FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
It’s been just shy of a year since I first came to RACC, and I continue to be energized by the region’s commitment and passion for culture, creativity and the arts.
Through hundreds of conversations in 2019, I have heard time and again that when RACC connects artists with resources, opportunities and each other, our communities become stronger. I have heard great enthusiasm for RACC to incubate new ideas, and a hunger to innovate the role of an arts council in today’s world. And I am inspired by our staff and board’s commitment to ensuring that the arts are accessible to everyone in our community—a vision of RACC that is of, by and for all.
As just one example of RACC placing equity front and center, we made a thoughtful shift in the way we provide General Operating Support to arts organizations earlier this year. This evolution, in the works for two years, moves us from an organization that measures success only in numbers (grants awarded, public art pieces sited and classrooms served), to one that also measures its relevancy in how funding is distributed and how assets are placed. This is true equity work, and this report details several other accomplishments and changes over the past year that illuminate similar shifts in thinking.
As the Portland metropolitan region continues to experience unprecedented growth, we know that our creative communities are struggling. This year RACC supported more artists and nonprofit organizations and schools than ever before, but the rising cost of living continues to work against us. Our work in the year ahead will involve not only diligently safeguarding existing resources, but also increasing our fundraising and advocacy efforts to better support our vital and vibrant arts community.
Going forward, we reaffirm RACC’s commitment to guaranteed access to culture, creativity and the arts for all people—regardless of economic status, race or zip code. To our government partners, private sector investors and community collaborators, we appreciate your support in this endeavor.
Madison Cario, Executive Director