RACC Responds to SCOTUS ruling on June 24th, 2022: The Overturning of Roe v Wade

The Regional Arts & Culture Council believes that human rights include the rights of women and the right to freedom from oppression. We believe that no one is a second class citizen or resident. We believe that women are equal and should be treated as such. As an arts and cultural non-profit organization we support the arts and artists who create using all forms of creative expression. As a social justice organization we cannot remain silent, nor will we.

Our core values include:

  • Accessibility
  • Advocacy
  • Equity
  • Diversity
  • Community
  • Innovation

 For questions, please reach out to us at info@racc.org.

Call for Artists: East Portland Cultural Corridor

The Regional Arts and Culture Council and a coalition of local organizations are seeking an artist/artist team for a community-based Artist in Residence to work closely with project partners, community members, neighboring institutions, and businesses to identify, express, and elevate outer SE Division Street’s identity as a cultural corridor. Artists from Oregon and SW Washington are eligible to apply. The budget is $75,000. The due date to apply for this opportunity is 5pm PDT, Thursday, July 21, 2022. Read the full details about this call.

*This Artist in Residence means that the artist will be working in and with community. It does not include housing or a living stipend.


The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC), in partnership with TriMet, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO), Division Midway Alliance (DMA), and the Slavic Community Center of NW (SCC of NW), received a $75,000 Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Our Town is NEA’s creative placemaking grants program that supports the integration of arts, culture, and design to strengthen people’s connection within their community. APANO, DMA, and SCC of NW each have community art projects funded through the NEA Our Town grant. The grant will support resident artist fellows (APANO), a design process for a cultural center (DMA), and an international children’s festival (SCC of NW). RACC, PBOT, and TriMet are working with community partners to amplify the cultural corridor through a transportation justice lens. The $75,000 budget for the Artist in Residence is funded by PBOT’s percent-for-art and TriMet as a match for a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Our Town grant.

The Our Town grant launches the East Portland Cultural Corridor (EPCC), a project aimed at generating a unified sense of place and cultural presence in East Portland along SE Division Street from SE 82nd Avenue to SE 175th Avenue. East Portland, the most diverse geographic area of Portland, is home to approximately 25% of the population of Portland and over 40% of the school-age children in the city. This area includes Montavilla, Powellhurst-Gilbert, Hazelwood, Mill Park, and Centennial neighborhoods, as well as Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative Districts at both NE 82nd/Division and in the Division/Midway area.

Who is eligible to apply?

Artists or artist teams living in Oregon and southwest Washington are eligible to apply. If applying as a team, at least one member must meet the residence eligibility requirement. RACC and the coalition of partners are committed to engaging new communities of artists and expanding the range of artistic and cultural expression in our city. Artists who live in or have a relationship to outer Southeast Portland will be prioritized.

How to Apply

All application materials are submitted through the RACC Opportunity Portal, an online application system. Applicants need to create an account or log into their existing account at racc.org/apply. If you are applying as a team, please assign one person to apply and be the contact on behalf of the team. For first-time users of the portal, view a brief video learning how to register here.

Information Sessions for Artists

  • Friday, July 1 at 12pm PDT on Instagram Live. Follow @regionalarts on Instagram to stay informed of this and other upcoming opportunities.

We’re Here to Help!
If you have questions about the overall opportunity or the RACC Opportunity Portal, please email Danielle Davis with questions or to set up a time for a phone call: ddavis@racc.org.

If you don’t have a computer or online access, please don’t hesitate to contact RACC for assistance. Also, if you prefer these materials in another language please contact RACC project staff for translation services.

Interpretation services available, email info@racc.org
Servicio de interpretación disponible
Предоставляются услуги переводчика
Có dịch vụ thông

Fresh Paint: Seeking Artists for Next Round of Murals

The Regional Arts & Culture Council and Open Signal invite emerging Black and brown artists/teams who are currently living in Clackamas, Multnomah or Washington counties in Oregon, or Clark County in Washington to submit qualifications for a temporary mural at Open Signal along the highly visible NE Martin Luther King, Jr Blvd. at 2766 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. Read the full details about this call.

Submissions are due by 5 p.m., Wednesday, July 20, 2022.


Fresh Paint is a partnership between RACC’s Public Art Murals Program and Open Signal, a media arts center carrying a vision for community-driven media focused on creativity, technology, and social change. This partnership provides artists the opportunity to explore working in the public art sector and incorporate new approaches and skills in their artistic practice and experience.

A portion of Open Signal’s west-facing wall along MLK Jr Blvd has been designated as the Fresh Paint space and measures approximately 9’H x 18’W.  Two artists/teams will be selected to have a painted mural featured for six months between October 2022 – September 2023. The selected artists will receive a $2,500 commission for their participation and are offered the opportunity to engage with a range of resources at Open Signal, including the use of equipment.

Artist Information Sessions
  • Thursday, June 16th at noon on Instagram Live. Follow @regionalarts on Instagram to stay informed of this and other upcoming opportunities.
  • Wednesday, June 29th at 6 pm on 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 the steps of how to submit application materials.

Questions about the Zoom info session or need special accommodations to attend?

CONTACT: Daniela Serna at 503.288.1515 ext. 931, daniela@opensignalpdx.org.

Are you eligible to apply?

This opportunity is for emerging artists that identify as a person of color including (but not limited to) Native American/Indigenous, Latino/a/x, Asian, Asian American, Pacific Islander, African American, African, and Southwest Asian and 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).

How to Apply

All applications must be submitted through RACC’s Opportunity Portal here.

Applicants must create an account, or log in to their existing account. Instructions in the application portal will guide you through the process.

Questions regarding the application platform and materials and project’s process/timeline?

CONTACT: Salvador Mayoral IV at 503.823.5865, smayoral@racc.org

Summer Edition Newsletter 2022

#newsforyourheart with the art in a heart.

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

Where education, creativity and joy collide!

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

Chanda signature

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

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

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

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

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

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


Oregon Repertory Singers Logo

Oregon Repertory Singers Youth Choir summer camp, Summer Sing

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

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

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

Vibe PDX Logo

Vibe of Portland

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

Portland Center Stage at the Armory Logo

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

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

PAM Center for an Untold Tomorrow

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

What brings YOU joy?

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

Questions for Humans, Gary Hirsch, mural.

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

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

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

Workshops • Events • Lectures

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

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


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

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

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

Rose Festival Art Show– June 2-29

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Montavilla Jazz Festival August 19-21

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

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

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

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

The Scoop – Grow your Brain  

Click here for local LGBTQI resources.

Click here for local youth specific resources.

Click here for national resources.

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

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

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

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

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

The Regional Arts & Culture Council to Participate in National ‘Arts & Economic Prosperity 6’ Study


Data Collection for Most Comprehensive Study of Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts and Culture Industry has begun in May

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.

The Arts & Economic Prosperity® series is conducted approximately every five years to gauge the economic impact of spending by nonprofit arts and culture organizations and the event-related spending by their audiences. In 2017, AEP5 documented that the nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $166.3 billion in economic activity (spending by organizations plus the event-related spending by their audiences) which supported 4.6 million jobs and generated $27.5 billion in government revenue. The AEP series demonstrates that an investment in the arts provides both cultural and economic benefits. In Oregon, 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.

Audience-intercept surveys will be collected from attendees to arts events in Multnomah County from May 2022 through April 2023—in total, the national sample is anticipated to surpass 250,000 surveys. A survey of nonprofit arts and culture organizations will occur from January through April 2023. The national and local findings will be made public in September 2023. At that time, the Regional Arts & Culture Council will receive a customized report on the unique economic impact results for Multnomah County including the number of jobs that are supported and the amount of government revenue that is generated by our community’s nonprofit arts industry.

Americans for the Arts is committed to addressing equity and inclusion as a critical component of the methodology, organizational participation, and collection of data for AEP6 by centering and representing BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and ALAANA (African, Latinx, Asian, Arab, Native American) identifying communities—a segment of the nonprofit arts and culture sector that has been historically underrepresented in past studies. 

For the first time, AEP6 will require that the local and state research partners collect a portion of audience surveys from attendees at events hosted by arts and culture organizations that primarily serve communities of color. The AEP6 study will establish a benchmark of arts and culture organizations that primarily serve communities of color, and the audiences that attend their events. It will also identify organizations that have a chief executive who identifies as BIPOC/ALAANA. Researchers will use this data to calculate and report on the economic impact of the BIPOC/ALAANA arts sector in each of the participating communities.

Carol Tatch, Co-Executive Director Chief of External Operations of RACC reflected, “Our local nonprofit arts and culture organizations continue to be critical to our economic recovery and it’s important to keep up with legislation that supports such recovery  like the Creative Economy Revitalization Act (aka CERA, H.R. 5019). 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 key role in all aspects of the human experience.”

Nolen V. Bivens, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts, commented, “The arts are economic catalysts—strengthening the economy by creating jobs, generating government revenue, and driving tourism. Community is where the arts make a difference, and while the national impact data are impressive, at its core, AEP6 is a local story. I look forward to seeing its results, which will be key in persuading decision-makers that the arts benefit all people in all communities.”  

For more information and a full list of the communities participating in the AEP6 study, visit www.americansforthearts.org/AEP6


Interested in getting involved in Multnomah County and the Portland City area, 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.



About the Regional Arts & Culture Council

An independent nonprofit 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.

Change the Conversation About the Arts-AEP6 Now Open

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

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.

Make|Learn|Build Grant Program Overview

The Regional Arts & Culture Council launched the Make|Learn|Build grant opportunity for artists, arts organizations, and arts businesses in Winter 2021, seeking to support the local arts community while we remained in the pandemic lockdown. Throughout the last 16 months of shifting public health guidelines, new variants, social unrest, and climate events, RACC was able to offer two rounds of the grants each fiscal year, totaling four grant cycles open to the community, with Round 4 grant awards most recently announced at the end of March 2022.

The Make|Learn|Build grant was set up to prioritize breadth, reach and access. We worked to expand our technical support with Instagram live events and recorded Info Sessions with ASL interpretation, along with team member grant writing guidance through panel feedback and draft reviews.  It touched a lot of people and achieved significant impact during an uncertain time.

It allowed RACC to move away from past grantmaking standards (i.e. matching dollars, in-kind support, limits on eligible expenses, required in-person events) and put the emphasis on supporting community values and voices.

In total since January 2021, we experienced the following:

  • 1,661 applications
  • 1,364 unique applicants
  • 30 Community Reviewers
  • 85% BIPOC* representation in Community Review Panels
  • 48 Zoom panels
  • 806 grant awards
  • $2,310,500 awarded to artists, arts organizations, and arts businesses
  • 755 unique grantees
  • Average 52% BIPOC* artist support across 4 rounds
  • Over 457 technical assistance sessions for draft reviews and panel process feedback

*not including responses in “I describe my ethnicity/race as”

RACC launched the Make|Learn|Build grant program with the goal of supporting 50% of the applicants, which was a higher percentage than past funding rates (typically between 30% to 43%). This funding rate was possible with the smaller award amounts (average of $3,000 grant, rather than an average award of $5,000 in Project Grants.) This goal became harder as the number of applications began to skyrocket, but through the four rounds of the program, RACC was able to support the entire process at 48.4%.

Some other highlights of this program have been the following:

  • The pandemic hasn’t slowed creative folks down. People are making art!
  • A simple, accessible application welcomed in new and first-time applicants. This has allowed for more risk-taking. It also resulted in explosive growth in the applicant pool.
  • The need in the artist and creative community is huge. By making smaller awards to a wider number of grantees, the support was able to reach more people. However, great ideas and projects were still left on the table, as always.
  • Paying artists for their professional role as Community Reviewers is important. Reviewing applications and making decisions is WORK. By paying artists for their time to evaluate, they could step away from being applicants and their own artmaking and have comparable compensation.
  •  Reviewers are responding to what they want to see in their community – clear impact on community and value-based investment.
  • Making the full grant award up front puts trust in the work of the artist or organization.

As we move forward into the next vision of RACC grant programs, we know that we will be opening back up to arts projects proposed by all types of entities, including other nonprofits, businesses, institutions, schools, and community groups beyond those rooted in the arts. We will also be working to support individual artists in the many ways that they are creating and sharing art and culture. However, public presentations and a plan to share work with an audience will be important as a way to show community impact. One benefit of the new normal is acknowledging that virtual presentations and digital distribution are an accessible way to share your work.

Based on the recent RACC Planning Survey from Winter 2022, we know that Grants are the number one way that the community engages with our organization (79% of respondents). The majority of the survey respondents find RACC services and programs to be moderately or very accessible (78.4%) but feedback also shows there is ongoing work to do. Grants Team members are working to incorporate all our most recent lessons learned into the next phase of RACC grant support. Stay tuned!


FY2022 Make|Learn|Build Community Reviewers

Sarah Brahim

RaShaunda Brooks

May Maylisa Cat

Melina Coumas

Kapu Dancel

Jay Flewelling

Celina Flores

Elizabeth Higgins

Shobha Jetmalani

Laura Martinez

Megan McGeorge

Christine Miller

Sushmita Poddar

Logan Ridenour-Starnes

Paul Susi

garima thakur

Jennifer Viviano


Sample Quotes from grantees:

“This grant process is streamlined and made easy for artists who are not part of a non-profit, and don’t have a lot of experience with grant writing and reporting requirements often associated with those types of grants. This is frequently the only source of funding for many marginalized community members. We are grateful for these opportunities.”

 “I appreciate that during this very challenging year, RACC was flexible and allowed me to modify my project, and offered their help and support every step of the way.”

“I appreciated that this grant payout was not broken up into two payments like my last RACC grant. It was such a breath of fresh air not to have to hold off on paying hard-working contractors promptly instead of holding their payments until the project was completed. Thank you for trusting me and believing in me once again to make my art and hire indie filmmakers in Portland.”

“Thank you for providing opportunity and flexibility in a time that severely lacks these things.”

“One standout feature of this grant is that the total amount of the award was disbursed at the beginning of the project. Without this model I would not have had the necessary funds to cover expenses because of the challenges faced with work during the pandemic. This model of financial support made a big difference in helping this project happen.”

“I really appreciated the support in getting my declined first-round application reviewed and revised for submission the second time around. It was great getting specific feedback, and of course, having that result in a successful application the second time around.”

 “The Make|Learn|Build Grant has my greatest appreciation and gratitude. This grant really hit the mark in making things possible during 2021!”

“I think it’s been one of the more welcoming grants I’ve applied for. The application wasn’t overwhelming or complex. I think the simplicity of requirements make it more inclusive to underrepresented groups.”


Fresh Paint Artist Zeinab Saab Reflects On Creating Mural, Benni wa Bennek

Zeinab Saab working on the mural, Benni wa Bennek. Photo by Sarah Farahat.

First, I would like to thank the members of the Regional Arts and Culture Council and Open Signal projects for this incredible opportunity. I am honored to have been a recipient of this grant, and creating a mural for the first time has been a dream come true.

Second, I have to thank my mentor, Sarah Farahat, for her patience, guidance, and overall support. As soon as the open call for the Fresh Paint project was released, Sarah was quick to send the opportunity to me and pushed me into applying for it. To tell you that I was nervous about applying would be an understatement. I have no background in this medium, but with Sarah’s 20 years of experience in creating and assisting in murals, I began to feel a sense of comfort in the unknown. When I began, it felt rather intimidating, but Sarah made it feel like a breeze. I am beyond grateful for all the knowledge and feedback she offered within the duration of this project.

The completed mural on Open Signal’s building at NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Photo by Sarah Farahat.

Benni wa Bennek is a love letter to the Arab women I grew up watching on their porches when I was a child playing throughout the neighborhood in Dearborn, Michigan. This was the space to speak of the gossip circling around the block, to share the joy and difficulty of motherhood and womanhood, and to share the intimacy between women using the veranda as either their daily or weekly therapy sessions over a cup of Turkish coffee. The design of the cup in the mural was taken directly from the set my mother had used for occasions such as these, two or more women after a long day of work, who can unwind in each other’s presence on the veranda.

I would also like to dedicate this piece to the Arab and SWANA (Southwest Asia and North Africa) women; and to the femmes, gender-non-conforming, and queer people I have had the privilege of meeting in my life. How we too have been able to build a portal of our own, even in a time when we thought our mirror would not exist at all. Our search for our reflection led us here, being able to spill some tea and gossip, and also getting to trust each other enough to build our own emotional intimacy over a cup of qahwah. We too are now able to sip away our struggles and joy on the proverbial veranda, wherever that may be. And finally, I want to especially extend this dedication to the SWANA community I have met in Portland; a place like this can oftentimes make me feel like a foreigner, but this group of people allows me to find solace and comfort in them.

It is an honor to have been a part of this experience, and to have done this in NE Portland on one of the busiest streets in the city for people to witness. Thank you to the community of NE Portland for this invitation. Again, I am both humbled and honored. Thank you.

See more from the artist at zeinabsaab.com.