The Right Brain Initiative wins support from the National Endowment for the Arts

Posted:

4/5/12

Issued May 17, 2011

The Right Brain Initiative, a local arts education partnership led by the Regional Arts & Culture Council, has received a $25,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The grant is one of 1,145 being awarded for a total of $88 million as part of the federal agency’s second round of fiscal year 2011 grants. This is Right Brain’s first investment from a federal agency since the program first launched in January, 2009.

“NEA research shows that three out of four Americans participate in the arts,” said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. “The diverse, innovative, and exceptional projects funded in this round will ensure that Americans around the country continue to have the opportunity to experience and participate in the arts.”

The Right Brain Initiative is working to ensure that every student in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties’ K-8 schools benefits from a high quality arts education. “We focus on pairing teachers with artists to integrate the arts into other core subjects,” said program manager Marna Stalcup. “This NEA grant will specifically be used to support professional development programming serving 180 teachers and artists next school year.” Stalcup said that an additional 100 educators will be served at Right Brain’s annual summer seminar, Imagine This!, taking place in June, 2012.

The Initiative’s professional development programs are led by Deborah Brzoska, a teaching artist of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington., D.C., and a long-time educator within Portland Public Schools.

Portland Mayor Sam Adams congratulated RACC on receiving this grant. “In the spring of 2008, The Regional Arts & Culture Council articulated a vision for helping students do better in school through integrated arts education, and we lent our support,” he said. “The city remains one of The Right Brain Initiative’s most enthusiastic investors, including $50,000 in my proposed budget for FY12. This grant from the NEA leverages the city’s investment and will help our students and teachers achieve even more.”

Currently, with an annual budget of approximately $800,000, Right Brain serves 10,500 students in 25 schools across 4 school districts (Hillsboro, Gresham-Barlow, North Clackamas and Portland Public Schools.) At full scale, the program will serve more than 110,000 students. About half (51%) of the program’s funding comes from local government agencies including the City of Portland, Clackamas County, Multnomah County, the Oregon Arts Commission, and each participating school district. The rest comes from private sources, including corporations, private foundations and individuals.
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The Right Brain Initiative is a sustainable partnership of public schools, local governments, foundations, businesses and the cultural community. The program’s goal is to achieve a measurable impact on learning by integrating the community’s arts and cultural resources into the education of every K-8 student in the Portland metropolitan region’s school districts. The Right Brain Initiative is a program of the Regional Arts & Culture Council, with Young Audiences of Oregon & SW Washington serving as Implementation Partner. Read more at www.TheRightBrainInitiative.org.

The Regional Arts & Culture Council is the local arts agency for Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties, providing grants for artists, schools and nonprofit organizations; conducting workplace giving for arts and culture (“Work for Art”) and other advocacy efforts; presenting workshops and other forms of technical assistance; providing printed and web-based resources for artists; and integrating art into public spaces. Online at www.racc.org.

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at www.arts.gov.