October is Arts and Humanities Month in Rhode Island! Help Us Celebrate and Honor Artists and Arts In the Ocean State.

October is National Arts and Humanities Month! National Arts and Humanities Month (NAHM) is a nationwide collective recognition of the importance of culture in America. NAHM was launched over 30 years ago by Americans for the Arts (AFTA), the lead arts advocacy organization in the United States, in order to raise public awareness about the critical role arts and culture play in our communities.

In recognition of National Arts and Humanities Month, Governor Raimondo declared October Arts and Humanities Month in Rhode Island! Check out the video below, and see a electronic copy of the proclamation here at Arts-and-Humanities-Month-2020-Proclamation.

There are a several important ways Rhode Islanders can help elevate arts and culture and amplify its importance throughout the month. You can participate in the #ShowYourArt2020 social media campaign led by AFTA; or take part in the #ArtsCreateHope, another nationwide campaign led by AFTA where you can share – or share about – arts experiences that have created hope either before or during the pandemic.

Much of this builds upon the COVID-related arts initiatives of Governor Raimondo. For the #ArtsCreateHope campaign, RISCA will draw from the wealth of images that have been submitted as part of the #RIArts campaign and use both hashtags. We will also monitor our Facebook and Instagram and see what things you tag us in that we can reshare.

While we all know the arts create hope, we also know many artists and arts & culture organizations have been severely impact by the pandemic. According to the Brookings Institute Study Lost Art: Measuring COVID-19’s Devastating Impact on America’s Creative Economy, they estimate that Rhode Island lost 10,077 jobs and over $436 million in “sales” in the creative sector between April – July 2020.  We will use this month as an opportunity to tell those stories as well.

Lastly, we will have some surprise programs later this month! Stay tuned as we will be announcing those in the coming week or so.

Help RISCA Help the Arts – Two Important Surveys by September 18th

Dear Friend:

We are living through an unprecedented time. Like many organizations, RISCA is thinking about what we do and how we can better support the RI arts and culture community. This may involve continuing to provide the programs and services on which you depend. It may also involve reimagining our work so that it is of greater assistance during this unique period.

We know you have been asked to do many surveys. We have resisted the urge to bombard you with surveys, and have only asked you to complete one survey (so far) that directly supported federal advocacy efforts by Americans for the Arts. Today, we are asking arts and culture organizations to complete two surveys by September 18th. This quick turnaround time is important as we will immediately review and make use of the data to support the work of state and federal policy-makers.

RISCA’s Organizational Support in the time of COVID-19 Survey (17 questions; estimated time to complete survey: 20 minutes with assembled information). The primary purpose of this survey is to understand the financial impact of the pandemic on your organization. We understand these questions are sensitive, but we need to ask them as they will support our continued efforts to access public support for arts and culture organizations. Your responses will be confidential. Outside of RISCA staff, the data collected from this survey will only be shared in anonymous aggregate. See survey and instructions here – you will want to read over the questions and instructions to see what information you need before completing it.

RI Nonprofits and COVID-19: A Survey on Organizational Impacts, Needs, and Supports (21 questions; estimated time to complete survey: 20 minutes). The purpose of this survey is for RISCA and other partners to understand the impact of the pandemic on the entire Rhode Island nonprofit ecosystem.

This survey is a partnership with Grantmakers Council of RI, Fio Partners, RISCA, and other RI-based funders. Many community partners are distributing this survey, so if you receive multiple invitations to complete it, you only need to do so once (we will be sharing response data). As funding organizations are considering how to best support the nonprofit sector through grants, technical assistance, and learning, we want to make sure arts and culture organizations needs are included in their assessment. See survey and instructions here.

We have crafted these surveys to complement each other and not duplicate questions. In a few cases, RISCA’s survey digs deeper on a related question asked in the RI Nonprofits survey.

It’s important to remind everyone that we do not – as of early September – have a state budget for the fiscal year that started on July 1st. We have no idea what the state budget will look like, but we do know that the State of Rhode Island is facing significant financial challenges. This, too, will have an impact on what we are able to do to support the Rhode Island arts and culture community.

For now, please stay safe! We value and appreciate all that you contribute to the cultural life of our state.

Randall Rosenbaum

For Arts and Culture Organizations: One-on-One Check-ins with Todd – How’s It Going?

From RISCA’s Organizations Program Director, Todd Trebour:

As the pandemic continues, I wanted to hear from you all how you and your organizations are faring, and how I/RISCA can be helpful this fall and spring with our programs and services. I will definitely provide any help, information, and ideas I can in our conversation, and am happy to talk through any tough problems you are facing or program ideas you are developing as well. The hour is yours to use as you wish! Our conversations will be confidential.

Check out the sign up schedule here. When you sign up, be sure to provide your email address and phone number. I will follow-up with details. If none of the time listed work for you, email me at todd.trebour@arts.ri.gov and we can definitely find an alternative time.