Sustainable Intercultural Community Connections

Launched in 2010, The Sustainable Intercultural Connections is a project conceptualized by RISCA as an effort to foster understanding and collaboration between leaders of community groups, established arts organizations and non-profit organizations. The project’s goal is to maintain the existence of ongoing events that promote intercultural understanding and unity among diverse communities through convenings and scholarships. It also aspires to connect culturally specific communities to national conferences, regional arts workshops and convenings.
The Sustainable Intercultural Connections has opened the doors to artists of all disciplines, from emerging individuals to seasoned professionals to be inclusive, attend conferences, and become part of the conversation. The main objective of all the convenings is to provide access and information across both artists and arts organizations in hopes of fostering shared understanding and cross-cultural community interaction and support. To better enable access, we have arranged buses for artists to travel to regional conferences, and have even brought the conferences here in Rhode Island for local artists to attend such as the The National Association of Latino Arts and Culture (NALAC) Regional Arts Training Workshops in Providence. Since 2013, over $55,000 has been raised, creating 300 scholarships for artists, cultural workers, performers and youth of color to attend conferences, regionals and summits for professional development.

Scholarship sponsors include The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), The RI Foundation, The Barr Foundation, The Boston Foundation, and New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA)

Local, Regional and National Gatherings


RISCA’s Community Arts program is committed to the Sustainable Intercultural Connections initiative by holding a series of small gatherings connecting artists, performers and directors of art organizations in an effort to organically foster and encourage collaborations between these individuals.

Over the years, many convenings have taken place where artists met with prominent executive directors in the artistic field. Through the One on One Project, diverse youth and artists of color had the opportunity to meet executive directors of museums and other non-profit organizations. The convenings have featured keynote speakers such as Carlton Turner, former director of Alternate ROOTS, and María López De León, President, CEO and board member of the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC).
Convenings at local non-profits such as Southside Cultural Center, Warwick Center for the Arts, and Rhode Island Indian Council offer workshops that touch upon topics such as grant writing, strategic planning, documentation, marketing and other tools artists can use to better promote themselves to a wider audience. In particular, the Creative Impact Series and the NALAC Regional Arts Training Workshops both features exhibits, programs and panel discussions designed for artists and arts professionals in southern New England. These programs introduce attendees to curators, fellow artists, new creative ideas, potential exhibition opportunities, and provide relationship building sessions.


New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) Idea Swap

Throughout the years, RISCA has provided dozens of scholarships and free shuttle bus rides for artists, art administrators and directors of nonprofit organizations to attend regional conferences such as Alliance for Artist Communities, NALAC Regional Arts Training Workshop, The New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA)’s Creative Community Exchange and Idea Swap, and Creative Youth Development National Partnership. Many of these convenings involve panel discussions, workshops on grant writing and strategic planning, and art exhibits.


The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), RI Foundation, New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), and Boston Foundation have provided scholarships for individuals to attend national convenings such as Americans for the Arts, The National Humanities Conference, and The Association of American Cultures (TAAC) Open Dialogue 13, People, Places and Policy Conference. At these gatherings, individuals and arts organizations are encouraged to speak on a policy level in order to further advance cultural democracy and cultural equity platforms in today’s new era of change.