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The City of Portland, Oregon

Nick Fish (In Memoriam)

City of Portland Commissioner

phone: 503-823-3589


1221 S.W. 4th, Room 240, Portland, OR 97204



Reviewing Our Partnership with RACC

May 22, 2018

Today, Council held a work session to review our partnership with the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC).

Last year, Commissioner Fish and Mayor Wheeler asked Auditor Hull Caballero to conduct the City’s first-ever outside review of RACC. The timing is good – RACC is conducting a national search for a new Executive Director and the City and RACC are renegotiating their contract.

For over 20 years, RACC has been a key partner in advancing our shared vision of a City that honors and invests in arts and culture.

Today, we heard the Auditor’s recommendations to strengthen oversight and increase accountability of our public investment.

We are already taking steps to implement some of the recommendations. For example, in the budget we just adopted, we funded a dedicated contract administrator position.

Special thanks to Auditor Mary Hull Caballero and her team for their thoughtful work and the RACC board and staff for their service to our city.


RACC Audit


Report Highlights


Audit: Regional Arts And Culture Council Needs Oversight

April Baer in OPB News


Audit Critical of Arts Tax Beneficiary RACC

Kohr Harlan and KOIN 6 News


Audit Faults City Oversight of Arts Spending

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune


Local Arts Council Needs Spending Oversight, Portland Auditors Say

Gordon R. Friedman in The Oregonian

Celebrating White Bird's 20th Anniversary

April 25, 2018

Last night, Commissioner Fish and Commissioner Eudaly joined local dance company White Bird at a celebration of their 20th Anniversary.

They had the honor of presenting White Bird’s founders, Walter Jaffe and Paul King, with a proclamation recognizing their outstanding contributions to the Portland arts community.

White Bird is the only arts organization in the west that solely produces dance performances. In the last 20 years, White Bird has presented over 600 dance performances featuring artists from across the globe. In addition, White Bird has a strong partnership with Portland Public Schools to showcase professional dance to students.

White Bird is a treasure in our city’s vibrant arts community. Congratulations to Paul and Walter for 20 years of excellence.

Presenting the White Bird Proclamation

Metropolitan Youth Symphony’s 2nd Annual Crescendo Honors Gala

April 9, 2018

Last Friday, Nick was honored to receive the Community Partner Award at the 2nd Annual Metropolitan Youth Symphony Crescendo Honors Gala.

MYS serves nearly 500 young musicians in our community. They present two awards each year – the Community Partner Award and the Musical Hero Award. The theme of this year’s gala was “Standing for Possibility,” celebrating the importance of community leaders who impact the lives of student musicians.

MYS recognized Nick for of his “tremendous service to the arts as Commissioner, fan, and advocate.”

You can learn more about Metropolitan Youth Symphony here.

Welcoming Immigrant Youth and Unveiling New Art

March 29, 2018

Today, Nick unveiled a new mural in the City Hall atrium, “Mesopotamians on the Banks of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers.”

Since 2016, a group of Iraqi immigrant youth have been learning about their new home by taking part in environmental service projects with the Columbia Slough Watershed Council. They paddled local waterways, learned about the unique features of our local environment, and helped with important habitat restoration projects.

The mural, designed by Faisal Ajeel, celebrates their project and the immigrants with images from both Portland and Iraq. The group was excited to visit City Hall and have their art publicly displayed, and Nick proudly welcomed them to our community.

Special thanks to the Bureau of Environmental Services’ Community Watershed Stewardship Program, the Columbia Slough Watershed Council, and the Iraqi Society of Oregon for their partnership.

Come visit City Hall and take a look at the beautiful art!

Keeping Portland's Creative Economy Strong

February 28, 2018

This afternoon, City Council adopted a set of recommendations to protect and expand affordable art spaces. You can read the plan here.

Portland has long been a creative hub, with artists and makers of every type calling Portland home. But, as we all know, Portland is experiencing rapid growth and a housing crisis. This in turn threatens to displace artists and arts organizations.

Unless we are intentional about preserving our local creative economy, we risk losing what makes Portland special.

The plan lays out a road map for the arts in our community. It encourages collaborative, proactive action by the City, private and non-profit partners, community groups, and artists.

Today’s action follows a work session Council held in January. Throughout the process, we’ve received positive feedback from community stakeholders.

Special thanks to the community leaders who testified today, and everyone who helped shape our work.

A Plan for Preserving and Expanding Affordable Arts Space in Portland

Commissioner Fish with Mayor Wheeler and Commissioner Eudaly


Portland City Council Adopts Arts Affordability Plan

Regional Arts & Culture Council


Portland Agrees To Work Harder At Preserving Space For Artists

April Baer in OPB News