Rhode Island schools, organizations, community centers and artists were awarded $164,890 in the December 2016 round of grants from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. The Arts Council's board approved the awarding of these grants at its December meeting in Providence. These grants will go to support arts in education, community-based projects by organizations and individual artist fellowships and projects for the remainder of this fiscal year. Statewide, 68 grants were awarded in response to 235 applications received at RISCA's October 1 deadline.
Governor Gina Raimondo applauded the recipients of these grants, saying, "Each of these grants is an important investment in jobs and the economy of Rhode Island. We know that the arts contribute significantly to our state's cultural and economic vitality, and I'm proud of Rhode Island's role as a national leader in the arts and design."
"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."
This year to date the State Arts Council has awarded 307 grants totaling $1,165,519 to non-profit organizations, schools, artists and community groups. RISCA funds are matched by businesses, individuals, and earned income. The Council receives its support through an annual appropriation from the Rhode Island General Assembly and from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.
Examples of projects supported in the current round of grants include:
Jacqueline M Walsh High School for Performing & Visual Arts in Pawtucket received $5,000 to continue "Echo & Narcissus on Film", in which four RI-based performing artists with expertise in dance, theatre, spoken word, and multimedia will collaborate with JMW to produce a 20 minute film to premiere in Spring of 2017. Using the Roman myth of Narcissus and Echo as inspiration, the film will be a surrealist deep dive into issues of self-image, social media, and the perception of beauty.
Saylesville Elementary School in Lincoln received $1,700 for "We Are Rhode Island" a project in which students will research traditionally underrepresented figures from RI's history and use that research to create theatrical performance pieces for the for the school community. Students will examine who makes history & how with help from a visiting dramaturg to expand their historical perspective and sense of possibility.
Friends of the Rhody Center, Inc., in Pawtucket RI, received a $1,000 AAG grant that will help support six months of community steel pan ensembles (often called "steel drums"). In addition, the organization will offer its new Community West African Ensemble, free for youth to join.
Kate Aitchison of Providence received a $2000 individual artist project grant to provide paper making workshops at AS220. This open to the public offering will use local plant fibers from the Blackstone River Valley and Narragansett Bay. A final exhibition of works made from paper will be shown at AS220 Industries and will allow a broader audience to experience the importance of local ecology to the contemporary paper making process.
For a complete list of December grant recipients, as well as a list of all grants awarded by RISCA this year, 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. Visit www.arts.ri.gov for more information.