India Association of Rhode Island puts an artistic touch on a cultural evening called Holi

Virtual celebration is on March 14 at 6 on Facebook and YouTube Live

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The India Association of Rhode Island will host its first Virtual Celebration of 2021 featuring cultural organizations from Rhode Island and performing artists from Massachusetts. Called Shades of Holi— An Arts Festival Celebrating Diverse New England Artists, the event embraces diverse cultures and strengthens intercultural dialogue with the artist community.

Holi (pronounced Ho- lee) is being held virtually on Sunday, March 14, at 6 p.m. on Facebook and YouTube Live.  Planned are various forms of Performing Arts such as music groups, poetry, puppetry, singing, Indian dances, storytelling, master instrumentalists and singers. In addition, the event will feature award-winning poet Sunayana Kachroo, whose film Illegal made the Oscars’ list of eligible for Best Picture. She wrote the dialogue and songs for the film.

“This celebration will help strengthen intercultural dialogue with the Massachusetts Arts community. At the same time, diverse Rhode Island organizations will be participating like Hmong Rhode Island Association, RI Black Storytellers, Korean American Association of Rhode Island and Puerto Rico Institute of Arts and Advocacy will represent different shades of RI’s cultural fabric and a true reflection of Holi, symbolic of peace and unity. This dream would not have realized without support of staunch volunteers and funding agencies RISCA and RIF,” Secretary and Grant Director Smriti Gupta said.

“Holi for IARI has always been a festival of community celebrations, colors, fun and unity. While we all can not physically come together, we have this diverse multicultural event bringing different communities’ talents and art making. We are really excited for this event and to host such an eclectic group of multi-ethnic talent,” said Vice President Dr. Parul Shah.

For more information and event related postings, click Here.

Selected photos of folk and traditional arts and artists in our state

The folk arts are defined as those artistic practices which are community or family based and express that community’s aesthetic heritage and tradition. The learning process is informal and is passed on from generation to generation by word of mouth, apprenticeship and imitation.

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.

Folk Arts Fellowships provide support to individual artists who demonstrate the highest level of skill and accomplishments in their craft.

FY 21 Folk Arts Apprenticeship Grantees

Folk ArtistAmount
Lydia Perez$3,000.00
Nader Molina Figueroa$3,000.00
Debbie Spears Moorehead$3,000.00
Julie Yang$3,000.00
Carolyn Castro$3,000.00
Lesly Pineyro $3,000.00
Patricia Smith$3,000.00

FY21 Folk Arts Fellowship Grantees

Folk ArtistAmount
Assitan Coulibaly$1,000.00
Joel Rosario$5,000.00

For more information on Folk Arts Fellowships and Apprenticeships, contact Elena Calderón Patino.

RISCA Receives $30,000 Grant for Folk Arts Apprenticeship Collective Teaching Program

RISCA is excited to announce receiving a $30,000 multi-year Folk Art Infrastructure Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to pilot the Apprenticeship Collective Teaching Program. The Apprenticeship Collective Teaching Program will be offered in addition to RISCA’s other Folk Arts Programs. RISCA will continue to offer annually one $5,000 and one $1,000 Folk Arts Fellowship Grant, and five $3,000 Folk Arts Apprenticeship Grants.

The program will feature the Narragansett Indian Tribe Master and Junior Master Artists, with all the workshops, performances, and presentations taking place at the historic Longhouse in Charlestown, RI. The Narragansett Longhouse building features professional modern offices, a full kitchen, archival room/library, a gallery, and several community spaces. The Longhouse will serve as an incubator for new folk artists, it will continue to grow as an arts and cultural hub, and a place where the community can celebrate their rich folk-art traditions.

This program will target Junior Folk Artists who are dedicated to preserving and obtaining a deep education in the art of Regalia. Through a series of eight highly focused workshops per year (24 over a three-year period), Junior Master Artists will work with several Master Folk Artists from the Narragansett Indian Tribe to learn the craft and important cultural and historical traditions of Regalia, which include leather, beading, wampum, dancing, drumming, and singing.

This collective way of teaching provides a highly effective approach that reaches a greater number of students and thereby creating a greater impact and legacy, resulting in more Junior Artists becoming Master Artists. It is also a way of supporting and paying tribute to the Indigenous people’s way of passing down knowledge.

With this piloted program, Master Folk Artists will have the opportunity to pass down their cultural folk art knowledge by becoming mentors and teachers to the next generation. Junior Master Artists will further identify with their Native American culture, history, and community while continuing their goal of becoming a Master Folk Artist.

RISCA hopes that the dynamics of this program can be replicated in other communities and thus benefit more Folk Art Apprentices. 

For more information on the RISCA Apprentice Collective Teaching Program, or our other Folk Arts Programs, contact Elena Calderón Patiño, Director of Community Arts Program at 401-222-6996 or elena.patino@arts.ri.gov.