Note: This grant program has closed permanently. The last round of Project Grants for Individuals was awarded at the April 1, 2021 deadline.
Click here to access the RISCA grant portal for individuals.
Click here to see grants awarded at the April 1, 2019 deadline.
Project Grants for Individuals (PGI) provides $500-$3,000 grants to artist instigated and organized arts projects with a strong public component. Through PGI, RISCA supports highly creative and talented artists who seek to create, produce, perform, teach, or share their work with the public. Projects might include the coordination and/or creation of: community arts events, public performances, arts workshops and classes, public visual art, and creative collaborations. These grants are for individuals creating work outside of nonprofit or other institutional support and structures. These grants are not for individuals looking to support their studio practice, but for projects that directly engage Rhode Island residents in some way.
Note: Due to both uncertainty of the state budget and staff capacity, there will only be one application deadline for the 2022 fiscal year. This will support projects happening between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022.
Artists seeking PGI support will apply online at: https://www.grantinterface.com/Home/Logon?urlkey=artsrischolarship.
Potential applicants for this grant program are strongly encouraged to contact Mollie Flanagan, Individual Artists Program Director, at 401-222-3881 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline to apply for Project Grants for Individuals is 11:59 PM on:
- April 1 (for grant activities between July 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.
One application per cycle will be accepted from individuals applying in this category.
- You must be a United States citizen or Green Card holder and a current, legal resident of the State of Rhode Island.
- You must have established legal residence in Rhode Island for a minimum of twelve consecutive months prior to the date of application and you must be a current legal resident of the State of Rhode Island at the time that grant funds are disbursed. 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. If an individual selected for a grant award is no longer a resident of the State of Rhode Island when funds are to be disbursed, the grant award may be withdrawn.
- You 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.
- You may apply for a fellowship and a project grant for individuals at the same deadline.
Past recipients of RISCA funding may not reapply for support unless all final reports for previous awards have been submitted according to grant contract guidelines.
Individuals who are staff of a non-profit organization cannot apply for funding for projects that are part of that organization’s programming. Individuals who are paid staff or proprietors of a for-profit organization cannot apply for funding for projects that are a product or service of that organization. Individuals and organizations cannot apply for funding for the same project at the same deadline. Members of the RISCA staff, Council, and their spouses and immediate relatives are also ineligible to apply.
The following conditions for funding apply to all Project Grants for Individuals applicants:
- The maximum grant award in this category is $3,000. Be aware that grants are frequently awarded at less than the requested amount.
- Only one application per cycle. Individuals may only submit one Project Grants for Individuals application per grant cycle. They may submit both a PGI and Fellowship application or be a partner on other PGI proposals. They may not submit an application in any other grant program for the same project or for the same group of artists during that grant cycle.
- If you receive a grant, you must credit RISCA on all marketing materials. 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).
- No match requirement. Individuals applying for PGI grants do not need a match, but cash and in-kind contributions are encouraged to demonstrate support for the project.
- 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.
Council support may be used for expenses related to a specific project, such as production, presentation, marketing, paying participating artists, 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.
- Addressing Debt. Eliminating or reducing existing debt, or for contributions to an endowment fund.
- Fundraising. Fundraising 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 prize or award.
- Hospitality expenses. This includes food and beverages for openings or receptions. Under no circumstances will the purchase of alcoholic beverages be supported.
- 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 awarded.
- Regranting funds. Applications where the purpose is to “regrant” or award funds using some or all of the RISCA grant funds.
- Undergraduate or graduate school activities. Activities which are part of a graduate or undergraduate degree program, or for which academic credit is received.
- Religious activities. Applications for projects that proselytize or promote religious activities, or which take place as part of a religious service.
- Private Functions Not Open to the Public. Performances and exhibitions not available to the general public, or which are inaccessible to people with disabilities. (For example, activities that take place on a closed school campus during the school day.)
COVID-19 Protocol and Regulations
To be eligible for RISCA funding during the current Governor-declared State of Emergency, 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, you should visit: https://covid.ri.gov/ and https://reopeningri.com/.
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.
- 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.
- Panel review. The panel then meet via Zoom for a full day 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 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.
The review panel will be scoring your application using this rubric: https://risca.online/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/PGI-Rubric.pdf.
Artistic Merit (50%)
- Evidence of artistic excellence and the ability to provide quality experiences for audiences/participants.
- Project has relevance to the creative experience and/or cultural heritage of a community.
- Creating or producing new works of art or works that strive to make significant contributions to the advancement of an art form.
- Support materials are directly relevant to the application, of excellent quality, and present a high level of artistic product.
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 past experience, information is provided that helps make a convincing case that this project will succeed.
Public Value (25%)
The project must be directly engaged with Rhode Islanders in one or more of the following ways:
- Creating opportunities for all Rhode Island residents to participate in the arts.
- Encouraging access to and participation in the arts by:
- Persons in under-resourced geographic communities.
- Underrepresented populations, including race, gender, sexuality, and disability.
- Creating, building, or growing partnerships with and between artists, community members, arts nonprofits, and community organizations.
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 public programs and facilities used 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 http://www.arts.gov/resources/Accessibility/Planning/BriefChecklist.pdf for more information.
If the facilities used for your public programs 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 Individuals application form via https://www.grantinterface.com/Home/Logon?urlkey=artsrischolarship, including the following attachments:
- Project Budget, on the form provided in the application.
- A current resume or CV for the applicant and significant program partners.
- Support Materials (see below).
For any questions regarding forms or attachments, contact Mollie Flanagan, Individual Artists Program Director, at 401-222-3881 or email@example.com
A guide to the Project Grants for Individuals application questions can be found at https://risca.online/grants/project-grants-for-individuals/.
Support materials should directly relate to and support your application, with a focus on the three review criteria. They should be professionally formatted, easy to read, and uploaded to the online application.
Suggested support materials for your project include:
- Recent art work by the artist(s) featured in the proposed project.
- Plans, sketches, or preliminary designs of the proposed project.
- Brochures, postcards, catalogs and other mailings.
- Select press and publicity.
- Sample publications.
- Letters of support from key partners, members of the community, or past participants.
You are not required to upload or include information in all 10 boxes, but a variety of materials is encouraged in order to illustrate the strength of your project to the review panel. For artistic works, please include titles, years 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 29 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 the support materials section of the application. Links to participating artist websites can also be submitted in the support materials section.
Since applications will be reviewed and scored by panelists on their own, outside of RISCA offices, all support materials must be included in the online application. To include video or audio, we recommend including links to the work uploaded on Vimeo or YouTube. Please include the password, if necessary.
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 https://risca.online/grants/public-acknowledgment/.
- You must submit a final grant report to RISCA. All grantees are required to submit a final report 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. This form is submitted online through the grant portal.
- You must keep records of receipts and expenditures related to the funded 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: https://goo.gl/forms/zT1jDLShn2NVEfIX2. This will allow RISCA to post and promote your event via RISCA’s social media platforms and (possibly) email 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 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.