Project Grants in Healthcare

Click here to access the RISCA grant portal for organizations.

RISCA Project Grants in Healthcare (PGH) guidelines; Deadline is Oct. 1, 2021

COVID 19 Considerations – Applicants please take notice of the following: For FY22, we are not proposing changes to these existing guidelines. While we recognize how we support Healthcare may look different in the near future, this year will be an opportunity for gathering information on how we can be more responsive with funding in the future.

To be eligible for RISCA funding during this time, a project must conform to established safety standards and regulations at the time of project implementation. We understand these regulations are shifting, and your project may have to shift or pivot to comply. If you are awarded a grant, and your project shifts due to federal, state, county, or city COVID-19 regulations, you will need to update the grant program director via email.

More information and details will be in the grant agreement form. For current state level regulations, you should visit: and

Project Grants in Healthcare (PGH) provides up to $9000 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 experienced in healthcare settings need to partner with one or more licensed healthcare staff to implement the project. Arts-based professional development with a variety of staff from the healthcare organization is also strongly encouraged, with a priority placed on experiential learning and job-embedded experiences. Funds can support artists’ and other arts professionals’ 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. Applicants can strengthen their application by relating the project to one or more of the recommendations in the State Plan:

Organizations seeking PGH support will apply online at

Potential applicants are highly encouraged to speak with RISCA staff ahead of submitting an application. Please contact Anisa Raoof, Arts & Health Coordinator, at 401-222-1146 or email to discuss your project.


All applications and support materials must be submitted online by 11:59 PM on the deadline day.

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 applications must be submitted online, and all support materials must be uploaded through the online system. Faxed or emailed applications will NOT be accepted. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.


  • A non-profit, health-based (clinical, behavioral, and public health) organization. The organization 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 your organization is incorporated in a state outside of Rhode Island, they may still apply for a grant. The organization must show that its principal place of business is in Rhode Island, it is registered with the Secretary of State’s office, it is producing programming predominantly in Rhode Island, and it is governed by a revolving board of directors, trustees or advisory board drawn from the Rhode Island community and shown to be actively involved in the governance of the organization. Please contact the Arts in Healthcare program director, for more information
  • A non-exempt, Rhode Island-based health-based (clinical, behavioral, and public health) organization using a fiscal sponsor that fits the above requirements (see Fiscal Sponsorship section).
  • Eligible health care sites might include non-profit: hospitals, rehabilitation centers, facilities serving the elderly, veterans’ homes, hospice care programs, etc.).

Fiscal Sponsorship

Organizations that do not have a 501(c)(3) tax exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service may be sponsored by an eligible nonprofit organization. In this case, the application must be submitted in the name of the sponsor organization. If a grant is awarded, it is understood that the sponsor organization is financially, administratively, and programmatically responsible for all conditions of the grant. The sponsor is also responsible for signing any grant documents, achieving compliance, and ensuring the submission of final report form.

Organizations that are interested in using a fiscal sponsor for a Project Grant in Healthcare must contact Randall Rosenbaum, Executive Director, prior to beginning an application for approval and to request a grant profile that links the organization to the fiscal sponsor.

When submitting a grant via a fiscal sponsor, a simple letter of agreement must be provided. This fiscal sponsorship letter  may be used as a template. Typically, fiscal sponsors will charge an administrative fee ranging from 0-10% for administering grants depending on the degree of administrative support and bookkeeping they provide; this fee can be factored into your grant budget.

Divisions, branches, departments, programs, or other subunits of nonprofit corporations, colleges, or universities are ineligible to apply on their own; applications may be submitted only by the parent corporation.

Grant Ranges

Applicants may request up to a maximum of $9,000 with the required match. The Project Grants in Healthcare grant category requires a minimum of a 1:1 match, meaning that grant requests in this category may not exceed 50% of the total project budget. 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.

Funding Restrictions

Council support may be used for expenses related to a specific project, such as: fees for an artist’s or art’s organization’s services, professional development workshop supplies and materials, or plans to implement and research arts programming for residents in a healthcare setting.

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
  • 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 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 and music teaching artists as part of their therapeutic services and instruction.
  • A weekend arts-intensive workshop is held for staff of a public health facility, with several follow-up visits by the workshop artist(s) to help staff incorporate their learning into community health practice.

Review Criteria

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

Artistic Merit (50%)

  • Evidence of artistic excellence and the ability to provide quality, in-depth experiences for audiences/participants.
  • Project has defined the arts and health needs of the targeted participants and has relevance to those needs and that healthcare setting.
  • Project design demonstrates cultural relevance to the participants and the setting.
  • Support materials are substantive, relevant, and high quality.
  • Support materials and narrative indicate both arts and health skills and knowledge of the artists and arts professionals involved.
  • Artists and arts professionals are well-paid, highly qualified Rhode Island residents.

Clarity and Achievability (25%)

  • The application clearly states:
    • what will be done
    • by whom
    • when and where activities will take place
    • how the applicant will organize, manage, and evaluate the project.
  • Budgets are clear, detailed, and accurate, indicating where RISCA funds will be spent.
  • Budget expenses and revenue are clearly related to the description and goals of the project.
  • There is evidence that the proposed project is achievable by the applicant, alone or with partners.

Healthcare Connection (25%)

  • There is evidence of a collaboration between the artist(s) and the licensed healthcare professional(s).
  • Clinical and/or behavioral and/or public health issues are clearly and thoroughly addressed, using appropriate and inclusive approaches.
  • Research on individual outcomes is part of the project design.
  • Programmatic evaluation is evident.
  • The proposal describes how it addresses one or more of the recommendations in the Rhode Island State Arts and Health Plan:

Access for People with Disabilities

Applicants who need assistance completing an application and/or require an interpreter should contact RISCA well in advance of the deadline.


Persons with disabilities have the right to access all RISCA-funded programs. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act states, in part, that “no otherwise qualified person with a disability … shall solely by reason 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.”

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. See checklists/accessibility-planning-and-resource for more information.

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.

How to Apply

Applicants must submit a completed PGH application form online via, including the following attachments:

  • Project Budget, on the RISCA template form provided in the application.
  • One copy of your 501(c)3 determination letter (for first-time applicants only).
  • Resumes and job descriptions of key 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 overview or summary you provide to your board of directors.

Support Materials

Since applications will be reviewed and scored by panelists on their own, outside of RISCA offices, all support material must be included in the online application.

If your application deals with the work of a particular artist or artists, please provide audio samples, video samples, or digital images of that artist’s work, whichever is applicable. These may be uploaded directly to the application form, or you may copy and paste to the appropriate material in the support materials box.

Other suggested support materials for your organization/project include:

  • Brochures, postcards, catalogs, and other mailings.
  • Select press and publicity.
  • Resumes/CVs of lead artists and/or staff.
  • Sample publications.
  • Letters of support.

You are not required to upload material in all five boxes, though a variety of materials is encouraged to illustrate the strengths of your project to the review panel.

In the text box provided for each item, please include a brief description (e.g., in the case of artist work, list the title, medium, dimensions, year of completion, duration, etc.). Please limit audio and video clips to no more than 2 minutes. (If a sample is longer than two minutes, please indicate start and end times for the clip you would like the panel to review.)

PLEASE NOTE: The online system can accommodate images, text documents, video, and audio in most formats, however there is a 25 MB limit for ALL support materials combined. We recommend that video be uploaded to a site such as Vimeo or YouTube, and links provided in an uploaded document.

Review Process

Once the application deadline passes, no alterations or additions may be made to your application. Applications are reviewed by a peer panel based on the contents of your application only.

  • Review of applications by RISCA staff. RISCA staff reviews each application for compliance with eligibility and submission requirements. If RISCA staff detects issues, they may call upon applicants or grantees to furnish proof of their eligibility.
  • Review of grant applications by panel. A panel consisting of three Rhode Island residents – chosen for their involvement in the arts and health community and in a variety of disciplines – reviews, scores, and takes notes on each application based on review criteria.
  • Panel review. The panel then meets via Zoom to discuss each application, adjust their scores based on their conversation as a panel, and make funding recommendations.
  • Council review of panel recommendations. The panel’s recommendations are presented to the Governor-appoint Council which oversees RISCA for approval.
  • Notification of grant awards. Notifications will be made approximately 3 months after the application deadline. Be aware that there is no guarantee that the process will move according to this schedule, as RISCA’s grant awards are dependent on both federal and state funding.

Once a grant has been awarded, applicants should understand that the grant processing procedure is lengthy. In many cases, grant funds may not be received prior to the start of a project. Applicants should be aware of this possibility and plan their cash flow accordingly.

Grant Award Requirements

  • You must acknowledge RISCA support in a prominent manner in all materials and announcements, both audio and visual, related to the grant program. Grant recipients must also display, in a prominent manner, the RISCA logo in association with that acknowledgment. Further detail regarding acknowledgment can be found at
  • You must submit a final grant report to RISCA. All grantees are required to submit a final report detailing their grant-related activities no later than the July 31 following the grant cycle. You will not be able to apply for another RISCA grant if you have an overdue final report. This form is submitted online through the grant portal.
  • You must keep records of receipts and expenditures related to the funded activity. Be prepared to make your records available to RISCA if requested by RISCA. 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 the grant period.
  • You must notify RISCA of any significant changes in your project and/or organizational leadership. Any changes must be reported to RISCA within two (2) months of the change.
  • The grant must be used exclusively for the purposes specified in the Grant Agreement. Any alternative use of funds must be authorized in advance in writing by RISCA, or the grant funds must be returned.
  • RISCA reserves the right to use any submitted materials for promotional purposes. This includes any text, photographs, audio, or video submitted as part of funded grant applications for limited non-commercial educational or promotional use in publications or other media produced, used or contracted by RISCA including, but not limited to: brochures, invitations, newsletters, postcards, websites, etc.

Benefits for Grantees

  • RISCA wants to help promote your project! If your project includes a public event, submit information about your event to RISCA via this Event and Publicity Submission Form: This will allow RISCA to post and promote your event via RISCA’s social media platforms and (possibly) email newsletter. Also, if you get any press or accolades for your project or organization, you can submit information via the Submission Form as well.
  • RISCA wants to support you in this – and future! – projects. If you have any questions about your grant, or your panel comments, please feel free to reach out RISCA staff. If you run into any issues in executing your project, please also feel free to reach out to RISCA staff. We want you to succeed – and we know things happen. We can help you troubleshoot and come up with solutions.