To the Editor:
On April 15, the Arts Education and Access Fund income tax is due. What exactly is this for and why do we need to pay it?
In 2012, residents in the City of Portland voted to support arts education through the Arts Education and Access Income Tax Fund, the “arts tax.”
What was left out was the emphasis on education and access. Why do we need arts education in our schools? Arts are core to education, especially coming out of a global pandemic.
This measure funds one arts educator for every 500 students in six school districts—Centennial, David Douglas, Parkrose, Portland, Reynolds and Riverdale. Annually, the $35 provides arts organizations and artists grants administered by RACC. Students and organizations have benefited from this funding.
As the Chairwoman of the AEAF Oversight Committee, it has been my honor to be on this committee for five years.
In 2020, our goal was to re-frame the fund, encourage our six school districts, arts organizations and Portland residents to call it AEAF, have a logo redesign through a student competition and have school websites and arts organizations (that get AEAF grants from RACC) display the logo on their sites. This improves the visibility of the measure and shows how your funding supports all of us in our community.
Our last step involves you. We want your stories of how the arts have impacted your lives. We invite you to share those stories with us and RACC. Instagram/Facebook/Twitter @R_A_C_C @RegionalArts and tag it #PDXaeaf #WhereArtThouPDX #ArtsEducationforAll #CreativeEconomy #ArtCreatesHope.
Thank you! Your $35 is due April 15. This is a reminder that the arts impact us 365 days a year.
Laura Streib, Chairwoman AEAF Oversight Committee
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