By PBN Staff
By PBN Staff
PROVIDENCE – The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded $787,100 in federal matching grants to support new and established art projects, workshops, community arts programs and arts education in Rhode Island.
The R.I. State Council on the Arts received the majority of the funds, $727,100, to support local artists and community arts programs. Community MusicWorks in Providence received $35,000 to support free music education and performance programs for at-risk children and youth, and WaterFire Providence received $25,000 to support the Arts Engagement, Enrichment and Education Program to create community arts programming and youth apprenticeship opportunities.
“This federal funding will help support local artists and bolster economic development and education through the arts,” said U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, the chairman of the Senate appropriations subcommittee that oversees the NEA’s budget. “RISCA, Community MusicWorks and WaterFire are outstanding organizations that will leverage these federal funds to promote educational achievement and economic development.”
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, an ex-officio member of the NEA advisory body, the National Council on the Arts, and U.S. Reps. James R. Langevin and David N. Cicilline also lauded the grants as an opportunity to boost Rhode Island’s economy and arts community.
According to the NEA, the arts and culture sector comprises more than 3.2 percent – or $504 billion – of the United States’ gross domestic product, and RISCA estimates more than 25,000 Rhode Islanders are employed in the state’s creative sector.
“The federal government’s investment in the arts is vital to the work we do to ensure that the arts contribute to our state’s economy, educational offerings and quality of life,” said Randall Rosenbaum, executive director of RISCA. “Every dollar we receive from the National Endowment for the Arts goes to provide jobs for Rhode Island artists, which in turn provides employment to the thousands of people who benefit from a strong arts economy.”
RISCA, a state agency supported by NEA grants and appropriations from the R.I. General Assembly, provides grants, technical assistance and staff support to arts organizations and artists, schools, community centers, social service organizations and local governments in the state. Earlier this year, RISCA announced $128,212 in grants to Rhode Island schools, community centers and individual artists.
In this latest round of fiscal year 2014 grants, the NEA awarded more than $23 million to 900 organizations in 47 states and the District of Columbia. According to the NEA, each dollar invested directly through the NEA is matched by an average of $9 in additional investment and generates more than $26 of economic activity in the community.