Blog Posts for Oregon

Member Spotlight: Morgan Ritter

Posted by Linda Lombardi, Oct 13, 2021 0 comments

Public Art Exhibitions & Collections Coordinator Morgan Ritter is an artist, poet, and arts worker, and has been responsible for the care of art and arts spaces for 14 years within many of Portland, Oregon’s nonprofit arts institutions. Morgan joined the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) in 2019 and her personal art practice includes sculpture, installation, books, video, poetry, and performance. “Often, I feel playful, relating with the world around me in a flexible way where things like mud puddles, soda cans, and potatoes become compelling material to work with. Much of my artwork is sourced from these various fragments and consists not only of found objects, but found language from dreams, conversations, and texts. I find most interest in making meaning with matter that is not classified as precious or valuable. And now in these times, I am finding all the more reason to be resourceful and utilize the available domestic systems and dusty, garage detritus for their extrasensory, healing potential.”

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Native Arts and Cultures Foundation: A national leader supporting Indigenous artists and engaging Native communities

Posted by Mr. John W. Haworth, Jun 25, 2021 0 comments

Founded in 2008, with start-up funding of $10 million from the Ford Foundation, NACF supports Indigenous artists, culture bearers, and Native-led arts organizations through fellowships and project funding. Betsy Theobald Richards (Cherokee), who served as Ford’s Program Officer in Media, Arts, and Culture from 2003 to 2010, provided key leadership in establishing NACF. Other Native leaders and artists were involved from the get-go: the civil rights lawyer Walter Echo-Hawk (Pawnee), poet and musician Joy Harjo (Muscokee-Creek), museum director and artist Elizabeth Woody (Yakama Nation Wasco descent and Citizen of Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs), and singer, artist, and educator Buffy Sainte-Marie (Cree First Nation of Canada), among others. It’s powerful to have such dynamic and creative national and community-based leaders setting the stage for NACF’s work. The organization is currently in the early stages of developing a major cultural facility and new headquarters: the Center for Native Arts and Cultures in southeast Portland, Oregon, with a vision to create a “vibrant gathering place” for Indigenous artists as a convening ground for cultural ceremonies and celebrations; as an incubator for Native artists to create; and as a venue for presenting contemporary exhibitions and performances, workshops, and seminars.

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Activating Support for the Arts from Donor Advised Funds

Posted by Ms. Christina Ritchie, Apr 20, 2021 0 comments

Philanthropists around the country are trying to make an outsize difference during the COVID-19 crisis with an initiative called #HalfMyDAF. The group, founded by Jennifer and David Risher, has banded together to offer matching challenge grants when others join them in committing to distribute at least half of the money in their Donor Advised Fund accounts to charities. The initiative spurred the distribution of $8.6 million in DAF distributions that were matched by $1.8 million in matching grants in 2020. So far $3.1 million is available in matching grants for 2021, but those funds will support the arts only if arts philanthropists step up to participate. Below is the story of one arts organization that benefitted from the initiative in 2020, Ashland New Plays Festival, which received a matching grant that provided a significant additional financial boost in a difficult year. Could this growing movement do even more for the arts in 2021?

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Member Spotlight: Donna Briggs

Posted by Linda Lombardi, Jan 11, 2021 0 comments

Located in the historic 1850s gold rush town of Jacksonville, Oregon, Britt Music & Arts Festival is the Pacific Northwest's premier outdoor summer performing arts festival. Since 1963, Britt has annually presented dozens of summer concerts, featuring world-class artists in classical music, jazz, blues, folk, bluegrass, world, pop, and country music. President and CEO Donna Briggs oversees a full-time staff of 14 and seasonal staff of 45, manages the operations of a four-month summer music festival, and maintains relationships with internal and external stakeholders along with future supporters.

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How to Secure a Local Proclamation for National Arts & Humanities Month

Posted by Mr. Jay H. Dick, Sep 08, 2020 0 comments

Proclamations are a wonderful way that your mayor, city council, or your city (or county) in general can easily show its support for the arts and culture. Each year, Americans for the Arts encourages advocates to work with their local and state elected officials to issue a proclamation declaring October National Arts & Humanities Month in their city, county, or state. They allow elected officials to easily demonstrate their support for the arts, offer a written document for advocates to use year-round to demonstrate the value of the arts and culture, and serve as a tool to engage other arts advocates in their local communities. For those who have never done this before, I thought that I would offer a how-to guide help you understand the process of obtaining a proclamation.

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Member Spotlight: Madison Cario

Posted by Linda Lombardi, Jul 13, 2020 0 comments

The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) provides grants; manages an internationally acclaimed public art program; convenes forums, networking events, and other community gatherings; and provides workshops and other forms of technical assistance for artists and nonprofit organizations in Portland, Oregon. Madison Cario joined the 501(c)(3) nonprofit as executive director in January 2019, bringing more than 20 years of experience working as a connector, curator, artist, writer, Marine Corps Veteran, and more. They recently shared some insights with us about leading a local arts agency during these turbulent times. 

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