Thousands of artists will be employed in the coming year in projects supported by grants from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, according to an announcement released by the State Arts Council today about its first round of grant awards for the 2015-2016 season. These grants, funded through an appropriation from Governor Raimondo and the Rhode Island General Assembly and with federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, support projects by individual artists, arts organizations, schools and educational organizations in communities throughout the state.
The State Arts Council awarded a total of $765,531 to 131 non-profit organizations, schools and individuals for art and arts programming across Rhode Island in this latest round of grants. It received 317 applications with requests totaling $1,818,736 from artists, organizations and schools throughout the state. Grants ranged in size from $90,140 to Trinity Repertory Company for operating support, to $500 for several small community-based projects throughout the state.
Governor Gina Raimondo congratulated the artists, organizations and schools receiving support from the State Arts Council, saying, "These grants do more than provide exciting cultural experiences in communities throughout our state. They support job growth, spark innovation and provide quality educational experiences to all Rhode Islanders."
"We're particularly pleased with this round of grant awards," said Randall Rosenbaum, Executive Director of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. "Programs in arts education and projects that support the work of artists contribute to the economy and vitality of life in communities throughout our state."
Examples of projects supported in the current round of grants include:
A $4,000 grant to Davisville Middle School in North Kingstown, where ninety seventh-grade students will enhance their understanding of Asian & African cultures by "travelling" down the Silk Road in 4-D: Dance, Drama, Drumming & Design. Artists from RISCA's Education & Traditional Arts Roster will work with students & teachers to create large-scale performances for their peers and community in these disciplines. The program will be linked to learning goals in Social Studies, Oral & Written Communication, and Performance Arts.
A $3,712 grant to the Pawtucket School Department's Child Opportunity Zone (COZ) will offer "Project COPE" (Circles of Peace Education) to children in grades K-5 at four elementary schools in an after-school setting. RISCA Roster teaching artist Eclipse Neilsen will work with others to use the arts to address bullying and a range of social issues. The program culminates in a public exhibit and performance of fiber arts, gardens, banners, poetry & song. The program is aligned with Grade Span Expectations in visual arts, design & cultural context.
A $1,250 grant to One Neighborhood Builders (formally known as the Olneyville Housing Corporation) to support the 2015 Olneyville Fall Festival, an annual community celebration for Olneyville residents and neighborhood organizations. The goal of the festival is to celebrate the community, by providing safe and positive family friendly community building activities and cultural programming.
A $2,000 grant to Blackstone River Theatre, of Cumberland, to support the showcasing of world-class traditional performers preserving Irish traditional music and Songs of the Sea. Blackstone River Theatre will host two live events. Matt Molloy, John Carty and Arty McGlynn will perform on Saturday August 8th, 2015 and "Sea Music Festival" featuring The Johnson Girls, Dan Milner and Robbie O'Connell on Saturday, November 21st.
A $1,500 grant to Eric Larson Gunness of Barrington to support the fifth annual "Fiddle 'n' Folk Fest", a free outdoor concert that will take place at Haines Park in Barrington on September 12th, 2015.
For a complete list of grant recipients go to the Arts Council's web site at www.arts.ri.gov/grants/recent
About the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts
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.