Project Grants in Healthcare

Click here to access the RISCA grant portal for organizations.

Click here to see grants awarded at the April 1, 2019 deadline.

RISCA’s Project Grants in Healthcare grants are matching grants for arts projects that connect teaching artists with healthcare in hospitals or other healthcare settings such as hospices or community health agencies. Teaching artists need to partner with one or more licensed healthcare staff to implement the project. Arts-based professional development with a variety of staff at the healthcare facility is also strongly encouraged, with a priority placed on experiential learning and job-embedded experiences. Funds can support artists’ fees, mileage and supplies and materials. The Project Grants in Healthcare grant category recognizes the new Rhode Island State Arts and Health Plan, a partnership with the RI Department of Health (RIDOH).  This plan addresses the multiple benefits of the arts and health for populations statewide.

Applications in the Project Grants in Healthcare grants category are accepted twice a year on the following dates (or on the following business day when these dates fall on a weekend or holiday):

  • April 1 (for activities taking place from July 1 to June 30)
  • October 1 (for activities taking place from January 1 to June 30)

Only one application per applicant will be accepted at each deadline.  All applicants must be submitted online and all support materials must either be uploaded through the online system or sent to the RISCA offices by the deadline day.  Faxed or emailed applications will NOT be accepted.  All applications must be submitted online and support materials received at the RISCA offices by NO LATER THAN 4:30PM on the deadline date.  Incomplete or late applications will not be considered by the Council.



  • Non-profit, health-based (physical, behavioral, mental health) organizations must be incorporated in and conduct business in the State of Rhode Island, with 501(c)(3) tax exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service, governed by a revolving board of directors, trustees or advisory board drawn from the community at large and shown to be actively involved in the governance of the organization. *

*If you have not yet received the appropriate IRS non-profit determination letter you may be sponsored by an eligible nonprofit organization. If a grant is awarded to your organization as the sponsor of another organization, it is understood that you as the sponsoring organization are financially, administratively and programmatically responsible for all conditions of the grant. The sponsor is also responsible for signing all pertinent documents and report forms. If organizations applying through this sponsorship process have operated for more than two years without seeking nonprofit status they must submit a written statement explaining why they continue to operate in this manner.

Eligible health care sites might include non-profit: hospitals, rehabilitation centers, facilities serving the elderly, veterans’ homes, hospice care programs, etc.).

What we do and do not fund:
Council support may be used for expenses related to a specific project, such as: fees for an artist/teacher collaboration, professional development training for staff, plans to sustain arts programming in health care or reasonable administrative expenses necessary for carrying out the project.
Council support may NOT be used for:

  • Bricks and mortar activities and capital improvements, or for the purchase of permanent equipment.
  • Eliminating or reducing existing debt, or for contributions to an endowment fund.
  • Fundraising efforts, such as social events or benefits.
  • Prizes and awards
  • Hospitality expenses, such as food and beverages for openings or receptions.  Under no circumstances will the purchase of alcoholic beverages be supported.
  • Expenses incurred prior to or after the grant cycle in which the grant has been awarded (7/1-6/30 for April 1 deadline; 1/1-6/30 for October 1 deadline)
  • Applications where the purpose is to “regrant” or award funds using some or all of the RISCA grant funds.
  • Activities which are part of a graduate or undergraduate degree program, or for which academic credit is received.
  • Applications for projects that proselytize or promote religious activities, or which take place as part of a religious service.
  • Performances and exhibitions not available to the general public, or which are inaccessible to people with disabilities.

Sample Projects:

  • A dance ensemble offers an adaptive movement program in a rehabilitation or long-term care facility for residents/patients and staff.
  • A hospital engages a visual teaching artist to work with residents & staff on the creation of a mural/weaving/sculpture to be installed in a public area of the facility.
  • A partial hospitalization program uses theatre, music and teaching artists as part of their therapeutic services and instruction.
  • A weekend arts-intensive workshop is held for staff, with several follow-up visits by the workshop artist(s) to help staff incorporate their learning into practice.

Grant Evaluation Guidelines (Project Grants in Healthcare):

Each grant application is reviewed and ranked by a panel of arts and healthcare professionals based on the following evaluation criteria:

Artistic or Cultural Value (50% of ranking) – Programs & participating artists are of high artistic merit. The project is designed to engage patients/residents/clients with a teaching artist for health-based, educational and expressive purposes. Is the artist(s) on RISCA’s Education Roster?  If not, are support materials persuasive?  Does the project support the work of RI artists & licensed healthcare professionals in collaboration?  Is the project at least ten days?  Appropriate payment of fees and other services are provided to artists and arts professionals, with preference given to the involvement of highly qualified Rhode Island teaching artists.

Clarity and Achievability (25% of ranking) – Are the goals for the project clearly stated and realistic?   Is the duration of project ten days or more?  Is planning time for artist(s) built in on a daily basis?  Is a preliminary schedule included? How does the proposal address the needs of diverse learners? How well does the proposal address the specific health needs of the participants in the given setting? Does the proposal present diverse cultures/abilities/artistic disciplines in context and with authenticity?

Connection to Health  & Impact (25% of ranking)- The application reflects a collaboration between the artist(s) and licensed healthcare professionals working in organizations with defined health-care initiatives. There is a program of learning, health-based & artistic activity for participants with concrete goals to be met. A process of measuring impact is visible. Validated health-based measurement tools are particularly welcome.

Grant Ranges:
The Project Grants in Healthcare grant category requires a 1:1 cash match, meaning that grant requests in this category may not exceed 50% of the project budget.  Applicants may request up to a maximum of $10,000, or up to half the cost of the project, whichever is less. 25% of that match can be in-kind (participating healthcare providers’ salaries figured at an hourly rate, donation of materials, etc.).  In-kind contributions are encouraged to demonstrate support for the project.

How to Begin the Application Process:
We strongly recommend that first time applicants meet with RISCA staff at least six weeks prior to the deadline to orient new applicants and review draft applications.

You must register by creating a name and password in the Foundant Grants system. You may then select and begin a Project Grants in Healthcare  application.  Incomplete applications will be eliminated from consideration.  Handwritten documents will not be accepted, nor will RISCA accept applications submitted via fax or email.  Support materials are a required part of the application process and must be submitted in accordance with the guidelines for specific disciplines listed below. Paper materials may be scanned and uploaded online or attached as word documents.  Jpegs, video uploads and tiff, wav, and MP3 sound files can be uploaded online.

Program Access and Physical Accessibility:
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act states, in part, that “no otherwise qualified person with a disability … shall solely because of their disability be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”
Persons with disabilities have the right to access all RISCA-funded programs. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all programs and facilities meet or exceed Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards, and are accessible to all. Rhode Island arts facilities, and the managers of arts projects in Rhode Island, must make their programs as accessible as possible to the widest number of people and work to remove barriers that may block accessibility. This includes addressing the structural, programmatic, communication and attitudinal barriers that keep people with disabilities from fully participating in arts programs.  Applicants are encouraged to contact RISCA for information on how to make their programs and facilities accessible to all.

If your facilities do not meet any one of the standards of the ADA, you are not in compliance and may be ineligible for RISCA funding.

Project Grants in Healthcare Grant Support Materials:

Applications for Project Grants in Healthcare must submit:

  • One copy of their 501(c)3 determination letter (for first-time applicants)
  • Resumes and job descriptions of key administrative personnel. In the event of vacancies, provide a description of the process you will undertake to fill this vacancy and a projected timeline.
  • One copy of the most recent financial statement you provide to your board of directors.

Artistic support material recommendations :

Works samples are an extremely important part of the project grant panel review process.  Artistic work samples should be documented and presented in a professional manner.  All samples should present work completed within the past three (3) years.

  • For performing groups or performing artists: DVD or VHS video tape cued for a ten-minute screening; CD or audio cassette cued to a ten-minute selection for music groups. You are welcome to include longer selections on DVD or CD in addition to the cued sections, in case the panel is interested in seeing or hearing more.  (Note: The online system cannot currently upload video.)  Provide reviews or feature articles from the current year. You may also choose to submit up to 10 images of performances, classes, etc, per the instructions in the bulleted paragraph below.
  • For visual arts organization or visual artists: 10-15 jpegs of recent work uploaded with your online application or on disc.  Images uploaded to the online system should be formatted to 1920 pixels x 1920 pixels and 72 dpi.  Images burned to disc should be no larger than one MB each.  Catalogues, publications, and/or reviews of exhibitions can be scanned and uploaded online or sent hard copy. You may also include reviews or feature articles from the current year.
  • For presenting organizations: recent brochures, programs, reviews or other print materials, including descriptions of the organization, facility and performing arts events can be scanned and uploaded online or sent hard copy. You may also choose to submit up to 10 jpeg images of performances, classes, etc. per the instructions in the bulleted paragraph above. You may also submit sound or video per the instructions in the first bulleted paragraph above.

Additional recommended support materials: It is advisable to provide documentation that demonstrates support you have received from individuals or organizations in your community for your arts-related project (e.g. letters of support). These documents may be scanned and uploaded with your online application.

How your application is reviewed, from beginning to end:

Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit a draft to be reviewed by RISCA staff, who will then provide direct feedback on your proposal.  To submit a draft, you will enter information for every box in the online application.  When you click “Submit Application” you will have the option of submitting it as a draft or as a complete application.  The draft option will no longer be available one week before the application deadline.  Following the application deadline, RISCA staff will make every effort to review your submission for completeness and contact you to supply missing or incorrect information.  However, applicants are ultimately responsible for the completeness and accuracy of their application.

Panel meetings generally are scheduled within two months after a deadline. Panels, which change from deadline to deadline and are different for each grant category, consist of artists, arts administrators, educators, and individuals closely associated with the arts.  RISCA staff members manage these meetings, but do not take part in the initial decision-making process.  Notes are taken of the discussions and these panel comments are provided to the Council along with funding recommendations, for the Council’s final funding decisions.

No formal announcement regarding a funding decision and/or a grant amount will be sent to any applicant until after the RICSA Council meeting (Council meeting dates are listed on the RISCA web site).  At that time, applicants will receive official notification of the Council’s actions, as well as their panel comments.  Whether or not a grant is awarded, these comments should help in the development of future applications to RISCA.

Applicants should expect to receive notification from RISCA by mid-July following the May 1 application deadline, and by the end of December following the October 1 application deadline.  These notifications are, of course, affected by the passage of a state budget and the availability of government funds.

RISCA grants are judged on their own merits and in competition with other proposals in that category.  Full funding is seldom awarded.  If an applicant has serious concerns regarding the action taken on an application, they are encouraged to seek additional information and resolution at the staff level.  If, after staff discussion, further action is warranted, a grievance procedure is in place.  In order to file a grievance an applicant must establish that the Council’s procedures for awarding grants were not followed.  In that instance a letter of grievance should be sent to the Council Chair and RISCA’s Executive Director no later than two weeks from the date of notification from the Council.

Project Grant Award Requirements:
Credit to RISCA:
Recipients must acknowledge, in a prominent manner, RISCA support in all materials and announcements, both audio and visual, related to their project. (e.g., “This project is supported in part by a grant from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts”.) Recipients must also display, in a prominent manner, the RISCA logo in association with the acknowledgment. Click here for more information on acknowledging RISCA grants.

Final Report

All organizations are required to submit a final report detailing their activities over the previous year within 30 days of the completion of the project or by no later than July 31, whichever comes first.

All grantees are subject to periodic audit or review by RISCA or the State of Rhode Island and must retain fiscal records for a period of seven (7) years following completion of the grant period.