RACC Blog

Call for Art at Errol Heights Park – East Portland’s “Little Gem”

Interpretation services available, email info@racc.org

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The Regional Arts & Culture Council seeks proposals for design, fabrication and installation of new artwork in Errol Heights Park. The budget for the commission comes from the City of Portland’s Percent for Art Program and is approximately $85,000. Artists and artist teams living in Oregon or Washington invited to submit proposals. Park construction is planned for completion summer 2022.

With its forested setting, topography, creek, and wetlands, the four seasons have dramatic visual impact on Errol Heights Park. Art can play a role in showcasing the changing seasons and add a long-lasting amenity. This project seeks art that can strengthen our connections to nature, respond to the natural processes found in the park, and create engaging and dynamic interactions for park visitors. Materials with proven longevity in the outdoor environment are encouraged.

Read the full details about this call and the park design goals, themes, and site constraints.

Submissions Due:  5 p.m., Wednesday, April 28.

Sun reflecting on the Beaver Pond at Errol Heights Park. Photo credit Portland Parks & Recreation

Who can apply?

Artists or artist teams living in Oregon or Washington are eligible to apply. If applying as a team, at least one member must meet the residence eligibility requirement.

Selection criteria and decision-making

The Regional Arts & Culture Council and the City of Portland are committed to engaging new communities of artists, as well as expanding the range of artistic and cultural expression represented in the Public Art Collection.

A selection panel of artists, the park projects’ landscape architect, and community members will review artists’ submission materials and choose up to four finalists to interview for the commission. Criteria for selecting finalists for interviews are (1) quality of past work as demonstrated in submitted images; (2) ability and interest in creating site-specific artwork; (3) how past artwork has fit one or more of the general project goals through process and/or in the final design.

Artists are encouraged to visit the park prior to submitting their applications.

Find the submission information here.

Apply online in the RACC Opportunity Portal.

Funding comes from the City of Portland’s Percent for Art Program and is approximately $85,000.

Learn more at three upcoming information sessions for artists

  • Facebook Live – 1 p.m., Wednesday, March 24
  • Instagram Live – 6 p.m., Thursday, April 1
  • Zoom –  Recording Monday, April 12Watch the Info Session 

Follow Regional Arts & Culture Council on Facebook or @regionalarts on Instagram to stay informed of this and other upcoming opportunities.

Attendance is encouraged but not required to apply for the project.

We’re Here to Help!

Questions?

Contact: email project manager Salvador Mayoral IV with questions or to set up a time for a phone call: smayoral@racc.org.

 

About Errol Heights Park

Errol Heights Park is fondly described as a “little gem of a Park” in Portland’s Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood. Comprising more than 16 acres, the park is located in East Portland between Southeast 45th to 52nd avenues and Southeast Harney to Southeast Tenino streets. Adjacent to the park are two other neighborhoods, Woodstock to the west and Ardenwald-Johnson Creek to the south.

Approximately 1,477 households are within a half-mile walking distance of the park. Volunteer groups such as Friends of Errol Heights, Friends of Trees, and Johnson Creek Watershed Council have been dedicated stewards of the Errol Heights property for many years and members have participated in important ecological enhancement projects at the park. The defining feature of the park is a topography that creates an ideal setting to escape the city’s busy pace, enjoy the gurgling stream, and absorb the sounds of nature. A community garden of 55 plots in the park’s upper area near Southeast Tenino Court has been a focal point of the undeveloped park and a community gathering place.


Arts Education and Access Fund 2021 Logo Design Winner

Rose City Park Elementary third-grader selected

Vincente, Rose Waterfall, logo design 2021

We are delighted to announce the winner of the 2021 Arts Education and Access Fund (AEAF) Logo Competition. The competition challenged students to reimagine the original logo to illustrate how the fund supports the community and showcase students who benefit from arts education in school.

Arts education helps children develop the skills they need in order to communicate effectively, expand their analytical thinking, and engage with their community. In traumatic, turbulent times like these, art can be a literal lifeline for social, emotional, and mental health.

Arts Education and Access Fund 2021 Logo Design Competition

Winner

Vincente, a third-grader at Rose City Park Elementary School

Finalists

Edison, a fifth-grader at Rose City Park

Cate, a seventh-grader at Sunnyside Environmental School

All students attend Portland Public Schools.

The design competition was open to all students from kindergarten to eighth grade who receive arts education in Portland’s six school districts: Portland Public, Parkrose, Reynolds, David Douglas, Centennial and Riverdale. The design challenge was to for students create a new AEAF logo over Winter Break 2020. The competition was a collaboration between RACC and the City of Portland’s Arts Oversight Committee.

A panel of judges including professors and officials from Reed College, University of Portland, Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland State University, Portland Art Museum, Echo Theater Company, Office of Commissioner Dan Ryan and the City of Portland Department of Revenue reviewed the submissions and selected the winner.

Read Vincente’s interview with RACC’s Arts Education Access Fund Specialist, Chanda Evans.

Vincente, AEAF Logo Design Competition 2021 Winner

Vincente, why did you decide to submit your art for the AEAF Competition?
Because I wanted to see how good at art I am. I tried my best.

What inspires you about art?
Happiness. I have a sign in my room “Build Yourself Up and Never Give Up” I want people to become happy when they see my art.

Did you have fun doing the drawing? What is the title of your piece?
Yeah – the name is The Rose Waterfall. Because there is a waterfall behind the rose.

How do you feel about your logo design used by different School Districts and Arts Organizations across the Portland Metro region?
Excited! I thought I would never win!

Your Art Teacher is Ms. Vang, what is your favorite part of having art at Rose City Park Elementary?
She helped me in first grade making faces – so she helped me learn art. She is nice.

If you could give advice to a budding artist, someone who is just starting to draw or paint, what would you tell them?
Become yourself. Draw any art in the future – what you do is art. All art. Just be true.


 

Learn more about Portland’s Arts Education and Access Fund.

The Arts Education & Access Fund Oversight Committee seeks new members. Commitments include quarterly meetings, with a variety of projects in between.

Current Chair Laura Streib explains the committee’s purpose, “The committee engages with City of Portland officials, the Regional Arts & Culture Council and school districts to make sure the AEAF is doing what the charter set out for it to do – ensure funding for K-5 Arts Education teachers and support for accessibility and access to the arts and arts organizations.” Find out more.


Support Beam Artist Reflection: Mami Takahashi

Mami Takahashi is an artist with SUPPORT BEAM, a new RACC grant program supporting artists’ long term creative practice and livelihood. 

These works are part of my “Seeing You/Seeing Me” project. “Seeing You/Seeing Me,” (previously titled “Hiding and Observing”) is an ongoing project in which I use mirrored domes to hide my body or face during random social interactions with strangers. The domes camouflage and obscure my physicality as an immigrant, and serve as a metaphor for the invisibility/visibility of an immigrant experience, being a foreigner struggling for US citizenship. In 2021-2022, I will be expanding this project into a participatory community project happening in multiple U.S. locations historically connected to the problematic immigration of this country, including Portland, OR; Rabun Gap, GA; North Adams, MA; Chicago, IL; Santa Fe, NM; and elsewhere.

 

During my recent artist residency at Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Science, Rabun Gap, GA, I met 8 artists from the east coast and southern U.S. It was my first time in the southern part of the U.S. I was kind of excited to meet other artists there right after the legendary GA election of 2020, while a bit nervous to be in a historically conservative state. After a few days of adjustment for me and for them with my accent, I reached out to two Atlanta-based artists to camouflage themselves inside personal domes, which I constructed at the residency. Within each mirrored dome, we were all visually obscured from the outside but still recognizable as human forms.

While in the individual domes, we talked about our thoughts on current and past immigrations including forced, unconscious immigration such as human trafficking, slavery, and Dreamers. The talk was recorded as source material for future sound art. The photographs, video, and recorded conversations from this residency will combine with other documentation from the upcoming performances in 2021-2022.

Within the country’s present political turmoil, immigrants’ subjective struggles have been quietly buried deep in the bustle of daily life, their accented voices casually brushed aside in loud public forums. This combination of audio recordings and other documentation allows for the full scope of the project to breathe – the full breadth of the complexity of immigrants in the U.S..

-Mami Takahashi

Images made during a recent residency in Camp Colton, OR. Photographer: Adian McBride. Artist support at Camp Colton funded by Stelo Art (previously known as c3:initiative).

More from the artist: mamitakahashi.art and on Instagram.


Mami Takahashi is an artist from Tokyo, currently based in Portland, Oregon. Using photography, performance, installation and urban intervention, her practice explores the complexities of being Japanese and a woman living in the US. The photographic works from the early development of the ongoing project, “Seeing you/Seeing Me”, are currently on exhibit at the Center for Contemporary Art and Culture, Portland, Oregon in an exhibition entitled The Unknown Artist, curated by Lucy Cotter. 

For more updates and ongoing stories from Support Beam artists, follow along on Instagram at #RACCSupportBeam.


Follow the artists of Support Beam

Artists awarded Support Beam commissions are giving us small windows into their work, processes, and personal stories. In their own voices, hear more from these inspiring artists.

Support Beam funding from Multnomah County Percent For Art and PDXCARES.

Follow along at #RACCSupportBeam on Instagram.

Teressa White

“I want Native people to feel stillness; a moment where they can connect with their culture. A lot of us, especially Urban Natives, are disconnected from place and home. Disconnected from family, tribe, or our ancestral lands. I would like Indigenous people to feel inspired to find their heartbeat; to listen and seek out their own connection.

Far North stories often include frightful, grisly, often transformative elements that might be taboo in dominant culture stories. I am fascinated by them. To me, they express that we are more than just one thing; we are many things. There is personhood and spirit in everything and everything is connected.

I think we get stuck in our understanding of the world. We believe what we have been told. We limit ourselves when we get fixed this way. Art helps me ask questions and see things in a different way. I can get the feeling of what it’s like to not be so sure. Art asks that I expand my perspective, open my heart and my mind. It’s good for us humans to not feel so sure, to consider what we think we know. It’s rare that we have a full understanding of anything, I think. When I look at art that inspires me, it makes me say, ‘Oh, I see! I didn’t know that before!'”

Words from Terresa White, excerpted from a full feature in RagTag Magazine

More from the artist: www.terresawhite.com


Mike Vos

Portland-based artist Mike Vos shoots images with 4×5 film using in-camera double exposures. Vos’ work is presented as an interconnected series of photographic installations that revolve around a central theme: a world without humans and wildlife’s reclamation of the industrial landscape. Drawing deeply from literary themes such as magical realism, alternate history, and subtle horror, Vos has crafted complex and intriguing visual narratives. These photographic projects all exist within a shared universe; each focusing on different facets of the story. His work carries a strong environmental message about the impact humans have on the natural world, and challenges individuals to consider the lingering effects of our choices once we are gone.

More from the artist: www.deadcitiesphoto.com

 

 

 


Daren Todd

“The goal was to push myself to create art on a daily or weekly basis, and to utilize all of the creative talents I practice into one big project. For the past few months I have spent each week painting each letter of the English alphabet, recording my thoughts based around a random word that starts with each corresponding letter, and compiling those recordings, time-lapse video of my painting process, and self-produced instrumental music as a score, into a series of small videos released on my website and Instagram. The purpose of this practice was to push myself to work through creative blocks, train myself to continue to make work regardless of the outcome, and to hopefully inspire the other creatives in my communities to pursue their creative passions with fearless resolve. I believe that although we live in a time where the ability to stay connected through digital or virtual platforms during the course of a global pandemic is easier than ever, it is also more important than ever for artists and creatives to use their voices to amplify the struggles we face on a day to day basis. This artwork represents that journey by conveying myself in a hopeful light, backdropped by the alphabet, which represents the idea that communication is our greatest human trait.”

View the full process video and our recorded live interview with Daren

 


 


Relief funding for arts organizations, artists, and performance spaces 2021

RACC is reposting here the latest information we have about federal, state, and local resources to support our community. Check for updates and sign up to receive RACC’s e-newsletter for timely notifications.

updated 4/23/2021

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program opens April 24

The long-awaited Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) application portal postponed the relaunch to Monday, April 26, 2021 @ Noon ET. Links below may be subject to change.

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s grant program for shuttered arts and culture venues allows for a grant of up to $10 million for eligible businesses, including live venue operators, promoters, theatrical producers, live performing arts organizations, museums, zoos, aquariums and theaters.

Technical Assistant-only for the Application Portal through SBA Call Center 1-800-659-2955.  For application assistance, SBA recommends contacting one of their local assistance providers.

  • Tips:
    • Register in advance and read through the FAQs for changes and clarifications. Those questions with an * asterisk before it are new additions.
    • Upload as much evidence documentation as possible and that can include explanation statements.
    • SBA will allow post-submission corrections for technical errors and omissions only.
    • Application portal server may get overwhelmed during the busiest times. SBA has created a “waiting room” system to keep your application in the queue.
    • The application now asks for both gross and earned revenue schedule. Remember, accrual method is requested for the gross revenue schedule in determining priority period, but you can use cash or accrual method for the earned income schedule.

Paycheck Protection Program Round 2:

The SBA continues to issue updated guidance and forms for next phase implementation of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Following is a collection of the latest links to new information.

SBA Paycheck Protection Program Resources:

SBA Resources on PPP First Draw and Forgiveness:

SBA Resources on PPP Second Draw

Business Oregon Commercial Rent Relief Grants

Oregon small business owners who have struggled to pay their rent during the coronavirus pandemic can apply for help from the state through Monday, March 22. Business Oregon, the state’s economic development agency, is administering the program. Grants up to $100,000 per business tenant and a maximum of $3 million for each landlord may be awarded.

Landlords must complete the initial application, but both the businesses and property owners need to participate in the application process and sign the grant agreement in order to qualify for funding.

More information here.

Check for updates and sign up to receive RACC’s e-newsletter for timely notifications.


Catalyst Grants support local artists

Every year, RACC invests hundreds of thousands of dollars through Project Grants to support the creation or presentation of performances, exhibits, and other publicly accessible creative endeavors.

RACC Catalyst Grantee and Filmmaker Kanani Koster

In 2019, RACC created a special category of Project Grants specifically designed for applicants who have never before received a RACC grant. The new Catalyst Grant features a shorter and simpler application, with awards fixed at $3,000 each. These grants also come with enhanced RACC staff support to help recipients with grant administration.

Last fiscal year Catalyst Grants provided 75 first-time awardees with $225,000 in funding. We’ve received feedback from Catalyst grantees that this first experience with RACC has helped them successfully apply for other RACC grants and build their grant writing skills. Additional flexibility and support during this pandemic has also been invaluable.

In their own words, learn more about three of last year’s amazing Catalyst Grantees: filmmaker Kanani Koster, painter Ameera Saahir, and DJ and speaker designer Michael Davis-Yates.

 

Award-winning filmmaker Kanani Koster

“I’m a Hapa director, filmmaker, AD, and producer here in Portland. My pronouns are she, her. Hapa is Pigeon or Hawaiian for half. I’m Japanese-Hawaiian and white. That is a big part of the work that I make in a lot of different ways. I have been living in Portland for the last year and a half. Moving to Portland was the main thing that’s driven my career forward! I lived in Seattle beforehand and felt stunted and didn’t feel connected to the community. The second my partner and I landed in Portland, I started getting jobs. I started meeting the coolest people here who were supportive and excited to work on my projects and excited to have me on to help with theirs. That’s meant a lot to me. I find it essential to bring BIPOC people onto my projects and working with women-identifying people because the set is different when you have a nice mix of everyone coming together. When I was younger and middle and high school, I took a lot of film production classes. I remember I enjoyed the classes at first but eventually got frustrated. Many girls were doing those types of courses because many of the dudes would do all my work for me. They said, ‘Oh, I’m going to help you out here — you can be in front of the camera. Well, honestly, I hate being in front of a lens! I’ve always loved period pieces, mostly old westerns, but I loathe watching them because John Wayne and all these old white cowboys are unappealing to me. But I love the imagery. I love the aesthetic of it. I love the idea of what the Old West was because it was such a diverse time. You know, we had many people of color who were building our nation up. I’m filming my own stories now. ” — filmmaker Kanani Koster.

Her Catalyst Grant supported her work reclaiming nostalgic film tropes and aesthetics for diverse audience members who’ve historically been left off-screen. She is the director of the award winning short, The New Frontier, and the docu-short, Any Oregon Sunday.

 

Painter and business owner Ameera Saahir

“My name is Ameera Saahir. I recently turned 74. I’m an African American woman, highly educated, I grew up in southwest Portland and was gentrified to southeast Portland; been here 16 years. I’m an artist and business owner. I was looking into my ancestry. That’s where the idea came up for the show that the Regional Arts and Culture Council funded. I’ve always captured stories and ideas. I found out from talking to family members that we have a narrative that has been circulating within our family at the family reunion. I took that information, the story, and I modeled my art exhibit after the milestones that the narrator had left for us. I took our family and I put it into historical references. Then I started looking into the story of the African migration. I’m from a large family. I saw family members becoming homeless, and I was like…oh, no. My own sister was living in terrible transitional housing; it became personal. I went backward instead of going forwards, and I traced through that story, and I looked at the housing. It started in Africa. I made some paintings of housing. There’s a slave ship called Minerva in my family history story. The woman who was captured and enslaved and brought here from Africa, well, her name was Minerva Jane. In my research, I learned—and I went, it took me months, but I traced it back—that was the name of the slave ship. That’s where our story begins. I have the narrative. I found records of the ship that carried my ancestors.” — Painter Ameera Saahir

Her Catalyst Grant supported the creation of a series of paintings called “Uninhabitable Living Conditions”. The pieces connect historical images of slave ships and sharecropping with transitional housing for African Americans.

 

DJ and speaker designer Michael Davis-Yates

“As a kid, I was kind of an oddball nerd, and I spent a lot of time alone as an only child, even though I had pretty hardcore group of friends in my neighborhood. I always found time for myself to find things out by breaking electronics by accident and then taking them apart with a screwdriver to see what was inside. Junior High was a big one; I blew up my first speaker with too much power from an amplifier. The smell of the electronic smoking and the impact of the driver blowing out was pretty cool. I wanted to know more, and I kept with it. Yeah, I’m a huge nerd. I still keep a day job, which was heavily brought to me due to Cstm Math and my speaker building. It all turned into a portfolio. Now I’m working for a company that I’ve been with for about four years that’s in Portland. We build studio monitor speakers for professional recording studios. That takes up a lot of my time. I’ve been DJing at night and on weekends (until COVID hit). Now I’ve gotten a lot more time to focus back into things and realizing that there is no rush. The ideas are there and working on them and making them better has been a great asset to me. I’m making speakers and boomboxes. A lot of my boombox work now has been based around vector recreations of retro boomboxes, or imagination stuff that pops out. I work with plywood mostly. Laminated plywood is my favorite thing to work with, stacking the layers of Baltic birch to get a really cool edge effect. My biggest dream would be chilling somewhere, in a small manufacturing shop, making stuff.” — DJ and speaker designer Michael Davis-Yates.

His Catalyst Grant was for “Custom Mathematics”, a series of speakers he designed and hand-built from the ground up, inspired by teachings from the Nation of Islam as well as the spirit of classic vintage boomboxes.

 

Check out more stories about local artists, and see these ones, on RACC’s Instagram and Facebook pages.


Montavilla wine shop bets on jazzy future

Vino Veritas, located in Portland’s Montavilla neighborhood, features live jazz music

In mid-November, the day that Governor Brown’s 4-week “freeze” in Multnomah County went into effect, Vino Veritas General Manager, Trevor Gorham called RACC. Trevor was anxious to learn when his wine shop, Vino Veritas, would receive their grant funding. In business since April 2017, Vino Veritas is a small wine bar and bottle shop located in the Montavilla neighborhood of Southeast Portland with a devoted following thanks, in part, to their live music. They started offering music when the owner’s son asked if his band could play at the shop one-night a week. Customers liked it and before long, they had a robust rotation of jazz trios and other small groups playing live sets throughout the week. Because they normally provide a performance space, Vino Veritas was eligible for a portion of the $2.5 million in PDX Cares Venues funding administered through a partnership between Prosper Portland and the Regional Arts & Culture Council.

Jazz Concert – Eunice Parsons, 1984

After the initial shut down order in March, Vino Veritas pivoted their business model. They kept their doors open by focusing on phone and on-line orders bottle sales and offering curbside pick-up or delivery. As summer approached and restrictions loosened, they resumed more of their regular operations. Continuing to innovate, they added virtual programming, including on-line wine tastings. They also brought back the music. “At first our outside area could only hold a solo musician or a duo,” Trevor explained. Their customers responded, returning to Vino Veritas to enjoy the music and regain a feeling of normalcy. They expanded the covered area to hold a trio and a larger audience. “It meant so much to the musicians – and to the customers – to have live music again,” he added.

In April, Vino Veritas received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan but decided not to take the full amount. Like many, they underestimated the impact the virus would have on their business and were unsure of all the strings attached. “We also wanted to be sure other businesses like us had access to the funds,” Trevor explained. “When we first got the news (about the PDX CARES grant) we were speechless. This additional money helps us so much. We can now see the end and see how we are going to get through this.”