Eloise Damrosch, the executive director of the Regional Arts & Culture Council, has announced her plans to retire on June 30, 2017. From 1987 to 2004, Eloise served as the public art director of RACC and its predecessor organization, The Metropolitan Arts Commission. She was appointed executive director in 2004.
“Eloise’s accomplishments are too many to list,” said RACC board chair Mike Golub. “Inarguably RACC has become a much stronger organization during her tenure. The number of artists, arts organizations and students that we serve has grown exponentially under Eloise’s watch. Our programs and impact on arts and culture in the region have grown dramatically under her stewardship. In short, her impact and imprimatur on the arts community in our region is an indelible one.”
“My time at RACC has been an amazing experience,” said Damrosch. “I have been so fortunate to have worked with smart, talented and creative people internally with our board and staff and externally in the arts and culture, business, government and non-profit communities. Together we have faced challenges and opportunities; celebrated wins; broadened our reach to be ever more inclusive; and pushed ourselves to meet our mission. Happily I will leave RACC with confidence in its future, faith in its staff and board, and a knowledge that our arts and culture community is vibrant and resilient.”
Damrosch has earned a local and national reputation as a respected arts administrator while helping create one of the best-known public art collections in the country. During her tenure of Executive Director, the organization developed an annual workplace giving campaign for the arts, Work for Art; established a comprehensive arts integration program, The Right Brain Initiative; increased the City of Portland and Multnomah County percent-for-art ordinances to 2%; and helped secure the passage of Portland’s voter-approved Arts Tax. Damrosch has also worked closely with RACC’s board of directors to develop a comprehensive agenda for equity and inclusion, transforming the way the organization allocates resources to help ensure that everyone in the region has access to culture and the arts. She is a member of the United States Urban Arts Federation, and recently termed off the Board of the Non-profit Association of Oregon.
RACCs Board of Directors has convened a committee to oversee the search process to find the next Executive Director. A search firm will be retained in the coming weeks to help conduct the national search.