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State Arts Council looks to social networking sites to help communicate with the public

Social networking sites like Facebook, YouTube, MySpace and Twitter have grown to become a popular way for millions of people to communicate via the Internet. And now they are another way for state government to communicate with its citizens.

The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) has established a presence on each of these social networking sites, as a way to communicate more effectively with a broad segment of the Rhode Island community.

“We found that a significant number of artists have Facebook or MySpace pages, and keep track of what’s going on via the Internet,” explained Randall Rosenbaum, Executive Director of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. “It only made sense for us to develop a presence on these sites, and use them as one of a number of ways we communicate with people about our programs and services.”

The State Arts Council uses Facebook, for example, to share information about upcoming events and to showcase links from other Rhode Island Facebook users. The Arts Council’s YouTube site features video from a recent conversation between U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Dana Gioia.

MySpace, according to Rosenbaum, will grow into a place for online “conversations” about important issues. A new listing seeks comment from Arts Council grant recipients about the impact RISCA grants have had on their careers.

“We did a search on MySpace and found a number of artists who report having received one or more RISCA grants,” said Rosenbaum. “So we thought this was a good opportunity to talk to our grantees in a different sort of way.”

Twitter is what is known as a “microblog”, designed to provide its members with quick updates containing one or two lines of information. The State Arts Council uses Twitter as an outlet for information from its popular weblog (, which allows this fast-breaking arts information to be communicated to users via the web and smartphones.

The State Arts Council’s Facebook site can be found at On YouTube, RISCA can be found at The RISCA MySpace page is at And the RISCA Twitter page is at

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
  • Online:
  • Release date: 05-13-2008

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