State awards $3.46 million in capital grants to 42 arts, culture, heritage, public historic sites

Governor Dan McKee sends congratulations to the awardees.

Grants Will Fund 42 Renovation, Repair and Program Expansion Projects

Governor Dan McKee, the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) and the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission (RIHPHC) jointly announced today the recipients of 24 State Cultural Facilities Grants and 18 State Preservation Grants. Together the projects represent some $2.28 million from RISCA and more than $1.18 million from RIHPHC for capital preservation work at public and nonprofit arts and performance facilities, museums, cultural arts centers and historic sites throughout the state.

“Rhode Island is rich in history, arts, and culture, which play a significant role in our economy in every city and town,” said Governor McKee. “Through this funding, our state will continue to be a leader nationally in historic preservation, and arts and culture. On behalf of the State of Rhode Island, our congratulations to these organizations, and thank you to RISCA and RIHPHC for their work to improve the quality of life in our State.”

“Rhode Island is recognized nationally as a leader in historic preservation and the arts,” said Jeffrey Emidy, Interim Executive Director of the RIHPHC. “These state grants are investments that build on our strengths.”

“Rhode Islanders recognized the significance of these investments in their community and their importance to our state’s economy,” said Faye Zuckerman, RISCA’s Director of Communication. “Our museums, cultural arts centers and performance spaces, which are open to the public, will receive the capital improvements they badly need.”

In March 2021, R.I. voters passed the Cultural Arts and State Preservation Grants Programs ballot measure, which authorized the state to allocate $7 million in funding for arts, culture and historic facilities. Of the $7 million, $2 million were appropriated to RISCA for competitive grants while $1 million went to RIHPHC to fund grants for capital improvements to key historic facilities. Carryover funds from the 2014 $30 million ballot measure totaling $460,930 were included in the grants being distributed. Both programs require grantees to secure matching funds for their projects. 

Some examples of the 42 projects include:

  • Teatro ECAS, Rhode Island’s only Spanish-language theatre, will renovate a new performance space in the Valley Arts District of Providence. $204,420.
  • The City of Central Falls will complete critical structural repairs to Cogswell Tower, built in 1904, located in historic Jenks Park. $150,000.
  • Historic New England will replace the roof and gutter system of the circa 1796 barn at Watson Farm in Jamestown. The barn is a rare 18th century structure still in use for farm activities, and also provides space for programming and farm tours. $69,000.
  • The East Providence Historical Society will install storm windows and complete exterior repairs at the John Hunt House Museum and Education Center in Rumford. Built in 1751, the house contains local history exhibits, an education center, library and meeting space. $26,865.
  • Exeter-based Tomaquag Museum will build a new campus in a partnership with the University of Rhode Island. The new facility will increase the Museum’s capacity and visibility. $250,000.
  • The Artists’ Exchange, located in Cranston, will renovate its lower-level multipurpose room. This project will ensure code and safety compliance while expanding programming space. $40,000.

List of Grantees

Organization NameLocation AwardGrant Name
Herreshoff Marine MuseumBristol$112,000State Preservation Grant
Linden PlaceBristol$28,200State Preservation Grant
City of Central FallsCentral Falls$150,000State Preservation Grant
Artists’ ExchangeCranston$40,000State Cultural Facilities Grant
Historic Metcalf-Franklin Farm Preservation AssociationCumberland$75,000State Preservation Grant
Cape Verdean MuseumEast Providence$100,000State Cultural Facilities Grant
East Providence Historical SocietyEast Providence$26,865State Preservation Grant
Tomaquag Indian Memorial MuseumExeter$250,000State Cultural Facilities Grant
Foster Preservation SocietyFoster$11,900State Preservation Grant
Historic New EnglandJamestown$69,000State Preservation Grant
South County Art AssociationKingston$128,535State Cultural Facilities Grant
Newport Art Museum and Art AssociationNewport$18,700State Cultural Facilities Grant
Island Moving Co.Newport$250,000State Cultural Facilities Grant
Newport Performing Arts CenterNewport$50,000State Cultural Facilities Grant
La Farge Restoration FundNewport$94,109State Cultural Facilities Grant
La Farge Restoration FundNewport$150,000State Preservation Grant
Fort Adams TrustNewport$122,500State Preservation Grant
Preservation Society of Newport CountyNewport$74,250State Preservation Grant
Newport Restoration FoundationNewport$30,000State Preservation Grant
Pawtucket Public LibraryPawtucket$58,100State Preservation Grant
Teatro ECASProvidence$204,429State Cultural Facilities Grant
Providence Performing Arts CenterProvidence$100,000State Cultural Facilities Grant
Rhode Island School of Design MuseumProvidence$45,000State Cultural Facilities Grant
Festival Ballet ProvidenceProvidence$13,820State Cultural Facilities Grant
DownCity DesignProvidence$100,000State Cultural Facilities Grant
The Steel YardProvidence$36,400State Preservation Grant
The Steel YardProvidence$53,178State Cultural Facilities Grant
Dirt Palace Public ProjectsProvidence$49,880State Cultural Facilities Grant
Community MusicWorksProvidence$84,275State Cultural Facilities Grant
The PlayersProvidence$90,500State Cultural Facilities Grant
AS220Providence$61,976State Cultural Facilities Grant
Wilbury Theatre GroupProvidence$56,079State Cultural Facilities Grant
Oasis InternationalProvidence$150,000State Cultural Facilities Grant
Museum of Natural History and PlanetariumProvidence$88,500State Preservation Grant
Rhode Island Historical SocietyProvidence$48,000State Preservation Grant
Scituate Historical SocietyScituate$9,900State Preservation Grant
South County History CenterSouth Kingstown$42,075State Preservation Grant
Sandra Feinstein-Gamm TheatreWarwick$128,327State Cultural Facilities Grant
Clouds Hill Victorian House MuseumWarwick$50,000State Preservation Grant
Stadium Theatre FoundationWoonsocket$73,133State Cultural Facilities Grant
Beacon Charter Schools Corp.Woonsocket$95,000State Cultural Facilities Grant
RiverzEdge Arts ProjectWoonsocket$41,300State Cultural Facilities Grant
TOTAL $3,460,931 

Visit to learn more about the awards to Preservation Grantees.

2021 State Facilities Grant Program listing