Run for the Arts » Young Audiences of Oregon & SW Washington

Run for the Arts


Spring Run Dates 2021: March 10 – April 23

Registration Deadline: February 1st

It’s time for a new year of Run for the Arts! Like everything else this school year, Young Audiences Run for the Arts will look a little different this time around, but our remote event format brings some exciting new possibilities to the table!

Spring 2021 Virtual Events: FUN for the Arts!

This spring, Run for the Arts will be a virtual dance-a-thon on zoom hosted by YA Teaching Artist, Decimus Yarbrough.

Each school will have the option to choose a date and time that will work best for their event. 

As always, Young Audiences will provide structure and support for all events, and students will collect sponsors to raise funds toward an account dedicated for your school’s arts spending (art programs, supplies, field trips, teacher PD).

Events Hosted by Young Audiences

Your school can register for a date and time between March 10th and April 23rd that works best for your school when students can join us for a dance-a-thon event via Zoom, led by YA Teaching Artist, Decimus Yarbrough.

We provide timelines and pre-written email templates you can use to help spread the word about this adapted event.

How Virtual “Laps” Work

This season we are measuring by minutes active instead of laps. Each event is 30 minutes long, so students can complete a maximum of 30 minutes active.

Donations: Online and Offline

We have set up our online donation site so that guardians can record “offline donations” (i.e. checks and cash). This will help to create a more comprehensive remote view for prize tracking, and avoids the need for paper pledge sheets, which may not be practical with students being remote. However, we recognize that the online donation site is not accessible to all students, so we will have paper pledge sheets available by request.

Please note: recording offline donations on the website is just for tracking. Cash and checks will still need to be collected by the school, and all cash converted into a check before sending to us.

Registration Deadline: February 1st 2021

Benefits for Participating Schools

Event Support:

Young Audiences provides all the materials needed to make the event happen   including a secure online donation platform, emails for families, and promotional materials. All you do is find one person to coordinate. YA has a designated staff member to assist your coordinator with  management of the event and answer any questions.

Online Donation Platform:

Young Audiences’ specialized fundraising website allows students to register and collect donations online. For an individual school, the cost of this resource would be prohibitive, but as part of the RFA community, you have access to this site at no additional charge. Schools have seen an average growth of 15% when they adopt the online platform. See the website in action here.

Virtual Event Options Hosted by Young Audiences:

Schools are invited to join one of this fall’s special virtual Run for the Arts dance-a-thons, hosted by an amazing teaching artist from the Young Audiences roster on one of our pre-selected dates (listed in previous section), as an alternative to hosting your own event.

Prizes & Incentives:

Young Audiences produces incentive prizes for students, including the perennially popular Run for the Arts t-shirt designed by a different student each year, with artwork selected through an open submission process.

Support Materials in Multiple Languages:

Run materials are available in both English and Spanish. Family letters are also available in Russian, Chinese, Somali, Japanese, and Vietnamese.

A Well-Known and Trusted Organization:

Run for the Arts has been a Portland area tradition since 1977, and has helped schools raise over $18 million since its launch. For many who grew up here, Run for the Arts brings back fond memories of a fun and meaningful school event.

Student & Family Engagement:

Students and families play an active role in strengthening the arts as a community resource and educational tool at your school.

5% discount on programs:

All Run for the Arts schools receive a 5% discount on Young Audiences artist programs booked during the school year that their run takes place.

How Does It Work?

Young Audiences provides detailed instructions, promotional materials, motivational prizes, guidance, and support. Schools sign up, find an on-site coordinator (usually a PE classroom teacher or parent volunteer), choose a day to hold their Run for the Arts, and distribute materials to students.

Students collect pledges from family, friends, and neighbors, and they run laps with their classmates on a day chosen by their school. Later, students collect pledge money based on the total number of laps they have run.

The money collected by Run for the Arts is put into an individual school account at Young Audiences. Your school can spend those funds on Young Audiences arts offerings, other arts programming*, arts field trips*, arts supplies*, or arts-related professional development* at your school. Money raised through Run for the Arts can be used to pay for any art form, including music, dance, theater, spoken word, and visual arts of all kinds.

For every dollar a school raises, Young Audiences retains just seven cents (7%) to cover administrative and material costs. For example, if your school raises $3,000 through Run For The Arts, Young Audiences keeps $210 to cover prizes, printing expenses, online credit card fees, and support, leaving you with $2,790 for arts programs and supplies.

Holding a Run for the Arts at your school ensures that the arts will be an integral part of the school year.

* Processing fees will apply. Please see the Guide to Using Your Funds for more information.

Who Can Participate?

All public and private schools in Oregon & SW Washington are eligible.

Where is the Run?

Each school holds their own Run for the Arts. Don’t have a track? No problem! Schools have held their Run for the Arts in the school field, around the school building, in a park, or around the block.

When is the Run?


Spring Runs: Early March to mid-April

Fall Runs: Early October to mid-November

I still have questions, who should I talk to?

Email Koko Olszewski at


Register Your Run

Registration Deadline: February 1st 2021

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