FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Artists inspire, delight, question, challenge, connect, and teach us. They remind us where we came from and show us where we are headed. Pre-COVID, the arts and cultural community generated more than $330M in local spending and supported more than 12,000 jobs.
Too often, support for artists and creatives is deemed a luxury; expendable. This could not be further from the truth. Walk through our streets and public spaces and you can see just how essential is our creative community. Look anywhere in greater Portland and you will see artists using the power of their voices and self-expression to show us joy and give us hope. They are calling out injustice and inspiring social change.
2020 has been a year of compounding crises and challenges for art organizations and artists. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted life in all communities, and presented disproportionate health and economic impacts for communities of color and under-resourced communities. Urgent calls to action to address the violent, ongoing legacy of systemic racism came into greater public focus this year, demanding we all take action, do more. RACC responded to the needs of our community in the early days of the pandemic. Our commitment to racial equity and justice is being fulfilled by our actions.
Portland’s arts, culture, and creative communities are diverse. What they have in common is the need for our support. Without intentional investment and care today, they will not be here when this crisis is over. We need art and creativity in our lives. This work – and these people – are critical both for restoring our communities and rebuilding the Portland we want for the future.
Together with our partners, the Regional Arts & Culture Council is providing support for artists; advocating for and with them so that they may lead the search for creative solutions based on empathy, equity and humanity.
Will you join us?
Madison Cario, Executive Director