PROVIDENCE, RI — In an effort to promote community arts programs and arts education throughout Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Congressional delegation today announced the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA), Community Musicworks (CMW), and WaterFire Providence will share $787,100 in federal grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). These federal matching grants will help support both new and established art projects, including workshops, performances, exhibitions, and arts education programs.
The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts will receive $727,100 to support the arts and partnership agreement activities; $35,000 for Community Musicworks to support free music education and performance programs targeted to reach at-risk children and youth; and $25,000 for WaterFire Providence to support the organization’s Arts Engagement, Enrichment, and Education Program.
“This federal funding will help support local artists and bolster economic development and education through the arts. RISCA, Community MusicWorks, and WaterFire are outstanding organizations that will leverage these federal funds to promote educational achievement and economic development. The NEA strengthens the arts’ impact on students, enriching young minds and our community,” said U.S. Senator Jack Reed, the Chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the NEA’s budget. Reed, who succeeded Claiborne Pell (D-RI) – the creator of the NEA – in the U.S. Senate, has fought efforts to slash the NEA’s budget and helped increase it by $7.6 million over last year’s level, up to about $146 million.
“Rhode Island’s artists enrich our communities, help to grow our economy, and create jobs in the state,” said U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, an ex-officio member of the National Council on the Arts, the advisory body of the NEA. “I’m glad that these grants will support RISCA in promoting the arts across Rhode Island, help WaterFire continue to thrive and generate economic activity in Providence, and aid Community MusicWorks in providing music instruction to young people. This funding will be good for our communities and good for our economy. It’s a clear win-win.”
“The arts are an important component to a well-rounded education, as evidenced by the transition from STEM to STEAM to incorporate arts education into the core academic disciplines. I am pleased that these grants will enhance arts education at Community MusicWorks, RISCA and WaterFire – programs that already do so much to improve the lives of students,” said Congressman Jim Langevin. “The arts are also a major element in our state’s tourism industries, and supporting programs like WaterFire has a positive trickle-down effect on restaurants, hotels and many other Rhode Island businesses.”
“Investing in local arts programs not only helps foster individual creativity, innovation, and expression, but it also provides local communities with an economic boost,” said Congressman David Cicilline. “I am glad RISCA, Community MusicWorks, and WaterFire were awarded these federal funds to help strengthen and expand Rhode Island’s thriving arts community.”
Randall Rosenbaum, Executive Director of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA), expressed his appreciation to the entire Rhode Island Congressional delegation for this important support. “The federal government’s investment in the arts is vital to the work we do to ensure that the arts contribute to our state’s economy, educational offerings and quality of life,” said Randall Rosenbaum. “Every dollar we receive from the National Endowment for the Arts goes to provide jobs for Rhode Island artists, which in turn provides employment to the thousands of people who benefit from a strong arts economy.”
In this round of FY 2014 grants, NEA awarded over $23 million in federal funding to 900 organizations in 47 states and the District of Columbia. According to NEA, each dollar invested directly through the NEA is matched by an average of $9 in additional investment and generates more than $26 of economic activity in the community. The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts estimates over 25,000 Rhode Islanders are employed in the state’s creative sector.