State Arts Council opens arts grant applications with an April 1 deadline

Four of the five grant programs have been revamped to be more equitable and accessible
Key staff members to lead workshops, meetings to navigate grant application process

The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) announced today that applications are now open for grants to arts and culture organizations, individual artists and artists in healthcare. The deadline to complete an application is April 1.

Four of the five grants being offered this granting cycle are newly updated and revamped to align with the agency’s new Strategic Plan, and mission and values statement. RISCA staff members, the Governor-appointed Arts Council leadership, and representatives from the arts and culture community partnered to restructure four of the five grant programs opening for applications today. The new and revamped programs better serve the arts and cultural needs of RI communities.

“Congratulations to our State Arts Agency for all of the thorough work and long hours to update and make its grant programs more relevant to our arts and culture community,” Governor McKee said. “The grants being announced today continue to ensure RI’s reputation nationally as an arts and culture destination.”

The grant programs being offered include:

  • Restructured and newly named Project Grants for Organizations (PGO) was redesigned by a 10-person BIPOC majority working group comprised of individuals working or volunteering at arts and culture organizations throughout Rhode Island. The grant provides grants of up to $3,000 in support of arts and culture projects that are relevant and meaningful to a Rhode Island community or communities.
  • The new Community Engaged Project Grants (CEPG) provide funding of up to $3,000 for artists or groups of artists to create arts and culture projects that are directly and actively engaged with Rhode Island residents.
  • The new Make Art Grant program provides grants of up to $3,000 for artists or groups of artists to create or continue specific artwork in any discipline. Projects must have specific goals, though completion and public showing of the art is not required.
    • For both programs for individual artists, projects must be artist instigated and organized, outside of institutional support and structures. Open to projects of all arts disciplines, from artists of all levels, funds can be used to support experimentation, materials, space rental, paying collaborators, documentation, and artist stipends.
  • Project Grants in Healthcare will be updated and revamped this year. The program currently offers matching grants for arts projects that connect teaching artists with healthcare settings such as hospitals, hospice and community health agencies. Teaching artists partner with one or more licensed healthcare staff to implement a project.
  • Some of the main features of the revamped and newly implemented General Operating Support for Organizations (GOS-O), sets explicit goals for recruitment of Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) organizations and underrepresented cities and towns. The program was restructured with a 36-member working group representing 22 arts and culture organizations throughout Rhode Island. The grant program opens on Feb. 15.

Read more about our grants.

“We are proud to announce these newly updated granting programs. They are transformative, inclusive, open and transparent,” RISCA’s spokesperson Faye Zuckerman said. “By convening a diverse group of key members of our arts community for input and feedback, we were able to ensure that our Strategic Plan, grant programs and mission are more accessible and equitable.”

To assist in the application process and meeting the April 1 deadline, Arts Council staff members have scheduled virtual workshops and office hours throughout February and March. The online meetings will focus on best practices as well as help with budget planning. First time applicants are encouraged to apply.

The workshops are:

  • Grant Writing and Budget, Thursday, Feb. 24, at noon-1:30 p.m. Click here to RSVP
    • Tuesday, March 1, at 5 p.m.-6:30 p.m. Click here to RSVP.
  • Individual Artist Grants, Wednesday, March 9, at noon-1:30 p.m. Click here to RSVP;
    • Wednesday, March 16 at 5:30-7 p.m. Click here to RSVP.
  • Project Grants for Organizations, Thursday, March 10, at 10 a.m.-11 a.m. Click here to RSVP.
    • Tuesday, March 15, at 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m. Click here to RSVP.
  • General Operating Support for Organizations, Friday, March 11, at 10 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Click here to RSVP.

Read more about workshops and office hours.

For more information on RISCA’s arts grants, click here:

An International Showcase Opportunity for U.S.-based performing artists

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is PAD-2021-Phase-2_Deadline-Extended_Blog-Cover-16-9-1024x576.pngCalling on all U.S.-based performing artists with readiness to tour internationally to apply for the Performing Arts Discovery (PAD) Program!

The deadline to apply  has been extended to Friday, January 28, 5 p.m. PT.

PAD — launched by the NEA in 2015 to promote U.S. artists to international programmers, festival directors and venue managers — is an international video showcase opportunity for U.S.-based performing artists.

Applications are open to music, dance, and theatre artists/ensembles with a demonstrated capacity to tour internationally. PAD encourages those who self-identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) and/or LGBTQ+ to apply.

To apply and learn more, click here.

State Arts Council awards 74 grants to RI artists, arts organizations and nonprofits

Next cycle of arts grants to open Feb. 1 with updated offerings

Arts and culture organizations, arts education and healthcare programs, individual and teaching artists, culture workers, and related community projects benefited from $215,011 in funding announced today by the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA). The 74 grants, of which 34 went to individual artists, were approved by the Arts Council’s Board on Dec. 13, and will assist RI’s arts and culture community throughout the 2022 fiscal year.

The next cycle of arts and culture grants will open on Feb. 1 with a deadline of April 1. Several grant programs have been updated to align with the agency’s ongoing work to ensure that arts and culture continue to be an essential part of Rhode Island life and thrive in our communities. For more information, visit RISCA’s grants webpage.

“On behalf of the State of Rhode Island, I welcome RISCA’s continued investments in arts and culture, which are essential to the cultural, educational, health and well-being of Rhode Islanders. We are pleased that the arts once again are bringing audiences to our town and city centers, where they also help to fill our restaurants and shops. The grants remind us to celebrate our state’s creativity and how important it is to support arts and culture organizations.”

Governor McKee

“Thank you, Governor McKee and members of the Rhode Island General Assembly for your support. As Rhode Islanders return to arts and culture activities, we are thrilled that this cycle, as with the last grant cycle, is one of the most diverse and equitable. Our arts community was the first to feel the effects of COVID-19, and these investments help to put RI back on the road to pre-pandemic levels when the arts typically contributed more than $2 billion annually to the Rhode Island economy, and employed more than 18,000 people.”  

Randall Rosenbaum, Executive Director, RISCA 

Some examples of grantees are:

  • Teaching Artist Harrison M. Grigsby (who performs under the name Jon Hope) is on the RI Teaching Artist Roster and was a 2019 RISCA fellow in music. Grisby will pilot his Hip Hop Scholars program at Charette Charter High School, Providence.
  • Pawtucket’s Charles E. Shea High School received a grant to focus on using upcycled clothing to create garments for the school’s 2022 spring fashion show. Students will use their creativity to alter gently used clothing to make a fashion statement with a smaller carbon footprint.
  • Hathaway Elementary School, Portsmouth, will host Kevin Doyle, an Irish dancer who will serve as an artist-in residence. Doyle’s physical education and music classes for K-4 grade students will promote cross-curricular learning through movement, music, culture, collaboration and expression.
  • Sidy Maiga, Providence, is a master drummer originally from Mali, West Africa. Maiga is RISCA’s Folk Artist Fellowship recipient for 2022 and received the honor in 2012.
  • Cape Verdean American Community Development (CACD), Pawtucket, will sponsor painting and sculpture classes geared toward low-income teens. Each class, taught by a working Cape Verdean artist, will meet twice weekly for eight weeks.
  • Little Compton Community Center will present a portrait exhibit of Little Compton’s year-round residents painted during a one-year period. The project goes beyond the summer residents to portray those who make up the diverse fabric of town life.
  • Re-Emerge and Renew: Artist Residencies for Staff Wellness at Butler Hospital, Providence, provides the staff (including front-line nurses, housekeeping, maintenance and administrative staff) an opportunity to engage in arts programming. Resident artists, including poet Sussy Santana, storyteller Valerie Tutson, illustrator/cartoonist Walker Mettling, violist Ashley Frith of Community MusicWorks and Haus of Glitter dance troupe, will offer drop-in art making opportunities during staff availability.
  • This spring, the Bristol Art Museum will curate two coinciding art exhibits–guest artists’ work in the museum and artwork by Mount Hope High School students in the Rogers Free Library. The artwork confronts climate change and environmental justice.
  • The Newport String Project will provide free lessons in violin, viola and cello to 40 students at the MLK Community Center, Florence Gray Center and at the East Bay Met School.
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Warwick’s music program gives middle school youth access to affordable and accessible music opportunities unavailable anywhere else locally. Through mentoring, discovery and instruction, youth opt to participate in consequential activities to build music skills, and develop self-confidence and self-esteem.

Full list of fall 2022 grantees

The grants were distributed from the following grant programs:

  • Available to organizations, Arts Access Grants support arts and culture programs throughout the state that demonstrate excellent artistic, education and cultural value, as well as engagement with and relevance to their community. $62,725.
  • Fellowships are unrestricted awards that encourage the creative development of artists by enabling them to set aside time to pursue their work and achieve specific creative and career goals. The grants, a total of $72,000, were given out in the following disciplines:
    • Choreography
    • Crafts
    • Drawing & Printmaking
    • Film & Video
    • Fiction
    • Music Composition
    • New Genres
    • Painting
    • Photography
    • Poetry
    • Playwriting/Screenwriting
    • Three-Dimensional Art
  • Folk Arts Apprenticeships are designed to foster the sharing of traditional (folk) artistic skills between a master and an apprentice, who is already familiar with the genre. The program creates this opportunity specifically for individuals who share a common cultural heritage. $18,000.
  • Folk Arts Fellowships provide support to individual artists who demonstrate the highest level of skill and accomplishments in their craft. The folk arts are defined as those artistic practices which are community or family-based and express that community’s aesthetic heritage and tradition. $6,000.
  • Project Grants in Education and Project Grants in Education for Individuals support artists and culture organizations collaborating with schools and other educational entities. $38,286.
  • Project Grants in Healthcare offer matching grants for arts projects that connect teaching artists with healthcare settings. $18,000.

RISCA’s grants received support from the state’s General Assembly, federal funds through National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in addition to matching dollars raised through contributions from businesses, individuals and earned income from ticket sales and admissions. 

For the spring grant cycle opening Feb. 1, Arts Access Grants and Investments in Arts & Culture have been updated and will be called Project Grants for Organizations and General Operating Support for Organizations, respectively. For individual artists, both the fellowship and Project Grants for Individuals programs have been replaced with four new grant programs. They are entitled: Opportunity Grants, Community Engaged Project Grants, Make Art Grants and General Operating Support for Artists.