about CAN

The Creative Advocacy Network (CAN) is a 501(c)3 organization established to mobilize the Portland Metropolitan Region in support of a dedicated public fund for the arts, to increase access to arts and culture for every resident, make free arts and music experiences available to every school-age child in their classrooms and communities and strengthen our highest-quality arts and cultural institutions allowing Portland to finally reach our true creative and cultural capacity.

History

In 2008, a region-wide wide planning process engaged 1,500 leaders in developing a Creative Action Plan for the Portland Metropolitan Area called Act for Art. This vision for the future of the arts and culture in the region identified the need for a new dedicated annual fund for the arts and arts education. The Creative Advocacy Network (CAN) was established in 2008 to make this goal a reality. To learn more about the recommendations in Act for Art, click here to download the 2008 Creative Action Plan in its entirety: Creative Action Plan (PDF)

CANifesto

The arts are not a luxury. Not here.

From Multnomah Village to Troutdale to Stumptown’s city center, the Portland region breathes creativity. It flows in the rivers, inspires every intersection, leaves no bridge uncrossed.

Here, we wander among words and old growth forests, immerse in lakes and symphonies. Commuter bikes become welded expressions of self. Blank walls are a canvas of mixed media. Children learn to crawl on art museum floors and stomp through puddles in handmade shoes.

We find design shops next to community co-ops, around the corner from sculpture gardens and down the street from locally-grown chefs. Backbeats echo out of basement doors, and lead singers bring potato salad to block parties.

Here, we don’t stamp out creative sparks, but light sparklers and sprint through neighborhoods catching fire as we go. Entire streets are designated art districts on first Thursdays, last Fridays and every day in between.

Here, we reward the brave, and nurture the innovative and draw talent like an uber magnet. Here, the Arts thrive as part and parcel, the fabric, the very foundation of who we are.

Now imagine it all going away. Just like that.

The Arts CAN turn the unimaginable into imagine that.

The Arts CAN give a lost child a compass. The Arts CAN be a catalyst for a change in perspective, and with it, a change in our world. Now is not the time to abandon the Arts.

The Arts CAN, and must live here.