February 10, 2017

RI to Receive Over $1 Million to Support the Arts & Expand Cultural Education Opportunities

PROVIDENCE – In an effort to support community arts programs and enhance the state’s creative and cultural assets, Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation today announced the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA), the City of Providence, FirstWorks, Community Musicworks, WaterFire, RiverzEdge, the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Museum, and Island Moving Company will share $1,084,500 in federal grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).  These federal grants will help support both new and established art projects, including workshops, free performances, exhibitions, and arts education programs.

RISCA will receive $744,500 in federal funds to support the arts and partnership agreement activities; $100,000 will be directed to the City of Providence for the Cranston Street Armory animated by art project led by the Department of Art, Culture + Tourism; while an additional $75,000 will go to Community Musicworks to support free music education and performance programs targeted to reach at-risk children and youth; $30,000 for FirstWorks to support their world-class performing arts and education programs; $30,000 for DownCity Design to lead after-school programs working with students to design and build small-scale structures; $30,000 for RiverzEdge Arts Project Inc. to support the Artist in Experience Program, a public art mentoring program for high school students; $25,000 to help WaterFire host a series of events celebrating the life and history of Roger Williams; $25,000 for the City of Providence to support the Prometheus Project; $15,000 for the RISD Museum to support a professional development program for artists; and $10,000 for Island Moving Company to support Open for Dancing, a biennial dance and art festival in Newport.

“This is a smart investment that will help promote arts education as well as cultural and design programs here in Rhode Island.  Support for the arts contributes to thriving communities.  By combining federal grants with private donations, we can generate economic activity while ensuring that all citizens have access to free and affordable concerts, performances, and opportunities for cultural enrichment,” said U.S. Senator Jack Reed, a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees NEA funding.

“Rhode Island has earned a national reputation as a leader in promoting the arts,” said U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.  “This significant federal investment will boost our arts economy and ensure that more residents and visitors can enjoy the creativity of our local artists, designers, and performers.”

“I am thrilled to help announce this federal funding, which will not only empower our state’s talented artists to continue to create, innovate, and inspire, but will also engage all Rhode Islanders in our vibrant and continuously evolving arts community,” said Congressman Jim Langevin. “I am especially pleased with the emphasis on arts education, which will support the next generation of artists whom we call upon to celebrate, preserve and enhance Rhode Island arts and culture.”

“Rhode Island has always been home to a strong community of artists that generates a significant economic impact and enhances our quality of life,” said Congressman David Cicilline. “I am delighted that the National Endowment for the Arts is directing more than $1 million today in new federal investments to benefit local Rhode Island artists and establish new opportunities for creativity and artistic expression.”

In this round of grants, NEA awarded over $82.3 million in federal funding to non-profit art and design organizations in all 50 states plus five U.S. jurisdictions through their “Art Works,” “Our Town,” and State and Regional Partnerships grant programs.  The NEA grant funding decisions are made through a competitive, merit-based, and transparent and rigorous grants process.  For more information, visit: http://www.arts.gov

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 NEA.  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 http://www.arts.ri.gov

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