Community Outreach Committee of PPAC announces arts scholarships 2017 program

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Jo-Ann Ragosta, chairperson of the ARTS Scholarships 2017 program, along with the members of the Community Outreach Committee of the Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC), announced that applications for the ARTS Scholarships 2017 program are available; applications will be accepted until Wednesday, March 1, at 3 p.m.

The ARTS Scholarships 2017 program, sponsored by The Textron Charitable Trust and the PPAC Annual Fund Donors, will provide 30 scholarships valued up to $500 each to qualified, talented Rhode Island students. Qualified students must be aged 11-14 by June 1, 2017. These scholarships offer young artists an opportunity to attend local summer arts education programs that will broaden their experiences in a chosen area of study.

ARTS Scholarships 2017 applications and guidelines will be available both online at www.ppacri.org/outreach/arts-scholarship and in person at the Providence Performing Arts Center Administrative Office, 220 Weybosset Street, Second Floor, Providence. The Administrative Office is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. For more information, visit www.ppacri.org or call 421-2997. Completed applications must be submitted to Cynthia Goldsmith at the Providence Performing Arts Center, 220 Weybosset Street, Providence, RI  02903 no later than

3 p.m. Wednesday, March 1, 2017.

In 1996, with a portion of the proceeds from the First Annual Greater Providence Gospel Fest (a production of the Providence Performing Arts Center), the Community Outreach Committee created the ARTS Scholarships program, a scholarship fund earmarked for assisting students with an interest in studying the arts. Over the past 20 years, 532 scholarships have been awarded to talented Rhode Island students.  Previous scholarship winners had the opportunity to attend summer programs at The Rhode Island School of Design, Festival Ballet Providence, Mt. St. Charles Academy Fine Arts Summer Camp, Blue Door Studio, The Rhode Island Philharmonic Music School, The Gamm Theatre, and others.

“Rhode Island is rich in culture and diversity,” said Jo-Ann Ragosta, Chairperson of the ARTS Scholarships 2017 program.  “We are happy to give the youth of our state an opportunity to tap into their artistic abilities and develop skills that can help shape their lives.”

“It is heartwarming to see the exceptional talent of our scholarship recipients each year,” said P.J. Prokop, Director of Marketing at PPAC. “When we began the ARTS Scholarships program over 20 years ago as part of our Gospel Fest [produced by PPAC with local, volunteer choirs], we were able to give ten scholarships; now, we have awarded well over 500. At that time, we could not have imagined how many students would benefit from the program and we hope many more will pursue their interest in the arts in the years to come.”

The Community Outreach Committee is a committee of the Providence Performing Arts Center’s Board of Directors and is comprised of PPAC Directors, Rhode Island educators, artists, and community leaders with an interest in the arts and youth.  The committee’s mission includes developing arts education opportunities for Rhode Island’s young people and making the Providence Performing Arts Center accessible to Rhode Island’s diverse populations. This committee oversees the ARTS Scholarships program.

For questions or further information regarding PPAC’s ARTS Scholarships 2017 program, visit www.ppacri.org or contact Cynthia Goldsmith at 574-3105.

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