Most City offices closed Wednesday, June 19, to observe Juneteenth

The City of Portland recognizes Juneteenth as a formal day of remembrance to honor Black American history and the end of slavery in the United States. Learn about Juneteenth.

Relief and Recovery for Artists of Color

Six people who appear Black or African American hold hands raised in the air following a theater performance.
The Relief and Recovery for Artists of Color program supports Portland artists who have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This program is funded by the American Rescue Plan, which is investing in Portland’s recovery – and our future.

Caption for above photo: A performance of "Left Hook" at the Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center (2017). Photo courtesy of Vanport Mosaic and Portland Parks & Recreation.


The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our local arts community more than many sectors, with the vast majority of indoor arts and entertainment spaces having been closed for an entire year and challenges still remaining to convene audiences safely. Through four distinct initiatives, this program focuses on supporting artists who identify as Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, Pacific Islander and People of Color; LGBTQIA+ artists;  artists with disabilities; and other under-served and under-represented artists. 

Who does this program serve?

Each initiative serves a different group of artists through a different process.

  • Activating the Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center (Total Budget: $500,000): Working with the IFCC's Community Advisory Committee and the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC), Portland Parks and Recreation is providing free space and residency grants to artists to present public programs at the IFCC, which is emerging as a Center for Black Arts and Culture. Visit IFCC Grant and Residency Program for more information. The first deadline to apply was August 26, 2022 at 5:00 p.m., and residencies will be announced in October. Stay tuned for another application opportunity in 2023.
  • Indigenous Public Art (Total Budget: $500,000): The City has contracted with the Native American Youth and Family Center to procure and install new public artworks that celebrate Indigenous culture in the Cully neighborhood. The project is underway and will continue into 2024.

In all cases, applicants and program participants must demonstrate that their income was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic recession.  

How is this program funded?

The City of Portland has committed $2 million to this program. This money comes from the U.S. government’s 2021 American Rescue Plan local recovery funds. Portland will receive a total of $208 million from the American Rescue Plan and has until Dec. 31, 2026, to spend it. The City of Portland is spending money in three priority categories:

  • Houselessness Response and Household Stabilization
  • Small Business and Commercial District Stabilization
  • Community Health and Safety

Read more about these investments in this article: American Rescue Plan: Investing in Portland

Who manages this program?

The Relief and Recovery for Artists of Color program is managed by the City Arts Program in collaboration with the Office of Commissioner Carmen Rubio. The City Arts Program works closely with the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) and other community partners to invest in artists, community-based arts programming, arts education and public art.  For more information, contact cityartsprogram@portlandoregon…


The City is committed to sharing how American Rescue Act funding supports Portland people, households, businesses and community organizations. Check back for updates on the Relief and Recovery for Artists of Color program.