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State Arts Council Announces First Round of Grant Awards to Organizations, Schools, and Artists

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 2011-2012 season. These grants, funded through an appropriation from 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 $780,250 to 125 non-profit organizations, schools and individuals for art and arts programming across Rhode Island in this latest round of grants. It received 320 applications from artists, organizations and schools throughout the state, with requests totaling $2,405,457. Grants ranged in size from $99,046 to Trinity Repertory Company for general operating support, to $1,000 to support community-based theatre programming that includes people with disabilities at the Artists’ Exchange in Cranston.

In announcing the awards, State Arts Council director Randall Rosenbaum underscored the impact of these grants on the Rhode Island economy. “Our grantees tell us that over 20,000 artists will be employed with support from these grants, and that over 1.58 million Rhode Islanders and visitors to our state will benefit from these projects. These preliminary figures are significant, and demonstrate a great return on a very tiny investment from state and federal resources.” Rosenbaum went on to express his appreciation to the Rhode Island General Assembly for their support of these programs, and for their investment in “the quality of life, the education of our young, and the vitality of our economy" that these arts programs provide.

The grant awards break down as follows:

$40,000 to 19 individual artists for programs including a public art project on Block Island; a West African Cultural Festival in Pawtucket; and theater workshops for individuals with and without disabilities in South Kingstown.

$125,000 to 54 non-profit organizations for programming such as music, dance, creative writing/poetry and visual arts for adults with developmental/intellectual disabilities; chamber music concerts by internationally esteemed performers; art festivals, after school art and music classes, and open studio tours throughout the state.

$52,500 to 16 schools and non-profit organizations for arts education programs such as a writing project that partners students with professional writers/poets to develop their language skills and critical thinking abilities; a music program that offers free access to instruments, fiddle lessons and monthly community musical events in Pawtucket; and the presentation of a multi-week folk drumming workshop at two middle schools in Providence.

$514,000 to 19 major arts and cultural organizations across Rhode Island including New Urban Arts in Providence, The Gamm Theater in Pawtucket, Common Fence Music in Middletown, 2nd Story Theater in Warren, and Island Moving Company in Newport.

For a complete list of grant recipients, visit the Arts Council’s website at

RISCA also awarded a total of $48,750 to 17 artists receiving Fellowships and Fellowship Merit Awards in Crafts, Fiction, Film & Video, Folk Arts, Photography, Play/Screenwriting, Poetry, and Three-Dimensional Art, as well as a Professional Development Grant. To learn more about the Fellowship recipients, visit

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.

Related links

  • Department or agency: Rhode Island State Council on the Arts
  • Online:
  • Release date: 07-17-2011

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