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RACC Press Release: The Right Brain Initiative continues to receive support

For immediate release   Contact: Mary Bauer, Communications Associate Regional Arts & Culture Council  |  www.racc.org 108 NW 9th Avenue, Suite 300, Portland, OR  97209-3318 503.823.5111  |  email: [email protected]   Through vision, leadership and service, the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) works to integrate arts and culture in all aspects of community life. 


November 18, 2008

The Right Brain Initiative continues to receive support  from local businesses and foundations

The Regional Arts & Culture Council has received $140,000 in new grants to support The Right Brain Initiative (www.TheRightBrainInitiative.org), a comprehensive new arts education delivery system that will restore arts education for every K-8 student in Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington Counties within five years. RACC is the managing partner of this effort, which now includes support from the following businesses and foundations:

·         $75,000 (over three years) from the Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation, whose principal purpose is to assist with Jewish, cultural, youth, education, medical, social service, and community activities in Oregon and Clark County Washington;

·         $25,000 from the Spirit Mountain Community Fund, which focuses on improving the quality of life in Northwest Oregon through community investments that provide lasting benefits consistent with the culture and values of The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde;

·         $25,000 from the William Swindells Sr. Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation, whose mission is to improve life in Oregon and promote effective philanthropy. OCF works with individuals, families, and businesses to create charitable funds to support the community causes they care about.; and

·         $10,000 from The Standard, a leading provider of financial products and services whose philanthropic priorities include cultural development, education and advancement, disability and empowerment and healthy communities.

“These funds will help us train teachers and artists to work together to engage students in a creative process that connects music, dance, art and theater with reading, writing, social studies, math and science,” said RACC Executive Director Eloise Damrosch. “And next spring, the fruits of these efforts will serve nearly 10,000 children and their teachers in 20 schools throughout the region.” Damrosch added that the program is expected to double in size each year until all K-8 students in the region are being served.

“The Right Brain Initiative is a very important step toward restoring a full range of arts experiences for children in our elementary and secondary schools,” according to Jeff Anderson, Senior Program Officer with The Oregon Community Foundation. “The idea that arts are somehow ‘nice but not necessary’ to K-12 education—and thus dispensable in tight budgets—deprives children of experiencing some of the most wonderful things in life and human civilization. OCF is pleased to be a partner with RACC in moving this initiative forward.”

Shelley Hanson, Director of Spirit Mountain Community Fund, also commented on the importance of The Right Brain Initiative.  “As a Tribe, we are passionate about encouraging learning and development for all students,” she said. “Some students learn with traditional methods. Others need something to spark their learning in different ways. This is a unique opportunity to support arts education in our area, and we are honored to participate in this new effort.”

With these gifts and grants, RACC has raised 74% of its $846,000 fundraising goal for The Right Brain Initiative in 2008-09. Other grants have been secured from the City of Portland, Multnomah County, Clackamas County, the Oregon Arts Commission, the Hillsboro Arts & Culture Council, the PGE Foundation, US Bank, The Collins Foundation, Bank of America, and the James & Marion Miller Foundation. The four partnering school districts (Gresham-Barlow, Hillsboro, North Clackamas and Portland Public Schools) are providing the funds to support artists’ work with students.

The Regional Arts & Culture Council is a 501(c)(3) arts service organization that serves more than 1.5 million residents, 250 nonprofit organizations, and countless artists of every discipline in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties. On the web at www.racc.org.




******************************* Mary Bauer Communications Associate Regional Arts & Culture Council 108 NW 9th Avenue, Suite 300    Portland, OR 97209-3318 503.823.5426 FAX 503.823.5432 [email protected] www.racc.org