Project Grants for Education

Note: This granting program is paused for the April 1, 2022, deadline. It will return as a new updated program for Oct. 1, 2022, deadline.

Click here to access the RISCA grant portal for organizations.


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 Education in Rhode Island may look different in the near future, this year will be a jumping off point for gathering information for ways 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 impacting school, you should visit: and

Learning in and through the arts plays a critical role in the growth and development of our youngest residents. Project Grants for Education (PGE) provide support to artists and cultural organizations collaborating with schools and other educational entities to:

  • Increase access to high quality curriculum-based arts learning for all RI children and youth.
  • Foster the professional development of artists and educators.
  • Engage the participation of families and other community members in arts learning for children and youth.
  • Help to ensure that all RI youth can demonstrate proficiency in one or more art forms at or before graduation from high school.

Organizations seeking PGE support will apply online at

Individual artists seeking PGE support are encouraged to contact Maggie Anderson, Arts in Education Director, at (401) 222-6994 or to discuss your project before applying.

All applicants are highly encouraged to speak with RISCA staff before submitting a proposal.


The deadline to apply for Project Grants for 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).

If a deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, the revised deadline will be 11:59 PM on the next business day.

ALL materials must be submitted online. Late or incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

One application per cycle will be accepted from each organization applying in this category. Individual artists are limited to receiving one PGE award.


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

For organizations to qualify for PGE support, you must be:

  • A non-profit organization. Your organization must be 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 online database.
    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 Maggie Anderson, Arts in Education Director, for more information.
  • A non-exempt, Rhode Island-based organization using a fiscal sponsor that fits the above requirements (see Fiscal Sponsorship section).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.).

In order for your project to be considered eligible in PGE:

  • Your project budget must indicate a 1:1 match for requested RISCA funds. PGE requires a minimum 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.

    The portion that is a cash match can be from projected earned revenue (e.g., ticket sales); pledged or confirmed donations; pending, projected, or confirmed grants or cash business sponsorships; or cash on hand that the applicant has to put towards a project.

Applications that do not meet the match requirement will be deemed ineligible.

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 for Education must contact Maggie Anderson, Arts in Education 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.

Parent corporations and fiscal sponsors may be grantees or applicants in PGE and other RISCA grant programs, including the Investments in Arts and Culture program.

Funding Considerations

The following conditions for funding apply to all Project Grants for Education applicants:

  • 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.
  • Grants awarded by the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts 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 the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts 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.
  • 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 a specific project, such as production, presentation, marketing, and 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.
  • 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 or activities occurring prior to July 1 or after June 30 in the fiscal year 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.

Review Process

The application review process follows approximately this schedule:

  • Applications are due by 11:59 pm on April 1 and October 1.
  • Applications are checked by staff for accuracy and completeness, and then prepared for review by an advisory panel.
  • Applications are sent to the panelists and are read and ranked online.
  • The review panel meets to determine their final funding recommendations.
  • Funding recommendations go to the Council for their review and approval.
  • Notification of grant awards will be made within eight to ten weeks of the application deadline.

Be aware that there is no guarantee that the process will move according to this schedule, and it may take more time to review and award grants at certain times of the year.

Once a grant has been awarded, applicants should understand that the grant processing procedure is lengthy. In some 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

Each project grant application is reviewed and ranked by a panel of artists and arts professionals based on the following evaluation 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.


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 Project Grants for Education application form online via

ALL applicants will upload the following attachments:

  • Project Budget, on the provided RISCA template. Your application will be considered incomplete if a budget is submitted in any other format.
  • 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.
  • Support Materials (see below).

Organizational applicants will also upload:

  • Most recent IRS form 990.
  • Letter of determination for 501c3 tax-exempt status from the IRS.
  • Letter from fiscal sponsor, if applicable.

Support Materials

If your application deals with the work of an 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 upload a Word or PDF document containing links to the appropriate material.

Other suggested support materials for your organization/project include:

  • Brochures, postcards, catalogs, and other mailings.
  • Select press and publicity.
  • Sample publications.
  • Letters of support.

You are not required to upload material in all seven 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 list the title, year of completion, duration, medium, dimensions, etc. where applicable. 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. Links to artist websites can also be submitted in the text box in the online application.

Grant Award Requirements

Recipients must acknowledge their RISCA support in a prominent manner in all materials and announcements, both audio and visual, related to the performance, exhibition, etc. mounted as a result of their support from RISCA. Recipients must also display, in a prominent manner, the RISCA logo in association with the acknowledgment.

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.

Limits of Liability

The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts is not responsible for damage or loss of materials submitted to its office, whether or not such damage or loss is caused by negligence of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, its employees, or agents.

All supporting materials submitted must be duplications of work. No original or single editions of works will be accepted.


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 online at: