RI Arts and Humanities Councils award nearly $1 million in grants with federal funds to 121 culture, humanities, arts nonprofits

Funding expands assistance reach to state’s more vulnerable and hardest-hit organizations

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is RI-CHARG-MAP-1.jpgSome 121 RI culture, humanities and arts nonprofits benefit from the RI Culture, Humanities and Arts Recovery Grant (RI CHARG) program, a historic collaborative partnership between the State Council on the Arts (RISCA) and the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities (Humanities Council). The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) awarded $968,000 in assistance to Rhode Island from their American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds and is not part of the $1.1 billion in ARPA funding awarded to the state.

These federally appropriated cultural assistance funds administered by RISCA and the Humanities Council provide general operating support grants of $8,000 each to 121 culture, humanities, and arts nonprofits:

  • 95% are small to midsize and/or Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) centered organizations;
  • 65% are organizations based outside the city of Providence; and
  • More than 25% are first-time grantees.

The Councils designed the RI CHARG program to help RI’s culture, humanities, and arts nonprofits prevent, prepare, respond, and recover from hardships suffered due to the pandemic. In keeping with federal agencies’ priority on equity, inclusion, and access efforts and to support small and  mid size organizations, funding priorities were given to BIPOC centered organizations and nonprofits with annual budgets under $500,000.

Click here for a list of grantees. You can also find the listing at the Humanities Council.This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Final-CHARG-logo-v.2-Email-Header--1024x341.jpg

“These federal funds given to our state through the NEA’s and NEH’s ARPA allotments acknowledge the important economic impact culture, humanities, and arts have on Rhode Island,” Governor McKee said. “On behalf of Rhode Island, I thank and applaud our State Council on the Arts and RI’s Humanities Council for their partnership and swift work in getting this badly needed recovery assistance to their respective communities.”

Elizabeth Francis, Executive Director of the Humanities Council noted: “This historic collaboration between the Humanities Council and RISCA has enabled our two organizations to streamline the application process for cultural organizations across the state, ensuring that the combined $968,000 in relief funds from the NEH and NEA reaches those in the prioritized areas. This unique approach has gained national attention and we’re proud to know that culture, humanities, and arts nonprofits across the state will benefit from this effort. As communities emerge from the pandemic, the humanities and arts are essential to rebuilding our social fabric.”

Randall Rosenbaum, Executive Director of RISCA, added: “I am delighted that we were able to combine funding from the NEA and NEH to directly support these cultural nonprofits. We’re proud that so many of these grantees are small and medium sized organizations; represent culturally diverse communities; or are new to us. These grants will have a significant impact on communities throughout our state who have suffered greatly because of the pandemic.”

RISCA staff members assist in navigating the FY22 fall grant application process

A grant writing/budgeting workshop is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 13, at noon-1:30 p.m., click here to register.

Get your questions to staff prior to 6 p.m. on deadline day– October. 1. The portal closes at 11:59 p.m.

Our helpful and friendly RISCA staff can assist you with your grant application needs. In addition, we are available to meet with you about your grant ideas. We are offering grant writing and budgeting workshops, drop-in hours and one on one meetings during August and September so you can meet our Oct. 1 deadline.

Workshops

If you’re new to submitting a grant application to RISCA, or just want a refresher on the “good and less good” of grant writing, join us for one of our virtual meetings. During our workshops, we offer an overview of our major grant programs, and you’ll have time to ask questions and meet with program staff. View the Power Point presentation, by clicking here. You can view the sample Arts Access Grant budget used in the presentation here.

A grant writing/budgeting workshop is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 13, at noon-1:30 p.m., click here to register.

How to schedule a one-on-one meeting

Arts Access Grant

Todd Trebour, Organizations Program Director, will be holding one-on-one virtual meetings for nonprofit organizations interested in Arts Access Grants organizations. He will answer any questions you have about the grant program. He can also help you with the budget forms; review any specific answers you’ve written; or any other assistance you need with your grant application.

You can sign up for either a 30 minute or 1-hour meeting slot. To schedule a meeting with Todd, click here.

If none of the dates or times listed works for you, email Todd at todd.trebour@arts.ri.gov for alternate date or time.

Project Grants in Education and Individuals in Education

Maggie Anderson, Director of Arts In Education, will be holding one-on-one meetings for nonprofit organizations, artists and schools interested in Project Grants in Education for Individual.

For more information and to schedule a meeting to assist you with your grant application, email Maggie Anderson at Maggie.Anderson@arts.ri.gov.

Fellowships

Mollie Flanagan, Individual Artists Program Director, will be holding one-on-one virtual meetings for artists interested in fellowships for individual artists. She will be answering any questions you have about the grant program.

You can sign up for drop-in hours with Mollie. Here is a listing of Mollie’s meetings. Please sign up in advance for the following drop-in hours.

  • Saturday, September 11,  at 11 a.m.-1 p.m., click here.
  • Monday, September 13, at 4-7 p.m., click here:
  • Friday, September 24, at 3 p.m.-5 p.m. , by clicking here:
  • Friday, October 1, at 10 a.m.-4 p.m.,  click here:

For office hours for Fellowships, please sign up in advance by clicking here.

Folk Arts Fellowships and Apprenticeships

Elena Calderón Patiño, Community Arts Program Director, will hold meetings for artists and culture organizations interested in folk arts. The folk arts are defined as those artistic practices which are community or family-based and express that community’s aesthetic heritage and tradition.

For more information and to schedule a meeting, contact Elena.Patino@arts.ri.gov.

Project Grants in Healthcare

For more information on Project Grants in Healthcare, contact Randall.Rosenbaum@arts.ri.gov.

Public Feedback for New Individual Artist Grant Programs – let us know what you think!

In light of our strategic plan and values statement, the Governor-appointed Council which oversees RISCA had asked RISCA staff to reassess and – in some cases – restructure our grant programs to accurately reflect our newly articulated agency values and priorities. The first grant program RISCA restructured was our Investments in Arts and Culture (IAC) general operating support program for organizations, the process was completed in March 2021. Now, we are moving to RISCA’s Individual Artist granting programs. Instead of restructuring or re-envisioning the existing programs, the working group built brand new grant programs. Click here to read the guidelines.

To develop these new program guidelines, RISCA was guided by a Working Group comprised of 10 individual artists from around the Ocean State (see CAN YOU TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE WORKING GROUP? section for more information below). At this point in the process, we would like to hear your thoughts on the draft guidelines for four new grant programs. These grant programs will replace the existing Fellowships and Project Grants for Individuals. Folk Arts Apprenticeships and Folk Arts Fellowships will remain unchanged, and were not a part of this process.

WHY SHOULD I GIVE FEEDBACK?

In an effort to reflect our values of transparency, RISCA organized a Working Group to provide direct public input during the drafting process for this grant program – typically this phase of developing a program would be done by staff without direct public input. The public feedback phase is typically done for all new grant programs. We want this new program to be as relevant and effective for Rhode Island as possible – which means we need to hear from you!

HOW DO I GIVE FEEDBACK?

The draft guidelines and an overview of the programs and changes are available hereWhen you are ready to provide feedback, you will use this survey – see the instructions within the survey for more details. If you are unable to input your responses into the survey for any reason, or if you need a copy of the guidelines in a format readable by screen readers or in a different language, please contact Mollie Flanagan at mollie.flanagan@arts.ri.gov.

Providing us feedback within the survey is important, as we will share the written feedback with RISCA’s Governing Council. To answer any questions you might have before answering the survey, we are hosting three Q & A sessions. While you do not need to attend these sessions in order to provide feedback, we do recommend attending one:

  • Q & A Information Session #1: Wednesday, August 25th, 2-4pm. Register to join the call via this link here.
  • Q & A Information Session #2: Monday, August 30th, 6-8pm. Register to join the call via this link here.

The feedback survey will be open until end of day September 6, 2021.

WHAT HAPPENS WITH MY FEEDBACK?

All survey responses will be compiled. Mollie will summarize the feedback, and provide that to the working group and to RISCA’s governing council. Then, Mollie will take all feedback into consideration, and write another draft of the grant guidelines. Then, these drafts will be reviewed and finalized by the working group. In their final review of these new guidelines in late September, RISCA’s Governing Council will consider feedback – and RISCA staff’s responses to the feedback – in their final approval of this program.

CAN YOU TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE WORKING GROUP?

In February 2020, RISCA’s Governor-appointed Council leadership approved a timeline and process for the restructure of the individual artist granting programs. In particular, RISCA’s Governor-appointed Council wanted to ensure that RISCA’s support of individual artists is in alignment with the new strategic plan, and focused on equity and access.

As a part of the process, Individual Artists Program Mollie Flanagan stewarded a Working Group that reviewed a wide variety of materials, including RISCA’s strategic plan; grantmaking best practices; grant programs from other state and local arts agencies; and research on individual artist support. The Working Group then created the outline for four new grant programs, that would replace the current programs. Through multiple meetings and editing sessions, the working group and Mollie have created this draft of four new grant programs for public feedback. This working group is comprised of ten artists from around the state, working in a wide variety of disciplines and bring diverse experiences to the group.