Sharing the State of the Arts in Portland

nitric acid http://www.shellbellecouture.com/info/lexapro-10mg-vs-xanax.php lexapro 10mg vs xanax nigrities linguae Screen Shot 2013-04-30 at 7.03.14 PMPortland Public Schools District Announces Plans to Fund 45.5 Arts Teachers

On Monday, April 15th, PPS Superintendent Carole Smith proposed a $487 million budget for the 2013-14 school year. This proposal marks a pivotal moment for Portland schools in that it checks the erosion of educational programs that has shadowed current students nearly every year that they have attended school. And the passage of the Arts Education & Access Fund by Portland voters in November was credited as significant factor in this turnaround. 

“Thanks to the voters of this city, the arts tax will fund 45.5 arts teachers in our K5 and K8 schools ensuring that every student has access to visual arts, dance, music or theater in grades K5. Research has demonstrated the academic benefits for students who participate in the arts. We know that across the country there has been a persistently inequitable distribution of arts in schools. Our city has helped to eliminate this gap in service. Thank you again.”

This year, PPS is the only school district of the six districts in Portland with elementary schools that offer no access to instruction in art, music, dance or drama. With Superintendent Smith’s proposed budget for 2013-14, that gap will be eliminated while access to the arts for every K5 student will increase.

Thank you, Portland, for your vote to restore arts education to Portland’s public elementary schools!

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Each year, Portland City Council invites the Regional Arts & Culture Council to make a report on the State of the Arts in Portland. This is our annual opportunity to pack the chambers of City Hall with hundreds of supporters while we showcase the importance of arts, culture and creativity for Portland’s economy, livability and the education of our children. It is also our moment to shine as we inspire City Council with meaningful and powerful performances and testimony by artists, educators, advocates and employers. We hope you will join us as we support the important work of the Regional Arts & Culture Council and advocate for the arts in every Portland classroom and community. Let’s fill City Council Chambers. RSVP@RACC.org

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Portland’s Arts Education & Access Fund $35 Income Tax is due May 15th

Last November, 62% of voters approved a groundbreaking new funding mechanism for arts education and access in our community. As a result, every public Portland elementary school will have an art or music teacher next year, and the remaining funds will be distributed by RACC to nonprofit arts organizations and schools that are actively increasing everyone’s access to the arts.

You are responsible for paying this income tax of $35 by May 15th if all of the following are true:

  •          You are 18 or older
  •          You lived in the City of Portland for any part of 2012
  •          You had income of $1,000 or more in 2012
  •          Your household is above the poverty level

To help save costs to raise as much revenue as possible for arts education and access, pay your tax online at www.artstax.net. Exemption forms are also available online.

To those who have already paid: Thank You! Portland’s six school districts and the Regional Arts & Culture Council are looking forward to putting your investments into action.

Portland’s King School: A National Success Story for Arts Education

Screen Shot 2013-04-23 at 12.04.31 PMNestled within a vibrant and diverse neighborhood in Northeast Portland, Martin Luther King Jr. School has become a national model for how the arts can transform troubled schools. Recently in the lowest-achieving five percent in Oregon, King School has invested heavily in expanding arts education for students to boost student achievement and enrollment. The results? Awe-inspiring. In fact, this year King recorded the  highest year-to-year academic growth of any PreK-8 in the Portland Public Schools District and now exceeds both state and district averages.

King School’s investments in arts education began with the hiring of two arts teachers – an English language learner/music teacher and a certified dance teacher specializing in African dance. Next, King joined the  Right Brain Initiative and has welcomed two resident artists this year including Portland’s first Creative Laureate, photographer Julie Keefe. Finally King has partnered with nearly a dozen community-based arts organizations to expose students to integrated learning opportunities, professional arts experiences and exciting new ways to creatively collaborate.

King Students have benefited from Oregon Children’s Theater‘s Playwriting Contest: The Bully ProjectPortland Art Museum‘s Object Stories project and Portland Playhouse‘s Shakespeare immersion program. King also welcomed guest artist Michelle SwinehartPortland Baroque Orchestra, and  White Bird Dance into their classrooms and onstage for some amazing teaching and learning opportunities.

Honored with national accolades and funding from Turnaround Arts, a program of the President’s Commision on the Arts and Humanities, just this month King School welcomed Sarah Jessica Parker to a day of arts education and a school wide assembly to celebrate the tremendous academic and artistic accomplishments of King School.

e1366232995.63We believe that showcasing the incredible programming at King School is the very best way to illustrate how arts in schools can bring together parents, teachers, students, artists and non-profit organizations to change lives.

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Support Arts Education at King Join the Second Annual Auction on May 18th

If you are as inspired as we are by the arts education program at King, consider supporting their Second Annual Auction on May 18th. Tickets are $35 for this Latin-inspired evening that will include Live Music by Curtis Salgado and conducted by Thara Memory, Mexican food, beer and Margaritas and a DJ’d dance party. The event will take place at Metalcraft Fabrication at 723 N Tillamook Street in the Albina District from 6:30-10:30pm.

Testifying to the Impact of Greater Arts Access

Portland’s Arts Education & Access Fund
Testifying to the Impact of Access 

Last month at City Hall, two of Portland’s most inspiring arts leaders testified before City Council about the powerful impact that Portland’s new Arts Education & Access Fund will have for Portland residents when qualified non-profit arts organizations receive an increase in annual funding.

Once Arts Education & Access Fund dollars are distributed to Portland’s six school districts – allowing them to hire certified elementary arts teachers for every public Portland elementary school – the remaining funds will be distributed to the Regional Arts & Culture Council to be administered as grants to non-profit arts organizations and programs that increase access to the arts.

Both the Portland Youth Philharmonic (PYP) and the PHAME Academy currently qualify for RACC operating support grants and are likely to benefit from the Arts Education & Access Fund in the coming year. The powerful testimonials and important work of PYP and PHAME highlight the extraordinary benefits of Portland’s new Arts Education & Access Fund beyond our public school classrooms. Following are excerpts from the City Council testimony of Executive Directors Kevin A. Lefohn and Stephen Marc Beaudoin.

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PHAME students were honored musical guests for Pink Martini’s “Singin’ in the Square” event, March 30, 2013 in Pioneer Courthouse Square.

PHAME Academy Executive Director Stephen Marc Beaudoin testifies before Portland City Council, March 27, 2013:

I am the Executive Director of the PHAME Academy and we are Portland’s fine and performing arts academy for young and older adults with developmental disabilities. We were also the  2011 City of Portland Making a Difference Award Winner.

The Arts Education & Access Fund supports PHAME and many other critically important arts education and access programs across the city. At PHAME, the “Arts Tax” will do a world of good for community members like PHAME student Anne Marie Plass.

“(Public funding for non-profit community arts organizations) gives me access to things that I can only get at PHAME.” explains Anne Marie. “It has given me a lot of confidence and the ability to be myself and to be challenged to do more things that I never thought that I would be able to do.”

Stephen continues. “Me too….This is a tax about people. This is about real people and real Portland neighborhoods and real programs and services that are delivered to underserved communities. This is not some luxury sedan benefiting only a few. It benefits everyone in Portland. I have faith that Portland City Council will protect and defend and continuously improve this critical new source of funding, but not for me or my benefit. For Anne Marie and other students of PHAME, kids studying music after school at Ethos in north portland, students in southeast Portland and Portland public schools, for the communities of color who see and share their stories on stage at Milagro and Portland Playhouse and many other places — they are the real beneficiaries of the Arts Education & Access Fund and they are relying on you to defend this Fund and to make it better.

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The Portland Youth Philharmonic inspires and educates young people through performing symphonic music and provides a cultural asset for the community.

Portland Youth Philharmonic Executive Director Kevin A. Lefohn testifies before Portland City Council, March 27, 2013:

I’m a violinist, music educator, and I have the honor of serving as the Executive Director of this country’s first youth orchestra, Portland youth philharmonic. PYP serves 300 musicians in our community and they come from over 100 different schools. We leverage the talent of these musicians. By doing so we touch 30,000 people in our community each year. We change lives, not only those of the talents we nurture but everyday Portlanders whose hearts their talents touch.

Our signature outreach program is a series of free children’s concerts. We invite 3-8 graders to experience a performance in the Arlene Schnitzer Concert hall. Over the past two years, we’ve seen a 47% increase, a skyrocketing increase in attendance. This year alone, we have “sold out” these four concerts. We have surpassed 10,000 kids coming into our city’s jewel and they come from over 150 schools in our community. Clearly, there is an interest in arts education in our public school sector. Clearly, there is a need for ease of access.

What will be possible for PYP with this additional art tax funding, what would it take to double our attendance? Bring our musicians and conducting staff directly into the schools to further break down any barriers that exist for access to arts? We change lives. Not only those whose talents that we touch, but the every day Portlanders whose hearts their talents nurture. The tax is good for our community. Because as of November, we are now on the brink of fully restoring arts education in our community. It will help arts organizations serve our community even better.

In the words of Andrea Moon, a PYP alumna, “PYP is not just about the music to me. It is about the bridging of human relationships through music.”

Mayor Hales, Commissioners, and Citizens of this wonderful community we call Portland, together we change lives, not only those whose talents we nurture, but those whose hearts their talents touch.

It is National Arts Advocacy Day: Be Heard!

There has never been a better time to speak up for the arts, on Capitol Hill and closer to home. Oregon’s Advocacy Day in Salem is just weeks away and arts education and access advocacy at Portland City Hall has never been more critical. Below you will learn how you can make a difference at the local, state and national level. Be Heard. We need your voice now more than ever.

e1365461176.85Guiding the future of the Arts Education & Access Fund
Advocacy at Portland City Hall

After years of advocating for the establishment of a sustainable new public fund for the arts, in June 2012 Portland City Council unanimously voted to refer Measure 26-146 to the ballot. The proposed new city ordinance was designed to restore arts teachers to every Portland elementary school and increase access to the arts citywide – but only if approved by Portland voters.

“A good example of democracy in action”, Commissioner Fritz said recently of the referral. “Council could have passed this tax without sending it to the voters – we chose to send it to the voters, and it was affirmed by a large majority.” Further, she remarked, “It was referred as an ordinance rather than a charter amendment (so that) the council now has the authority to fix parts of it.”

Indeed the City of Portland did approve the Arts Education & Access Fund by 62% in the November 2012 election, but this vote does not end Portland City Council’s role in guiding and governing the groundbreaking new fund. In fact, Portland City Council may just be getting started.

Last week, Portland City Council voted unanimously to make its first change to the original ordinance – the establishment of an income threshold for income earning adult dependents of households above the poverty level – and promised to consider more proposed changes in July. During the City Council discussion of this proposed change on March 27, 2013, Mayor Hales asked the Revenue Bureau to present additional recommendations for improvements to the Arts Education & Access Fund for City Council consideration in July.

The people of the city of Portland have spoken. We support the arts and we support an excellent public education for all of our kids,” remarked Mayor Hales. “That is the voters’ intent behind the overwhelming approval mentioned here this morning of this measure. As Commissioner Fritz pointed out, it was done by ordinance, so that the duly elected legislative body of the city of Portland can translate that intent into good public policy and competent administration. That is our job. That is what we are setting about to do here with the first ordinance to make one common sense adjustment in how this tax works in people’s lives, and then to ask our staff to come back in fairly short order working with each of us with options for how we, again, honor that intent, but make it work effectively and fairly and legally as an ongoing program of the city of Portland and for this community.”

As Commissioner Fish summed it up, “We are in effect strengthening the law of this package (through) actions we’re taking over stages, and I think it is prudent to do so…. I was proud to refer this to the voters and pleased that the voters overwhelmingly adopted it.”

We at the Creative Advocacy Network are incredibly honored to have been a part of the citizen-led movement that led to the creation and passage of the Arts Education & Access Fund. And as passionate advocates for the arts and arts education in Portland, we are working to ensure that Portland City Council continues to hear from Portland residents who are proud to have voted yes, to have paid their $35 and above all, who value these new investments in arts education and citywide access. As Portland City Council continues to guide and govern the Arts Education & Access Fund, we must continue to advocate, at the top of our lungs, for the fullfillment of the promise of arts education and access for all.

Get involved. Stay informed. Pay your Arts Tax. Together we will bring the arts to life in every Portland classroom and community.

e1365461177.19National Advocacy Day Call to Action
An Open Letter to our United States Senators and Congressional Representatives:

Today, Tuesday, April 9 is the 2013 National Arts Advocacy Day. While we are not able to be in Washington, DC in person, we write to let you know of our support for the Arts and Culture in America.

Specifically: We support funding the National Endowment for the Arts at $155 million dollars. The NEA is a valuable federal program that has awarded more than 2,200 grants for 2012 reaching every congressional district, totaling more than $108 million in funds in FY 2012.

We support funding the Arts in Education program at the Department of Education at $30 million and retaining the Arts in Education program as a distinct grant competition in FY 2014 appropriations. We also urge you to retain the arts in the definition of core academic subjects of learning and strengthen equitable access to arts learning.

We support preserving incentives for charitable giving by protecting the charitable tax deduction from rate caps or other new limitations; we urge you to reject any attempts to divide the charitable sector which would create a hierarchy of tax deductibility favoring certain types of charities over others; and, finally, we urge you to extend the IRA Charitable Rollover.

We encourage you to join the House Arts Caucus by contacting Tess Troha-Thompson in the office of Congresswoman Louise Slaughter at (202) 225-3615 or tess.troha-thompson@mail.house.gov, or Sarah Armstrong in the office of Congressman Leonard Lance at (202) 225-5361 or sarah.armstrong@mail.house.gov.

Lastly, we would ask that you to join the new House STEAM Caucus. Through STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics), the arts connect engineering and math. For more information, please contact Carly Katz in the office of Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici at 202-225-0855 or Carly.Katz@mail.house.gov or Kelli Ripp in the office of Congressman Aaron Schock at 202-225-6201 or Kelli.Ripp@mail.house.gov.

The nonprofit arts are a $135.2 billion a year industry employing over 4.1 million people and contributing over $9.5 billion a year in federal tax revenue. In other words, the arts mean business and because most arts non profits are actually small businesses, they mean job creation.

Thank you for your consideration and your support of the arts and culture in America.

E-mail your United States Senator and Congressional Representatives today!

Portland’s Elementary Arts Education Report: One Year Later

What a difference a year makes! Last April, the US Department of Education released its first study of arts education in US schools in more than 10 years. With that data and information furnished by Portland’s six school districts, the Creative Advocacy Network brought to light a huge gap between arts education opportunities in Portland’s elementary schools and those available nationally.

e1364862480.9Now, just one year later, the Creative Advocacy Network is thrilled to report that access to the arts in Portland’s public schools has markedly improved and, with the passage of the Arts Education & Access Fund, next year 100% of Portland elementary school students will have access to the arts in their public schools.

Here is how arts access for Portland’s children during the 2012-13 school year compares with 2011-12 and the US Department of Education’s 2012 study:

Elementary Schools with Music Education
Portland 2011-2012          58%
Portland 2012-2013          66%
Nationwide                         94%

Elementary Schools with Art Education
Portland 2011-2012         18%
Portland 2012-2013         25%
Nationwide                        83%

Elementary Schools with NO Access to Art, Music, Dance or Drama
Portland 2011-2012         28%
Portland 2012-2013         19%
Portland 2013-2014          0%  
Nationwide                         3%

The City of Portland is home to six school districts and 85 public elementary schools serving 34,244 elementary school students. This year 16 Portland elementary schools are unable to offer certified instruction in art, music, dance or drama. And, while we are excited to celebrate the 8 Portland elementary schools that have added arts instruction since last year, we are even more thrilled to report that the passage of the Arts Education & Access Fund will ensure that every Portland elementary school will offer certified arts instruction beginning next year. The Fund will support as many as 70 certified elementary art, music, dance and drama teachers in Portland’s schools.

This week Portland City Council will vote on an ordinance to strengthen the Arts Education & Access Fund by establishing an income threshold for income-earning adults who live in households above the Federal Poverty Level. The Creative Advocacy Network is thankful that the Portland City Council is willing and able to continue improving Portland’s groundbreaking new Arts Education & Access Fund while protecting Portland’s overwhelming support for a critical new investment in arts education and access citywide.

If you have not already paid your arts tax, please remember to file by May 15, 2013. Your $35 will bring the arts to life in Portland’s classrooms and communities.

New threshold. New deadline.

e1364425155.83City Council Considers Income Threshold
And Asks Revenue Bureau to Recommend Other Improvements

On March 27, Portland City Council considered an ordinance that would create an income threshold of $1,000 on the new $35 income tax to restore arts education to every elementary school in the city’s six school districts and increase arts access citywide. The new Arts Education & Access Fund will provide stable, long-term funding for certified arts and music teachers and grants for arts programs, supplies and field trips. The Fund will also support non-profit arts organizations to increase access to the arts.

As passed by 62% of Portland voters this past November, income-earning adult residents of the City of Portland will pay $35 annually. Residents living in households at or below the federal poverty guidelines will be exempt and pay nothing.

The ordinance being considered is meant to address the burden placed on those residents with very little income, yet living in a household above the federal poverty guidelines.  An example Mayor Hales gave is of a teenager living at home who earns a small income walking dogs.

School and arts leaders testified in support of the tax and of the modification.  David Wynde, Deputy Chief Financial Officer & Budget Director of Portland Public Schools, stated “next year we’ll say that every K-5 student will have an arts teacher.  This is an equitable offering that is not true now.  PPS is strongly supportive of this tax and of the modification.”  And Deborah Edward, Executive Director of Business for Culture & the Arts testified that “the idea to tweak this to make it more equitable is commendable.”

The city commissioners were also supportive.  Nick Fish said he was “proud to refer this to the voters and glad the voters were overwhelmingly supportive…Today we’re doing a fix to strengthen the law.”

Mayor Hales stated that the “majority of Portlanders support the arts and education for all kids.  This was done by ordinance so the city can translate the intent of the voters into good public policy.”

A vote on the ordinance will occur the first week of April and the change will take place immediately.  The Revenue Bureau would refund those who fall into that category but have already paid.

Also at the meeting, Council voted unanimously on a resolution to direct the revenue bureau to bring recommendations for further improvement to the Arts Education & Access Income Tax for the 2013 tax year and beyond.

e1364425155.96Arts Tax Deadline Extended. www.artstax.net
Portlanders Now Have Until May 15 to Pay Their Arts Tax.

The City of Portland Revenue Bureau has extended the filing deadline for the new Arts Tax until May 15, 2013.  The extension (for this year only) will allow city residents an extra month to pay their $35 income tax for the Arts Education & Access Fund. By extending the deadline, the City hopes to increase compliance and lessen the burden for those residents who are still learning about the new tax.

Due annually beginning this year in 2013, Portland’s new $35 income tax for income-earning adult residents of Portland (and exempting any taxpayer under the federal poverty limit) will generate approximately $12.2 million in annual net revenue. Passed into law when 62% of Portland voters approved Ballot Measure 24-146 last November, the Arts Education & Access Fund is a local income tax to restore arts education to every Portland elementary school and fund arts education and access programs citywide.

To ensure that every Portland resident receives ample information about this new local income tax, www.artstax.net answers frequently asked questions; provides an overview of the Fund’s investments, its Citizen Oversight Committee, and the City Code, Rules and Policies; and offers online payment and exemption request options. In addition to this comprehensive online resource, the City of Portland Revenue Bureau will also be reaching out to all Portland residents by mail.

The tax can be paid by credit card, ACH, or by mail.  However the taxes are paid, these new tax dollars will be put to work immediately.

When the school year begins next Fall, nearly 70 elementary school arts teachers will be sustainably funded, every elementary school student in Portland’s six school districts will be guaranteed an arts education, and arts supplies, programs and field trips will be more accessible for all school-age children through grant funding for Portland’s schools and non-profits. Centennial, David Douglas, Parkrose, Portland PublicReynolds and Riverdale school districts will all benefit from the Arts Education & Access Fund while grants from the Regional Arts & Culture Council will provide Portland’s non-profit arts organizations with the public support they need to bring the arts to life for every Portland resident.

At the Creative Advocacy Network, we know that the arts improve our schools, shape our neighborhoods, fuel our economy and improve the livability of this city that we love. And now, with a simple annual $35 tax payment, we can ensure that every Portland resident has access to our city’s cultural and creative riches.