Arts State Council adds 11 RI teaching artists to its Teaching Artist Roster

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is creative-ground-logo.pngTo dovetail with National Arts in Education Week, Sept. 12 – 18, the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) proudly announces additions to its Rhode Island Teaching Artist Roster. The Roster is a list of teaching artists and arts organizations who have been reviewed by public panels and selected based on their mastery of an artistic discipline, experience and training to work in educational settings.

The Roster is widely used as a public resource by education sites and individuals looking to engage an artist for an arts learning residency or project. The eleven additions reside in the following city or town: Bristol, Middletown, North Kingstown, North Providence, Pawtucket, Providence and Warwick.

“We are pleased to announce these eleven additions—all of whom are incredibly talented and a resource to punctuate the message that the arts are an essential part of every student’s education, particularly during a pandemic, when so much else has been changed or lost. These new teaching artists exemplify National Arts in Education Week, which celebrates the arts in education and honors arts educators.”

Randall Rosenbaum, Executive Director of RISCA

RISCA’s Roster is housed on the New England Foundation of the Arts’ CreativeGround website. To see the entire Roster, click here.

The new additions are:

  • Stephan Brigidi, Bristol, photography: “Through my travels I have come to observe the greater diversity of people, and my interests are in addressing our linkage in humanity. …By my image-making, I want to explore our common bonds and express my strong beliefs in the importance of this.”
  • Joy Prentice, Middletown, dance: “Movement helps move the mind. One of my guiding values is integrity through grace. To that end, I devote my creative time to inspiring students to healthy living, mental and physical flexibility and equity awareness.”
  • Cindy Wilson, North Kingstown, photography: “Discovering the unique; finding the extraordinary in the mundane; honoring the forgotten; and recording the soon to change are the fuel of my journey.”
  • Everett Hoag, North Providence, multidisciplinary theatre, fiber arts and design: “Through color, form, language, sound and movement, skilled artisans help interpret our past, understand the present, and envision our future. Our work breaks down barriers and helps us appreciate what it means to be human.”
  • Ricky Katowicz, North Providence, multidisciplinary visual arts, crafts and performance art: “While creating, I find myself to be acting in one (1) of three (3) states of being at all times: 1.) playing 2.) floating 3.) focusing. These actions can take on many different forms, such as: dancing, sound making, singing, walking, cooking or washing dishes.”
  • MacKenzie Kugel, Pawtucket, music and theatre: “My love for teaching is rooted in my commitment to community-building; this was solidified three years ago teaching in Sri Lanka at an organization facilitating healing through music. … My devised theater pedagogy prioritizes art-making that is fundamentally inclusive and grounded in cultivating community.”
  • Damont Combs, Providence, multidisciplinary poet: “I teach youth life lessons through poetry. This helps them inside the classroom and outside the classroom by building skills such as confidence, the ability to speak up, researching topics of interest, dedication, and to overcome certain fears.”
  • Ravi Shankar, Providence, interdisciplinary theatre: “As a writer of color, diversity, inclusion and cultural responsiveness are key components of my work, and I believe that everyone has a story to tell, which can be healing and revelatory.”
  • Chris Monti, Providence, music and healing arts: “My goal is to keep new music and influences coming in, to let those influences simmer in their own time and emerge in original compositions and performances, and to foster connections with audiences and students.
  • Seth McCombs, Warwick, visual arts, media arts and literature: “I work to create a vision of Rhode Island as a magical place in which all children can see themselves. I mine local history and folklore and weave imaginary elements through these stories to lift them from fact to myth.”
  • Christine Kellerman, Moonstone Art Studio, Warwick, visual arts: “Enjoying the sensory, hands-on process of art making is just as, if not more important than, a ‘perfect’ finished piece.”

A message from RISCA about COVID protocols for audiences

We thought it was over, but now it appears that a surge in COVID-19 cases may, once again, impact the return to arts programming in our state. From all of us at RISCA, we regret the impact this may have on you and your audiences, and will continue to provide you with information and support that you can use to address these challenges.

Recently a group of arts producers and presenters announced that they would reopen by following some strict guidelines designed to protect their audiences, their artists and staff. This cohort includes Festival Ballet Providence, Gamm Theatre, Island Moving Company, Providence Performing Arts Center, Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School, Trinity Repertory Company, United Theatre, Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium, and Wilbury Theatre Group.

This group has issued the following statement:

“Effective immediately and until further notice: All patrons attending in-person indoor events must either show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 (at least 14 days have passed since the final dose), or proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken in the prior 72-hours, or proof of a negative COVID-19 antigen test taken in the prior 6-hours. All patrons regardless of vaccination status must wear masks over their nose and mouth at all times while inside the venue (unless actively eating or drinking). Please visit the websites of the individual venues for any additional restrictions or details, particularly for children not yet eligible for vaccination. Details may be revisited or revised based on CDC guidance and the evolving circumstances of the pandemic.”

We’re sharing this for your information. These are prudent measures, but they are NOT state mandates. You may choose to do more or less than what this group has described. Obviously, you are in the best position to know what you are capable of managing, and what is needed to keep you and your audiences satisfied that they are participating in an artistic experience that is safe and secure.

The last sentence of the statement above is key: “Details may be revisited or revised based on CDC guidance and the evolving circumstances of the pandemic.” This is a fast-changing environment. Governor McKee and the Rhode Island Department of Health, advised by the federal government and the CDC, may set new standards for public engagement that may require more stringent measures on the part of arts organizations. We will try and share that information with you as it becomes available. For now, if you have questions about managing audiences during the pandemic, please email Randall.Rosenbaum@arts.ri.gov and Todd.Trebour@arts.ri.gov. We will try and get answers from the state’s Department of Health for you.

For now, please stay well.

Call for Artists: Public Art Residency at Lillian Feinstein Senior Center

The application deadline is August 31, 2021

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is color-jpeg-ACT-Staff.jpgThe City of Providence Department of Art, Culture + Tourism (ACT), Mayor’s Office for Senior Services, and the Lillian Feinstein Senior Center invite RI-based muralists to install an original permanent mural. The awarded artist or artist team will begin a residency in late September 2021 and will work with the Lillian Feinstein Senior Center for up to six weeks or until the mural is installed.

Applicants must be 18 years or older and hold a current Rhode Island home or studio address to be eligible to apply. Providence residents and/or artists with previous lived experience in Providence will be preferred.

The total project budget is $20,000, of which $10,200 will be directly allocated to the artist or artist team. Please see budget section of the call for more information. To apply, submit your artist statement, resume/CV,  and three to five examples of relevant projects via CAFÉ here.

The application deadline is August 31, 2021.

Questions about this call to artists must be submitted in writing by August 20, 2021. Write to Gina Rodriguez-Drix, ACT Cultural Affairs Manager at grodriguez@providenceri.gov with the subject line: Residency at Lillian Feinstein Senior Center. An FAQ will be posted on August 25, 2021, here. to learn more, click here