· IN THIS ISSUE ·
The November 2006
issue of Oregon
Business Magazine featured an article by the Regional Arts & Culture
Council's Executive Director, Eloise Damrosch, entitled Will
Work for Art. We would like to share the article in its entirety
with our Art Notes' subscribers.
Will Work for Art
Innovative partnerships benefit businesses and the
arts — and the people they care about.
Oregon has some great opportunities and challenges as young
creative people move here in droves. They come because this is
a beautiful and somewhat affordable place with a reputation for
a lively arts scene, good transportation and outdoors experiences
galore. Businesses of all kinds want and need to attract and
retain creative workers. What better way to do that than by weaving
the arts and innovation into corporate thinking and action?
Having worked in the arts in this state for 35 years, I have
seen the highs and lows of arts prosperity. Organizations have
flourished and floundered. Public and business support have fluctuated
with the economy, tax revolutions and personalities. Despite
this rollercoaster ride, I believe we are in a productive and
positive time for the business and art worlds to support each
Oregon is almost dead last in per capita public funding for
the arts, but the Oregon Arts Commission, together with its parent
Oregon Economic and Community Development Department, has prepared
for the 2007 Legislature an innovative funding package to use
the arts as a tool for economic growth. Portland ranks in the
lower third nationally for corporate arts support but giving
has increased for the third year in a row. Freightliner, the
top company this year on the Northwest Business for Culture and
the Arts' list of major corporate benefactors, is a newcomer
to arts giving. The company contributed because arts support
was the employees' cause of choice.
Why is this support so critical? If a symphony orchestra can
sell out its seats, why does it have financial woes? We know
that arts groups rely on a funding mix to survive and thrive.
Ticket sales for performing arts organizations generate at best
50% of their revenue, with the rest raised from contributions.
Add to that challenge the fact that many arts organizations,
whose primary missions are not teaching children, are tapped
to fill in for defunct arts education in schools. These problems
are not unique to Oregon. All arts nonprofits face similar funding
challenges no matter the discipline. Just ask their development
Certainly, more public and private money helps, but real progress
happens with good new ideas, often by joining forces. Recently,
the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) instituted Work
for Art, a workplace giving program to support regional
arts activities. We know that individuals fervently support the
arts in their own and their children's lives. So we make it easy
for them to give through payroll deductions and we make it fun
by bringing artists into workplaces.
Many companies match
employee gifts to worthwhile causes. At The Standard, employees
gave $9,200, which became $18,400 with the company match. That
then became $36,800 with a match by the City of Portland.
Thanks to a foundation grant, RACC passes every dollar raised
on to arts organizations -- with no overhead. The Work
for Art "arts card" gives participating employees
discounted tickets to treat their families to live arts experiences.
And we have proof that when employees have giving options they
give more to all causes, so everyone wins.
"Percent for art" programs have been
around for decades, ensuring that arts are part of major publicly
funded capital construction projects. This is art for everyone
without museum admission and art that the public owns. Now some
private developers are following suit. They fund sculptures for
publicly accessible plazas and partner with other private and
public entities for art in mixed-level housing projects. They
provide major support for new cultural venues and even hire artists
for creative construction mitigation. These business people appreciate
that art will give special character and interest to places,
attract and instill pride in residents, bolster their own reputations
as good citizens, and add value -- all the while keeping
It is time for business and arts leaders to keep the new ideas
flowing. If all those people moving to Oregon find workplaces
where innovation is celebrated, they will stay. They will also
insist that their kids have art in the schools, attend cultural
events, write checks, pump up the economy and help us all thrive
in this wonderful state.
Eloise can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support More than 75 Local Arts Organizations
with a Single Gift
RACC's Work for Art Program, now in its third year, raises money
for the tri-county arts community. Thanks to a generous challenge grant from
the City of Portland, RACC is poised to raise over $200,000 through employee
campaigns at more than 50 local companies this year. And although it is primarily
a workplace giving program, individuals at large can also participate
online and enjoy the benefits of giving through Work for Art. Through June 30,
2007, the City of Portland is matching all contributions to Work for Art, dollar
for dollar, up to $200,000. RACC passes on 100% of the money we raise
to nonprofit arts organizations in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties
that demonstrate artistic excellence and fiscal responsibility through RACC's
existing general support grants and project grants. Donors who give $60 or more,
receive an Arts Card, providing a year of 2-for-1 tickets and
other discounts at many local arts events. To make a gift that will be matched
dollar for dollar by the City of Portland and distributed to more than 75 local
arts organizations, visit www.workforart.org.
Don't Forget to
Give to the Oregon Cultural Trust before December 31st
The Cultural Trust gives to Oregon arts, heritage and humanities.
Contribute to any of Oregon's 1,200 cultural nonprofits (see
list at www.culturaltrust.org).
Then, make a matching gift to the Trust to receive a 100%
tax credit. Oregon Cultural Trust, 775 Summer Street,
#200, Salem, OR 97301, 503.986.0088, email@example.com,
Registration Open for RACC 2007 Artists Workshop
RACC will be offering 6 professional development workshops
for working artists in all disciplines from January to June
2007. The workshops include:
Registration begins December 1 and space is limited. A
20% discount will be available to artists who subscribe to
the entire series. For more information or to register go to www.racc.org/workshops;
email firstname.lastname@example.org or call
- 1/19 Artists Wanted: Public
Art from A to Z
- 2/16 The Balancing Act: Making Art and Making
- 3/17 Making Art/Work for a Public Space:
the Ins and Outs of Public Art Fabrication
- 4/20 Legal Issues for Artists
- 5/18 Grantwriting for Success
- 6/29 Going Digital: Submitting Application
Materials in New Media Formats.
RACC Launches new Arts Resource Database at RACC
Resource Links has
re-launched this month as a searchable database that offers
a variety of resources locally, nationally and internationally
for the artist and interested art supporter. RACC hopes these
links will enhance or supplement information on art and culture
which would be of value to our constituents. Over 700 links
are listed including most of our local art and culture organizations,
arts education resources, artists' websites, art galleries
and professional services for the working artist such as legal,
insurance, and marketing assistance. The viewer may search
according to locale and in a variety of artistic disciplines.
RACC encourages individuals and organizations who offer resources,
opportunities and/or services specific to artists to submit
listings to Mary Bauer at email@example.com.
RACC and Northwest Business for Culture
and the Arts (NW/BCA) are wrapping up the research phase
of Arts & Economic
Prosperity II, a comprehensive economic impact study of
the metropolitan art community that will be released next spring.
As a final push to collect information about arts-related spending
by audiences, we are seeking 3-5 volunteers who can help conduct
surveys at a variety of local arts events throughout the month
of December. If you'd like to assist with this important effort
(and receive complimentary tickets to the events being surveyed),
please contact Laura Becker at NW/BCA, firstname.lastname@example.org,
All the Art That Fits:
10th Annual City/County Employee Art Exhibit, 12/1-1/5
Employees from the City of Portland and Multnomah County
were invited to submit one original piece of artwork that
was installed on a first-come-first-served basis. See the
exhibit at the Portland Building Lobby Space at 1120 SW 5th
Avenue in downtown Portland. The Building is open to the
public from 7am - 6pm, Monday through Friday. For more information
contact Karen Christenson, email@example.com.
Public Art to be Removed from the Portland Mall
On November 7, Kvinneakt (pictured) --
the sculpture by Norman Taylor made famous by the "Expose
Yourself to Art" poster -- was temporarily removed to
make way for the Portland Mall MAX Light Rail Project. The
removal was supervised by staff at RACC, which is responsible
for the City's public art collection. The remaining sculptures
from the transit mall collection will be removed in January
2007 and placed in storage until the construction of the
track and streetscape is completed. The sculptures will then
be re-sited on the Central Mall with an additional 8-10 new
sculptures by NW artists. For more information visit portlandmall.org/news/sculpturemove.htm or
email Kristin Calhoun at firstname.lastname@example.org.
RACC Grant Update
RACC Project Grant and Professional Development Grant Award
notification letters will be going out after December 6th, following
the RACC Board's final approval of the awards.
Current RACC Opportunities
- Portland Building Installation
Space 2007: Art Students. RACC invites
art students/teams at the college/university level
in Oregon to submit proposals for temporary installations
in a designated space located in the lobby of the
Portland Building at 1120 SW 5th Avenue. Three student
installations will be featured in one-month installations
in 2007 (3/26-4/20; 4/30-5/25; 6/4-29). Students selected
will receive a $250 honorarium. Download the Request
for Student Proposals at www.racc.org. Deadline: 12/11/06.
- in situ PORTLAND- On
the Streets. RACC will issue a call for qualifications
by mid-December for a new temporary outdoor installations
program in neighborhoods around Portland. The deadline will
be in late January. Interested artists should put themselves
on the RACC Public Art Listserv www.racc.org/subscribe/pa or
contact Kristin Calhoun, email@example.com.
Put in situ PORTLAND in your subject line
to make sure it gets through.
- Visual Chronicle. Guidelines for the purchase
of artwork for the Visual Chronicle of Portland, an archival
collection of works on paper, will be available in December
on RACC's website, www.racc.org.
December Events Funded in
part by RACC
Sitting City: Portland
Artist Portraits, Photographs by Marne
Artist M.K. Guth, photo by Marne Lucas
Mark Woolley Gallery at the Wonder Ballroom, 128
N.E. Russell, Portland
series was shot entirely on location, and each artist is represented
by elements that reflect their style of work, mediums or the
personal inspirations of those individuals either within their
studio environment, in nature or in a fantasy projection that
is a collaborative mutation of these ideas.
This project was
funded in part by a RACC Project Grant
BodyVox's First Impressions
Photo by Blaine Truitt Covert
BodyVox Studio, 1300 NW Northrup, Portland, 503.229.0627
Curated by BodyVox Artistic Directors Jamey Hampton and Ashley
Roland, the goal of First Impressions is to invigorate
and inspire both dancers and audiences by exposing them to a
diverse array of concepts and styles all within a single program.
BodyVox receives General Support funds from
Cydney Wilkes' A Certain Facilitation of Impasse
Photo by Serena Davidson
Disjecta, 5 SE 3rd Avenue, Portland
The powerful duo of Mike Barber and Cydney Wilkes present their
first shared full evening of new work that uses obstacles in
the form of confined space and restraint to present a human,
thought provoking, and engaging performance experience.
This project was funded in part by a RACC Project Grant
Oregon Ballet Theatre: George Balanchine's The Nutcracker
Photo by Andy Batt
Keller Auditorium, SW Third
at Clay, Portland
Join Marie and the Nutcracker Prince on their magical journey
to the colorful realm of the Sugarplum Fairy, where candy confections
spring to life and holiday dreams come true.
Theatre receives General Support funds from RACC
Do Jump Theatre! At Such a Dizzy Height
Newmark Theatre (PCPA), 1111 SW Broadway, Portland
At Such a Dizzy Height, Artistic Director Robin Lane's
newest work, is inspired by the paintings of Marc Chagall. In
addition, Do Jump! will perform highlights from its celebrated
long-running holiday show, Do Jump for the Holidays.
Jump! receives General Support funds from RACC
a listing of many more events in the
metropolitan Portland area funded in part by RACC see
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