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Rhode Island Council for the Humanities (Humanities Council) and Rhode Island State Council for the Arts (RISCA) are excited to announce the RI Culture, Humanities and Arts Recovery Grants (RI CHARG), a joint program for $8,000 general operating support grants for Rhode Island cultural, humanities and arts nonprofits. The primary purpose of this grant opportunity is to support eligible nonprofits in “preventing, preparing for, responding to, and recovering from the coronavirus pandemic.” This funding has been provided to the Humanities Council by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and to RISCA by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) as part of the federal American Rescue Plan Act.
All awards made through this program will be $8,000. Applicants will fill out one application, with RISCA and the Humanities Council making funding decisions collaboratively. One non-profit may only receive one grant of $8,000 via the CHARG program from either RISCA or the Humanities Council. Depending on which council the grant comes from, there may be slightly different rules, eligible expenses, and reporting requirements, per the guidelines from the NEH and the NEA. Through this program, the Humanities Council and RISCA may grant up to $968,000 in grants.
The application is open to any organization that fits the program’s eligibility requirements (see Who is eligible to apply?). Should there be a higher number of applications than available grants, the Humanities Council and RISCA will convene panels who will prioritize applications per guidance from the NEA and the NEH, as well as RISCA and the Humanities Council’s shared values (see What are the funding priorities?).
The program opens July 12, 2021. Deadline to apply is August 13, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. Grant award announcements will be made by September 15, 2021. Awardees must conclude their grant-funded activities by June 30, 2022, and will be required to provide a final report to complete their grant requirements.
RISCA and the Humanities Council will be hosting grant workshops, providing one-on-one support, and drop-in hours (see What if I need help? section). If you have any questions, please contact both Julia Renaud at firstname.lastname@example.org and Todd Trebour at email@example.com.
Who is eligible to apply?
- The program is open to all Rhode Island-based nonprofits with 501c3 federal tax-exempt status, who fit the remaining eligibility criteria. Because of federal restrictions on this funding, RISCA and the Humanities Council cannot accept fiscal sponsors for this grant opportunity.
- To be eligible for funding from the Humanities Council, the organization must be humanities-focused. Examples of humanities-focused organizations include, but are not limited to, museums, libraries, historic sites, historical and preservation societies, community organizations that conduct humanities-oriented activities, civic engagement organizations, and cultural organizations. This focus will be determined by the organization’s mission and programmatic activities.
- To be eligible for funding from RISCA, this organization must fit RISCA’s definition of an arts and culture organization, or culturally specific organization:
- 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.
- Culturally specific organizations with a significant arts and cultural program are organizations that serve a specific cultural community but might not have arts and culture as their primary mission. Many of these organizations were established to serve communities that were historically (and in many cases continuously) marginalized from receiving equitable access to existing programs. Many of these non-arts organizations evolved to support their communities in holistic ways and as a result developed significant and meaningful arts and cultural programs to better serve the needs of their communities.
- Individuals, for-profit organizations, foreign entities, K-12 schools, institutions of higher education, and state and local governmental entities are not eligible for this grant opportunity.
- Participation in any other Humanities Council and/or RISCA grantmaking program will not affect eligibility for the CHARG program.
What are the funding priorities?
The application is open to any organization that fits the program’s eligibility requirements. Should there be more eligible applicants than resources available, the Humanities Council and RISCA will convene panels who will prioritize applications per direct guidance from the NEA and the NEH, as well as RISCA and the Humanities Council’s shared values. Both the NEA and the NEH encouraged state arts and humanities councils to design grant programs that distribute these funds to closely align with the Endowments’ shared values around diversity, equity, inclusion and access, and to support organizations whose budgets are small to mid-sized.
As such, priority will be given to organizations that meet the following considerations (listed in order of priority):
- Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)-centered organizations: A BIPOC-centered organization is an organization with a mission and programming that is explicitly reflective of a community or communities of color, and where the board, staff, artists, and collaborators, include a significant representation of that community. A BIPOC-centered organization is defined by the following organizational characteristics:
- Primary mission, intentions, and practices are BY, FOR, and ABOUT art, heritages, histories, cultures and communities of color.
- Intention of the organization is to perpetuate, promote, and present art, heritage, histories, or cultural practices that are representative of a culture, a people, and/or is given form by those cultural practitioners.
- Board is majority BIPOC individuals.
- Staff is 60% BIPOC individuals.
- Organizations with annual budgets under $500,000.
- Organizations demonstrating robust diversity, equity, inclusion, and access efforts.
- Organizations demonstrating substantial adverse and ongoing impact from the pandemic.
What can I use this grant award for?
Awardees who receive a grant through this program from either the Humanities Council or RISCA may use the general operating support funds towards:
- Rent and utilities.
- Programmatic costs, including those associated with adapting to outdoor and virtual activities.
- Marketing and promotion costs.
- Costs associated with health and safety supplies for staff and/or the public.
Awardees whose grant through this program comes from the Humanities Council may additionally use the funds for the following line items. Note: Awardees whose grant comes from RISCA may not use funding towards these line items:
- Strategic planning and capacity building efforts related to preparing for, responding to, and recovering from the coronavirus.
- Technical/consultant needs related to a digital transition or in support of preservation and access programs.
- Equity assessments and planning related to the coronavirus and the economic crisis (including assessments and planning related to the inequities exposed by the coronavirus and the economic crisis).
- Equipment costs of up to $1,600.
What can’t I use this grant award for?
Awardees who receive a grant through this program from either the Humanities Council or RISCA may NOT use the general operating support funds for the following:
- Indirect costs.
- Overlapping project costs with any other pending or approved application(s) for federal funding and/or approved federal awards.
- Funds for activities supported by other non-NEA or NEH federal funds.
- Competitive regranting, prizes, or awards.
- Cancellation costs.
- Pre-award costs prior to March 15, 2021.
- Travel (both foreign and domestic).
- Construction, purchase of real property, major alteration and renovation (capital expenses).
- Environmental sustainability.
- Eliminating or reducing existent debt or endowment contributions.
- Collections acquisition.
- Book publication costs.
- The preservation, organization, or description of materials that are not regularly accessible for research, education, or public programming.
- Promotion of a particular political, religious, or ideological point of view; advocacy of a particular program of social or political action; support of specific public policies or legislation; lobbying.
- Any fundraising or for-profit efforts, such as social events or benefits.
- Hospitality expenses. This includes food and beverages for openings or receptions. Under no circumstances will the purchase of alcoholic beverages be supported. Note: your project can have hospitality expenses; CHARG funds just may not be used for hospitality expenses.
- Undergraduate or graduate school activities (activities which are part of a graduate or undergraduate degree program, or for which academic credit is received).
Private functions; programs, performances, and exhibitions that are not open to the public and ADA compliant (inaccessible to people with disabilities).
There is no cost-share/cash-match requirement for this grant opportunity.
How will decisions be made?
RISCA and the Humanities Council will grant awards based solely on eligibility in relation to the funds available. Should there be more eligible applicants than resources available, the Humanities Council and RISCA will convene panels who will prioritize applications per direct guidance from the NEA and the NEH, as well as RISCA and the Humanities Council’s shared values. Please see the What are the funding priorities? section for further details.
Should the number of eligible applications exceed the available funds, RISCA and the Humanities Council will convene a shared panel of diverse RI residents with relationships to the arts, culture, and humanities community to advise in this decision making process. In line with RISCA and the Humanities Council’s shared values, at least 40% of the panelists will be BIPOC individuals. Additionally, RISCA and the Humanities Council will continue to consider age, gender identity or expression, disability, sexual orientation, geography, subdiscipline of arts, culture or humanities experience, and other factors when curating this grant program’s panels.
How do I apply?
The program opens July 12, 2021. Deadline to apply is 11:59 pm on August 13, 2021. Applicants must submit a completed application form online via RISCA’s grantmaking portal for organizations: https://www.grantinterface.com/Home/Logon?urlkey=artsri
The application is not available via the Humanities Council’s grantmaking portal. Please note that if your organization does not have an existing account in RISCA’s grantmaking portal for organizations, you will need to make a new account for your organization in RISCA’s portal.
A copy of the application is available here. After completing eligibility checks and answering basic information questions, the application consists of three narrative questions, a proposed budget in narrative form, and several other drop-down menu questions. Additionally, you will need the following to complete the application:
- DUNS number. A DUNS number is a special nine-digit number the federal government requires of any entity receiving federal funds. If you don’t have one at the time of application, don’t worry! The process to get a DUNS number is free and simple. Email Todd Trebour at firstname.lastname@example.org or Julia Renaud at email@example.com and they will tell you what to do so you can still submit your application.
- 501c3 determination letter. We are required by the federal government to grant out these particular federally-sourced funds to nonprofit organizations with 501c3 federal tax-exempt status.
- Organizational mission statement.
- For RISCA eligible organizations only: Recent 990 from one of the past three fiscal years. A 990 is the type of annual tax return 501c3 nonprofits file. As a state agency, RISCA needs this document so we know your nonprofit is in good standing. If your nonprofit is new and hasn’t completed a 990 yet, submit a Word document that indicates that.
What is the timeline for making decisions and for the submission of final reports for awardees?
Grant award announcements will be made by September 15, 2021. Awardees must conclude their grant-funded activities by June 30, 2022. All awardees will be responsible for completing a final report for their grant.
- For awardees whose grants come from RISCA, the due date for the final report will be July 30, 2022.
- For awardees whose grants come from the Humanities Council, the due date for the final report will be September 28, 2022.
What if I need help?
Julia Renaud from the Humanities Council and Todd Trebour from RISCA are available to help you with your application or answer questions! If you have a question, we recommend you email both Julia and Todd at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
The Humanities Council and RISCA will also be offering the following grant support options:
- RI CHARG Grant Information Sessions: These 1.5-hour workshops will cover the RI CHARG grant program and process, and provide tips on completing the application. We will also highlight other upcoming grant programs. Both sessions will occur via Zoom and require pre-registration via EventBrite:
- One-on-One Support Sessions: you can sign up for a one-on-one support session with Julia or Todd below. All meetings will occur by Zoom or phone. Times are available in the first and second week of August.
- Drop-in Support Sessions: the week of the grant deadline, the Humanities Council and RISCA will co-host Zoom drop-in hours. For security reasons, pre-registration is required to attend drop-in hours – register using the links below:
- Drop-in Support Session #1: Tuesday, August 10, 2021 from 3:00-5:00 pm
- Drop-in Support Session #2: Thursday, August 12, 2021 from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Who are Julia and Todd? Will I be bothering them if I email them with questions?
You should feel free to email Julia and Todd about any questions you have! We obviously recommend you read thoroughly through this FAQ – but please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need to. In fact, we wanted you to learn a little more about Julia and Todd so you would feel comfortable reaching out to them:
Meet RISCA’s Organizations Program Director, Todd Trebour. Todd is available to help you with your application!
Todd Trebour (he/him/his) is the Organizations Program Director at RISCA. Todd manages and oversees the agency’s support for organizations, including grants, programs, and services. Since 2018, he has seen a doubling in the number of applications to the Arts Access project grant program for nonprofit organizations thanks to intensive and continuous outreach to Rhode Island communities. Prior to working at RISCA, Todd held several arts management positions in New England, most recently as the Program Coordinator for the UMass Amherst Arts Extension Service, a national arts service organization and the arts management program at the University. Before transitioning into arts management, Todd worked for eight years as a freelance operatic performer working in Texas, Massachusetts, Halifax NS, and many points in between. Todd grew up mostly in Tucson, AZ, and has lived in New England for 14 years.
Contact Todd by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet the RI Council for the Humanities Associate Director of Grants and Strategic Initiatives, Julia Renaud! Julia is available to help you with your application!
Julia Renaud (she/her/hers) brings a professional, academic, and personal passion for the public humanities to her work at the Council. In supporting the Council’s grantmaking and strategic initiatives, she is thrilled to support the diverse multitude of humanities projects and organizations enriching communities all over Rhode Island.
Prior to joining the Council, Julia served in public programs, archival, curatorial, and communications roles in museums and cultural organizations in New York and Providence. Since arriving in Rhode Island in 2017 to complete her Masters in Public Humanities at Brown, Julia has worked with the Center for Reconciliation, Dirt Palace Public Projects, Brown Arts Initiative, and the Rhode Island State House Restoration Committee. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Julia enjoys karaoke, yoga, and historical tourism.
Contact Julia by emailing her at email@example.com.