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City Council approves new three-year contract with RACC

News Article
The Regional Arts & Culture Council has been providing arts-related services on the City's behalf since 1995.

On July 14, Portland City Council unanimously approved a new three-year agreement with the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) to provide a wide range of arts-related services through June 2024. These services include administering grants to artists and nonprofit organizations, coordinating arts education services and managing the city’s public art collection.

RACC receives funding from three City sources to support this work:

  • special appropriations from the general fund of approximately $3.77 million per year;
  • some of the proceeds of the Arts Education and Access Fund; 
  • 2% of any publicly funded capital construction project to pay for the acquisition and maintenance of public art.

The agreement was developed by the City Arts Program in collaboration with the RACC leadership team and the office of Commissioner Carmen Rubio, who serves as the Council liaison to RACC.

“The last sixteen months have made crystal clear that arts and culture are essential to both our economy and our emotional healing, and at the heart of our city,” said Commissioner Rubio. “The dedicated leadership and vision from the board and staff at RACC ensure that heart continues to beat, even when we are in challenging times.”

One of the goals was to make the contract easier to understand. The agreement also establishes a quarterly reporting schedule, and comes with new performance measures to track how RACC and the City are working together to ensure that all Portlanders have access to arts and culture. You can watch the Council discussion on the City's YouTube channel, including a presentation by Madison Cario and Carol Tatch on RACC's recent program highlights and the organization's future plans.

The City will conduct a comprehensive cultural planning process during the course of this three-year agreement. The resulting plan may reveal new goals and priorities for arts and culture in Portland, which would inform future agreements between the City and RACC and other arts service providers.

To receive updates and invitations to participate in the upcoming Cultural Plan, email cityartsprogram@portlandoregon…