Dinah Minot, Executive Director, Creative Portland
By Rachel Hurn
Last year, in response to COVID-19, Creative Portland executive director Dinah Minot established the Portland Artist Relief Fund, which has raised $95,000 in funding and has disbursed stipends of $500 to over 100 local artists. The city’s arts organization, which is entrusted with growing and sustaining Portland’s creative economy, also hired three dozen artists to create public health banners, which served to promote community resilience during the pandemic, to educate people on mask wearing and social distancing, and to provide artists with work in an otherwise deflated gig economy. Ultimately Minot, who is a former TV and film producer, sees her job as building partnerships among arts groups and private enterprise. Creative Portland’s bus shelter initiative, which funded art installations on city bus shelters by local artists, three of them immigrants, came out of Minot’s personal priority of finding more opportunities for public art. In addition to these initiatives, Minot and her team are at work developing a free cultural mobile app, which will be launched in February 2022 and will include filterable maps, guides, and self-guided tours of galleries, murals, cultural organizations, and public art by local artists. “Imagine everything that you want to find in the local arts scene in the palm of your hand,” says Minot.