Folk Arts Apprenticeship Grant

Click here to access the RISCA grant portal for individuals.

Click here to see grants awarded in 2019.

RISCA Folk Arts Apprenticeship Grant (FAA) Guidelines – FY22 cycle 2, October 1, 2021 Deadline

Folk Arts Apprenticeships are designed to foster the sharing of traditional (folk) artistic skills between a master and an apprentice who is already familiar with the genre. The program creates this opportunity specifically for individuals who share a common cultural heritage. 

The folk arts are defined as those artistic practices which are community- or family-based and express that community’s aesthetic heritage and tradition. The learning process is informal and is passed on from generation to generation by word of mouth, apprenticeship, and imitation. 

All potential applicants to the Folk Arts Apprenticeship program must contact Elena Calderón-Patiño to discuss their application before the deadline. Applicants who need assistance completing an application and/or who require the assistance of an interpreter should contact Elena by email at well in advance of the application deadline. 

Artists seeking FAA support will apply online at:


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

Applications in the Folk Arts Apprenticeship grants category are accepted once a year on the following date (or on the following business day when these dates fall on a weekend or holiday):

  • October 1 (for activities taking place from January 1 to June 30). One application per year will be accepted from everyone applying in this category.


  • Applications must be submitted by the master artist. 
  • Please note that RISCA encourages one-on-one apprenticeships. In some cases, more than one apprentice per master is appropriate and will be allowed. Please contact Elena via email to discuss the application.
  • You must be a citizen or a permanent legal resident of the United States, and a resident of the State of Rhode Island for a minimum of twelve (12) consecutive months prior to the date of application to apply for support from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. Rhode Island State Law (§ 44-30-5) defines a “resident” as someone “who is domiciled in this state” or “who is not domiciled in this state but maintains a permanent place of abode in this state and is in this state for an aggregate of more than one hundred eighty-three (183) days of the taxable year.” 
  • Only one Folk Arts Apprenticeship application is allowed per person per deadline. Individuals may not apply for a Folk Arts Fellowship and a Folk Arts Apprenticeship at the same deadline. 
  • Folk Arts Apprenticeship applicants are ineligible to reapply for one fiscal year if they have received funding in this category for three consecutive years. 
  • Past RISCA grant recipients may not reapply for RISCA funds unless all final reports for previous awards have been submitted. 
  • RISCA staff, Council and their spouses and immediate relatives are ineligible to apply for RISCA funds.

Exceptions to General Guidelines 

  • There is no age requirement to participate as an apprentice. Apprentices under the age of 16 must submit a parent’s or legal guardian’s release or permission form as part of the application procedure. 
  • Applicants (master artists) must 18 years of age or older.

Funding Considerations 

The following conditions for funding apply to all Folk Arts Apprenticeship applicants:

  • Grant requests may range from $1,000 to $3,000. The Council reserves the right to increase or decrease either the amount or the number of awards granted in any given year.
  • 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, Apprenticeship award 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.
  • 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. 

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 Folk Arts Apprenticeship application form via:  <>.
  • Applications must include:
    • One copy of the applicant’s cv or resume, not to exceed three pages.
    • One copy of the applicant’s biographical statement.
    • Required work samples as specified in the Support Material Requirements section below
    • One copy of a statement of purpose from the apprentice.
  • Support materials must be submitted online by 11:59 pm on day of deadline.

Support Material Requirements

  • 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.
  • PLEASE NOTE: You may upload images, text documents, video, and audio in most formats, however, there is a 25 MB limit for ALL support materials combined. Links to artist websites can also be submitted in the link boxes on the online application. Please include a password if required.
  • Please submit all visual art support materials in the form of 8-10 jpegs uploaded to the online system. Written material must be submitted online as pdf documents.
  • Applicants should submit support materials in whatever form is most appropriate (jpegs, links to online material, etc.). Applicants should consult the RISCA/Folk Arts staff prior to the deadline for assistance in identifying and/or obtaining the appropriate support materials.
  • All support materials submitted must be duplications of works. No original or single editions of works will be accepted. Support materials will be utilized for the duration of the review process; please plan accordingly. For each item, please list in the Support Materials List section of the application: the title, medium, dimensions, year of completion, and duration (where applicable).
  • Submissions should reflect the artist’s most recent work, preferably work created within the last three years.

    Review Criteria

Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Traditionalist and artistic merit of master artist.
  • Extent of apprentice’s prior familiarity with the traditional art form.
  • Extent of apprentice’s commitment to continuing the traditional art form.
  • Feasibility and effectiveness of the apprenticeship plan.
  • Quality and Feasibility of culminating public presentation.

Folk Arts Apprenticeship grant recipients must also show evidence of a public component.

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.
  • 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 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.

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 artwork. No original or single editions of works will be accepted.
  • Support Materials will be mailed back to an applicant only if a self-addressed, stamped envelope with sufficient postage is provided. Support Materials from applications without a self- addressed stamped envelope will be held for sixty (60) days following the award decision and may be picked up during normal business hours, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm, at the Council offices.
  • Applicants are required to sign an Assurances section at the end of the application form regarding RISCA’s use of support materials from funded projects.
  • The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) reserves the right to use any text, photographs, audio, or video submitted as part of funded grant applications for limited noncommercial 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.

Apprenticeship Grant Award Requirements

  • Folk Arts Apprenticeship grant recipients must show evidence of a completed public component at the end of the grant period. Any requests for extension must be submitted in writing and are subject to approval by the authorizing agent of RISCA.
  • 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 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.
  • Tax Liability. RISCA recommends that individuals concerned about tax liability regarding their grant award follow the advice of their accountant. You will not receive tax documents from RISCA for this award.

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.