RISCA Applauds Federal Funding to Rhode Island Arts Organizations

The National Endowment for the Arts announced today that it has awarded grants totaling $925,800 to five arts organizations and agencies in Rhode Island. These federal grants support projects by some of Rhode Island’s major arts institutions. In addition, the Endowment works in partnership with the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) to ensure that the people of Rhode Island have access to the arts.  A grant of $735,800 to RISCA helps to support projects throughout the Ocean State.

In announcing the grants, National Endowment for the Arts Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter said, “Reflecting the diverse artistic richness of our nation, these Arts Endowment-funded projects are varied in their size, scope, and artistic discipline. The projects also illustrate the unique geographic reach of Arts Endowment funding, serving Americans in places large and small in all corners of the country.”

Randall Rosenbaum, Executive Director of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, said, “we are delighted that the National Endowment for the Arts has supported Rhode Island through these grants. Thousands of Rhode Islanders will benefit from this federal support, matched by our state’s investment in the arts.  The return on this investment is significant.  The arts represent close to two billion dollars in direct economic activity annually in our small state, and many Rhode Island businesses depend on an active and vibrant arts community.  In addition, the National Endowment for the Arts works to ensure that people throughout the country have access to the arts, in their communities and as part of their educational and life experiences. Every grant that we make at the state level is a reflection of that national effort to make the arts available to all of our citizens, and as such is enormously important. The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts is proud to work with our federal partner in that effort.”

Here is the list of grants recently announced by the National Endowment for the Arts:









Stephanie Fortunato, Director of the City of Providence Department of Art, Culture + Tourism, and one of the Arts Endowment grant recipients, said, “We are grateful to the National Endowment for the Arts for making an investment in Providence’s 2020 cultural planning process and the opportunity it presents to convene and strengthen our creative community’s ability to address emerging challenges and opportunities over the next decade. First published in 2009, Creative Providence is a living blueprint for strengthening the creative sector, serving as a community-wide guide to public policy, public initiatives and investments. Now at the ten year mark, the City is reassessing our original goals and strategies with plans to release the second Cultural Plan in summer 2020. I look forward to connecting with our City’s creatives and others in this endeavor.”

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. Visit arts.gov to learn more.



NEA Chair Mary Anne Carter Visits Rhode Island

On May 6, RISCA and the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities hosted a Cultural Conversation at Trinity Repertory Company with National Endowment for the Arts Chair Mary Anne Carter, National Endowment for the Humanities Chair Jon Peede, Senator Jack Reed, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, and Congressman Langevin. The conversation included an opportunity to share personal stories of the impact of arts and humanities funding by Sokeo Ross, Co-Artistic Director of Everett Dance Theatre, and Mark Santow of Clemente Veterans Initiative. You can see a brief video excerpt of Sokeo’s performance here, and see a recorded Facebook live conversation of the whole event at Trinity here.

In the early afternoon after the Cultural Conversation, Mary Anne Carter also visited RISD Museum for a lunch hosted by RISD President Rosanne Somerson and to see the NEA-funded Gorham Silver Show; Providence Performing Arts Center to see their spectacular theatre space; and The Public’s Radio for an interview with Chuck Hinman. In the latter part of the afternoon, Chairman Carter and NEA staff went on site visits to New Urban Arts, DownCity Design, and Community MusicWorks – all organizations that have received NEA grants for their  creative  youth development programs.


Mural by RI Artist Featured in eMoney’s New Offices

eMoney ribbon cuttingRISCA has been working with eMoney Advisor since November of 2017, three months after they opened their offices in Providence. While eMoney was in a temporary space, we worked with their  staff to select three RI artists to show in their space. We installed pieces by Jodie Goodnough, Kathy Hodge, and Johnny Adimando in the offices in March 2018. As eMoney grew rapidly, we worked with them to commission a local artist to create and install a mural in their permanent space at 100 Westminster in downtown Providence. On Monday, May 6th, in a ribbon cutting with Governor Raimondo and Mayor Elorza, eMoney unveiled the mural as a highlight of their new office space.emoney mural

Artist Lizzy Sour, a Providence native and current RISD freshman, created a mural approximately 20 feet by 13 feet, showcasing eMoney’s mission and culture, icons selected by eMoney staff, and images central to Rhode Island. Bill Burg, eMoney Advisor’s Creative Director, said “We wanted to hire an up-and-coming artist local to Rhode Island.  We really liked Lizzy’s work because it’s expressive and fun and connects to the eMoney brand. The only direction we supplied was to include the eMoney logo and icons that represent the company. The rest was up to her.  She provided us with a few sketches, andemoney lizzy and gina we ended up selecting a concept that’s similar to what you see today. It’s inspiring to look at the mural because each time you find something new.”

Lizzy Sour’s work has been seen in the Dirt Palace windows, at Paris + Friends pop ups, at Providence Field Day, around the streets of Rhode Island and Los Angeles, and she has a brand new mural in AS220’s recently reopened bar. In addition to large scale murals, Lizzy also creates apparel, protest signs, and a variety of other work. You can check out more of Lizzy’s work on Instagram or on her website.