The role of art in society differs for every artist.
Each of us, whether an artist or a teacher, an elected official or a civic volunteer, plays an important role in building a strong, vibrant society. Our role at the Regional Arts & Culture Council is to harness everyone’s creative energy and build a fully accessible, culturally diverse and financially sustainable arts community that serves everyone in the Portland metropolitan region. This Year in Review communication is our opportunity to reflect on some of the success that we achieved together in pursuit of this goal. We hope you will be as proud as we are of what has been accomplished over the past twelve months.
After three years of advocacy campaigning, voter approval and fine tuning, RACC is now sharing the first fruits of Portland’s Arts Education and Access Fund (AEAF). RACC’s financial statements below reflect that we received only a modest allocation ($188,329) through the end of our fiscal year on June 30. As of December, 2014 we are pleased to report that RACC has received a total of $1.1 million in “arts tax” funding, plus an additional allocation of $600,000 from the Portland City Council, with much more to come in the months and years ahead. These resources will be invested in arts organizations and programs that bring unprecedented levels of arts education and access to everyone in our community.
It’s essential that we continue to strive for equity and inclusion, which is why RACC has begun measuring who is—and who isn’t—being served in our community. In the future, RACC will dedicate more of its resources to eliminating the barriers that have prevented some of our friends and neighbors from participating in the arts in the past. We’ve also established a “Community of Learners” series and published An Introduction to Engaging Diverse Audiences to help RACC-funded organizations do the same. We’re all in this together!
Meanwhile, our programs continue to grow. Work for Art bested the prior year’s campaign by 2%, and The Right Brain Initiative continues to expand, now serving 20,000 students in 59 schools across seven districts. We are thrilled to now be able to show that students who participate in The Right Brain Initiative are scoring higher on their reading and math tests—especially English language learners!
As we celebrate the accomplishments of 2014, we look forward to the exciting things 2015 will bring. It’s hard to believe but RACC will celebrate its 20th anniversary this year—the Metropolitan Arts Commission became the Regional Arts & Cultural Council back in 1995—and our public art celebrates some even bigger anniversaries: the Percent-for-Art program was established 35 years ago, and Portlandia and the Visual Chronicle collection both turn 30! We’ll be sure to mark these occasions well, but in the meantime we want to thank each and every one of you who have been part of our success.
Together we are transforming our society in wonderful and powerful ways. We look forward to your support in 2015 and beyond.
Eloise Damrosch Executive Director
Jan RobertsonChair, RACC Board of Directors