In celebration of National Travel and Tourism Week in Rhode Island, The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) awarded its second annual Arts in Tourism Award to the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County at the recent Tourism Unity Luncheon in Warwick.
In announcing the award before a room full of tourism professionals, State Arts Council director Randall Rosenbaum applauded the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County for being a great partner with the tourism industry in Newport. He cited its sponsorship of BridgeFest, a popular four day festival of eclectic music featuring local artists that was designed to "bridge the gap" between the Newport Jaz and Folk Festivals, along with their spring arts festival, "Spring Into Art". In all of this the Alliance works closely with the tourism professionals at Discover Newport and with the hospitality industry on Aquidneck Island and throughout the East Bay.
"We are delighted to honor the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County with our second annual Arts in Tourism Award," said Rosenbaum. "The Alliance is a great example of how the arts work in cooperation with the tourism industry, and contribute to our local economy."
"We are truly grateful to be selected as the second recipient of RISCA's Arts in Tourism Award," said Cris Offenberg, President of the Arts & Cultural Alliance. "Our success is directly attributable to our members, the artists and arts organizations, as well as our volunteer board of directors, Discover Newport, Newport Chamber of Commerce and other institutional partners. We are an example of how collaboration benefits the community as a whole, including our members, residents, sponsors, and businesses. We are thrilled to accept this award from RISCA on behalf of everyone involved."
In remarks at the Tourism luncheon, Rosenbaum quoted statistics from the Travel Industry Association of America that 81% of tourists who took a trip of 50 miles or more away from home could be considered "cultural tourists". Studies show that cultural tourists are more frequent travellers, spend more money and are more likely to stay longer in one area than any other type of traveller, all important factors for our state's travel and tourism industry.
In order to attract cultural tourists, more cooperation needs to be developed between the arts and tourism sectors. The RISCA Arts in Tourism award is designed to encourage and inspire greater levels of cooperation.
The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts is a state agency, supported by appropriations from the Rhode Island General Assembly and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. RISCA provides grants, technical assistance and staff support to arts organizations and artists, schools, community centers, social service organizations and local governments to bring the arts into the lives of Rhode Islanders. For more information: http://www.arts.ri.gov/
The Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County promotes and advances arts and culture in Newport County for the benefit of our community. We provide valuable networking opportunities for over 100 individual visual & performing artists, galleries, patrons, non-profit organizations and companies dedicated to making art more visible and vibrant in our Newport County communities.
Editor's note: see link below for a high resolution photograph of the award presentation. From left to right: Keith Stokes, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation; Marc Brodeur, Director of Rhode Island Tourism; Cris Offenberg, Past President of the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County; Governor Lincoln Chafee; Randall Rosenbaum, Executive Director, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. - photograph by Silaphone Nvongsouthy