State Arts Council Applauds Federal Funding to Rhode Island Arts Organizations

Written by Randall Rosenbaum for RISCAnews
February 13, 2019
Contact: Randall Rosenbaum at

The National Endowment for the Arts announced today that it has awarded grants totaling $145,000 to seven arts organizations and agencies in Rhode Island. These federal grants support projects by some of Rhode Island's major arts institutions. In addition, the Endowment works in partnership with the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) to ensure that the people of Rhode Island have access to the arts.

In announcing the grants, National Endowment for the Arts Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter said, "The arts enhance our communities and our lives, and we look forward to seeing these projects take place throughout the country, giving Americans opportunities to learn, to create, to heal, and to celebrate."

Randall Rosenbaum, Executive Director of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, said, "we are delighted that the National Endowment for the Arts has supported these important Rhode Island arts institutions with direct grants. These grants will help thousands of Rhode Islanders experience the finest our state's cultural institutions have to offer. In addition, the National Endowment for the Arts works to ensure that people throughout the country have access to the arts, in their communities and as part of their educational and life experiences. Every grant that we make at the state level is a reflection of that national effort to make the arts available to all of our citizens, and as such is enormously important. The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts is proud to work with our federal partner in that effort."

Here is the list of grants recently announced by the National Endowment for the Arts:

Rhode Island Number of Grants: 7 Total Dollar Amount: $145,000

Alliance of Artists Communities $25,000 Providence, RI Art Works — Artist Communities To support an initiative to strengthen the artist communities field by identifying and expanding opportunities for performing artists.

DownCity Design $35,000 Providence, RI Art Works — Design To support Access Providence, a free design education program for Providence youth.

Everett $15,000 Providence, RI Art Works — Presenting & Multidisciplinary Works To support the presentation of the dance-theater work Good Grief.

New Urban Arts $15,000 Providence, RI Art Works — Arts Education To support an arts mentorship program for underserved high school students.

Providence Children's Museum $30,000 Providence, RI Art Works — Design To support the Creativity Initiative, a new program that engages local designers and artists to create immersive, hands-on design exhibits and educational programming for youth.

Rhode Island Latino Arts $10,000 Providence, RI Challenge America To support a bilingual performing arts program for youth.

Trinity Repertory Company (aka Trinity Rep) $15,000 Providence, RI Art Works — Theater To support the production of Black Odyssey by Marcus Gardley and related community engagement efforts.

"Trinity Rep is very thankful for the continued support of the National Endowment for the Arts in providing access for Rhode Islanders to this amazing contemporary play," said Executive Director Tom Parrish. "Marcus Gardley's black odyssey was a theatrical, breathtaking, and powerful retelling of Homer's epic tale through the lens of African American history that served a wonderfully diverse audience and engaged the community in a remarkable way."

Daniel Schleifer, Executive Director of New Urban Arts in Providence, said, "New Urban Arts is grateful for the support of the National Endowment for the Arts. These funds will support vital mentoring programs for the young artists for whom New Urban Arts is like a second home."

"DownCity Design is deeply grateful that the National Endowment for the Arts continues to recognize the vital connection between creativity and thriving communities through their ArtWorks funding," said Adrienne Gagnon, DownCity Design's director. "Our NEA grant will support our 2019-20 Access Providence programs, free design education programs in which Providence youth will create projects to promote accessibility throughout the city of Providence. The teens in our programs will work together to imagine and create a more accessible future for the people of Providence."

Aaron Jungels, Co-Artistic Director of Everett, said, "Everett is grateful to the National Endowment for the Arts for their continued support. Our work brings the power of the arts to those who otherwise could not afford it, and every day we see the positive impact that the arts have on young people's lives. Everett's latest production, Good Grief, explores what the experience of healing from trauma looks and feels like. Audiences have deeply connected with the performers as they share their true stories."

Lisa Hoffman, Executive Director of the Alliance of Artists Communities in Providence said, "We are thrilled to receive support from the National Endowment for the Arts to extend critical opportunities for artists working in dance and performance. This funding will advance research and promote best practices for artist-centered spaces of all types. We are honored to undertake this work alongside our international network, including Rhode Island-based programs - Dirt Palace, The Steel Yard, AS220, Rhode Island Writer's Colony and Norman Bird Sanctuary."

Marta Martinez, Executive Director of RI Latino Arts, said, "As we celebrate our 30th anniversary, Rhode Island Latino Arts is embarking in a new phase by offering programming for Latino young people at La Galería del Pueblo, our new cultural space. This grant will provide us with the capacity to support our growing list of Teaching Artists as well as to reach new audiences in the City of Central Falls, where our programming will be offered."

About the National Endowment for the Arts: Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America's rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit to learn more.

About the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts: 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.