Health and Human Services Artist in Residence

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Health and Human Services Artist in Residence (AIR) – 2022
Sponsored by the Rhode Island Arts and Health Initiative


For professional artists, at least 18 years of age, with experience in bringing creative arts-based approaches to health-based projects and/or settings.


  • 6-month residency
  • July 1, 2022 – December 31, 2022.
    The daily work schedule will be negotiated between the artist and relevant RIDOH/EOHHS staff.
  • $15,000 plus supplies and materials up to $5,000.
  • Application opens: March 24, 2022
  • Application closes: April 25, 2022, at 11:59 p.m.
  • AIR application office hours: April 6 from 3-4:30 p.m.
  • Notification: June 1, 2022
  • Start date: July 1, 2022
  • For questions about the Health and Human Services Residency program, contact:


The Rhode Island Department of Health and the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts believe in the important role the arts can play in health and wellbeing. The Artist in Residence program was established in partnership with RIDOH and RISCA to address the social and environmental determinants of health through the integration of arts into health and healing. Embedding the artist within a state health and human services agency creates an opportunity to drive creative arts-based approaches and encourages innovation to achieve health equity and attaining behavioral and clinical population health goals. Ultimately, the arts have the power to create healthier individuals and thriving communities.

Program Goals

The selected artist will be embedded at the Rhode Island Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) in Cranston, RI as well as in the field, at associated community locations for a 6-month residency. The Artist in Residence will work with selected staff within the EOHHS umbrella agencies to identify, create, and carry out one or more projects which respond to one or both EOHHS public and/or behavioral health issues listed below.

  • Children’s Behavioral Health System of Care: Centering our community and providers around a culturally competent National model for a “system of care.”
  • Overdose, Addiction, and Adult Behavioral Health: Governor’s Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force is a coalition of professionals and community members statewide with the goal of preventing overdoses and saving lives.

Sample AIR Project Timeline for a 6-month residency.

  • Introductory period (First month): Get to know EOHHS team, organization. Identify the community to be served.
  • Community engagement – as part of RISCA’s mission as state arts agency, need to serve our constituents.
  • Investigation period: Work with team to learn more.
  • Determining the subject matter.
  • Building consensus.
  • Project development in partnership with EOHHS team.
  • Project completion & reflection (Month 6).

About the Rhode Island Arts and Health Initiative

The Rhode Island Arts and Health Advisory Group was formed in 2016 to advise the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) and the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA), on the important role the arts can play in health and wellbeing. An 18-month planning process*, facilitated by the Brown University School of Public Health in partnership with RISCA and RIDOH helped the Advisory group develop the Rhode Island State Arts and Health Plan – a public health roadmap for advancing the integration of arts and health for the state. The Advisory Group outlined a strategy for fully integrating arts and arts-based therapies into healthcare and community settings through innovative and sustainable policy, practice, and research recommendations.

In 2019, the Advisory Group became the RI Arts and Health Initiative Steering Committee to assist in carrying out the recommendations of the State Arts and Health Plan and with building a framework for development of an Arts and Health Network to foster collaborations across the state.  RISCA and RIDOH envision fully integrated and sustainable arts and health systems that build on Rhode Island’s rich creative capital and innovative healthcare infrastructure. RISCA and RIDOH are the HUB agencies of the Network providing oversight during this process and together with the Steering Committee and other community partners they:

  • Provide strategic direction to the implementation of the state plan for arts and health.
  • Advocate for the meaningful integration of the arts into health policy, practice, and research.
  • Guide the long-term development of the Network into a Center for Arts and Health.

*The planning process was funded by the Rhode Island Foundation.


  • Be a practicing artist* (in any arts discipline) with significant experience in providing arts to health-based projects and/or settings.
  • Be 18 years of age or older.
  • Not currently be in an arts degree seeking program or attending high school full time.
  • 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.
  • Be a legal resident of the United States with a tax id number (either Social Security number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification (ITIN) number). This includes refugees, immigrants, and temporary residents. This does not include people in the country on a tourist visa.
  • Not be a staff member or council member of RISCA, or an immediate family member of a staff or council member.

*RISCA defines practicing artist as: A person that intentionally creates or practices art in any discipline that:

  • Has sought learning or training in the artistic field from any source, not necessarily in formal academic institutions.
  • Is committed to devoting significant time to artistic activity, as is possible financially.
  • Is or is working towards earning some portion of their income from their art.
  • Disciplines include, but are NOT limited to: musician, painter, poet, choreographer, teaching artist, ceramicist, storyteller, performer, playwright, sculptor, photographer, wampum artist, printmaker, animator, cartoonist, textile and fashion designer, and filmmaker. 

Successful applicants will:

  • Demonstrate an artistic philosophy which is aligned with the mission and priorities of RIDOH, RISCA, and EOHHS.
  • Provide an Arts Experience Summary describing your practical study, training, and experience with Portfolio samples.
  • Explain why you want to work in residence within Health and Human Services, and what experience you have had working in community service, volunteerism, board participation or community leadership role.

Support Materials:

  • Provide a current resume/CV.
  • Provide 2 reference letters of support.
  • Provide up to 3 samples of work.

The application process consists of two parts – a written application and an interview.

  • A panel of Arts & Health professionals will review the applications.
  • Applicants who have successfully demonstrated the above, will be invited for an interview with the EOHHS program staff and the leadership team of the Rhode Island Arts and Health Initiative.
  • During the interview, applicants should be prepared to share examples of their work as it relates to this application and to talk about their artistic philosophy, adaptability, experience, and creative approach in alignment with EOHHS priorities.


Health and Human Services Artist in Residence Guidelines (pdf)
Health and Human Services Artist in Residence Question List (pdf)