The Regional Arts and Culture Council’s annual State of the Arts report to city leaders has traditionally played out as a love fest.
This year’s report, replete with live music, was presented back-to-back with a check-in from the Citizen Oversight Committee (watch the whole meeting here), which is monitoring the city’s new Arts Education and Access Fund - that’s the $35-a-head arts tax that most Portland residents are now obliged to pay.
The latter presentation echoed some themes we talked about in detail a few weeks ago: schools have made great strides, hiring and retaining dozens of arts teachers. But direct operating support for arts groups remains elusive, largely because of anemic revenue returns on the new tax.
The twin presentations drew a complex picture of how public support for the arts is working. This week’s guest curator, Jeff Jahn, weighs in.
For some further reading, see Jeff’s essay on public support for the arts.