size and complexity.
  • Please provide your firm’s equity statement.

Please limit your LOI to a maximum of 3 pages, including your equity statement. Based on the information provided in the LOI, firms with relevant experience and capacity will be invited to participate in the full RFP process.

Letter of Intent Deadline: 12/15/17. Audit Services RFP Closing Date: 1/31/2018.

“Portlandia” display goes up at The Standard Plaza Building

The $195 million, three year long renovation of the Portland Building has begun! Many already know that the City of Portland’s main administrative building is considered one of the first examples of Postmodern architecture, and that its western façade is the home of Raymond Kaskey’s iconic Portlandia. It is less well known however, that hundreds of additional public art works are normally housed within the building. This summer and fall RACC Public Art Collections staff prepared for the renovation by clearing the walls on all 15 floors of the Portland Building. Most of the contents of the 2nd floor Public Art Gallery also went into storage, but a few of the largest and most popular Portlandia related items will continue to be on display right across the street in The Standard’s Insurance Company’s Plaza Building.

This summer RACC reached out to The Standard to see if they would be interested in exhibiting Portlandia related artwork on the 2nd floor lobby of their Plaza Building at 1100 SW 5th Avenue. The L-2 lobby, with its towering floor-to-ceiling windows, looks directly across the street at Portlandia and the Portland Building. The response from The Standard was enthusiastic. Their team created space in the lobby, constructed additional display furnishings, and assisted RACC staff with the reinstallation of Kaskey’s original form and mold for Portlandia’s face. A tall pedestal and prominent location was also made for the 1/10th scale model created to guide the fabrication of the full sized sculpture.

What happens to the full-scale Portlandia during the renovation? The 35 foot tall symbol of our city will be completely covered for 15 months while work on the Portland Building façade takes place. During that time a “Portlandia fix” can be had at The Plaza Building where Kaskey’s delicately crafted scale model will serve as a stand-in. For a limited time, until the day Portlandia gets covered by her protective screening (sometime in late January) the public will have a unique opportunity to view both the large and small versions of the statue from the same spot on SW 5th Avenue.

Our sincere thanks go out to The Standard for their ongoing support of the arts and for making this display possible while the Portland Building is renovated!  www.standard.com.

See The Oregonian article, “City set to kick off $195M reconstruction of the Portland Building, shroud Portlandia statue.”

SHIFT: An experiment in fashion design was an evening for the books!

It was more than a runway show. It was a community celebration. It was the start of a new tradition.

On Thursday, September 21, 2017 SHIFT: An experiment in fashion design brought together some of the region’s most innovative design thinkers to celebrate equitable education and sustainable fashion and benefit our arts integration program The Right Brain Initiative.

Nineteen novice and experienced designers alike debuted garments made from recycled materials and found objects in effort to win three cash prizes and the People’s Choice Award. The energy of the runway show extended into our silent auction and paddle raise, contributing to a final net income of nearly $25,000 raised for The Right Brain Initiative.

Read a full recap of the event and see more photos on the Right Brain blog: https://therightbraininitiative.org/shift2017recap/.

RACC awards Literature Fellowships to Samiya Bashir and Rene Denfeld

PORTLAND, ORE — The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) is pleased to announce its 2017 Fellows in Literature – Portland writers Samiya Bashir and Rene Denfeld. RACC’s fellowship program honors local artists of high merit. Recipients receive a cash award of $20,000 to sustain or enhance their creative process.

Samiya Bashir is a collaborative artist who brings her poetry off the written page in multi-disciplinary projects that involve video art, sculpture, installation, and performance. She has presented her work nationally and internationally and has received many awards including the 2011 Aquarius Press Legacy Award recognizing women writers of color who actively provide creative opportunities for other writers. The RACC Fellowship panel recognized the generosity in her work; both in how her writing speaks to her specific experience as a queer, first-generation Somali-American poet/maker, yet is accessible to wide audiences, and in how her readings and performances open the space to welcome others artists. Her book Field Theories was published this year by Nightboat Books. Samiya has two projects she is currently working on, a multi-media poetry field guide on the creation of the East African diaspora and an unconventional memoir that will lace episodes of her own history with historical moments from 19th century New York City Draft Riots and the 21st century run up to the Gulf War. Find out more at www.samiyabashir.com.

Rene Denfeld is a novelist whose social justice work is at the heart of all her writing. She has written nonfiction books, essays, and her second novel The Child Finder was released this September by Harper. She grew up in North Portland, where she makes her home today with her three children. Her work tells the stories of the marginalized and dispossessed, examining issues critical to our times, including poverty and child abuse, while bringing hope to the most challenging situations. The Fellowship panel recognized that Rene is a phenomenal writer that produces visceral, gorgeous work with a flow and fluency which easily takes you to the worlds she is describing. Rene would use the Fellowship funds to support more time writing and finishing her third novel, which will go deeper into the criminal justice system and how our society fails to protect children. Find out more at www.renedenfeld.com.

Established in 1999, RACC’s Artists Fellowship Award remains one of the largest and most prestigious awards to individual artists in the Pacific Northwest, supporting exceptional artists who exemplify RACC’s mission of enriching the local community through arts and culture. RACC rotates the disciplines it honors each year—performing arts, visual arts, media arts, and literature.

To be eligible for consideration, professional artists must have worked in their field for at least 10 years and have lived in the Portland tri-county area for five years. Applications, which include three
narrative questions, artist resume, two letters of recommendation, and examples of the artist’s work, are reviewed through a panel process of community representatives from the discipline being honored. This year’s panelists in the literature category included Mo Daviau, Merridawn Duckler, Christopher Luna, Orit Ofri, and Olivia Olivia.

Bashir and Denfeld join a prestigious group of local artists who have been named RACC Fellows in the past, including Mary Oslund, Obo Addy, Christine Bourdette, Terry Toedtemeier, Jim Blashfield, Michele Glazer, Tomas Svoboda, Keith Scales, Judy Cooke, Michael Brophy, Chel White, Craig Lesley, Thara Memory, Henk Pander, Joanna Priestley, Kim Stafford, Robin Lane, Eric Stotik, Lawrence Johnson, Sallie Tisdale, Linda Austin, Anita Menon, David Eckard, Ellen Lesperance, Vanessa Renwick, and Brian Lindstrom. A gallery of past RACC fellows are listed at www.racc.org/grants/individual-artist-fellowships.


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