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State Arts Council Applauds Federal Announcement of Support for Arts Programs in Rhode Island

The National Endowment for the Arts today announced that ten Rhode Island organizations, including the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, will receive $1,084,500 in federal grants through the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). These grants will support activities in communities throughout Rhode Island that effect our state's economy, quality of life and educational programs.

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu said, "The arts are all around us, enhancing our lives in ways both subtle and obvious, expected and unexpected. Supporting projects like the ones in Rhode Island offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day."

Randall Rosenbaum, Executive Director of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, applauded the federal arts funding agency for its support. "We have seen clear evidence that the arts contribute dramatically to the Rhode Island economy and to the education of our children," Rosenbaum said. "This federal support, matched with state dollars, helps to ensure that we continue to be a creative state, able to compete on the national stage with young people who learn through the arts to be the imaginative thinkers and problem-solvers of the twenty-first century."

A list of the projects receiving funding is below:

RHODE ISLAND Number of Grants: 10 Total Dollar Amount: $1,084,500

Rhode Island State Council on the Arts $744,500 Providence, RI FIELD/DISCIPLINE: State & Regional To support Partnership Agreement activities in the state.

Island Moving Company $10,000 Newport, RI FIELD/DISCIPLINE: Dance To support Open for Dancing, a biennial dance and art festival. Located in Newport, Rhode Island, the festival is a forum for the creation of new, site-specific work. Selected choreographers will be paired with collaborating artists, such as poets or musicians, to work with Island Moving Company's professional dancers and members of the community. This distinctive model uses the artistic process to weave audiences, participants, and artists together to form a unique communal relationship. All activities are free, and in addition to performances, will include master classes, a panel discussion with the participating artists, and evening events such as ballroom dancing on the wharf.

City of Providence, Rhode Island $25,000 Providence, RI FIELD/DISCIPLINE: Local Arts Agencies To support the Department of Art, Culture + Tourism in commissioning 6 free, outdoor public performances of bilingual English-Spanish adaptations of Shakespeare through a creative collaboration between Trinity Repertory Company, The Steel Yard, and neighborhood residents. The Steel Yard will work with Trinity Rep on design/build projects to support the productions. Associated community engagement programs will include a public lecture and facilitated discussions.

City of Providence, Rhode Island $100,000 Providence, RI FIELD/DISCIPLINE: Design: Our Town To support Neighborhood Transformation: Cranston Street Armory animated by art. The multidisciplinary project will envision potential redevelopment strategies for the vacant armory building and adjacent park through a combination of community engagement with artists, community organizers, and residents; innovative arts programming; and community design charrettes. The project is a partnership comprising the Department of Art, Culture + Tourism, FirstWorks, partners from the State of Rhode Island and more than a dozen arts and community organizations. The goal is to revitalize the historic armory building as a catalyst for economic development in the surrounding West Side neighborhood, where one-third of families live below the poverty level.

Community Musicworks (aka CMW) $75,000 Providence, RI FIELD/DISCIPLINE: Music To support free music educational and performance programs for at-risk children and youth. Resident musicians in the program will provide instrumental lessons as well as instruction in subjects such as music theory and improvisation. Other activities may include a leadership development program for advanced students, performance opportunities for students, and professional concerts by resident musicians.

DownCity Design $30,000 Providence, RI FIELD/DISCIPLINE: Design To support the Design/Learning project. Experienced design educators will lead after-school programs in which students identify needs and challenges within Providence Public School facilities and schoolyards, and work together to design and build small-scale structures that creatively respond to those needs. Design/Learning will engage more than 100 urban youth, giving them essential design skills while empowering them to become agents of change within their communities.

FirstWorks $30,000 Providence, RI FIELD/DISCIPLINE: Presenting & Multidisciplinary Works To support a series of multidisciplinary presentations and accompanying outreach activities. Artists including composer and violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain, Dutch circus ensemble Close-Act Theatre, and dance companies Paul Taylor American Dance Ensemble, and Rennie Harris Puremovement will perform. Each artist also will participate in extensive engagement activities.

RISD Museum $15,000 Providence, RI FIELD/DISCIPLINE: Museum To support the program "An Artist's Museum: Connect, Inspire, Create." The program includes two fellowships, professional development activities, and special museum membership for artists. Run by the museum at the Rhode Island School of Design, the program will engage approximately 100 emerging and mid-career artists to develop their creative practice, increase their visibility among new audiences, connect creative sectors, and support the generation of new work. The program includes workshops and training on professional practice, access to curators and globally recognized artists, participation in programs for creative professionals, and research opportunities that support the creation of new work inspired by the collections.

WaterFire Providence (aka WaterFire) $25,000 Providence, RI FIELD/DISCIPLINE: Presenting & Multidisciplinary Works To support a series of events celebrating statesman Roger Williams, an Imagine Your Parks project. In partnership with the National Park Service, the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, and other local arts, cultural, educational, and historical organizations, WaterFire will present a series of events at the Roger Williams Memorial. Events will include performances of spoken-word, dance, music, theater, and folk arts, as well as visual arts exhibitions, and discussions led by historians. These activities will examine the history of the founding of Providence, drawing attention to Williams' philosophy of religious freedom, free speech, and racial equality.

RiverzEdge Arts Project Inc. (aka Riverzedge Arts) $30,000 Woonsocket, RI FIELD/DISCIPLINE: Arts Education To support the Artist in Experience Program, a public art mentoring program for high school students. A yearround program, teaching artists will serve as mentors to teens in the areas of public art planning and design, community engagement, and entrepreneurship. Prior to the creation of public art works, youth will gain skills in various artistic studios including green design, printmaking, and media arts. Clients for the student-design public art projects will include a community development corporation and city agencies.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, both new and established; bringing the arts to all Americans; and providing leadership in arts education. Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Endowment is the nation's largest annual funder of the arts.

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. For more information on RISCA and its programs, please visit

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  • Department or agency: Rhode Island State Council on the Arts
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  • Release date: 05-10-2016

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