Virtual Arts Advocacy Calls this Friday, June 26th with our Senators!

We at RISCA have been hearing from the RI arts and culture community about the success of federal programs unveiled in the midst of the pandemic. But we’re also hearing a growing concern about the end of the funding period and the need for continued support. Join one – or both! – of these calls to hear from the staff of Senator Reed and Senator Whitehouse about what conversations are happening at the federal level, and to hear RISCA staff and fellow arts and culture community members communicate what is happening on the ground here in Rhode Island’s arts and culture community.

NOTE: due to the brief – and last minute – nature of this call, only a handful of people have been selected to speak. While you might not be able to speak, your presence is incredibly important, as a list of attendees will be sent to the Senator’s office after this meeting.

Please RSVP to attend via these links:

  • June 26th, 10-10:45 AM, Senator Whitehouse’s Office. RSVP here.
  • June 26th, 11-11:45 AM, Senator Reed’s Office, RSVP here.

Call-in credentials will be sent to you via EventBrite by Friday morning at 9 AM . If you don’t RSVP in time but would like to attend – or if you have any questions – email Todd Trebour, Organizations Program Director, at todd.trebour@arts.ri.gov.

Reopening RI for the Arts

RISCA and the City of Providence Department of Art, Culture + Tourism (ACT) are hosting a series of calls to support arts and culture organizations in completing the necessary compliance documents with Commerce and the Department of Health to reopen. These calls will be most useful for organizations who, based on the RI Reopening plan, believe they will likely reopen within the next six months. Calls will illuminate how organizations can use the Reemergence Self Assessment Tool developed by ACT as a guide in developing reopening plans in compliance with state regulations. On each call, speakers provide case studies and, in collaboration with RISCA and ACT staff, will help organizations complete the documents and consider their planning and procedures in an arts specific context – often by looking at appropriate analogues from other industries.
Here is the proposed call schedule – topics might change depending on speaker availability.

  • June 3rd, 12 – 1 PM: Workplace safety. Guest speaker: Chris Simonelli, Troop PVD. Watch the recording here.
  • June 10th, 12 – 1 PM: The Reopening Process for the RI Arts and Culture Community. Guest Speaker: Ben Mays, Policy Advisor at the RI Executive Office of Commerce. Watch the recording here.
  • July 1st, 12 – 1 PM: TBD.

Calls will be recorded and links shared here for those who can’t attend. Additional resources will be added to this page below.

Email Randall Rosenbaum at randall.rosenbaum@arts.ri.gov to be added to the update mailing list for our scheduled calls.

RESOURCES

 

An Update About the Artist Relief Fund

On Tuesday, April 7th, the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, in partnership with the City of Providence’s Department of Art Culture + Tourism, the Rhode Island Foundation, and the Alliance of Artists Communities, opened the application for the Rhode Island Artist Relief Fund for arts and culture workers. Over the past three and a half weeks, we have received over 750 applications from people working in the arts across our state. On Friday, May 1st, we are temporarily closing applications to the fund.

The fund was initially seeded with $150,000 from the Rhode Island Foundation, New England Foundation for the Arts, and Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. Since launching the fund has received over $65,000 in private contributions. Together, we have awarded 418 small grants totaling $206,635.

These grants have supported artists across our state be able to afford their rent, utilities, health insurance, food, and other basic necessities, a huge need as other financial supports enacted at a federal and state level either did not extend to all freelancers and sole proprietors or there were delays or insurmountable barriers to access.

The fund’s partners understand the need is great and do not want artists and arts professionals spending their time and labor assembling requests when we know that we do not currently have available funds to grant.

We are committed to you. We know the value of your skills and talents, especially at this most challenging time. We will continue leveraging our platforms and engaging our networks to raise relief support and increase this fund. We will work to replenish the fund with additional monies, and hope to re-open applications in a few weeks.

If you have the means, we encourage you to donate to the Rhode Island Artist Relief Fund at https://www.artistcommunities.org/arf.