Arts community with financial losses receives latest round of COVID-19 relief grants

State Arts Council awards nearly $1 million in grants to RI artists, art educators, arts and culture organizations

The RI State Council on the Arts (RISCA) has awarded close to $1 million in Covid Relief Funds (CRF) to artists, professional arts education associations, and arts and culture organizations. These grants announced today provide badly needed assistance to organizations, artists and arts educators who continue to experience economic hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m immensely proud that we can provide this essential support to artists and nonprofit arts organizations here in Rhode Island. These are difficult times for everyone in the arts sector. The pandemic has closed concert halls, theatres and museums, and put working artists out of work. The ability to pay salaries and help artists pay rent and put food on the table is critical to the lives and livelihoods of these Rhode Islanders, and I’m happy that we are in a position to help.”

RANDALL ROSENBAUM, Executive Director of RISCA
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Red dots show 390 artists throughout Rhode Island received Covid-19 relief grants. RISCA Graphic

For artists, the CRF assistance is being distributed through the Rhode Island Artist Relief Fund, a charitable fund set up by RISCA to help artists who have lost income due to the pandemic. A total of $321,200 was divided up into grants and distributed to 390 artists.

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Black dots signify where in Rhode Island arts and culture organizations benefited from Covid-19 relief. RISCA Graphic

For arts and culture organizations, and arts education associations, the funds are being dispersed directly through RISCA.

In addition to artists, and arts and culture organizations, grant recipients include 11 organizations associated with the Rhode Island Expansion Arts Program (RIEAP) and seven culturally specific nonprofits. RIEAP is a partnership among RISCA, RI Council for the Humanities (RICH) and Rhode Island Foundation to support community-based, culturally diverse arts and cultural organizations.

The grants were specifically designed to save jobs, help cover revenue losses and additional COVID-19 costs incurred between March 1, 2020, and December 30, 2020. The recipient categories for this latest round of CRF for the arts and cultural organizations were as follows:

  • RI Expansion Arts Program’s current cohort and alumni, culturally specific organizations, and arts and culture nonprofits. Total: $118,830.
  • Nonprofit arts and culture organizations including professional arts education associations, which have been providing support to teachers and students during these unprecedented times. Total: $228,660.
  • RISCA’s Investments in Arts and Culture (IAC) organizations, which provides operating support to more than 50 key nonprofit arts organizations in our state. Total: $331,380.

Listing of all recipients

List of RISCA’s latest CRF grant recipients

Organization NameOrganization CityGrants
Arts Alive!Barrington $6,000
Chamber Orchestra of Barrington at St. John’sBarrington $4,394
Bristol Art MuseumBristol $6,000
Friends of Linden PlaceBristol $6,000
Herreshoff Marine MuseumBristol $6,000
Epic Theatre CompanyCranston $6,000
Artists’ ExchangeCranston$27,500
Korean American Association of Rhode IslandCranston $9,000
Notable Works Publication and Distribution Co.Cranston $1,134
Ocean State Pops OrchestraCranston $6,000
Dance Alliance of Rhode Island/Chance to DanceEast Greenwich $6,000
Greenwich OdeumEast Greenwich $6,000
Music on the HillEast Greenwich $6,000
Narragansett Bay Symphony Community OrchestraEast Providence $6,000
RI Music Education AssociationEast Providence $6,000
RI Philharmonic Orchestra & Music SchoolEast Providence$27,500
East Providence Historical SocietyEast Providence $6,000
Swamp Meadow Community TheatreFoster $2,102
Rhode Island Chamber Music ConcertsHope $6,000
Langworthy Public LibraryHope Valley $911
Johnston Dance and Performing ArtsJohnston $6,000
South County Art AssociationKingston $6,000
DeBlois Gallery CorporationMiddletown $6,000
FlickersNewport $9,500
Island Moving CompanyNewport$15,550
Newport Art HouseNewport $6,000
Newport String ProjectNewport $447
Sankofa Community ConnectionNewport $9,000
The Choir School of Newport CountyNewport $6,000
RISE on BroadwayPascoag $6,000
Arts Equity/VSAPawtucket $6,000
Mixed Magic Theatre and Cultural EventsPawtucket $9,000
Outsider CollectivePawtucket $821
Common Fence MusicPortsmouth $6,000
Common Fence PointPortsmouth $6,000
Academy PlayersProvidence $6,000
Alliance of Artists CommunitiesProvidence $6,000
Art League of Rhode IslandProvidence $189
Langston Hughes Community Poetry ReadingProvidence $2,500
Burbage Theatre CompanyProvidence $6,000
Cambodian Society of Rhode IslandProvidence $9,000
Centro Cultural AndinoProvidence $1,965
Dirt Palace Public ProjectsProvidence $6,000
DownCity DesignProvidence $6,000
EcoArtsUSAProvidence $7,000
Festival Ballet ProvidenceProvidence$15,550
FirstWorksProvidence $15,550
RIOT! Rhode IslandProvidence $7,000
India Association of Rhode IslandProvidence $6,444
Rhode Island School of Design MuseumProvidence$15,550
Narragansett Bay ChorusProvidence $6,000
Oasis InternationalProvidence $9,000
RI Cape Verdean Heritage CommitteeProvidence $9,000
Providence Art ClubProvidence $6,000
Providence Children’s MuseumProvidence $6,000
Providence Improv GuildProvidence$6,000
Providence Latin American Film FestivalProvidence $5,419
QUISQUEYA IN ACTIONProvidence $9,000
Rhode Island Kung Fu & Lion Dance ClubProvidence $2,500
RPM Voices of Rhode IslandProvidence $9,000
Spectrum Theatre EnsembleProvidence $6,000
Stages of FreedomProvidence$10,500
Trade Pop-upProvidence $6,000
Trinity Repertory CompanyProvidence$27,500
Southside Cultural CenterProvidence$10,500
WaterFire ProvidenceProvidence $6,000
Wilbury Theatre GroupProvidence $7,000
The Steel YardProvidence$15,550
JDP Theatre CoRumford $6,000
Rhode Island Youth TheatreSaunderstown $6,000
The CORE OrganizationTiverton $6,000
Contemporary Theater CompanyWakefield $1,032
The CollaborativeWarren $2,660
Imago Foundation for the ArtsWarren $6,000
Puerto Rican Institute for Arts & AdvocacyWarwick $9,000
Rhode Island Alliance for Arts in EducationWarwick $6,000
Sandra Feinstein-Gamm TheatreWarwick$15,550
Warwick Center for the ArtsWarwick $6,000
Chorus of WesterlyWesterly$15,550
Wickford Art AssociationWickford $6,000
Eastern Medicine SingersWoonsocket $9,000
Stadium Theatre FoundationWoonsocket$27,500

A Word About Final Reports for our FY20 Grantees

An important note to RISCA’s FY20 grantees

Dear Friends,

First, and most importantly, I’m writing on behalf of all of us here at the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) to express our hope that you and all those you care about are safe and healthy. For those of you who have experienced loss, please know that we grieve with you and your loved ones. 

I am writing today to those of you who received a grant from RISCA from our April 2019 and October 2019 application deadlines. As you may know, RISCA made several decisions designed to help you during this pandemic period. We sent each of you a letter on June 1st, outlining the relaxation of grant rules and conditions. These changes included: 

  • Waiving matching dollar requirements for activities taking place between March 1 and December 31, 2020. 
  • Allowing you to delay or change the scope of projects taking place between March and December by just communicating this delay to RISCA staff.
  • And, finally, changing the final report due date of July 31, 2020, to December 31, 2020, for all grants. 

Final reports are absolutely necessary. Not only do they help us document what you have done with RISCA’s financial support, but they also help us secure the state and federal funding we need to continue to support the Rhode Island arts community. We hope you will make every effort to complete and submit your final report – if you have not done so already – by December 31. 

That said, we realize there may be some obstacles to completing your project during a challenging time. You may not have completed, or even started, your grant project. You may not be able to pull together the information you need to complete your final report. Please let us know how we can help.  And please know that we are not going to be asking for money back, particularly during this difficult period.  

There will be no penalties: again, we want to help. That being said, there are some reasons to contact your program staff person. For example, contact us: 

  • If you haven’t informed us of any delays in carrying out your project. 
  • If the name of the contact person for this project has changed. 
  • If you need help completing the report by the deadline. 

At some point – soon, we hope – RISCA will be able to resume its granting programs. When that happens we will need to receive a final report before you can apply for another grant.  But for now, please help us help you by either completing your current report or communicating with the proper program staff person to let them know how things stand with your FY20 project grant. 

From all of us, have the very best and safest Holiday season.  Stay well! 


Randall Rosenbaum
Executive Director, RISCA