RI Arts and Humanities Councils Open Grant Applications for American Rescue Plan Funds to Culture, Humanities, Arts Nonprofits

Historic collaboration between Councils distributes $968,000 of funding
from National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for Humanities

RI State Council on the Arts (RISCA) and the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities (Humanities Council) announced today a collaborative partnership to distribute federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds to arts, culture and humanities nonprofits. This funding, from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), totals $968,000.

Applications are open to all eligible nonprofits regardless of whether they have received federal funding in the past. Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC)-centered organizations and nonprofits with annual budgets under $500,000 will be prioritized in this grant program, in keeping with federal agencies’ emphasis to focus on equity, inclusion, access and pandemic resilience.

The recovery grants, called the RI Culture, Humanities and Arts Recovery Grants (RI CHARG), are designed to assist nonprofits with general operating support to prevent, prepare, respond and recover from hardships suffered due to the pandemic.

The Arts and Humanities Councils are encouraging first-time applicants. They will be offering joint virtual workshops on July 16 and July 21; for more information and to register, click here.

In addition, one-on-one virtual support sessions; open drop-in hours via Zoom; and other resources geared toward those new to the granting process will also be available. Visit either Council’s website for more details: RISCA’s website at: www.arts.ri.gov; RI Council for the Humanities’ website at: www.rihumanities.org.

Click here to learn more about workshops, drop-in hours and one on one sessions
Read the guidelines and FAQs

For more information, nonprofits are encouraged to reach out to both of the following:

Rhode Island officials comment on the importance of RI CHARG

“The arts, culture and humanities communities are an important economic driver in our state. These funds from the American Rescue Plan, through the National Endowments for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, deliver critical investments in this sector supporting its recovery and full return,” Governor McKee said. “On behalf of Rhode Island, we applaud and thank RI’s Humanities Council and the State Arts Agency as well as the NEA and NEH for their service to our state.”

“COVID-19 was a blow to every piece of what makes Rhode Island special. That’s why I worked to get funds for local cultural and heritage organizations into the American Rescue Plan because Rhode Island’s creative economy enriches our state. By combining federal grants with private donations, we can generate economic activity and help our state’s cultural sector survive the pandemic, adapt and prepare for the future, and continue to serve audiences going forward,” said Senator Jack Reed.

“Rhode Island’s arts, culture, and humanities organizations are a key part of what makes our state special and many were hit hard by the pandemic,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. “I’m glad to see the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts and the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities working together to distribute federal funding from the American Rescue Plan to help support this important work.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on Rhode Island’s world class culture and arts scene, but the American Rescue Plan Act is helping our incredible nonprofit sector recover,” said Rep. Jim Langevin. “I’m thrilled that this federal grant funding will help our arts and humanities communities respond to the worst impacts of the pandemic and continue growing our economy and enriching the lives of so many Rhode Islanders.

“Rhode Island artists are responsible for generating millions of dollars in economic activity each year,” said Rep. David Cicilline. “This announcement will ensure money from the American Rescue Plan continues to benefit artists across our state who are doing work that benefits all of us.”

Elizabeth Francis, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, and Randall Rosenbaum, Executive Director of RISCA, added: “We are excited that the Arts and Humanities Councils have joined forces to greatly expand access to recovery funding in our communities to help culture, humanities and arts nonprofits, including small- to mid-sized and BIPOC-centered organizations, and first-time grantees. Our partnership is a departure from traditional emergency funds as it greatly expands access to grants to some of our state’s most vulnerable and hard-hit culture, humanities and arts organizations. On behalf of both Councils, we are grateful to Senator Reed, Senator Whitehouse, Congressman Langevin, and Congressman Cicilline for their diligence, dedication and determination to ensure that these important NEA and NEH funds were made available in our state.” 

Hera Gallery and Educational Foundation announces a National Juried open call called ‘Dough’

Juried by a food historian; deadline is August 8

Application Fee: $15- 35, visit heragallery.org for coupon codes.
Deadline: August 8, 2021
Exhibition Dates: October 16-November 13, 2021
Apply now by click here.

Hera Gallery and Educational Foundation presents the National Juried Open Call- Dough. Why is dough as a material so appealing? Is it the promise of what it could bring? How can artists use this malleable material and convey the creative ideas generated from the promise of bread, a sense of comfort, religious connotations, or patiently waiting for the pandemic sourdough from the neighbor to rise? Bread sharing and giving is a primary part of many cultures and communities. How can we express this intimate relationship in this exhibition? By sight, smell, touch?
Why is dough a slang word for money in English? Are we talking about scarcity or abundance? Is dough a metaphor for our cash-driven society that still celebrates people according to their cash value while the nation faces unprecedented food insecurity based on systemic inequality?

Dough, in its many forms, is tangible and alive. Perhaps it connects humanity to something instinctual and essential. From sourdough mania to food lines of unfathomable dimensions, dough has been on our minds for the past year. Did it make its way to your art?

What kind of an exhibition can we “bake” together?

Juror Bio: Catherine M. Piccoli is a food historian, writer, and curator whose work focuses on the intersection of food, culture, memory, and place. She brings a multidisciplinary approach to the Museum of Food and Drink as curatorial director, where she oversees the creation of exhibitions and robust public programming for adults and children. Catherine led the development of MOFAD’s major exhibitions – African/American: Making the Nation’s Table, Chow: Making the Chinese American Restaurant, and Flavor: Making It and Faking It – as well as gallery shows – Highlights from the Collection, Knights of the Raj NYC, and Feasts and Festivals. Previously, Catherine worked as a researcher at the Chicago History Museum and the Heinz History Center. She holds an M.A. in Food Studies from Chatham University and a B.S. with honors in Social and Cultural History from Carnegie Mellon University. Catherine acted as MOFAD’s interim president from March through December 2020.

For more information

Spotlight: A conversation with the Executive Director of the Tomaquag Museum

Woman speaking into a microphone
Lorén M. Spears, Narragansett, Executive Director of Tomaquag Museum

To learn more about Lorén M. Spears’ work at the Tomaquag Museum, the RI Expansion Arts Program sat down with Lorén, Narragansett, Executive Director of Tomaquag Museum and a member of the RI Arts Council. She holds a master’s in Education and received a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, from the University of Rhode Island for her dedicated work. She is an author, traditional artist and shares her cultural knowledge with the public through museum programs.

RIEAP: You have served so many roles in the community. What have been some of the most meaningful moments during your career as an educator, activist, author and/or artist?

Lorén: The most meaningful moment was the creation of the Nuweetooun School. It was impactful for my own personal children, other tribal children and children in general attending the school. I think that was important as it integrated all the things I do as an educator, activist, and traditional knowledge person or someone who passes down information from one generation to another. In the Tomaquag Museum, I also play an external role through the work I do with the creation of the Indigenous Empowerment Network, which is intended to create opportunity for Indigenous people through job training and development, entrepreneurship, educational and cultural opportunities in the arts, traditional cultural knowledge, environmental sustainability and advocacy. One of my most important roles is acting as a bridge between the Indigenous community and their cultural knowledge to the general public. Through the Tomaquag Museum and the Indigenous Empowerment Network, we act as a bridge for the Native community but also educate through our programs, partnership, collaboration, and professional development on cultural competency, anti-racism, equity and justice.

Read the rest of the interview and learn more about the Tomaquag Museum’s origin and its new 18 acre expansion.