May Workshops for Minority and Women-Owned Businesses in the Arts English- and Spanish-language MBE and WBE certification workshops to be cohosted by Rhode Island State Council on the Arts and the Division of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Application-Walk-Through_in_English_V1.jpgThe R.I. State Council on the Arts (RISCA) and the Division of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (DEDI) are hosting two free webinars on Friday, May 26, for Rhode Island arts businesses interested in being certified as Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) and/or Women-Owned Business Enterprises (WBEs).

The English version of the MBE application workshop will be held from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., while the Spanish version will be hosted from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Business owners who are interested in participating in the webinars can register for English, and register for Spanish.

“RISCA’s partnership with the Division of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is incredibly beneficial to artists and arts and culture businesses and nonprofits,” said RISCA’s Executive Director Lynne McCormack. “Educating these small business owners on the various business certifications offered by DEDI and how to get certified opens up opportunities for work, as well as diversifying and expanding businesses that the state looks to first for contract services, such as graphic design, videography, and more.”

“The workshops help Rhode Island expand the number of MBE and WBE certified businesses in the arts, and it provides the arts business community with increased opportunities to participate in state-funded projects,” said DEDI’s Associate Director Tomás Ávila.

Businesses that participate in DEDI’s MBE program receive training and technical assistance designed to support and strengthen their ability to compete in their industry, he said.

Rhode Island law requires that certified minority businesses on the MBE/WBE list shall be awarded a minimum of ten percent (10%) of all state contracts. Qualifications for MBE and WBE include the following:

• Firms must be for-profit.
• 51% of the firm must be owned by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.
• Ownership and control must be real, substantial, and continuing.
• For a license industry, firm must hold a valid business license.
• Firm must be a small business concern and must have been in operation for at least 6 months.
• Personal net worth of applicant cannot exceed $1.32 million.

State Arts Council Opens Applications for Individual Artists and R.I.’s Teaching Artist Roster

Application deadline for both programs is June 30

Applications are now open for the individual artist grant program, General Operating Support for Artists, and R.I.’s Teaching Artist Roster.

The Teaching Artist Roster is a listing of teaching artists and arts organizations who have been reviewed by public panels. They are selected based on their mastery of an artistic discipline, experience and training to work in educational settings.

RISCA’s General Operating Support for Artists program provides grants of $6,000 for each of three consecutive years (totaling $18,000) for artists to work toward large, specific, self-identified goals in their art practice. This funding is unrestricted, and artists can use the funds to support their goals. First time applicants are encouraged to apply. Three artists will be selected to receive this grant

Arts Council staff members have scheduled workshops and/or office hours throughout May and June to help you get ready for the June 30 deadline.

For questions and information on the Teaching Roster, contact

For General Operating Support for Artists support, an application walk-through workshops have been scheduled for:

  • Monday, May 8, 2-3:30 p.m., click here to RSVP.
  • Thursday, June 1, noon to 1:30 p.m. Click here to RSVP .

Drop-in office hours:

To schedule a one-on-one 30-minute grant support meeting, click here.

R.I.’s Diversity, Equity and Opportunity Division Provides Application Walk-Through for Minority and Women owned businesses

Join us for an online deep dive into the application process for the Minority Business Enterprise and Women Business Enterprise Certifications

Friday, May 26, 10 a.m., in English; 2 p.m., in Spanish

We have teamed up with the R.I. Minority Business Enterprise Compliance Office (MBECO) so artists, arts administrators, and small arts and culture organizations can learn more about business certifications by state and government entities. State agencies, including RISCA, contract with a variety of small businesses and are required by law to seek out entities that are Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) or Women Business Enterprise (WBE).

By getting certified, you may get more work and/or make key contacts to help you grow your business!

Please join Ana Pimentel and Anthony Aquino, both Programming Services Officers with MBECO, for an online webinar where they present a thorough question-by-question walk-through of the applications for the Minority Business Enterprise and Women Business Enterprise.

Event details

What: MBECO application review for Minority Business Enterprise and Women Business Enterprise Certifications.
When: Friday, May 26, at 10 a.m. (English); 2 p.m. in Spanish.
Where: Online and RSVP required through Eventbrite. For English, click here; for Spanish, click here.