State Arts Council announces $128K in grants


Rhode Island schools, organizations, community centers and artists were awarded $128,212 in the December 2013 round of grants from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. The council’s board approved the awarding of these grants at its December meeting in Providence. These grants will go to support arts in education projects, community-based projects by organizations and individual artist fellowships and projects for the remainder of this fiscal year.

Statewide, 57 grants were awarded in response to 180 applications received at RISCA’s Oct. 1 deadline.

“We’re particularly pleased with this round of grant awards,” said Randall Rosenbaum, executive director of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. “Programs in arts education and projects that support the work of artists contribute to the economy and vitality of life in communities throughout our state.”

This year to date, the arts council has awarded 283 grants totaling $1,353,605 to nonprofit organizations, schools, artists and community groups. RISCA funds are matched by businesses, individuals, and earned income. The council receives its support through an annual appropriation from the Rhode Island General Assembly and from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. 

Examples of projects supported in the current round of the grant include a $2,500 grant to the Urban Pond Procession (awarded through the Environmental Council of Rhode Island Educational Fund) to support Urban Pond Procession 2014, the seventh annual procession through the streets around Mashapaug Pond in Providence. The procession and the educational art workshops building up to it are designed to raise public awareness of the natural beauty and recreational potential, yet fragile health, of the pond and its watershed.

A $3,000 grant to the International Charter School in Pawtucket for part of a social studies unit called “Documenting Cultural Communities,” third grade teachers at ICS partner with photographer Mary Beth Meehan to teach students how to use photography to document their own cultural communities, culminating in a public exhibition of their photographs and texts.

A $2,200 grant to puppet artist Dan Butterworth of Pascoag, who will work with the Cranston East and West high schools, Alvarez High School in Providence and The Artists’ Exchange in Cranston to create characters portraying U.S. history and (at Alvarez) settlements and industrialization at Mashapaug Pond, all designed to enliven the history curriculum for the students and participants in their performances.

A $750 grant to The Greene School in West Greenwich for high school students to work with landscape architect Kurt van Dexter on the construction of a garden installation to be featured at the Rhode Island Flower & Garden Show.

A $3,000 grant to artist Franny Choi to work with members of the Providence Poetry Slam to revive the Providence Youth Poetry Slam through increased writing workshops and spoken word programming for Rhode Island youth ages 19 and under.

For a complete list of December grant recipients, as well as a list of all grants awarded by RISCA this year, go to the Arts Council’s web site at


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