Funds will help thousands of local youth gain access to the arts
PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) announced today that it received a second year of funding from Bank of America for its Big Yellow School Bus (BYSB) program. The grant will ensure that thousands of Rhode Island students will be able to attend arts and cultural events during the current school year.
Governor Lincoln D. Chafee thanked Bank of America for their ongoing support of this State Arts Council initiative. "Exposure to the arts is a critical component of providing our students with a well-rounded education," Governor Chafee said. "Thanks to Bank of America's generosity, thousands of young Rhode Islanders across our state will gain access to enriching and exciting arts and cultural events through the Big Yellow School Bus Program."
Since 2010, BYSB has helped facilitate field trips to museums, concert halls and theaters across the state. The program has been extremely beneficial for schools, many of which are reducing or eliminating field trips out of economic necessity. This year alone, more than $23,000 in grants has been awarded to 67 schools, providing transportation for more than 9,000 students and 800 teachers/adults. Bank of America's funding has been critical to the success of the program.
On Wednesday, April 10, Bank of America Rhode Island president Bill Hatfield joined the Rhode Island Philharmonic onstage at Veterans Auditorium to welcome more than 1,500 students and teachers. Hatfield acknowledged that most of the students in attendance were there thanks to BYSB.
"Programs like Big Yellow School Bus can lead to an interest in the arts that translates into a life-long appreciation," said Hatfield. "Connecting young people to local arts groups like Rhode Island Philharmonic can help them become more active, well-rounded community leaders."
Randall Rosenbaum, executive director of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, expressed his appreciation for Bank of America's support: "We're grateful to Bank of America for supporting BYSB and helping students experience the arts outside of the classroom, in concert halls, museums and other community venues," said Rosenbaum. "At RISCA we believe that people of all ages should have an opportunity to experience all the arts and cultural opportunities our state has to offer."
For more information about Rhode Island's Big Yellow School Bus program, go to http://www.arts.ri.gov/bus
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.
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