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.

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