Meet Jose Maldonado and Providence Community Library

Twice a year RISCA awards grants in a number of categories. Over the next few months, we will be profiling the amazing artists and organizations that received grants at our April 1, 2017 deadline, two at a time.

AltComicCon_comicsArts Access Grant
Applicant Organization: Providence Community Library
Project: The Comics Consortium, led by artist Walker Mettling, will teach a month-long, 8-session course (each session lasting 2 hours) at 4 different PCL libraries, focusing on communal sketchbook games to generate strange characters and build up energy to channel into each kid’s individual story.
The PCC has developed a curriculum that is unique from traditional school and art classes with its emphasis on collaborative mind bending creativity and story-telling. Drawing inspiration from a variety of sources, including improv theater and creative writing workshops, the PCC has at least twenty drawing games and countless permutations that are the cornerstone of its philosophy. The games serve many purposes in class: icebreakers, group bonding, entertainment, productivity, getting warmed up, shaking off anxiety around drawing, and getting to a less self-conscious place. The gamesAltComicCon_Walker generate an abundance of characters and stories that anyone is free to run with. Everyone’s ideas inspire everyone else’s.
About the Organization: Providence Community Library (PCL) serves more than 54,000 registered patrons. Through its nine library locations, PCL provides access to a wealth of knowledge, resources and opportunities to the people of Providence. Additionally, PCL’s mobile library takes the joy of reading and lifelong learning out on the road to schoolyards, city parks and special events. PCL offers books, DVDs and other lending materials; free access to computers, WiFi and the Internet; ESL, GED and Spanish language courses; homework help and afterschool clubs; music and arts events; book clubs; meeting space for community groups, and more. For information about the library and to find out what’s happening at any PCL location, visit

rolling-marley.pngProject Grants for Individuals
Artist: Jose Maldonado
Project: Project 401 founder and leader Jose “Facce” Maldonado will organize, complete outreach for, and execute Project 401’s fourth annual Summer Jam Series. This is a comprehensive Hip Hop programming initiative consisting of instruction and mentorship in Hip Hop elements, facilitated discussions on pertinent socio-political issues, and bi-weekly Jams at various parks in the Providence area.
The Summer Series initiative was established to create safe, respectable, vibrant, and inter-generational spaces where people of all ages and backgrounds can engage creatively with each of Hip-Hop cultures four elementswork out pic (MCing, Breaking, DJing, and Graffiti) with the guidance of experienced practitioners of each art form. Giving participants the means to further their physical, intellectual, and emotional development utilizing Hip-Hop culture’s fundamental principles (Peace, love, Unity, and Having Fun) as they apply lessons learned to their everyday lives. Empowering themselves and the communities they dwell. The same transformative process the original founders and architects of the culture and Project 401 members from similar circumstances are still currently engaged. Besides instruction in the basic Hip Hop elements, Project 401 will continue a healthy discourse on matters such as physical and emotional health, the history and current state of Hip-Hop Culture, women in Hip-Hop, their numerous and invaluable contributions to Hip-Hop culture, the Black and Latino experience in America, and socioeconomic issues prevalent to our communities.
jose picArtist Bio: Jose Maldonado has been dancing and submersed within Hip Hop culture for over 20 years, and is the founder of Project 401. Over the last six years Project 401 has become one of the most influential and well known Hip Hop performing arts groups in the State of Rhode Island. Since starting off with 3 core members in 2010, Project 401 has 6 core staff members with a diverse network of students, supporters, and affiliates . In addition to our programming work, Project 401 is also a performance group, and for the past few years have consistently averaged 1 community show a week in the State of Rhode Island. We try to perform everywhere, to truly show our community how committed we are to empowering our youth and elevating our common cultural heritage. Jose currently coordinates programming at 6 arts-educational institutions in the State of Rhode Island, and his group currently works with 130 students at our varied locations.