With Stan Penkin, Fred Ross, Chuck Clemans, Deffenbaugh, and Adams co-founded Oregon ArtPAC in 2007[i]. Oregon artPAC, which stands for Oregon Arts and Culture Political Action Committee mission is to "advocate for public funding to support arts education, artists and arts and culture institutions." ArtPAC’s Endorsement Advisory Council included: Gwyneth Gamble Booth, Mark Edlen, Diana Gerding, former Mayor Judie Hammerstad, former Mayor Vera Katz, Thomas Lauderdale and Dan Wieden.[ii]
“Until ArtPAC there was no political action committee in Oregon asking the detailed and smart questions of candidates running for office in the Portland metro area -- almost ever group had a political action committee except the arts community -- artPAC is about arts and culture action and accountability," Adams said.
The artPAC endorsement process is rigorous. After candidate fill out a detailed questionnaire that is focused on the office they seek, here are an example for Chair of Clackamas County Position 1 candidates, Jim Bernard and Paul Savas. They then must attend in-person interviews, the volunteer-run ArtPAC council can endorse Portland metro area officials. "Encouraging all voters who value the role of arts and culture in our communities to support its candidates with both their votes and dollars," artPAC states in its most press release.[iii]
ArtPAC also hosts events for its endorsed candidates, such as these in recent ones in Washington and Clackamas counties. The endorsements are completed early enough in the election cycle some candidates can include their artPAC endorsement on their Voters Pamphlet Statements, like incumbent Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz on page 12.
And the group is quick with a thank you, “Oregon artPAC is pleased to report that the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners in its 2016 fiscal year budget has proposed an increase in RACC funding from $170,000 to $300,000. Thank you, Commissioners, for following through on your commitment to sustaining and increasing public funding for the arts.”[iv]
[i] Oregon artPAC website (October 17, 2007). “Oregon artPAC Holds First Event.” http://oregonartpac.com/news/2008/index.html. Retrieved 2018-18-2. [ii] Oregon artPAC website (October 17, 2007). “Directors announcement.” http://oregonartpac.com/news/index.html. Retrieved 2018-18-2. [iii] Young, Chris (March 11, 2014). "Oregon artPAC Endorses 10 Candidates in Advance of May Elections -- Primary elections aren't until May 20 but keep the following candidates in mind if you're arts minded." https://www.vrtxmag.com/articles/oregon-artpac-endorses-10-candidates-in-advance-of-may-elections/. Vortex Music Magazine. Retrieved 2018-18-2. [iv] Staff (2016). “Staff. "News Flash Thank You Multnomah County Commissioners." https://www.legalcube.org/oregonartpac.com#analysis Legal Cube. Retrieved 2018-18-2.