RACC Arts Education and Access Fund

RACC announces first wave of Arts Education and Access Fund investments

44 local arts organizations will receive grants immediately

Portland, Ore – The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) today announced it has awarded 44 grants totaling $150,072 to local arts organizations. The announcement comes on the heels of the first round of payments from the City of Portland’s Arts Education and Access Fund (AEAF). In addition to $200,000 directed to RACC, local school districts received a total of $3.3 million from the AEAF to fund arts specialists.

“All of us at RACC are eager to help arts organizations provide more public access to the arts,” said Eloise Damrosch, executive director of RACC. “The 44 grant recipients announced today, plus the investment plan for the remainder of the $200,000 will help do just that by supporting arts organizations across the region and with a broad range of programs and constituents.”

In addition to $150,072 being distributed immediately, the remaining funds have been allocated as follows:

·        $26,000 will be invested in nonprofit organizations that do not already receive RACC General Operating Support but are working with underserved communities through the arts, including communities of color, the Disabled community, and LGBTQ communities. An RFP will be available online at www.racc.org/access starting February 5, 2014. The deadline to apply is March 14 and decisions will be announced in May.

·        $13,000 will fund arts education coordination expenses incurred by RACC during the 2013-14 school year, including 6 hours of professional development training for 26 arts specialists in Portland. This allocation also supports the City of Portland’s participation in “Any Given Child,” an arts education partnership with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC.

·        RACC has up to one year to invest the remainder of the AEAF funds ($10,928) with a number of other obligations to fulfill, including a grants cycle for schools and other arts education programs.

RACC expects a second (and larger) allocation from the Revenue Bureau in April, but the specific amount will depend on the collection of tax payments that are now overdue. Ultimately, as compliance rates improve, RACC expects to receive annual disbursements of approximately $3 million from the AEAF.

These investments are consistent with all legal requirements and intents as set forth in the city code and RACC’s contract with the City of Portland. Specifically:

·        “First, funds shall be used by RACC to fund grants to support non-profit Portland arts organizations that demonstrate artistic excellence, provide service to the community, show administrative and fiscal competence and provide a wide range of high-quality arts programs to the public.” RACC has awarded $150,072 to the following General Operating Support organizations:

Artist Repertory Theatre, $5,700

Blue Sky Gallery, $1,134

Bodyvox, $1,882

Cappella Romana, Inc., $1,071

Chamber Music Northwest, $5,305

Children’s Healing Art Project, $1,008

Do Jump! Extremely Physical Theatre, $2,185

Ethos Music Center, $1,449

Friends of Chamber Music, $1,512

Hollywood Theatre, $1,197

Imago Theatre, $2,235

Independent Publishing Resource Center, $882

Literary Arts, Inc., $4,016

Live Wire!, $1,008

Metropolitan Youth Symphony, $2,586

Miracle Theatre Group, $2,273

Northwest Children’s Theatre, $2,486

Northwest Dance Project, $1,134

NW Documentary Arts & Media, $882

Oregon Ballet Theatre, $8,656

Oregon Children’s Theatre, $5,518

Oregon Repertory Singers, $2,240

Oregon Symphony Association, $16,761

PHAME, $882

Playwrite, Inc., $1,386

Portland Art Museum, $22,138

Portland Baroque Orchestra, $1,639

Portland Center Stage, $9,134

Portland Columbia Symphony Orchestra,$1,008

Portland Gay Men’s Chorus, $1,033

Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, $2,113

Portland Opera, $15,293

Portland Piano International, $1,008

Portland Taiko, $3,227

Portland Youth Philharmonic, $2,202

Profile Theatre Project, $1,787

Tears of Joy Theatre, $2,129

The Portland Ballet, $1,197

Third Angle New Music Ensemble, $882

Third Rail Repertory Theatre, $1,008

White Bird, $4,755

Wordstock, Inc., $1,008

Write Around Portland, $1,304

Young Audiences of Oregon, $1,819

·        “No less than 5% of the funds RACC receives from the Arts Education and Access Fund shall be used by RACC to fund grants and programs to schools and non-profit organizations that will give access to high-quality arts experiences to K-12 students and for grants and programs directed to communities who are underserved by local arts providers.” (5% of RACC’s $200,000 allocation is $10,000; RACC meets this minimum requirement with its investment of $26,000.)

·        RACC shall “coordinate between School Districts and arts organizations to ensure high quality arts education for Portland students; and facilitate the access of Portland students to the programs supported by the Arts Education and Access Fund.” These arts education coordination costs are capped at “a maximum of 3% of Net Revenues.” (Net Revenues to date are approximately $7,550,000, and 3% of Net Revenues equals $226,500. RACC’s investment of $13,000 is 0.17 percent of Net Revenues, well below the 3% cap.)


About The Author: DC Rahe

Contributing Editor