Project Grants in Education

Click here to access the RISCA grant portal


Click here to access the RISCA grant portal for organizations.

Contact: Maggie Anderson, Director, Arts in Education
Phone: 401-222-6994                             

Deadlines: April 1 and October 3 at 11:59 p.m.
Amount: $1,000-$10,000 for Organizations.
$1,000-$3,000 for Individuals.


  • Pre-K-12 schools based in Rhode Island (public, public charter, private, alternative, special education schools, career, and technical centers)
  • Non-profit or fiscally sponsored organizations based in Rhode Island
  • Arts educators and teaching artists in partnership with a school based in Rhode Island

Project Location: Must occur in Rhode Island

Project Period: July 1 – June 30 (Project period is based on RISCA fiscal year July 1 – June 30)

Arts Education helps students discover, develop, and create a rich context for learning all while deepening engagement. 

RISCA’s Project Grants in Education (PGE) program provides project-specific support to schools, non-profit organizations, arts educators, and teaching artists to engage students in rich and meaningful artistic experiences in dedicated learning environments. PGE projects must be experiential and focus on the exploration of art and the artistic process. PGE strives to build the capacity of local teaching artists and nonprofit organizations, while providing students with high-quality artistic learning experiences. 

Project Grants in Education are not intended to substitute for a school’s arts education program.


  • Project Grants in Education Application Details             
  • Program Priorities and Project Requirements 
  • Application Questions 
  • Application Checklist   
  • Application Evaluation Criteria            


Application Deadline:

April 1 and October 3 at 11:59 p.m.

Rhode Island Residency:

No out of state artists or organizations will be funded 

Applicant Tax Status Requirement: 

  • Units of local government (cities and towns).
  • 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-profit organization
  • Individual (teaching artist, school-based educator)


Program Priorities*

  • Pre-K-12 In-School Projects
  • Projects that authentically match students and school populations with teaching artists from shared cultural backgrounds and experiences
  • Projects that center learners: of varying abilities; in non-traditional academic programs; of Africana, Latina, Asian, and Native American Diasporas (ALANDs); or of “economically disadvantaged” status as defined by the RI Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

*as encouraged by The National Endowment for the Art and the RISCA Strategic Plan ‘20.

Project Requirements  

  • Projects must include a drafted lesson plan with clearly stated learning goals, intended outcomes, and means for evaluation.  
  • Projects must consist of a minimum of 8 contact hours with the same teaching artist(s) and a distinct group of learners. These contact sessions must occur on separate days.  
  • Projects must consist of in-depth, sequential, and participatory learning opportunities incorporating one or more art forms.

Further Project Requirements

  • Pre-K-12 In-School Projects:
    • Applicant must be a school/district or an individual with a partner school letter of support
  • Community Based Learning Projects:
    • Non-profit organizations must be the applicant; projects must occur in a dedicated learning environment with a distinct group of learners of any age. Individuals may not be the applicant for a community based learning project.

Individual applicants with Pre-K-12 In-School Projects additional requirements include:

  • A Letter of Commitment or Support from the partnering school. This letter must detail the partnering school’s support of the project and outline the anticipated roles and responsibilities of all partners.  
  • Must be at least eighteen (18) years of age.
  • Students attending high school or students, pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees in an arts discipline or an arts-related subject area at the time of application, may not apply.


Eligibility Quiz:

  • Applicant status/entity type
  • ADA Compliance as required by the National Endowment for the Arts. Review here
  • Expenditures. Review what RISCA cannot fund here

Project Lead Profile:

  • Contact information for organization or artist
  • SAM-UEI (Unique Entity Identifier). Organizations are required to have a Unique Entity Identifier or UEI (2 CFR 25.200).  In April 2022 the Federal government switched to the use of a UEI created in [] as the official UEI.  An UEI reflects the organization’s legal name and current, physical address. As an organizational applicant to RISCA (and possible subrecipient of NEA funds), you must have a UEI but are not required to complete the full SAM registration to obtain it. Learn how to request your SAM-UEI, click here.

Project Overview:

  • Project name
  • Project summary
  • Amount requested
  • Project site location

Project Narrative:  

  • Detailed project description
  • List of partnerships and collaborations
  • Detailed arts learning plan
  • Evidence of arts impact
  • Project start and end date

Support Materials/Required Documents:

  • Fiscal Sponsor Letter (if applicable)
  • Required documentation for FRPL match waiver (if applicable)
  • Project Budget (Must be the RISCA PGE Template)
  • Example Lesson Plan
  • CVs or resumes of artists involved
  • Letter(s) of Support/Partnership
  • Artistic Work Samples
  • Optional Upload Section
  • Testimonial (uploaded in Project Narrative under Evidence of Arts Impact) 

If applying with an eligible Fiscal Sponsor, you must provide the following:  

  • A Fiscal Sponsorship Agreement from a qualifying nonprofit organization in addition to the above documents.


Use this checklist to guide you through the application process, from gathering your information to hitting “SUBMIT”. The checklist represents an entire application, and the order in which the materials should be packaged. All items are required as applicable:


  • PART I – Eligibility Quiz
  • PART II – Project Lead Profile
  • PART III – Project Overview
  • PART IV – Project Narrative
  • PART V- Support Materials
    • Fiscal Sponsor Letter (if applicable)
    • Required documentation for FRPL match waiver (if applicable)
    • Project Budget (Must be the RISCA PGE Template)
    • Example Lesson Plan
    • CVs or Resumes of artists involved
    • Letter(s) of Support/Partnership
    • Artistic Work Samples
    • Optional Upload Section
    • Testimonial (uploaded in Project Narrative under Evidence of Arts Impact) 
  • PART VI – Elected Officials Information
  • PART VII – Data for Federal and State Reporting
  • PART VIII – Assurances

Grants applications will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Project Fit (25%) – The project’s goals and activities clearly fit the Project Grants in Education description.
  • Outcomes (25%) – The expected outcomes, or results, of the project are clearly stated and correlated with the project’s goals.
  • Project Implementation Evaluation (25%) – The applicant has a clear definition of success and specific metrics to measure success.
  • Partnerships & Collaborations (25%) – The applicant is working in coordination and/or collaborating on the project with specific organizations or artists to serve a distinct group of learners.

Artistic Merit: In all four criteria, high-quality, standards-based arts learning, and cultural competencies must be present.

Allocating Funds

Grants with moderate to high overall evaluative scores will be awarded funds by determining how well the project aligns to the Project Grants in Education Program Priorities.


RISCA staff are here to help you with your application and the application process. We want to help you succeed! Applicants are strongly encouraged to attend one of RISCA’s grant information sessions and discuss their proposals with the appropriate program director before writing and submitting applications. Applicants should also review the legal and reporting requirements relevant to State Arts Council grants. The grant program director can review and provide feedback on drafts of narrative questions and budgets if submitted by email well in advance of the application deadline.

RISCA uses an online application system, Foundant. Please visit the grant page for instructions. Please read the instructions and questions carefully and double-check that all attachments have been uploaded. We recommend you keep a copy for your files.

Review Timeline:

  • Step 1 – Review of applications by RISCA staff. Each application is reviewed 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.
  • Step 2 – Review of grant applications by the panel. A panel consisting of 3-5 Rhode Island residents—chosen for their experience in education, arts education, or in the arts and culture community and in a variety of disciplines—reviews, scores, and provides notes on each application based on review criteria.
  • Step 3 – The panel meeting to make funding recommendations. The panel meets as a group in person at RISCA offices or via Zoom to discuss each application, adjust their scores based on their conversation as a panel, and make funding recommendations. Note: RISCA staff do not make funding decisions. RISCA staff facilitates the discussion but do not participate.
  • Step 4 – RISCA’s Governing Council reviews and approves panel recommendations. The Arts in Education Director presents the panel’s award recommendations to the Governor-appointed Council that oversees RISCA. They are responsible for reviewing and approving the panel’s recommended grant awards.



  • Notifications will be made approximately 3 months after the application deadline and are dependent on the Council meeting schedule. After which, applicants will receive official notification of the Council’s action via email. 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.
  • All applicants will receive panel comments. Whether or not a grant is awarded, these comments should help in the development of future applications.

If You Receive an Award, Next Steps:

Read your Grant Award Email thoroughly, as it will have important information about your award.

  • Grant Agreement: Log in to the RISCA grant portal to read and sign your grant agreement to officially let us know if you are accepting or declining your award. Failure to return the grant agreement by the designated date could result in the cancellation of the grant and reallocation of funds.
    • What if I don’t want my grant award because circumstances have changed and/or I can’t complete the project? Before deciding to decline your grant award due to its size or changing circumstances of your project, we recommend you reach out to the Arts in Education Director to see if you can accomplish your project with some modifications. If you do decide to decline your award, it is totally fine to do so. It will have no bearing on future grant applications you might submit to RISCA. You will send an email to the Arts in Education Director indicating your desire to decline your award, and they will assist you.
  • Additional Grant Award Requirements:
    • 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. 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 residents of Rhode Island. For that reason, awardees must credit RISCA on all printed material where funders and supporters are listed and on all printed programs. Further detail regarding acknowledgment can be found at Awardees are required to share evidence of at least one RISCA acknowledgment in the Final Report
    • Submit a final grant report to RISCA. All grantees are required to submit a final report detailing their grant-related activities no later than 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 funds. You should 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 years following the grant period.
    • Notify the Arts in Education Director of any significant changes in your project and/or organizational leadership. Any changes must be reported to RISCA within two months of the change.
    • The grant must be used exclusively for the purposes specified in the Grant Agreement. Any alternative use of funds needs to be cleared by the Arts in Education Director in advance in writing (by email), 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.
  • Award Payment
    • RISCA disburses funds appropriated from public sources, both federal and state. All awards are subject to the availability of state and federal funds.
    • You must be an approved vendor with the State of Rhode Island via Ocean State Procures*.
    • Award payments may take up to 120 days to be processed. 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.

*What is Ocean State Procures, and how do I register?
All RISCA grant award recipients need to have an approved vendor profile in the Rhode Island Ocean State Procures (OSP) system. This new online registration system is used by the State of Rhode Island for any vendor of the state, not just those working with or receiving grant awards from RISCA. Use the  Vendor Self-Registration Quick Start Guide ( for complete details on to fully register and create a login to access your secure Vendor Portal at  Please note this is a two-step process: 

  • STEP 1: Create a Vendor Profile. After completing Quick Start Guide step 6 “submit registration”, your login credentials and the login link will be emailed to you (with the subject line: “Welcome to WebProcure!”).
  • STEP 2: Upload W-9. Once you have registered (including uploading a new W-9) and been approved by OSP, RISCA can process your award payment. 
  • Need Help? For technical assistance with your OSP vendor registration and/or account, email or call 1-866-889-8533.


What are example projects?

Pre-K-12 In-School Projects might include: artist residencies, arts integration projects, community engagement projects, school enhancement projects, or curriculum development projects.

 Previously funded project examples:

  • An after-school program for students grades 9-12 to learn traditional Native American art forms. The program culminated in an exhibit that celebrates artistic expression and creating visibility of Native American culture and creating a more inclusive school environment.
  • An artist-in-residence for the fall term spearheading building a papermaking studio and implementing a paper arts curriculum at an independent high school.

Community Based Learning Projects might include: arts learning projects that happen in summer camps, after school programs, or weekend programs.

Previously funded project examples:

  • A series of art making workshops at the Boys & Girls club connecting teens with local artists. By participatory arts learning the teens develop relationships with the artists as role models, honing creative/ intellectual development and decision-making skills while creating and critiquing art.
  • A high school for the arts hosts a Community Shakespeare Festival at a local park. This event is open to the public and is an opportunity for students to share what they’ve been learning in their theater classes with the community.

What are possible metrics for “Evidence of Arts Impact”?

Applicants to PGE are asked to identify “What is your definition of success?” and “What specific metrics will you use to measure success?”.  Below is a list of arts education pedagogies and strategies that may help identify and inform possible methods for project evaluation.

Where can I find my “cash match”? How does this work?

A 1:1 cash match is required for all requests of $3001 or greater. The amount over $3000 must be matched. For example, if you are requesting $5000 in project support you must show a cash match for $2000 ($5000-$3000= $2000).  A 1:1 cash match means that for every dollar requested there is a dollar of funds in the recipient’s possession. This may include funds directed towards staff salaries and benefits, paid from operational budgets. This may not include in-kind or donated services. 

What is a SAM-UEI?

Organizations are required to have a Unique Entity Identifier or UEI (2 CFR 25.200).  In April 2022 the Federal government switched to the use of a UEI created in [] as the official UEI.  An UEI reflects the organization’s legal name and current, physical address. As an organizational applicant to RISCA (and possible subrecipient of NEA funds), you must have a UEI but are not required to complete the full SAM registration to obtain it.

What support materials do I need to meet the Free-or-Reduced-Price Lunch (FRPL) or state identified need criteria?

  • To check for FRPL status, rates for all public schools can be found here: Under Statistical Tables, select School Report, October Enrollment, and the year. For applications being submitted for FY23, do this for 2019-20, 2020-21, and 2021-22.   If the FRPL rate hits the 40% or greater mark for any of the three years, you are eligible for a match waiver.
  • To check for Star Rating documentation, go to If you select a school under School Report Card, the Star Rating is front and center. Please note 2019 is the most current rating in the database. If the star rating is a 1 or a 2, you are eligible for a match waiver.


Artistic Merit (PGE): A measurement of high-quality arts learning. This is not a qualitative measurement of the professional history of the artist or artistic discipline attached to the project.

Arts and Culture Organization: Not-for-profit-based groups that provide as their primary mission regular cultural programs or services, which may include producing or presenting a series or regular program of performances, educational programming, exhibitions, media presentations, festivals, readings, or literary publications. Producing is a primary focus on direct creation, production, performance or exhibition of arts; presenting is a primary focus on organizing, selecting or curating and contracting a series, season or festival of performances or events created by other artists and producing groups.

Cash Match: A 1:1 cash match means that for every dollar requested there is a dollar of funds in the recipient’s possession. This may include funds directed towards staff salaries and benefits paid from operational budgets. This may not include in-kind or donated services.

Community Based Learning Project:  An arts learning project for a distinct group of learners facilitated as a partnership with a school and an arts and culture organization that extends beyond the regular school day.

Dedicated Learning Environment: The physical space where the project will occur, typically a PreK-12 school building or arts and culture organization. Technical settings and space for distance learning activities is considered a dedicated learning environment.

Distinct Group of Learners: A pre-identified cohort of student participants of any age that remains stable throughout the duration of the arts learning project.

Economically Disadvantaged: “means a pupil who has been determined eligible for free or reduced-price meals as determined under the Richard B. Russell national school lunch act, 42 USC 1751 to 1769j; who is in a household receiving supplemental nutrition assistance program or temporary assistance for needy families assistance; or who is homeless, migrant, or in foster care, as reported to the center.” from Federal Department of Education

Fiscal Sponsorship: A fiscal sponsor is an organization that fits RISCA’s definition of a non-profit organization that accepts a grant on behalf of the sponsored organization and is financially, administratively, and programmatically responsible for all conditions of the grant. The fiscal sponsor is also responsible for signing any grant documents and ensuring that the sponsored organization follows the rules of the grant program and submits its final report.

Non-Profit Organization: Is 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.

Participatory: Arts learning projects must be experiential and focus on the exploration of art and the artistic process. This means the learners should be participating in the art making, not observing a presentation of the art form by the teaching artist.

Rhode Island residency: Have been domiciled in Rhode Island for at least one year at the time of application. This means your home in Rhode Island is your primary residence, and is the address you use for legal forms, state income taxes, car registration, driver’s license or state issued id, and voter registration – regardless of whether you own or rent your home.

Teaching Artist:  As defined by the Kennedy Center, teaching artists:

  • Exist at the intersection of the arts and education.
  • Demonstrate a depth of knowledge in their art form. 
  • Are engaged in sustained creative exploration. 
  • Teach in, through, and about the arts.
  • Work in a variety of environments that serve the needs of local communities.

One important distinction is that teaching artists do not serve to replace school certified arts educators. We believe teaching artists can serve as valuable resources and partners to our teachers.