Working with RISCA and RISCA staff during Coronavirus

As of Monday, March 16th, the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts is fully operational but all staff are working remotely. We will follow guidance from the Center for Disease Control and the Rhode Island Department of Health in the coming days and weeks, and will update via social media and email as things change. For now, the best way to reach RISCA staff is by email, our phones are not forwarding to us at home. We are also conducting all meetings by phone or Zoom, contact the staff member you are meeting with for more details.

If you have questions or want updates about the Coronavirus in Rhode Island or nationally, both the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Rhode Island Department of Health have robust and frequent updates and information on their websites:, and Additionally, The Rhode Island Department of Health has launched a 24-hour hotline for anyone with questions about the Coronavirus. Monday-Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm, call 401-222-8022, at all other times call 211 for assistance.

Coronavirus and the Arts


Everyone in Rhode Island’s arts community is, no doubt, aware of the Coronavirus disease that is spreading throughout the country and the world, and that has been reported here in the Ocean State.

We are not health professionals, but we’re very fortunate to work with a wonderful team of health professionals at the Rhode Island Department of Health. We strongly advise you to visit (frequently) their excellent webpage of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), which contains the latest information on the disease and what we here in Rhode Island can do to stop its progress.

‘As artists we have an additional obligation to protect ourselves and those who come together to see our work.  We are not at a point yet where health professionals are recommending that performances or exhibitions be cancelled – this is, indeed, happening in places around the world – but artists and organizations need to be open and transparent about the steps that they are taking to protect their audiences.  Consider, for example, including a notice on your website and a placard in your lobby or in programs similar to what Trinity Rep recently posted:


All performances, classes, and events at Trinity Rep are, to-date, proceeding as planned. The health, wellness, and safety of our staff, audiences, and artists are our top priority. Our team is implementing best practices and CDC recommendations, while staying in close contact with our colleagues across the country. We are monitoring the evolving coronavirus situation closely and will provide updates as needed. (Updated 3/3/2020)

Consider providing disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer stations to your patrons, and wiping down seats after each performance.

And check out this post from the National Coalition for Arts’ Preparedness and Emergency Response about preparing for the possibility of temporary closures.

We’ll continue to monitor this situation, and communicate via newsletter and social media.  We encourage you to stay alert, and most of all, stay healthy!