Big Yellow School Bus Grant

Note that this grant is currently closed, due to a delay in the state budget. See more information here, and follow our social media and blog for any updates.

Click here to access the RISCA grant portal for organizations.

School BusThe grant helps underwrite the cost of field trips to attend arts events such as live music, dance or theatre performances, exhibits at art museums, etc., as well as the cost of coverage for classroom teachers involved in the field trip. There must be an arts component to the trip.

Grant  Amounts

Up to $400.


  • At least 45 days prior to the event.

If the deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline will be midnight the next business day.


Maggie Anderson, Arts in Education Director, 401-222-3880


Rhode Island K-12 tax-exempt public or private schools with 501c(3) educational status, or a tax-exempt parent-teacher organizations (PTO) associated with a school. Only one grant will be awarded to an applicant within the same fiscal year.

Note: Big Yellow School Bus Grants do NOT count toward the number of grants an organization can receive from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts each fiscal year.

Funding Considerations

All RISCA grant awards are contingent upon the availability of funds from the Rhode Island State General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Grant applications are considered on a competitive basis. No applicant is guaranteed funding at any level, even if all basic criteria have been met.

What RISCA Will Fund

Council support may be used for:

Field trips that involve travel to an arts or cultural performance, exhibit, activity or program in Rhode Island.

Review Process

  • Applications are reviewed daily during normal office hours on a “first-received, first-funded” basis (ONE GRANT PER YEAR, PER SCHOOL BUILDING) until available funds are awarded.
  • Applications are reviewed daily during normal office hours on a “first-received, first-funded” basis (ONE GRANT PER YEAR, PER SCHOOL BUILDING) until available funds are awarded.
  • Within 2 weeks of receipt of the application, you will receive a formal email notification about the status of your application. Shortly after that you will receive formal written notification.

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. LARGE PRINT GUIDELINES ARE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST.

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. Read more here.

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

Please fill out and submit the BYSB application form on our grants system. We no longer accept paper applications for BYSB. If your school is not already registered in our grants system you will need to do so. If your school IS registered but you do not know the password, please email Maggie Anderson at or call 401-222-3880 to create a new one. Here are the top seven reasons for potential delays in the application process.

    1. No Federal Tax ID AND DUNS #s. We need both of these numbers in order to issue grant checks. If you do not have a DUNS number, visit Dun & Bradstreet for information and a link to register online for a DUNS number. DUNS Number assignment is free for all businesses.
    2. No signature of principal on the Application.
    3. No specific date given for the trip (“sometime in the Fall” will not do).
    4. No indication of what the specific event is.
    5. No indication of where the event is (what city, town).
    6. No phone or email for the contact person.
    7. No description of students attending (grade level, number of students) or the connection to the school’s arts curriculum.

Support Materials

We strongly suggest that you send an e-mail or letter to your local legislators stating that you are applying for a Big Yellow School Bus grant to take the trip. This allows policy makers to understand the importance of these funds in the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts’ budget. If you do this, please attach a copy of your email or letter to this application when you submit it.