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‘Workplace for Art’ Match

Challenge employers to match employee contributions: Working with the RACC and Northwest Business Committee for the Arts (BCA) to visit workplaces to help promote employee contributions to the Fund.”

- Adams, Sam (2004). “Portland: The City of nearly starving artists, and five promises that can change that.” Sam Adams for City Council campaign. Retrieved 2018-17-2.

To boost annual business and employee donations to arts and cultural programs, the Work for Art program was started by Regional Arts & Culture Council in 2003. In its first two years, fewer than two dozen employers signed up in, and, along with employee’s workplace giving, the program raised about $80,000 through payroll deductions and direct donations.[i]

To boost donations, Adams proposed to match all contributions dollar-for-dollar. Other local governments started their own matching program. He also gained City Council approval for a “check off for the arts”[ii] on the city’s business tax forms that went to this program.

In 2012, Adams’ last year as Mayor, a record 1,988 donors participated in the program and raised $823,693 for local arts and culture groups.[iii] The increase was largely attributed to donor match from the city of Portland.[iv] Workers at Portland General Electric gave the most this year, with 238 donors giving $78,699. The Standard, NW Natural, OHSU and Burgerville rounded out the top five workplaces. Burgerville had the most employees who donated, at 376, and Portland Opera raised the most money among non-profit organizations, at $3,020.

Between 2006 and 2012, the Work for Art program raised $3.9 million.[v]



[i] Editorial Board (July 24, 2006). “Loving the arts, one payday at a time.” The Oregonian. Page B8. [ii] 7.02.830 Collection and Remittance of Donations to “Work for Art,” a Program of the Regional Arts & Culture Council. and Retrieved 2018-18-2. [iii] Stabler, David (June 20, 2012). "Portland's Work for Art program sets record for arts giving in the workplace." The Oregonian. Retrieved 2018-17-2. [iv] Rowe, D.K. (August 15, 2008). “D.K.'s hot sheet.” The Oregonian. Page 37. [v] Stabler, David (June 20, 2012). "Portland's Work for Art program sets record for arts giving in the workplace." The Oregonian. Retrieved 2018-17-2.

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