Project Grants for Individuals

To apply, click here to access the RISCA grant portal for individuals.

Project Grants for Individuals  provides grants to artist instigated and organized arts projects with a strong public component. Through Project Grants for Individuals, RISCA supports highly creative and talented artists who seek to produce, perform, teach, or share their work with the public. Projects might include the coordination and creation of community arts events, public performances, arts workshops and classes, public visual art, and creative collaborations.

Grant Amounts

The maximum grant award of $3000. Grants are frequently awarded at less than the requested amount. Cash and in-kind contributions are encouraged to demonstrate support for the project.


  • April 1, 11:59pm, for activities between July 1 and June 30
  • October 1, 11:59pm for activities between January 1 and June 30

If the deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline will be 11:59pm the next business day. Any hard copy support materials must be received at the RISCA offices by this time. Postmarks do not apply; materials postmarked by the deadline date but received on a later date will not be counted as part of your application. Late or incomplete applications will not be reviewed.


Mollie Flanagan, Individual Artists Program Director, 401-222-3881.


To receive this grant you must meet these requirements:

  • At least eighteen years of age.
  • Not a high school, undergraduate or graduate student studying art or arts-related subjects.
  • United States citizen or Green Card holder.
  • Legal Rhode Island resident from at least a year before the application date to when grant is made (more information available here).

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.

One application per cycle will be accepted from individuals applying in this category.

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.

Funding Considerations

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:

  • 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 or October 1.
  • Applications are checked by staff for accuracy and completeness.
  • Applications are sent to the five 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 approximately three months after 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

All Arts Access Grant applications will go through a panel review process. Panelists will be selected for their ability to provide diverse viewpoints within the arts as well as broad demographic representation. Panelists evaluate applications based on published evaluation criteria and propose recommendations to the Council, which makes all final funding decisions.

The peer panels will evaluate the application material based on the following review criteria:

Artistic Merit (50%)

Programs and participating artists are of high artistic quality. The projects are designed to expand the public or students’ knowledge of and appreciation for an art form. Support materials are 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; and how the applicant will go about organizing, managing and evaluating the project. Budgets are clear, detailed, and accurate. 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/Community Engagement (25%)

The Arts Council seeks to foster a strong, vibrant Rhode Island arts community that is diverse in its public offerings and provides the people of this state with the greatest public benefit possible. The Council intends to support applicants that make significant contributions to one or more of the following areas:

  • Employing, engaging, or presenting RI artists, or producing/presenting their works.
  • Producing or presenting new works of art or works that strive to make significant contributions to the advancement of the art form.
  • Promoting heritage and cultural diversity and diversifying cultural participation
  • Implementing arts education as a core subject area, education reform inclusive of the arts, and life-long learning in and through the arts.
  • Encouraging access to and participation in the arts by persons in underserved areas.
  • Promoting accessibility to the arts for people with disabilities (all applicants must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and make their programs accessible to all).
  • Expanding the number and breadth of partnerships that work to make the arts a vital part of community life and extend the reach of arts projects.
  • Making the arts a vital part of economic development and cultural tourism.

Letters of support from participants and supporters are encouraged with all applications.

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. Read more here.
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 Arts Access Grant application form via

Support Materials

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.

Other suggested support materials for your organization/project include:

  • Recent art work by the artist(s) featured in the proposed project.
  • Plans, sketches, or preliminary designs of the proposed project.
  • Select press and publicity.
  • Resumes/CVs of lead artists and/or staff.
  • Sample publications.
  • Letters of support from key partners.

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.

You are not required to upload material in all ten boxes, though a variety of materials is encouraged in order to illustrate the strengths of your project to the review panel.
In the text box provided for each item, please list the title, medium, dimensions, year of completion, duration, 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 strongly recommend that video be uploaded to a site such as Vimeo or Youtube, and links provided in an uploaded document.

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. Guidelines and logos here.

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. For example, if you received an award at the April or October 2017 deadline, your final report is due July 31, 2018.

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.

Hard copy support materials will be mailed back to an applicant only if a self-addressed, stamped envelope with sufficient postage is provided (with the exception of manuscripts which will not be returned). 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. See the Assurances section at the end of the Access Arts Grants application for additional information on RISCA’s use of support materials from funded projects.