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The City of Portland funds arts education in its six school districts via the voter-approved Arts Education and Access Fund, commonly referred to as the “arts tax.”

The Museum prioritizes art education and access by providing free or reduced price admission to nearly one-third of all visitors, including all school groups and children under 17 years old. Each year, more than 25,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade participate in tours and education programs at the Museum and Northwest Film Center.

The Arts Education and Access Fund is distributed in four ways.

  1. 1. Funding for 72 certified arts education teachers in Portland’s six school districts.
  2. 2. Funding to coordinate arts education programs across Portland’s six school districts.
  3. 3. Funding to improve arts access for underrepresented communities.
  4. 4. Funding to provide general operating support for arts organizations.

As a recipient of general operating support, the Museum uses the funds to maintain and strengthen education and outreach programs. Responding directly to the call to improve arts access for underrepresented communities, the Museum is proud to report that recent data shows that 32% of the more than 400 community and educational organizations that visit the Museum are located in census areas with household incomes below $40,000—demonstrating a strong and growing commitment to reaching a broad and diverse community.

Funding has also allowed expanded access to underserved groups across the region through new programs that reach veterans, LGBTQ youth, Latino youth, people with dementia and their caregivers, and the blind and low vision community, among others.

One of the largest arts organizations in the city and state, the Portland Art Museum is considered to be a national leader in access and education programs. With additional funding, the Museum continues to grow and deepen work in the community.