RISCA Announces $316,025 in Grants to Artists, Schools, Arts Organizations

Image from the India Association of Rhode Island’s (IARI) recent Diwali Fest – Cultural Extravaganza. IARI is one of this round’s Arts Access Grant recipients.

Rhode Island schools, organizations, community centers and artists were awarded $316,025 in the latest round of grants from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. The Arts Council’s board approved the awarding of these grants at its December meeting in Providence. These grants will go to support arts in education, community-based projects by organizations and individual artist fellowships and projects for the remainder of this fiscal year. Statewide, 84 grants were awarded in response to 269 applications received at RISCA’s October 1, 2019 deadline.

Governor Gina Raimondo congratulated the grant recipients, saying that the arts are an important part of life in Rhode Island. “Each of these grants from the State Arts Council play a role in the economic life of our state, contributing to jobs and ensuring that every community in Rhode Island has the opportunity for cultural expression,” said Governor Raimondo. “I’m proud that Rhode Island supports the arts through these critical grants.”

“We’re particularly pleased with this round of grant awards,” said Randall Rosenbaum, Executive Director of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. “Programs in arts education and projects that support the work of artists in communities throughout our state contribute to our great quality of life here in Rhode Island.”

RISCA funds are matched by businesses, individuals, and earned income. The Council receives its support through an annual appropriation from the Rhode Island General Assembly and from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

Examples of projects supported in the current round of grants include:

The India Association of Rhode Island (East Greenwich) will receive a grant of $3,000 to organize an “Asian Arts Festival,” a free outdoor intercultural event for all-ages at the scenic Roger William Park and Zoo in Providence. Participants will experience cultural artifacts, artistic activities, and artist performances from Asian heritages associated with India Association of Rhode Island and the Hmong United Association of Rhode Island.

Expanding its program of free public concerts & music education, Newport Music Festival (Newport) will receive a grant of $2,000 to present two highly entertaining, one-act operas, Bon Appetit and The Telephone, at Newport Art Museum and Newport Public Library. Each opera will also be performed separately for Newport public school students.

ReFocus (Providence) will receive a grant of $3,000 in support of The Little Clay Studio, ReFocus’ in-house pottery studio and classroom where adults with disabilities explore the potentials of clay and develop self-confidence & individual creativity.

Silvermoon LaRose (Charlestown) will receive a $3,000 grant to create an after school program at Chariho Regional High Schools for students grades 9-12 to learn traditional Native American art forms that will support the school in providing experiential learning that celebrates diversity. The program will culminate in an exhibit that celebrates artistic expression and creates visibility of Native American culture to create a more inclusive school environment.

Southside Elementary Charter School (Providence) will receive a $3,500 grant for “Project Arts for All”, which will provide opportunities for all students to participate in an extended day partnership between students, teachers, and artists. This program will expand the students’ knowledge of and appreciation of their specific art form as well as foster social-emotional development.

Beacon Charter High School for the Arts (Woonsocket) will receive a $3,500 grant to host the BTW Community Shakespeare Festival at River Island Park in Woonsocket, in June. This event will be open to the public and is an opportunity for Beacon students to share what they’ve been learning in their theatre classes with the community.

Jennifer Sanchez (East Providence) will receive a grant of $3,000 to support the production of a play called “Abue!”, a Mexican-American story based in Providence where a family falls apart as they gradually become successful opening the first totilleria business in Rhode Island. Only one woman can hold the legacy and meaning of family together, and that is Abue!

Walker Mettling (Providence) will receive a grant of $2,500 to support The Providence Comics Consortium Sunday Morning Sketchbook, a gathering of artists who will meet every Sunday from February through June 2020 for an hour of concentrated and communal guided generative sketchbook games. This gathering will be open to people of all levels and comfort with drawing, ages 7 to infinity.

See a complete list of our grant recipients for this cycle here.

RISCA On the Road! A Tour of the Ocean State’s Cultural Facilities and Public Art Sites

On August 7th RISCA escorted budget analysts from the House and Senate Fiscal Staff and the State Office of Management and Budget on a tour of cultural facilities and public art sites throughout the State of Rhode Island.

This was an opportunity to provide direct “off-the-page and in-the-field” experience about state investment in cultural facilities and public art to our colleagues in the House, Senate and State Budget Office.  It was a full day of traveling to a variety of sites.

RISCA’s amazing Public Art Manager, Elizabeth Keithline, organized the day’s tour. Here’s where we went:

9:00 am – Cultural Facilities project at the Common Fence Improvement Association, 933 Anthony Road, Portsmouth

Senator James Seveney (left) joins members of the Common Fence Point Community Center project in Portsmouth

10:00 am – Public art projects at the Veterans Home, 480 Metacom Ave, Bristol 

Artist Allison Newsome describes her work “The Eagle Has Landed” at the Rhode Island Veterans Home in Bristol
Artist Deborah Baronas with one of her installations at the Rhode Island Veterans Home in Bristol

11:30 am – Cultural Facilities projects at the RI Philharmonic, 667 Waterman Ave, E Providence

Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra and Music School Executive Director David Beauchesne conducts a tour of the Carter Center for Music Education in East Providence

1:00 pm – Public art projects at RI College, 600 Mt. Pleasant Ave, Providence

RISCA’s Public Art Manager Elizabeth Keithline shares information on public art on the Rhode Island College campus with participants in the tour

2:30 pm – Cultural facilities projects at the Greenwich Odeum, 59 Main St, E Greenwich

Senator Bridget Valverde (center) and her children visit the Greenwich Odeum in East Greenwich

4:00 pm – Public art projects at URI, 45 Upper College Rd, Kingston

Visiting a large bronze sculptural work by Rhode Island artist Peter Diepenbrock in front of Lippitt Hall on the University of Rhode Island campus
An installation at URI’s Beaupre Center for Chemical, Forensic Sciences by artist Erwin Redl
Participants in the day-long tour included (from left to right) Timothy Donahue, House Fiscal staff; Randall Rosenbaum, RISCA Executive Director; Elizabeth Keithline, RISCA Public Art Manager; Kelly Carpenter, Senate Fiscal staff; and Loren Spears, RISCA Council Member.

2020 Fellowship Announcement

RISCA is pleased to announce the first 14 RISCA Fellows and Merit Fellows of 2020! At the April 1st cycle, we award fellowships in: Three Dimensional Art; Crafts; Fiction; Film & Video; Photography; Play & Screenwriting; and Poetry.

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. One $5,000 fellowship and one $1,000 merit are awarded in each of 13 disciplines each year. Fellowship and Merit awards are based solely on artistic merit, and are highly competitive. Awards are selected through an anonymous panel review of submitted work samples. You can see some of the pieces recipients in Three Dimensional Art, Crafts, and Photography submitted here.

Three Dimensional Art
Fellowship: James Drain
Merit: Johnny Adimando

Fellowship: Borris Bally
Merit: Jocelyn Prince

Fellowship: Darcie Dennigan
Merit: Matthew Kramer

Film & Video
Fellowship: Luli Heintz
Merit: Jan Carlos Terrero Rodriguez (aka Slitty Wrists)

Fellowship: Mara Trachtenberg
Merit: Tina Tryforos

Play & Screenwriting
Fellowship: Lawrence Goodman
Merit: Aashish Edakadampil (aka Ash Adams)

Fellowship: Carrie Oeding
Merit: Laura Brown-Lavoie