Federal grants to support 4 RI arts organizations

Latest NEA funds to assist the vital arts economy and post-pandemic revitalization

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is NEA-Logo-1024x512.jpgThe RI State Council on the Arts (RISCA) and three arts organizations will receive $929,800 in grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). NEA’s fiscal year 2021 partnership agreement grants address priorities in cultural tourism, community revitalization, economic development, education, and health and human services.

The awards will be given to the following RI organizations:

RISCA will distribute the federal funds as grants to organizations throughout the state. Here is the listing by state:

“Our arts sector is a key economic driver in our state that continues to face considerable challenges especially as we enter a post-pandemic Rhode Island,” Governor Dan McKee said. “On behalf of Rhode Island, thank you to the National Endowment for the Arts for a second award of assistance in less than a month. These are critical investments and are going to help us rebuild and recover better and will allow the arts to continue to play an important role in the lives of Rhode Islanders.”

“Support for the arts contributes to thriving communities. I am pleased to help deliver federal funding for local arts organizations and artists to ensure that Rhode Island’s creative economy can continue to enrich our state. By combining federal grants with private donations, we can generate economic activity and help arts organizations survive the pandemic and continue to serve audiences going forward,” said Senator Reed.

“After a challenging year for the arts, I’m glad this federal funding is coming to Rhode Island through the State Council on the Arts and its partner organizations,” said U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. “Rhode Island’s world-class arts scene is beginning to rev back up in time for summer.”

“Rhode Island’s local arts community is an important driver of economic growth and an invaluable asset to our state,” said Congressman Langevin. “I’m grateful to RISCA for its deep commitment to our world-renowned arts and culture institutions, and I want to congratulate all of the grantees who contribute so much to the Ocean State. Like so many other Rhode Islanders, I look forward to enjoying your work.”

“I’m proud to join the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts in announcing this important federal funding today,” said U.S. Congressman Cicilline. “When they’re given the chance, Rhode Island’s arts community can hold its own against anyone else in the world. Their creativity generates millions of dollars in economic activity each year, and this funding will make sure they bounce back stronger than ever before.”

“As the country and the arts sector begin to work towards a post-pandemic world, the National Endowment for the Arts is proud to fund the work of our partners,” said NEA Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. “These agreements such as the one to RISCA, AS220, CMW and FirstWorks leverage federal funds for regional, state, and local impact, reinforcing the network of support that is vital for a healthy arts ecosystem.”

“These federal grants support important RI arts organizations, but in addition our federal partners provide funds to the State Arts Council to distribute throughout Rhode Island. This partnership grant directly contributes to our economy, to the education of all Rhode Islanders, and to the quality of life we enjoy in the Ocean State.” Randall Rosenbaum, executive director, RISCA, said. “We thank our Congressional delegation and the NEA for once again noting the importance of the arts in our state and investing in our arts and culture economy.”

In April, RISCA received $754,100 in the first round of federal funding through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) from the NEA. In February, the NEA announced the first round of recommended awards for fiscal year 2021 of $145,000 divided among seven Providence-based arts organizations. Read more about the recent NEA grants to Rhode Island:

American Rescue Grants to RI 

FY21 NEA RI Grants

National Endowment for Arts Announces Second Round of Grants for FY 2021 | National Endowment for the Arts

Call for entry for a portrait artist for official portrait of RI’s former Governor Raimondo

Call for artists interested in painting former Governor and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo’s official portrait

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is GinaRaimondo2015.jpgThe Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA), on behalf of Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea, is issuing a call for artists for the commission of the official painted portrait of the former Governor and current Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. A commission fee of $50,000 will be offered, with additional stipends to cover travel, crating and shipping of the finished work. This commission must be complete on or before November 2022.

Rhode Island State Law Chapter 37-8-9 calls for the commissioning of an official portrait of each Rhode Island Governor.

Artists interested in being considered for the commission should visit the online application, by clicking here. Only applications submitted through CallforEntry.org, the web-based artist application portal, will be reviewed.

This commission is an opportunity to capture the unique and historic nature of the first woman governor of our state. Rhode Island artists, women artists, artists of color and emerging artists are encouraged to apply.

Randall Rosenbaum, Executive Director, RI State Council on the Arts


Artists will be asked to submit a resume and to upload six digital images of previous work relevant to this commission. Interested artists have until June 30, 2021, to submit samples of their work through the online system.

All digital images must be accompanied by the following:

  • A list showing the name of the artist.
  • The title of the work or subject.
  • Medium, size and year.
  • Completed and whether the work was commissioned. (If a commission, provide details.)

Commerce Secretary Raimondo will choose an artist from among these submissions, and a commission will be offered for an official portrait of not less than 29 x 25 inches and not more than 114 x 74 inches in size with the frame included. The artist chosen will be required to work with and receive direction from the Secretary of Commerce regarding certain aspects of this commission, and work with the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission with respect to the framing of the finished portrait.

Note: Please do not submit material for this call through anything other than the online application process. Neither RISCA nor the state of Rhode Island is responsible for damage or loss of materials submitted to this office.

Original works of art will not be accepted as part of the review process.

Online applications must be submitted on or before June 30, 2021. We anticipate that a decision will be made by no later than December 2021.

For further information,  contact Randall Rosenbaum at Randall.Rosenbaum@arts.ri.gov. No phone inquires.

RI arts and culture community receives American Rescue Plan funds

Critical funds to help badly hurt creative sector recover from COVID-19

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced today that the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) will receive $754,100 in the first round of federal funding through the American Rescue Plan (ARP). These emergency funds are designed to support and assist RI’s arts-related small businesses, artists, and arts and culture organizations as they recover from the devastating impact of COVID-19.This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is NEA-Logo-1-1024x512.jpg

“Rhode Island is known for its vibrant arts and culture scene, and this vital sector has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Governor Dan McKee. “Thank you to the National Endowment for the Arts for this award. These critical funds will help us as we work to rebuild our economy and our communities and recognize the important role that arts and culture plays in the lives of Rhode Islanders.”

During the next several weeks, RISCA staff members will be reviewing federal guidance as it determines how these funds can best be used to support the recovery of one of RI’s key economic sectors.

“The arts remain critical to our economy and culture and federal funding has never been more important to sustaining these arts organizations and supporting artists and public access to the arts. I am pleased to help deliver federal funding for local arts organizations and artists to navigate the challenges of COVID-19 and provide foundational resources to ensure that the arts are available to all Rhode Islanders,” said U.S. Senator Jack Reed.

“Our talented arts community is an engine of Rhode Island’s economy and a big part of what makes our state a great place to live,” said U.S. Senator Whitehouse.  “After one of the most challenging years in memory, this federal funding will provide a much-needed infusion for local arts organizations.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought tough times for us all, but Rhode Island’s bustling arts and culture scene has been hit particularly hard,” said Congressman Langevin. “I was proud to support the American Rescue Plan and secure this key funding for RISCA because all Rhode Islanders benefit from the first-rate work created by our talented local artists.”

Congressman Cicilline added: “Rhode Island artists are second to none, but this pandemic has been devastating for artists in our state and across the country. I’m pleased that we are announcing this new federal funding through the American Rescue Plan today. These resources will help Rhode Island ensure our arts and culture community fully recovers from the pandemic and emerges stronger than ever.”

The funds announced today and distributed by the Arts Endowment mark 40 percent of the total allotment to the arts in the ARP. The remaining 60 percent will be awarded by the NEA directly to nonprofit organizations to help support jobs; keep the doors open; and assist in its recovery from. In June, the NEA will announce the guidelines and application materials for the second phase of American Rescue Plan funding for the arts.

“On behalf of the RI State Council on the Arts, we are grateful to our federal partners, and look forward to continuing our role as responsible stewards of this valued funding,” Randall Rosenbaum, Executive Director of RISCA, said. “Rhode Island artists, arts and culture organizations, arts educators and the entire community were hard hit by the pandemic and these funds will assist in the difficult work of rebuilding the arts economically, educationally and culturally.”

On March 11, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan, which includes funding for the National Endowment for the Arts to support organizations and jobs in the arts sector that have been impacted by the pandemic. The $135 million allocated for the Arts Endowment in this legislation represents a significant commitment to the arts and a recognition of the value of the arts and culture sector to the nation’s economy and recovery.

About the National Endowment for the Arts: Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America.