Newport Art Museum

Rhode Island’s State Council on the Arts awards $828,328 to be distributed among 138 arts entities

Governor McKee and R.I. State Council on the Arts announced today 138 grants totaling $828,328 were awarded throughout Rhode Island to arts and culture organizations, individual artists and schools. Some of the grants also support collaborations with healthcare, education, economic development and Veteran’s affairs.

The grants received support from appropriations by the General Assembly and were federally funded through the National Endowment for the Arts.

“On behalf of the State of Rhode Island, congratulations to our State’s Arts Council for all of the thorough work to provide key investments in arts programming, an important sector in the lives of many Rhode Islanders,” said Governor McKee. “The grants being announced today, in addition to continuing to ensure R.I.’s reputation nationally as an arts and cultural destination, are a reminder that the arts bring audiences to our town and city centers, and, help fill our restaurants and shops, as well as educate our young people.”

“We are so fortunate to have a strong and vibrant arts and cultural economy, generating nearly 17,000 jobs accounting for 3.2 percent of the state’s economy, according to the Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account (ACPSA). The grants support opportunities for us to come together to celebrate, learn and connect,” said Lynne McCormack, Executive Director of RISCA. “The state’s arts community is still working to recover from the pandemic. And, while this is challenging, it is inspiring to see how our artists and organizations are partnering to share their innovative thinking, creativity and problem-solving skills with other sectors.”

Some examples of projects supported in the current round of RISCA grants include:


Capeverdean American Community Development to host four eight-week youth art classes in Pawtucket. Sessions will include classes in mural painting clothes as art classes. The featured artists are Savonnara Alexander “Alex” Sok and Taylor Love.

Farm Fresh Rhode Island, in partnership with PVD World Music, to host an outdoor four-concert series at the Armory Park Farmers Market, Providence. The concerts will represent a variety of musical styles, traditions and instrumentation.

Hattie Ide Chaffee Home, Riverside, will offer Intergenerational Arts Programs. Residents, staff and Brown University medical students will participate in weekly movement, drama and enrichment to increase positive social interactions, improved mood, strength and mobility. In addition, the staff and medical students will learn how engaging the arts can make a positive difference in the lives of seniors with dementia.

Levitt AMP Woonsocket Music Series, hosted by NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley, provides free, live music in underutilized Woonsocket-based public spaces. The 10-week music series will invest in musicians, celebrate diversity, and contribute to the local economy by drawing residents and tourists to the family-friendly events.

LitArts RI, formerly What Cheer Writers Club, will offer a program series on narrative arts in healthcare for patients and caregivers. The series will cultivate the power of story to build empathy and to support healing through writing workshops centered on illness narratives; a public reading of restorative stories, essays and poems; and a resource fair for artists.

Looking Upwards will provide inclusive, accessible opportunities to create and exhibit collaboratively woven tapestries. The all-ages textile project will engage six artists with intellectual/developmental disabilities at R.I. community centers, including locations in Jamestown, Little Compton, Newport and Portsmouth.

Sargent Center and artist Barbara Owen will oversee Engaging Art through Flowers in Warwick. Students 3- to 22-years-old will work in different media and art projects to create an exhibit of flowers.

R.I. Veterans Anthology Project, West Warwick, will host writing modules and workshops with five to 10 Veterans to assist in honing creative writing skills. Participants will write and polish fiction or poetry, after which the staff at West Warwick Public Library Press will purchase and publish.

Parent Support Network of Rhode Island will bring together R.I. artists, staff from the Parent Support Network and community partners in Warwick, Middletown, Westerly, Scituate and Foster to engage at-risk and diverse individuals, children, youth, families and Veterans. They will participate in arts and wellness activities and the co-creation of a book of artwork. Individual Artists

Gregory Ayriyan, Johnston, will take charge of music lessons for individuals who have autism, dyslexia or other special education needs.

Marina Ekelova, East Greenwich, will offer a Russian cultural art workshop series covering the following: painting nesting dolls using traditional techniques; designing and learning the history of Faberge eggs; and sewing and creating a doll.

Naffisatou Koulibaly, Providence, will facilitate and organize The Providence Poetry Slam: Summer Series. Classes will alternate between writing and performing. The students will be people new to performance poetry.

Ricky Katowicz, North Providence, is the creator and host of a program for children and families. Held monthly, it will be equal parts spectacle and classroom. Audience participation is encouraged, and each show features special guests, recurring characters, puppets, stories, dance parties and an investigation of our human experience.

Cathren Housley, East Providence, to facilitate the workshop series called Showtime where participants will create a story and bring it to life on stage – merging literacy and art into a creative performance.

Rochelle Leach, aka Rochelle Bonamie, Providence, to create an EP exploring the defining moments of Leach’s life through the lens of art, gender, identity, society and culture

Marius Keo Marjolin, Providence, to create three life-size sculptural figures based on characters from Cambodian folklore. The project is inspired by traditional Khmer paper puppetry and masked theatre.

Actor, film director, artist Nick Mendillo, Warren, will lead a four-week intensive Summer Film Camp for Bristol/Warren high school students. The course work will include scriptwriting, directing, acting and film production.

Jordan Seaberry, Providence, will create an exhibition at the Newport Art Museum bringing together the stories, experiences, wisdom and fears of hospice patients at end of life.

Richard Whitten, Cranston, will make a series of 12 paintings that will act as pages from a fictional illuminated manuscript of scientific instruments in Florence’s Museo Galileo. Each page will feature either an instrument from the museum or one of his inventions.

Ellen Zahniser, Providence, will write, develop, and perform in a workshop showing of an interdisciplinary, theatrical retelling of the myth of Orpheus. The R.I. State Council on the Arts will start accepting applications on Aug. 1 for organizations, folk and individual artists, schools and arts educators.




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