Arts and culture organizations, individual artists and artists in healthcare benefited from $754,767 in grants approved by the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) during the summer. The 122 grants will support arts and cultural activities throughout the state.
"Congratulations to our State's Arts Agency for all of the thorough work and long hours of updating and revamping to make our arts and culture grant programs more relevant and better serve the needs of RI communities," Governor McKee said. "The grants being announced today, in addition to continuing to ensure RI's reputation nationally as an arts and culture destination, provide key investments in programs that play an important role in the lives of Rhode Islanders."
"Our grant programs are transformative, inclusive, open and transparent," RISCA's Executive Director Lynne McCormack said. "By convening a diverse group of key members of our arts community for input and feedback, we were able to ensure these grant programs aligned with our work to be more accessible, equitable and transparent."
Additionally, the R.I. State Council on the Arts is accepting applications for grants to arts and culture organizations, folk and individual artists, arts educators and artists in healthcare. The deadline to complete an application is Monday, Oct. 3.
Some examples of projects supported in the current round of RISCA grants include:
--Musician Michelle Kaminsky, Barrington, hosted Xylos and Marimbas in the Parks, which featured xylophones and marimbas of varying sizes in parks throughout Providence. Passersby are invited to try out the instruments, (with wind chime-like sounds), which lend themselves to spontaneous music making.
--Artist Jaeyon Jo, Providence, oversaw the Atlantic Mills Photogram Project, a community darkroom located at the Atlantic Mills, Providence. The community is invited to explore camera-less darkroom photography through free workshops and resources. All works will be archived, and participants can choose to be part of a public showing at the end of the project.
--Musician Yacouba Diabate, Coventry, will complete an album in C/D and electronic form. This album, called Seigan (a word meaning "tired" in the Bamara language of West Africa) is themed around past slavery and continued racial problems. Yacouba will get input from other family members still in Burkina Faso and will perform the songs in public in Rhode Island.
--Artist Lisi Raskin, Central Falls, for Cry Hiking, will reinvent artistic practice by learning to use digital technologies to create a series of painted constructions despite the severe nerve pain that has prevented Raskin from using hand tools since 2019.
--Looking Upwards, Middletown, Out of the Box—Looms & Libraries will provide inclusive, accessible opportunities for communities to create and exhibit collaborative woven tapestries. The textile arts project for all ages engages patrons from 10 Rhode Island libraries and 10 artists with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.
--Haus of Codec, Providence, hosts monthly marketplaces featuring LGBTQ+ and BIPOC vendors in Providence's West End in Dexter Park. The organizations partner with more than 100 local artists, performers and community organizations to provide enriching experiences for marketplace patrons to bring together local businesses, neighbors and residents.
--Hands in Harmony, located at the University of Rhode Island, provides Neurologic Music Therapy services to anyone from birth to end of life. The grant will fund The Aphasia Clefs: Aphasia Doesn't Discriminate, a choir comprised of individuals with aphasia will compose and perform original songs giving those with language restrictions a voice through music in the community.
--Seven Hills Rhode Island's Integrated Performing Visual Arts Program in Woonsocket is a performing and visual arts educational experience for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. RISCA funding supports the therapeutic arts program and two 14-week performing arts programs with a concluding performance.
These grants received support from the State's General Assembly, federally funded through National Endowment for the Arts, and some matching dollars raised through contributions from businesses, individuals and earned income from ticket sales and admissions.