RACC Public Art Opportunity: Humboldt Neighborhood Artist-in-Residence (Portland)

Deadline July 10, 2017

The Regional Arts & Culture Council in Portland, Oregon, invites artists/teams currently living in the Portland metropolitan area and who are producing work in visual, performing, literary and/or media to submit qualifications for a one-year artist-in-residence opportunity in the Humboldt Neighborhood in North Portland.  This will be the first in a series of 3 residencies for the Neighborhood. The budget for each residency is approximately $20,000. The selected artist/team will create work in any media that engages and/or is a result of working with the community. The expected outcome is described under “Scope of Work.”  The deadline for submissions is 5:00PM, July 10, 2017.

BACKGROUND: intersections

The intersections program, established in 2000, explores the convergence of the art of work and the work of art by selecting artists to create work inspired by their interaction and/or collaboration with community resources. The program encourages artists in all disciplines to explore new working methods and to develop socially engaging, interactive art experiences in community settings.

HUMBOLDT NEIGHBORHOOD Humboldt neighborhood in Portland can probably best be described as Killingsworth Street is the commercial hub of the Humboldt Neighborhood in North and Northeast Portland and the center of one of Portland’s most diverse communities. This area is bordered by Interstate 5 on the west end and N. Commercial at the east end and is home to a variety of commercial, residential, and institutional uses. Along the street you’ll find three distinct differences in the land uses and design of the street and sidewalk area, ranging from a residential character with a mixture of single family homes, apartment buildings, and small businesses to a community commercial character of primarily small locally owned restaurants and stores to the educational hub of Portland Community College-Cascade Campus, Jefferson High School, Rosemary Anderson High School, the North Portland Branch Library, the Falcon Art Community, and the Center for Intercultural Organizing.  Locals know each other and support their local businesses and value diversity, independence and entrepreneurialism.

Since 2000, the racial demographics of the neighborhood have shifted dramatically. The opportunity for an artist to engage with the Black community and their history is significant.

Street and sidewalk improvements have been underway since 2002 with the goal of slowing traffic, encouraging pedestrian activity and transit patronage. Streetscape improvements included new trees, curb ramps, sidewalk improvements, street lights, pedestrian crossing and bus stop changes, traffic signs, trash containers, and bicycle access.  Completion is expected in mid-2017.


Artists must reside or have at least one team member who resides in Multnomah County for the project’s duration.  Students may apply but must be part of a team led by a professional artist. Examples of teams include, but are not limited to multiple artists in one discipline, combinations of performance and literary arts; interactive media and visual arts; digital and non-digital media; projected media and performance. Artists of color are strongly urged to apply.


Artists interested in applying for this opportunity are encouraged to visit the neighborhood and/or reserve a space in Humboldt Neighborhood information session on Tuesday, June 6th, at 7:00PM at PCC Cascade Fab Lab in the Paragon Arts Center, 815 N. Killingsworth.  Please RSVP to Salvador Mayoral at smayoral@racc.org.


The Selection Panel is seeking an artist/team who has the ability to interpret and convey the character of a community while maintaining his/her own artistic voice. The artwork should connect to the community through informal gatherings, hands-on experiences, storytelling, etc.

The Selection Panel would like the residency to tell the story about a community, what shapes the community and reflect that it’s an area of transition as well as a destination for people in transition.  A community resource team that represents expertise in history, education and activism will be available to the selected artist/team as they develop and carry out the residency. The selected artist/team will create work in any media that engages and/or is a result of collaborating with Humboldt Neighborhood schools and communities. RACC and the project’s resource team will assist with facilitating these connections. The outcome will include public presentation(s) of the project through temporary installation/s, screening/s, exhibition/s or performance/s at PCC Cascade or other public locations at dates/times to be determined in consultation with staff from RACC and PCC.

Following the completion of the residency, the team will provide high-quality documentation of the project for inclusion in the City of Portland Public Art Collection. Documentation could be in the form of video/DVD, artist’s book, print materials, selected objects created/exhibited as part of the project, or other appropriate documentation agreed upon between RACC and the artist team


The all-inclusive budget for the project is $20,000. This covers a proposal fee, artists’ fees, fabrication/production, travel, insurance, documentation, and any installation costs. The residency will be ideally completed by September 2018.  The selected artist(s) will be required to carry general liability insurance for the duration of the project which will be determined by the artists and approved by the Selection Panel.

Following selection, the team will be paid a fee of $1000 (out of the $20,000 budget) to develop a scope of work, proposed outcome(s), project calendar and budget. During this planning phase, there will be opportunities to learn more about the Humboldt Neighborhood from a list of community resources and an advisory group related to history, education and activism. There is a strong interest on the part of the panel for the awarded artist to publicly share their ongoing process, either through blogging or other means.


The panel will review applicants’ materials and identify no more than four artists/teams to be interviewed. One artist/team will be selected to develop and complete a residency in collaboration with Humboldt Neighborhood communities. Selection will be based on:

  • Statement of interest
  • Clarity of conceptual approach
  • Quality of past work
  • Evidence of past collaborative work

The Selection Panel is not required to commission work from among submitting artists and reserves the right to select an artist/team who does not submit an application.


All applications materials must be uploaded to a third party site, such as Dropbox, Sugarsync or Google docs.  After uploading the materials, please send RACC a link to the site; email Salvador Mayoral at smayoral@racc.org .  If you are unable to upload documents, you may hand deliver a flash drive containing the materials to the RACC offices. (If applying as a team, designate one team member as the primary contact and provide email/phone contact information for that person on each page of the application materials.)  All applications must include the following:

  1. Statement of interest. In 2000 words or less and using no smaller than 10 pt. font, address the conceptual approach of the project; aspects of the site that are of interest; how you would engage the public; and, how the project will contribute to your existing body of work.
  2. Résumé that outlines professional accomplishments (maximum 2 pages per person). Include three professional references (name, affiliated organization, email address and phone number).  For teams, please submit one resume per team member.
  3. List of works submitted for review that includes title, location, date completed/performed, media, brief description of the project/conceptual information and budget (if applicable).
  4. Past Work Samples. Submit relevant work samples as described below. If a team consists of both performance artists and visual artists, the submission would include images of past work as well as video documentation. If all team members only have still images of past work, then submit a total of 10 images.
  • For visual art, up to 10 images of past work. All images must be in JPEG format (.jpg), and 1024 pixels (14.222 inches) on the longest side, formatted at 72 dpi. Each image filename must be named as follows: artist’s last name, first initial, and number corresponding to the number on the image list (e.g. smithp01.jpg). If using a Mac, be sure to use the appropriate Windows filename extension (e.g.: “smithp01.jpg”)
  • For performance or media art, submit up to 3 samples of video documentation with a total running time of no more than 10 minutes for all samples collectively. Or, provide a link to a YouTube or Vimeo page.
  • For media art, audio documentation may contain up to 5 audio samples, with a total running time of no more than 10 minutes for all samples collectively.
  • For literary art, writing samples must be formatted as a PDF file. Up to three work samples may be submitted. Please do not submit originals or copies from either books or magazines.
    • Poetry – No more than 5 poems (no smaller than 10 pt.)
    • Fiction and Creative Nonfiction – No more than 5 pages (no smaller than 10 pt.). If an excerpt of a longer work is submitted, it should be briefly placed in context.
    • Playwriting – The 1st or 2nd act of a completed play not to exceed 5 pages or a completed one act play not to exceed 10 pages. If submitting a single act from a play, it should be briefly placed in context.

DEADLINE: MONDAY, July 10, 2017

Applications must be received by 5:00 p.m., Monday, July 10, 2017. Regular office hours are Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


(dates may be adjusted to accommodate schedules)

Applications due                         Monday, July 10, 2017

Interviews                                    September 2017

Proposal Due                              October 2017


Killingsworth Improvement Planning Report

Humboldt Neighborhood Guide


Isa Dean, Multnomah County Library, Humboldt Neighborhood Resident

Anne Greenwood, Artist, Humboldt Neighborhood Resident

Sandy Sampson, Artist, PCC-Cascade

Donovan Smith, Emerson Street House

Clifford Walker, Humboldt Neighborhood Resident

Tyler White, student, Humboldt Neighborhood Resident


Peggy Kendellen, Public Art Manager

503.823.4196 | pkendellen@racc.org         


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Portland, OR

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