Equity and Access Workshop Series for Small, Midsize, and Volunteer-Led Organizations this Spring

In this workshop series co-presented by RISCA and Arts Equity, we will be supporting small, midsize, and volunteer-led organizations to become more equitable and accessible to all Rhode Island communities. These four spring workshops, presented in two parts and offered via Zoom, will focus on how arts and cultural organizations can actualize diversity, equity, inclusion, and access values through their governance, operations, and programming. With an understanding that time and resources are particularly limited at small and volunteer-led organizations, each workshop will focus on processes, strategies, and tactics organizations can employ now, on their own, with a minimal budget and little or no staff.

Workshops will be recorded – if you can’t attend at the scheduled time, still fill out the RISCA Equity and Access Workshops Interest Form and we will follow-up with more information.

Why this workshops series?

Between 2020 – 2021, RISCA restructured our Project Grants for Organizations and General Operating Support for Organizations in collaboration with working groups comprised of community members from arts and culture organizations around Rhode Island. Based on RISCA’s strategic plan and values statement, these working groups co-created with RISCA staff new grant programs and applications that are more streamlined, equitable and accessible. As part of this work, we heard from arts and cultural organizations, particularly small and volunteer-led organizations, the need for more information and support on how to make changes at their organizations and through their programming.

PART ONE: Building Capacity for Equity Work, with Dr. Brea Heidelberg, ISO Arts Consulting.

Workshop #1 – Initiating Equity Work at Small and Volunteer-Led Organizations: Wednesday, April 6, 2022 – 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Workshop #2 – Initiating Equity Work Follow-up Q + A Session: Wednesday, April 13, 2022 – 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Kicking off the Equity and Access Workshop Series, these workshops will build capacity among small, midsize, and volunteer-led arts and culture organizations to create and sustain diverse, equitable, and inclusive environments for the people working or volunteering at these organizations, as well as their audiences. Specific consideration will be given to the unique organizational context of volunteer-led and run organizations, with guidance on engaging in equity work that is sensitive to the resource limitations they often face. 

While these workshops are free and open to all, registration priority will be given to arts and culture organizations & culturally specific organizations that are current or past RISCA grant recipients. Interested in attending or receiving a recording? Fill out the RISCA Equity and Access Workshops Interest Form. You will be contacted with further information on how to register. All sessions will have closed captioning available, but please let us know two weeks prior to a workshop if you need additional accommodations either via the Interest Form, or by contacting Todd Trebour at todd.trebour@arts.ri.gov.

PART TWO: Creating Access & Inclusion, Organized by Jeannine Chartier, Arts Equity.

Workshop #1 – Getting Started: Understanding Dis/ability and Improving Accessibility:  Wednesday, April 27, 2022 – 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Workshop #2 – Understanding Neurodiversity and Enhancing Inclusion: Wednesday, May 4, 2022 – 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Following ISO Arts Consulting’s Equity workshops, we will provide a two-part workshop series to gain a deeper understanding of Dis/ability & Neurodiversity that will help small, midsize, and volunteer-led arts and culture organizations identify barriers and discover solutions to improve the accessibility of their organization and programs. Based on feedback from RI’s arts & cultural community, this workshop is designed to provide guidance about interacting, communicating with and including people with dis/abilities and differences to change things for the better and become part of the equity solution.

The first session, Getting Started: Understanding Dis/ability and Improving Accessibility, will introduce, explore and build upon your understanding of dis/ability that will provide ideas, approaches and concrete examples to improve accessibility throughout your organization and programs.

The second session, Understanding Neurodiversity and Enhancing Inclusion, will provide a deeper dive into neurodiversity, illustrate examples of access in action, and emphasize an array of resources available to enhance disability inclusion actions.

While these workshops are free and open to all, registration priority will be given to arts and culture organizations & culturally specific organizations that are current or past RISCA grant recipients. Interested in attending or receiving a recording? Fill out the RISCA Equity and Access Workshops Interest Form. You will be contacted with further information on how to register. All sessions will have closed captioning available, but please let us know two weeks prior to a workshop if you need additional accommodations either via the Interest Form, or by contacting Todd Trebour at todd.trebour@arts.ri.gov.

Peer Support calls for arts and culture organizations return in 2022!

RISCA’s peer support calls for arts and culture organizations are back!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Todd-T.pngWe will be hosting 1-3 calls a month, typically on Fridays from noon-1 p.m. See call schedule and descriptions below – for security reasons, you will need to RSVP via the associated Eventbrite page for each call. This page will be updated regularly with the schedule of upcoming calls.

Gently facilitated by RISCA staff, colleagues working at RI arts and culture organizations, and special guests, these calls are spaces for people working at arts and culture organizations to listen, talk, share resources, brainstorm ideas, and co-create solutions. Most calls will have a topic focus. There will be a few that will be full-on workshops (stay tuned on those).
 
In addition to being a form of peer support, these calls will inform staff members as to how they can best support your arts and culture organization during these difficult and uncertain time.

Call Schedule

Friday, Jan. 21, noon – 1 p.m. It Has Been A While – How Are You?  With Todd Trebour, RISCA’s Organizations Program Director. This first call will be freeform, but will help inform the content and thematic tracks for future calls. Let us know where you and your organization are at, what you are learning, what you might be struggling with, and the ways you think peer support calls could be focused in the future to help you as the pandemic continues to evolve. RSVP here to receive link.

Friday, February 25, noon-1 p.m. A Dialogue on Disaster Response. With Janet Newcomb, Executive Director of the National Coalition for Arts’ Preparedness and Emergency Response (NCAPER), and Tom Clareson, Project Director for Performing Arts Readiness. The past two years have shown us disaster situations that few were prepared for – the pandemic, its economic fallout, and concerns about racial, economic, and health inequity. How can your arts and culture organization survive – or possibly even thrive – amidst this perfect storm of concerns?

Join our speakers and facilitators Janet and Tom for a dialogue on disaster preparedness, response and recovery. Our speakers will ask the group a few questions, but mainly take time to answer your concerns about preparing for and recovering from all types of hazards. And, they will briefly cover critical resources that PAR, NCAPER, and other arts service organizations can provide to your organization. RSVP here to receive link.

Friday, March 4, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. What Should We Measure and Why? A Conversation with the Cultural Community. With Todd Trebour, RISCA’s Organizations Program Director, and Julia Renaud, Associate Director of Grants and Strategic Initiatives at the RI Council for the Humanities. The Humanities Council and the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts collect information and data in grant applications and grant reports. While some information we collect is required by the federal government, some is not. Much of this data is critical in case-making and advocacy for the arts, humanities, and cultural communities and as both Council’s review data collection practices, we want to hear from you.

In this 1-hour call, we will review what information our Councils collect, and why. Based on that, we want to know what information you think could be helpful to collect for the cultural sector and why. The Humanities Council will also share their recent work connecting the outcomes of cultural activities to the state’s civic health—outcomes that organizations can measure in their own work. RSVP here to receive link.

Friday, March 25, 12 – 1 p.m. On the Horizon in Arts in Education. With Maggie Anderson, RISCA’s Arts in Education Director. Maggie will  report out on RISCA’s upcoming programs in partnership with RIDE and ways that organizations can continue to strengthen their school based work. Topics to include a preview of a new data dashboard, preview of arts coordinator position, secondary regulations and how to participate in public comment, final spend downs of ESSER funds, and RISCA’s Project Grants in Education overhaul. RSVP here to receive link.

Wednesday, April 6, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Initiating Equity Work at Small and Volunteer-Led Organizations. With Dr. Brea Heidelberg, ISO Arts Consulting. Presented in partnership with Arts Equity.
Wednesday, April 13, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.  Initiating Equity Work Follow-up Q + A Session. With Dr. Brea Heidelberg, ISO Arts Consulting. Presented in partnership with Arts Equity.

Kicking off the Equity and Access Workshop Series occurring in our Peer Support Call slots, these workshops will build capacity among small, midsize, and volunteer-led arts and culture organizations to create and sustain diverse, equitable, and inclusive environments for the people working or volunteering at these organizations, as well as their audiences. Specific consideration will be given to the unique organizational context of volunteer-led and run organizations, with guidance on engaging in equity work that is sensitive to the resource limitations they often face. 

While these workshops are free and open to all, registration priority will be given to arts and culture organizations & culturally specific organizations that are current or past RISCA grant recipients. Interested in attending or receiving a recording? Fill out the RISCA Equity and Access Workshops Interest Form. You will be contacted with further information on how to register. All sessions will have closed captioning available, but please let us know two weeks prior to a workshop if you need additional accommodations either via the Interest Form, or by contacting Todd Trebour at todd.trebour@arts.ri.gov. You can read more about the Equity and Access Workshop Series here.

Wednesday, April 27, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Getting Started: Understanding Dis/ability and Improving Accessibility. Organized by Jeannine Chartier, Arts Equity. Following ISO Arts Consulting’s Equity workshops, we will provide a two-part workshop series to gain a deeper understanding of Dis/ability & Neurodiversity that will help small, midsize, and volunteer-led arts and culture organizations identify barriers and discover solutions to improve the accessibility of their organization and programs. Based on feedback from RI’s arts & cultural community, this workshop is designed to provide guidance about interacting, communicating with and including people with dis/abilities and differences to change things for the better and become part of the equity solution.

The first session, Getting Started: Understanding Dis/ability and Improving Accessibility, will introduce, explore and build upon your understanding of dis/ability that will provide ideas, approaches and concrete examples to improve accessibility throughout your organization and programs.

While these workshops are free and open to all, registration priority will be given to arts and culture organizations & culturally specific organizations that are current or past RISCA grant recipients. Interested in attending or receiving a recording? Fill out the RISCA Equity and Access Workshops Interest Form. You will be contacted with further information on how to register. All sessions will have closed captioning available, but please let us know two weeks prior to a workshop if you need additional accommodations either via the Interest Form, or by contacting Todd Trebour at todd.trebour@arts.ri.gov. You can read more about the Equity and Access Workshop Series here.

-Wednesday, May 4, 2022, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Understanding Neurodiversity and Enhancing Inclusion. Organized by Jeannine Chartier, Arts Equity. The second session, Understanding Neurodiversity and Enhancing Inclusion, will provide a deeper dive into neurodiversity, illustrate examples of access in action, and emphasize an array of resources available to enhance disability inclusion actions.

While these workshops are free and open to all, registration priority will be given to arts and culture organizations & culturally specific organizations that are current or past RISCA grant recipients. Interested in attending or receiving a recording? Fill out the RISCA Equity and Access Workshops Interest Form. You will be contacted with further information on how to register. All sessions will have closed captioning available, but please let us know two weeks prior to a workshop if you need additional accommodations either via the Interest Form, or by contacting Todd Trebour at todd.trebour@arts.ri.gov. You can read more about the Equity and Access Workshop Series here.

Friday, May 20, 12 – 1 p.m.  How Can the Arts and Culture Sector Collaborate to Address Climate Change? With Mollie Flanagan, Individual Artists Program Director at RISCA, and Jonesy Mann, Operations Director at AS220. What are your biggest concerns about climate change in RI? What can we do about it? Who else should we be working with – both in and outside the arts sector? Join Mollie and Jonesy Mann as they facilitate a conversation around these (huge) questions. Our discussion is the first step to working together on some cross-sector mitigation projects, in partnership with NCAPER and  the AIR Institute through their Crisis Analysis and Mitigation pilot program.

Public Feedback for New Project Grant for Organizations – 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 April 2021. Now, we turn to our Arts Access Grant program, which will be known as our Project Grant for Organizations starting in January 2022.

To develop these new program guidelines, RISCA was guided by a Working Group comprised of 10 individuals from around the Ocean State associated with arts and culture organizations (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 this program.

Based on feedback heard during our strategic planning process and the work of this working group, the changes to the structure of the grant program are not dramatic. The bulk of the Working Group’s time and energy was spent on a new simplified and streamlined application and budget for the program, as well as different ways RISCA could provide support to applicants and address accessibility issues. The most noteworthy structural change is the removal of the cash match requirement for all grant requests. 

WHY SHOULD I GIVE FEEDBACK?

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!

HOW DO I GIVE FEEDBACK?

The draft guidelines are available here. When 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 Todd Trebour at todd.trebour@arts.ri.gov.

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 one Q & A session. You don’t not need to attend this session in order to provide feedback.

  • Q & A Information Session: Monday, September 20 from 10 – 11 am. Register to join the call via this link here.

The feedback survey will be open until end of day Tuesday, September 21, 2021.

WHAT HAPPENS WITH MY FEEDBACK?

All survey responses will be compiled. Todd will summarize the feedback and take it into consideration when drafting the final version of the grant guidelines. In their final review of these new guidelines in late September, RISCA’s Governing Council will consider the summarized feedback – and RISCA staff’s responses to the feedback – in their final approval of this program.

CAN YOU TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE WORKING GROUP?

In February 2020, RISCA’s Governor-appointed Council leadership approved a timeline and process for the restructure of the Arts Access Grant program, now called Project Grant for Organizations. In particular, RISCA’s Governor-appointed Council wanted to ensure that RISCA’s Project Grant for Organizations program is in alignment with the new strategic plan, particularly in regards to our values around equity and access.

As a part of the process, Organizations Program Director Todd Trebour stewarded a Working Group that reviewed a wide variety of materials, including RISCA’s strategic plan and grantmaking best practices. At the Working Group’s first meeting, they provided Todd with feedback on the Arts Access Grant program, application, and budget. At two subsequent meetings, the Working Group reviewed drafts of program guidelines and application materials Todd produced and provided feedback. This working group is comprised of ten people associated with arts and culture organizations from around the state, working in a wide variety of disciplines and bringing diverse experiences to the group. Approximately 3/4 of Working Group members were from organizations with annual budgets under $100,000.