Online tool presents detailed data and view of arts education in R.I. public schools

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Dashboard highlights

R.I. State Council on the Arts (RISCA) has introduced the most comprehensive view to date of the arts education landscape in R.I.’s public charter and public schools, pre-K through high school. In partnership with the Arts Education Data Project and prepared by Quadrant Research, R.I.’s Arts Education Data Dashboard presents an intuitive, interactive and detailed online look at arts education in our state starting with the 2016-17 school year.

Hosted by RISCA, you can find the Dashboard by clicking here

The R.I. Arts Education Data Dashboard has been in development for more than two years and was built to analyze statistics currently and publicly made available by the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) in partnership with DataSpark at the University of Rhode Island. The Dashboard has been reviewed and approved by RISCA’s staff, its Council’s Executive Committee, the Arts Agency’s Arts Learning Network Committee and representatives from RIDE.

Join the webinar on R.I.’s Arts Education Data Dashboard, on Monday, Oct. 31, at 1 p.m. RSVP is required. Click here, to RSVP.

“This powerful tool, which is easy to navigate, gives unique insight into statewide, district and school level arts education as well as data by artistic discipline,” RISCA’s Executive Director, Lynne McCormack said. “We are pleased to be partnering with the nation’s leading arts education data team and look forward to sharing this powerful tool with parents, educators and school administrators throughout the state.”

Arts education data project’s goals

All students in Rhode Island are entitled to a high-quality arts education that will provide them with the important skills they need to succeed in tomorrow’s workforce. Rhode Island is home to more than 2,000 arts-related businesses that employ almost 16,000 people. The creative industries sector accounts for nearly 5% of the total number of businesses based in Rhode Island. 

The Dashboard can be used to help school leaders, parents and advocates determine the status of arts education access in schools and identify and address existing inequities. By having a complete picture of where schools currently stand, leaders will be able to take steps to close gaps in access to a core arts education curriculum in their districts, ensuring that each R.I. high school graduate is meeting the arts proficiency graduation requirement per the Basic Education Plan.

Arts education requirements in Rhode Island

In schools, Rhode Island has adopted and endorsed the National Core Art Standards,  which include comprehensive proficiency-based standards in dance, media arts, visual arts, music and theatre. According to Rhode Island’s Basic Education Plan:

“Classes in at least visual arts and design and music shall be available for each student in each grade through the middle level. [K-8] Curriculum that includes dance and theatre shall adhere to the applicable grade span expectations. A program of study shall exist for all secondary students to enable them to demonstrate proficiency in at least one art form. Additionally, secondary school students shall be provided with the opportunity to do multiple levels of coursework in visual arts and design in both two and three dimensions and in at least one performing arts discipline.”

In addition to the above language, the arts are a core content area and a diploma requirement for all students.  The information about this arts requirement can be found on relevant tabs on the Data Dashboard, by hovering over the question mark icon.

Key findings from the 2019-20 school year:

  • Most students (98%) had access to at least one arts discipline. However, only 83.6% of students have access to the required amount of arts education.
  • Notwithstanding, the State’s arts proficiency diploma the access rate was lowest in high schools (63%).
  • While access may be high, student enrollments are less than 70% in all five artistic disciplines:
    • 63% of students are enrolled in Music courses.
    • 69% of students are enrolled in Visual Arts courses.
    • 3% of students are enrolled in Theatre courses.
    • >1% of students are enrolled in Dance courses.
    • 12% of students are enrolled in Media Arts courses.
  • 27 districts offered Advanced Placement (AP) course work in the arts and those courses were only in visual arts and music. This is only 41% of public Local Education Agencies (LEAs) or districts in Rhode Island.
  • 64% of schools offer courses in at least 2 arts disciplines. Ten percent of schools offer courses in 4+ disciplines and 3% of schools have no arts courses.

Please note:

The aim of releasing this tool, with some data limitations, is to work to continue to bring awareness and address data quality issues. As with any data project, we will continue to assess its accuracy and collection methods. Please understand the following:

  • Data used for the Rhode Island Arts Education Data Project was self-reported by districts and LEAs.
  • Data may not reflect the complete number of students enrolled or with access to arts programing.
  • Dashboard is missing complete arts course enrollment from a minority of public schools in Rhode Island.
    • As a result, please take caution when considering schools with 0% arts enrollment.
  • Data limitations are present due to inaccuracies with data reporting.

Related links:

Contact Us
Have questions about this project or how to view the data? Email for more information.

Thank you to our partners

New grant program supports arts and culture workforce development

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Grant Writing workshop is on Friday, Oct. 14, at noon

Applications just opened for a new RISCA grant program that supports existing arts workforce development programs at arts and culture organizations, culturally specific organizations and secondary schools in Rhode Island.

The Build the Future Grant program is supported by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds and will prepare R.I. residents for employment inside and outside the creative sector as part of the state’s recovery from the pandemic. The launch of this program coincides with October being Arts and Humanities Month in R.I., whose theme is Culture Builds the Future.

The deadline to apply for a Build the Future Grant is Friday, Oct. 28, at 5 p.m.

Read the grant guidelines, click here.

Want to learn more about this new program? Join us on Zoom for a grant writing workshop on Friday, Oct. 14, at noon. RSVP is required, click here.

Additionally, one on one sessions are scheduled for, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 10-noon; and Thursday, Oct. 20, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. Click here to RSVP.

Questions?  Email

Arts Agency and Humanities Council usher in October’s Arts and Humanities Month with events, workshops, celebrations, programs

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RI’s Arts and Humanities Month is themed
Culture Builds the Future

The R.I. State Council on the Arts (RISCA) and the R.I. Council for the Humanities have partnered to celebrate Arts and Humanities Month in October. The councils will host programs that explore how arts, culture and humanities build a vibrant future through community, education, the economy, the environment, and public and civic health. This October’s theme is Culture Builds the Future.

On Thursday, Oct. 27, at 11 a.m., RISCA and the Humanities Council will conclude Arts and Humanities Month with a virtual speaking program entitled How Culture Builds the Future, featuring awardees of the Rhode Island Culture, Humanities and Arts Recovery Grants (RI CHARG)  program, the Councils’ historic collaborative grant program. Additionally, the event will honor Congressman Jim Langevin for his support and commitment to the arts and culture in our state. Click here to RSVP.

In addition to programming and events throughout the month, RISCA and the Humanities Council will also share new tools and resources that will demonstrate how arts, culture and the humanities strengthen our communities. This will include RISCA’s new data tool R.I. Arts Education Dashboard, which will be announced at the end of the October. The Humanities Council recently released the first-ever RI Civic Health Index and the Culture is Key: Strengthening Rhode Island’s Civic Health Through Cultural Participation report, both available on the Councils’ website.

Interested in joining the Councils in celebrating Arts and Humanities Month? In addition to participating in the programs listed below, you can take part in arts, cultural and humanities-focused events that are meaningful to you and your community. Spread the word by communicating the importance of arts and culture to friends, family, neighbors and community leaders.

Here are the programs RISCA and the Humanities Council have announced:

  • Now until Wednesday, October 26: Arts Champion Iona Dobbins – A Collection of Rhode Island Art. Gallery Reception: Friday, Sept. 30, 5-7 p.m. Atrium Gallery at One Capitol Hill on the main floor of the state’s Administration Building in Providence. Iona Dobbins’ Collection features a beautiful arrangement of drawings, paintings, etchings, monotype, a quilt, along with ceramic, metal, blown and fused glass sculptural pieces. Free and open to the public. Iona Dobbins was a former Executive Director of RISCA.
  • Thursday, Oct. 6: PORTALES: Reimagining the Future – Dance Performance & Story Circle, 6 -9 p.m., at the WaterFire Arts Center in Providence, is an exhibit that will be accompanied by a dance performance by Sokeo Ros and story circle held by Anjel Newmann. The story circle is supported in part by a partnership with the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities and a project grant from RISCA.
  • Friday, Oct. 14: Coffee Hour presentation about upcoming public art commissions on URI Narragansett Bay Campus, 10-11 a.m., at the URI Narragansett Bay Campus at the OSEC building, presented by the RISCA Public Art Program.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 18:  In Conversation: Arts and Health with Melody Gamba, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., at Southside Cultural Center, presented by the Arts and Health Network, a partnership between RISCA and RI Department of Health. Featured in this program is Health and Human Services Artist in Residence Melody Gamba, a dance artist, educator, licensed mental health counselor and board-certified dance-movement. Free. Pre-registration required via Eventbrite.
  • Monday, Oct. 24: Official Launch of the Rhode Island Arts Education Data Dashboard presented by RISCA. Prepared by Quadrant Research in partnership with the Arts Education Data Project, this dashboard allows users to view arts education data in Rhode Island’s K-12 public and public charter schools. In development for more than a year, this dashboard was built analyzing data publicly available from the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) and in partnership with DataSpark at the University of Rhode Island.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 26, 6 p.m.-8 p.m., Cabana (formerly Salvation Café), 140 Broadway, Newport, free: The Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County (“ACA”) hosts Arts Around the Fire, an informal networking and social event for artists, writers, performers and supporters of the arts. RISCA’s Executive Director Lynne McCormack will discuss RISCA’s mission to support Rhode Island’s arts and cultural community. Event details at

See a full listing of programs supported by RISCA here, and the ones for the Humanities Council here. We will be updating our websites throughout October frequently. Remember to like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram.

National Arts and Humanities Month (NAHM) is a nationwide collective recognition of the importance of culture in America. NAHM was launched more than 30 years ago by Americans for the Arts (AFTA) to raise public awareness about the critical role arts and humanities play in our communities.