Public Feedback for New Individual Artist Grant Programs – let us know what you think!

In light of our strategic plan and values statement, the Governor-appointed Council which oversees RISCA had asked RISCA staff to reassess and – in some cases – restructure our grant programs to accurately reflect our newly articulated agency values and priorities. The first grant program RISCA restructured was our Investments in Arts and Culture (IAC) general operating support program for organizations, the process was completed in March 2021. Now, we are moving to RISCA’s Individual Artist granting programs. Instead of restructuring or re-envisioning the existing programs, the working group built brand new grant programs. Click here to read the guidelines.

To develop these new program guidelines, RISCA was guided by a Working Group comprised of 10 individual artists from around the Ocean State (see CAN YOU TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE WORKING GROUP? section for more information below). At this point in the process, we would like to hear your thoughts on the draft guidelines for four new grant programs. These grant programs will replace the existing Fellowships and Project Grants for Individuals. Folk Arts Apprenticeships and Folk Arts Fellowships will remain unchanged, and were not a part of this process.


In an effort to reflect our values of transparency, RISCA organized a Working Group to provide direct public input during the drafting process for this grant program – typically this phase of developing a program would be done by staff without direct public input. The public feedback phase is typically done for all new grant programs. We want this new program to be as relevant and effective for Rhode Island as possible – which means we need to hear from you!


The draft guidelines and an overview of the programs and changes are available hereWhen you are ready to provide feedback, you will use this survey – see the instructions within the survey for more details. If you are unable to input your responses into the survey for any reason, or if you need a copy of the guidelines in a format readable by screen readers or in a different language, please contact Mollie Flanagan at

Providing us feedback within the survey is important, as we will share the written feedback with RISCA’s Governing Council. To answer any questions you might have before answering the survey, we are hosting three Q & A sessions. While you do not need to attend these sessions in order to provide feedback, we do recommend attending one:

  • Q & A Information Session #1: Wednesday, August 25th, 2-4pm. Register to join the call via this link here.
  • Q & A Information Session #2: Monday, August 30th, 6-8pm. Register to join the call via this link here.

The feedback survey will be open until end of day September 6, 2021.


All survey responses will be compiled. Mollie will summarize the feedback, and provide that to the working group and to RISCA’s governing council. Then, Mollie will take all feedback into consideration, and write another draft of the grant guidelines. Then, these drafts will be reviewed and finalized by the working group. In their final review of these new guidelines in late September, RISCA’s Governing Council will consider feedback – and RISCA staff’s responses to the feedback – in their final approval of this program.


In February 2020, RISCA’s Governor-appointed Council leadership approved a timeline and process for the restructure of the individual artist granting programs. In particular, RISCA’s Governor-appointed Council wanted to ensure that RISCA’s support of individual artists is in alignment with the new strategic plan, and focused on equity and access.

As a part of the process, Individual Artists Program Mollie Flanagan stewarded a Working Group that reviewed a wide variety of materials, including RISCA’s strategic plan; grantmaking best practices; grant programs from other state and local arts agencies; and research on individual artist support. The Working Group then created the outline for four new grant programs, that would replace the current programs. Through multiple meetings and editing sessions, the working group and Mollie have created this draft of four new grant programs for public feedback. This working group is comprised of ten artists from around the state, working in a wide variety of disciplines and bring diverse experiences to the group.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance work search update

We have been working with the RI Department of Labor and Training (RIDLT) to clarify the work search requirements now in place for people receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. Below you will find a list that is illustrative of the actions that will meet the work search requirement and the new work search log specifically for PUA recipients. If you have any questions please reach out to Mollie Flanagan at, she is working closely with RI DLT as they get this process up and running. Additionally, follow RISCA’s social media for upcoming, weekly, online meetings focused on business development for artists that will count as one action for the work search requirements, and will be a great way to connect to other RI artists.

The following is an illustrative list of business growth and development/ work search activities. Note: Any revenue generated should be reported if taken as earnings.

    • Signing up for a new online delivery or driving service.
    • Demonstrating a new client-seeking strategy.
    • Demonstrating a diversification of business, product, or client services.
    • Website updates to attract new customers/clients/traffic.
    • New, original social media postings for your business.
    • Selling at and/or getting a booth at a market (like the Providence Artisan’s Market, or PVD Flea).
    • Spending time creating more work, whether you are a visual, literary, or performing artist. Examples might include making a new painting, more hand poured candles, or learning a new song.
    • Selling work on Etsy or another online art market (profits must be reported during weekly certification).
    • Opening a shop on an online art market or offering new merchandise/services to sell on Etsy or another online market.
    • Attending a business development workshop or class.
    • Spending time creating new or different work. For example, if you currently make candles, learning to make concrete planters; or if you are a violinist, working to learn viola; or learning to teach classes in your art form//business/professional field.
    • Teaching a class for adults or youth in your art form//business/professional field, that charges tuition.

The PUA work search log can be found on the DLT website:, or downloaded here.

Applications Open for the RI Foundation Civic, Cultural, and Media Access Fund Grants

The Rhode Island Foundation is now accepting applications for the Herman H. Rose Civic, Cultural and Media Access Fund(formerly the Archive, Document, Display and Dissemination Fund).

The Herman H. Rose Civic, Cultural and Media Access Fund offers two grant opportunities. Media Project Grants may be requested by any nonprofit or municipal agency and should provide greater access to information through archiving, documenting, displaying, or disseminating information. Library Challenge Grants may be requested by any Rhode Island library or library support organization with 501(c)(3) status and are intended to provide added funding to fundraising campaigns planned to meet local needs. Please review the criteria for each grant application carefully. The submission deadline for both applications is Friday, January 9, 2021.

Please click here to apply for the Library Challenge Grant.

Please click here to apply for the Media Project Grant.

Questions? Contact Kelly Riley, Donor Services Administrator, at 401-427-4028 or