Arts tax funds Portland Public Schools creative showcase

Published: Apr. 11, 2023 at 4:27 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - The 2023 Heart of Portland Showcase kicks off at The Portland Art Museum Tuesday night. It’s a show featuring a variety of art projects created by PPS students it wouldn’t have been possible without the Portland Arts Tax.

The Portland Arts Tax is $35 and is charged to most Portland residents who make more than $1,000 a year. Part of that money goes to fund PPS Arts Education.

“It doesn’t fund supplies or infrastructure or anything like that, it funds art teachers and that can be dance, music, theater, or visual arts teachers,” Kristen Brayson, PPS Assistant Director for Visual & Performing Arts. “We want students to learn and think critically about their work so that they can be masters of the work and great citizens out to the world.”

And the students of PPS want to show the community where their money is going.

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“It’s just nice that we get to perform in front of the community and kind of just give back to them for all of the work they do,” says 8th-grade student, Thea Hatfield.

The opening reception will feature performances from comedy to jazz, and tap. There will also be a performance by PPS Latinx Community Choir. There will also be a visual arts exhibition made by students from kindergarten to high school. It will have over 100 works of art from watercolor, pencil, pen, ink and sculpture.

“I like the musical element and I feel like it’s also a mental challenge because you’re working on it getting it physically, but you have to get the rhythm to it works all parts of your brain,” says Hatfield. “If there’s stuff going on at school or anywhere, I can just kind of come here and put my mind on something and focus on that and I just really love that.”

The event is free and open to the public. The opening ceremony begins Tuesday, April 11, 6:30 p.m., The Miller Gallery will be open to view for two weeks with a closing show April 23.