Project Grants in Education

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 Education (PGE) program provides program support (maximum of $10,000) to artists and cultural organizations collaborating with schools and other educational entities, in order to: Increase access to high quality curriculum-based arts learning for all RI students; foster the professional development of arts educators; engage families and community members in arts learning for students; help to ensure that all RI students are able to demonstrate proficiency in one or more artistic disciplines upon graduation.

Organizations seeking PGE support will apply online at

Potential applicants are highly encouraged to speak with RISCA staff ahead of applying. Please contact Arts in Education Director Maggie Anderson at or 401-222-3880 to discuss your project.


The deadline to apply for Project Grants in Education is 11:59 pm on:

  • April 1 (for grant activities between July 1 and June 30)
  • October 1 (for grant activities between January 1 and June 30)

In the event that a deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, the revised deadline will be 11:59 pm on the next business day. Late or incomplete applications will not be reviewed.


Grantees in RISCA’s Investments in Arts & Culture (IAC) program are not eligible to apply for PGE support. IAC grantees also may not serve as fiscal sponsors for organizations applying in the PGE category.

In order to qualify for PGE support, you must be:

  • A non-profit organization incorporated in and conducting business in the State of Rhode Island, with 501(c)(3) tax exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service, registered with the Rhode Island Secretary of State, 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 (for confirmation that your nonprofit organization is incorporated in the State of Rhode Island, visit the Secretary of State’s database).
  • Units of local government (cities and towns) may apply for support.
  • A public school, or a college or university with tax-exempt status.
  • A tax-exempt school (Catholic or independent).
  • State-run schools (RI School for the Deaf, Davies Career Technical High School, etc.)
  • A non-exempt, Rhode Island-based organization using a fiscal sponsor that fits the above requirements (see Fiscal Sponsorship section).

In order to qualify for PGE support, your project must:

  • Be at least 10 sequential days of service in an education setting.
  • Identify RI Teaching Artists or arts organizations as partners. No out of state artists or organizations will be funded and applications that do not name artists or organizational partners will not be considered.
  • Include a project timeline or preliminary schedule.
  • Use the budget template provided.

Fiscal Sponsorship

Organizations that have not yet received the appropriate IRS tax-exempt determination 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 forms through the online portal.

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

Parent corporations and fiscal sponsors must not be grantees of any other RISCA program.

Funding Considerations

The following conditions for funding apply to all PGE applicants:

  • The maximum grant award in this category is $10,000. Be aware that grants are frequently awarded at less than the requested amount.
  • Only one application per cycle. Organizations, fiscal sponsors, and parent corporations may only submit one application per cycle to RISCA for PGE support. All applicants, however, are encouraged to collaborate as partners on other RISCA-funded projects.
  • 1:1 Match for organizational applicants, meaning that applicants may request up to half the cost of the project, to a maximum of $10,000. Be aware that grants are frequently awarded at less than the requested amount. Up to half of the organizational applicants’ matching funds (i.e. the non-RISCA portion, which equals 50% or more of the overall project budget) may be in-kind, to a maximum of $5,000.
  • If you receive a grant, you must credit RISCA on all marketing materials. Grants awarded by RISCA are provided by the Rhode Island State General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, on behalf of the citizens of Rhode Island. For that reason, grant recipients must credit RISCA on all printed material where funders and supporters are listed and on all printed programs (see Grant Award Requirements below for details).
  • 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. For example, any delays in passing the state budget will affect the timing of your grant payments being processed.
  • 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 and will not fund

Council support may be used for expenses related to arts programming and production of a single event or a series of events, such as the production, presentation, marketing, and for reasonable administrative expenses necessary for carrying out the project. Council support may NOT be used for:

  • Capital projects. Bricks and mortar activities and capital improvements, or for the purchase of permanent equipment.
  • Addressing Debt. Eliminating or reducing existing debt, or for contributions to an endowment
  • Fundraising. Any development efforts, such as social events or benefits.
  • Prizes and awards. Note: your project having an award or competition component does not make the project ineligible; RISCA funds just may not be used for the prize or award.
  • Hospitality expenses. This includes food and beverages for openings or receptions. Under no circumstances will the purchase of alcoholic beverages be Note: your project can have hospitality expenses; RISCA funds just may not be used for hospitality expenses.
  • Expenses outside of award period. Expenses incurred or activities occurring prior to July 1 or after June 30 in the fiscal year in which the grant has been
  • Regranting funds. Applications where the purpose is to “regrant” or award funds using some or all of the RISCA grant
  • Undergraduate or graduate school activities. Activities which are part of a graduate or undergraduate degree program, or for which academic credit is
  • Religious activities. Applications for projects that proselytize or promote religious activities, or which take place as part of a religious
  • Private functions, or programs that are not ADA complaint. Performances and exhibitions not available to the general public, or which are inaccessible to people with

Review Process

Once the application deadlines 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 five Rhode Island residents – chosen for their involvement in the arts community and in a variety of art disciplines – reviews, scores, and takes notes on each application based on review criteria online prior to an in-person panel review.
  • In-person panel review. The panel then meets in person at RISCA offices 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 for approval to the Governor-appointed Council which oversees RISCA.
  • 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.

Review Criteria

The peer panels will evaluate the application material based on the following review criteria:

Artistic Merit (50%)

  • Evidence of artistic excellence and the ability to provide quality experiences for audiences/participants.
  • Projects are designed to expand the public or students’ knowledge of and appreciation for an art form.
  • Support materials are directly relevant to the application, of excellent quality, and present a high level of artistic product.
  • The artist(s) listed as project partners are on RISCA’s Teaching Artist Roster?  If not, there are persuasive support materials that speak to artistic merit.
  • 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 artists.

Clarity and Achievability (25%)

  • The application clearly states:
    • what will be done.
    • when and where things will take place.
    • why the project should be supported with public funds.
    • how the applicant will go about organizing, managing and evaluating the project.
  • Budgets are clear, detailed, and accurate; the planned allocation of funds supports project goals.
  • There is evidence that what is proposed is achievable by the applicant, on their own or in partnership with others. In the absence of experience, information provided helps make a convincing case that this project will succeed.
  • Planning time for artist(s) built in on a regular basis throughout the timeline or preliminary schedule included

Curriculum Connection (25%)

The project must be directly engaged with Rhode Islanders in one or more of the following ways:

  • The application reflects a collaboration between the artist(s) and others within the school community (teachers, administrators, students, parents).
  • There are clear indications of integration of curriculum standards/frameworks, including NCAS (National Core Arts Standards).
  • A process of assessment/evaluation is visible.
  • Encouraging access to and participation in the arts by:
    • Persons in under-resourced geographic communities.
    • Underrepresented populations, including race, gender, sexuality, and disability.
  • Ample evidence that this project is a genuine collaboration between the classroom teachers and teaching artists.

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. See 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 PGE application form online via, including the following attachments:

  • Project Budget, on the form provided in the
  • Organizational Budget, in your own
  • Most recent IRS form
  • Letter of determination for 501c3 tax-exempt status from the
  • Letter from fiscal sponsor, if
  • One copy of a Board of directors list, including names, professional/cultural affiliations, expiration of terms, years on
  • Support Materials (see below).

For any questions regarding the form or attachments, contact Arts in Education Director Maggie Anderson at or 401-222-3880.

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 in order 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. If you have any questions, contact Arts in Education Director Maggie Anderson at or 401-222-3880.

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 acknowledgement can be found at
  • You must submit a final grant report to RISCA via the online grant system. All grantees are required to submit a final report online 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.
  • 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 to 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