Learn About the Arts Education and Access Fund (AEAF)

PPS Choir Students in red HeART of Portland shirts

The Arts Education and Access Fund (AEAF) provides for elementary arts teachers in the six school districts serving Portland and for expanded access to the arts for all Portlanders. The fund began with a ballot initiative in 2012, which established a $35 income tax on every eligible adult in Portland. School districts receive funds to hire K-5 certified arts teachers. Funds remaining after school districts have received their disbursements are distributed as grants to local arts organizations. To date, the tax has generated over $112 million dollars, providing arts teachers for 30,000 elementary school children and more than $30 million dollars in grants to local arts organizations.

Infographic describing the working of the Arts Education and Access Fund

30,000 children are served by the Arts Education and Access Fund. Before the ballot measure passed in  2012 there was a lack of arts educators in Portland’s elementary schools and many children did not have access to arts education. The AEAF changed the landscape of arts education in Portland resulting in every elementary school offering at least one arts discipline. Prior to the AEAF providing funds to Portland's school districts, there were 31 K-5 Arts Teacher FTE (Full Time Equivalents) across the six districts serving Portland. In 2022, there were 102.