Life update, Thursday, April 2: Crisis news and other items
The ongoing health/economic crisis continues to change lives in the arts, entertainment and activity worlds. Here's an update on things:
• The Regional Arts & Culture Council has officially announced the start of its first new fundraising effort for artists and arts organizations.
It's called the Emergency Fund for Artists and Creative Workers, and it's an initial fund of $120,000 in small grants for individuals.
RACC has worked with funders on a pool for struggling artists and organizations. Thousands of artists and creative workers have already lost contracts, gigs and teaching because of the coronavirus/COVID-19 epidemic and subsequent government restrictions and social distancing mandates.
Survey results have indicated about $56 million projected losses among artist and group respondents through May, and that number didn't include Oregon Shakespeare Festival losses. In Multnomah County, 900 individual artists will see more than $9 million in losses through May.
Applications for the new individual artists/creative workers fund should be submitted online by 5 p.m. Monday, April 13.
As new funds are donated and identified, RACC is going to award additional funds.
"Our artist community has lost much but it remains rich with diversity of skills, resources and creativity," said RACC Executive Director Madison Cario. "That's why it's essential that in the short-term RACC look at all available resources, ramp up partnerships, and raise money. We will be looking to the arts community to innovate with us to create longer-term solutions and creative ideas that will support our resilience and recovery."
RACC expects to award money up to $500 to individuals to support as many people as possible.
"It's not just individual artists who are losing out as a result of the pandemic; the whole region risks losing much of our artistic wealth and with it the contributions of individual creators who inspire and uplift us, and who can help our spirits heal from this disaster," said Linda McGeady, RACC board chair. "RACC is being nimble and creative, and staff is working hard to get dollars out the door as quickly as possible."
In addition to ongoing fundraising efforts, RACC anticipates more regular funding in the next fiscal year, which starts July 1.
For more: www.artsimpactfund.racc.org/covid-19.
• Prosper Portland has awarded more than $1.2 million with its community livability grants.
Three companies receiving money are Imago Theatre for service and education space, Stone Soup for workforce development training facility and Kickstand Comedy for transformation of its new theater space on Northwest Broadway. (All three companies have been featured in the Tribune).
"Imago is very excited about this award. It allows us to begin a three-part strategic plan to make our facility completely ADA accessible and offer to all our patrons and art partners a fully functional arts center," said Imago's Jerry Mouawad and Carol Triffle in a joint statement.
Said Chris Williams, board president for Kickstand Comedy:
"This award couldn't have come at a more important time for our organization and we're incredibly grateful to Prosper Portland for investing in us and our mission to transform and enrich the lives of performers and audiences through comedy."
Other recipients include Hacienda CDC for its Portland Mercado, a hub for Latino culture, and p:ear for its on-site job training programs for youth experiencing homelessness, as well as East Portland Collective for its space to hold cultural diversity events.
For more: www.prosperportland.us.
• With schools closed, Oregon Public Broadcasting has adjusted its daytime television schedule to support K-12 students with grade-level and subject-based programs.
The primary TV channel now focuses on educational content from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The 24-hour Kids Channel will continue its current schedule (channel 311 on Comcast, and check for other channels from providers).
• One of the founding fathers of Oregon beer has been sold: Art Larrance has sold Cascade Brewing to new owners, a group of brewery/taproom owners that includes Mark Becker, Ramie Mount, Brian Kovach and Greg Laird.
Both the existing production team and pub management will remain in place, and the Cascade Brewing Barrel House, Blending House and Lodge at Cascade Brewing will continue to operate. Larrance plans on retiring but will remain in an advisory position during the transition period while local, state and federal approvals are being obtained.
"Art is a legend, and we deeply respect what he and his team have built at Cascade," said Mount. "Our mission is to expand upon their vision, and we are incredibly excited for the opportunity to continue the legacy that Cascade started with its sour beer program in 2006. Art is irreplaceable, and we are thrilled he recognized enough competence in our combined experience to continue Cascade Brewing's stellar reputation."
Said Larrance: "It's time for me to retire and pass the brewery on to a team that's fresh and full of energy and ideas. I trust this group will do Cascade Brewing proud."
For more: www.CascadeBrewing.com.
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