State funding for the arts contributes significantly to Rhode Island's economy and quality of life, according to the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) as it announced its first round of grant awards for the 2016-2017 season. Grant recipients in 2015 reported that over $134 million was spent by arts organizations and artists in that year in projects funded by the State Arts Council, and over 5 million individuals and visitors participated in grant-funded activities during that year.
The latest round of grants have been funded through an appropriation from Governor Raimondo and the Rhode Island General Assembly and with federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts. They support projects by individual artists, arts organizations, schools and educational organizations in communities throughout the state.
In their first round of grants for this year, the State Arts Council awarded a total of $777,212 to 139 non-profit organizations, schools and individuals for art and arts programming across Rhode Island in this latest round of grants. It received 302 applications with requests totaling $1,774,825 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, in congratulating the artists, organizations and schools receiving support from the State Arts Council, noted that, "these grants invest in our economy and the livelihood of our communities. They generate jobs, attract tourist dollars and help provide for a quality education for 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 $5,000 grant to Peace Dale Elementary School, in collaboration with South Kingstown CARES and GEAR Productions, will produce "From the Ground Up", an original, multi-disciplinary performance that allows the entire learning community to explore earth science subjects through the arts, keyed to Next Generation Science Standards.
A $2,900 grant will go to Smart Test, an after-school collaborative based at Pleasant View Elementary in Providence, to expand its "Hip Hop Science" program. Teaching artist Edgar Viloria will help students use their own body movements to explore basic scientific principles of motion and demonstrate concrete examples of scientific laws in a 20-week program.
A $6,200 grant will go to Connecting for Children & Families to augment its after-school arts programming at Woonsocket High School, now in its seventh year. The program will include components in Theatre, Visual Art, Jewelry, Dance, & Fashion Design taught by roster teaching artists. The program helps enable students to demonstrate proficiency in one or more arts forms as part of graduation requirements.
Coggeshall Farm Museum, Inc. of Bristol will receive a $1000 grant, where this summer Master basket weaver Elwood Donnelly will present three public weaving workshops, a public demonstration day, and work with the Coggeshall staff to help incorporate the traditional stills of basket weaving into the museum's interpretation.
Newport Art House will receive a $1500 grant to support The NewPorch Live Sessions. This live and video series will capture emerging musicians performing on porches and semi-public spaces throughout Newport. The project will remix spaces, highlight the volume and diversity of local talent, and recognize the contemporary artist's contribution to Newport's cultural value while subtly infusing it with public time-based art.
Educational Center for the Arts & Sciences (also known as Teatro ECAS) of Providence will receive a $2000 grant to support their plans to launch a summer camp in theater arts for students ages 7-12. In the fall, they will present the United States premiere of the Dominican play "I am Minerva", which inspired the U.N. International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women. The play will be presented in English and Spanish, students from the summer camp will participate, and promotional material and outreach will include study guides for local schools. 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.