RACC awards record funding for 2013 project grants

“Homomentum: The Musical”
By Nick Mattos, PQ Monthly

The Regional Arts and Culture Council has announced the recipients of their 2013 grant cycle, with many local queer artists receiving sizable awards to help them achieve their creative goals.

On Dec. 19, the RACC board signed off on a record-breaking $732,440 in grant funds to be awarded to 94 individual artists and 66 organizations in Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington Counties. Culled from 352 applications, RACC’s grants were awarded by decision of 70 community volunteers who sat on 18 different panels and judged each application on artistic merit, citizen engagement opportunities, and the financial responsibility of the applicant.

One first-time winner of RACC’s award is Max McGrath Riecke, who scored a $5,631 grant to fund the first phase of “Homomentum: The Musical” — a sci-fi stage production rooted in feminist politics and radical queer identity.

“The project is inspired by our successful queer cabaret series of the same name, which averages an audience of 160 per show and just completed its third season,” Riecke says. “Dozens of local performers have found their voice on this stage, many of whom will be involved in the creative process of developing the musical.”

NW Film Center School of Film instructor Lee Krist intends to reinterpret the genre of memoir with “How To Transition on Sixty Three Cents A Day.”

“This book is a confessional memoir written as a collection of unsent postcards to my Sicilian mother about when I transplanted my life from New York to Portland, Oregon, in order to align my physical appearance with my gender identity,” the author explains. “This book is unbound and the contents are housed in a metal film canister. I am personally printing this book on a letterpress as a limited edition of 163 copies.”

Krist was awarded $4,774 for his bold and innovative project.

One of the most intriguing grant proposals will result in a comic book about none other than Poison Waters being released later this year. The Dill Pickle Club’s Comics For Change will produce a series of 10 comics, each telling the story of an Oregonian working for social justice; Waters was selected for her community engagement as an LGBTQ advocate. One of two grants awarded to the Dill Pickle Club in 2013, Comics For Change will receive $3,720 for their project.

Other queer recipients of 2013 RACC grants include writer Carter Sickels, musician Holcombe Waller, documentary filmmaker Casey Parks, and dancer Minh Tran. QDOC, the Portland Queer Documentary Film Festival, also scored a significant grant to bring yet more queer creatives and their work to the city’s audiences.

“This is definitely one of the most interesting and diverse rosters of projects that RACC has ever funded,” says Jeff Hawthorne, the council’s director of community Affairs. “We spent a good deal of time and energy last year reaching out to artists in the LGTBQ community, and in communities of color. Judging by the quality of proposals we received, those efforts have definitely paid off and Portlanders are in for some really amazing artistic projects in the year ahead.”