Nearly $1M in grants awarded to 121 culture, humanities, arts nonprofits


Some 121 Rhode Island culture, humanities and arts nonprofits will benefit from the RI Culture, Humanities and Arts Recovery Grant (RI CHARG) program, a historic collaborative partnership between the State Council on the Arts (RISCA) and the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities (Humanities Council).

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) awarded $968,000 in assistance to Rhode Island from their American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds and is not part of the $1.1 billion in ARPA funding awarded to the state.

These federally appropriated cultural assistance funds administered by RISCA and the Humanities Council provide general operating support grants of $8,000 each to 121 culture, humanities and arts nonprofits.

Ninety-five percent are small to midsize and/or Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) centered organizations; 65 percent are organizations based outside the city of Providence; and more than 25 percent are first-time grantees.

The councils designed the RI CHARG program to help Rhode Island’s culture, humanities and arts nonprofits prevent, prepare, respond and recover from hardships suffered due to the pandemic. In keeping with federal agencies’ priority on equity, inclusion and access efforts, and to support more small- and mid- size organizations, funding priorities were given to BIPOC centered organizations and nonprofits with annual budgets under $500,000.

A list of grant recipients by city/town is available at www.arts.ri.gov and www.rihumanities.org.

Organizations from Cranston being awarded funding include the Hmong Rhode Island Association, Notable Works Publication and Distribution Co. Inc., Rhode Island Art Education Association, Rhode Island Brassworks Cranston, Rhode Island Civic Chorale and Orchestra, and the Natasha Love Foundation.

Organizations from Warwick being awarded funding include Clouds Hill Victorian House Museum, the Puerto Rican Institute for Arts & Advocacy, and Warwick Center for the Arts.

“These federal funds given to our state through the NEA’s and NEH’s ARPA allotments acknowledge the important economic impact culture, humanities and arts have on Rhode Island,” Gov. Dan McKee said. “On behalf of Rhode Island, I thank and applaud our State Council on the Arts and RI’s Humanities Council for their partnership and swift work in getting this badly needed recovery assistance to their respective communities.”

Elizabeth Francis, executive director of the Humanities Council, noted: “This historic collaboration between the Humanities Council and RISCA has enabled our two organizations to streamline the application process for cultural organizations across the state, ensuring that the combined $968,000 in relief funds from the NEH and NEA reaches those in the prioritized areas. This unique approach has gained national attention and we’re proud to know that culture, humanities and arts nonprofits across the state will benefit from this effort. As communities emerge from the pandemic, the humanities and arts are essential to rebuilding our social fabric.”

Randall Rosenbaum, executive director of RISCA, added: “I am delighted that we were able to combine funding from the NEA and NEH to directly support these cultural nonprofits. We're proud that so many of these grantees are small and medium sized organizations; represent culturally diverse communities; or are new to us. These grants will have a significant impact on communities throughout our state who have suffered greatly because of the pandemic.”


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