R.I. Arts Council awards 109 grants

PROVIDENCE – The R.I. State Council on the Arts today announced it has awarded $832,977 in its first round of grants for the 2008-2009 season.

The money will go to 109 individuals and organizations to support projects by local artists, schools and arts or educational nonprofits across the state, RISCA said.

The grants range from the $110,000 awarded to Trinity Repertory Company for general operating support to the $700 awarded to Jump! Inc., a Providence-based youth dance company, to support its collaboration with Community MusicWorks on the creation of a new dance piece.

Community MusicWorks itself was awarded another $8,404 to support lessons, workshops and performances.
Other grants included $28,464 to Festival Ballet Providence and $ 18,000 to Providence Black Repertory Company, both for general operating support; $4,500 to the Providence Department of Art, Culture & Tourism, to help support the Black Rep’s Sound Session ’08 music festival; $2,500 to the Providence Festival of New Latin American Cinema; $2,000 to Gallery Night Providence Inc. to support its celebrity guided tours; and $1,500 to AIDS Project Rhode Island, for its “Positively Aware” arts and outreach effort.

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The recipients were selected from 288 applications, and total funding requests of nearly $2.26 million. The large pool of applicants was praised by Randall Rosenbaum, RISCA’s director, in a statement today.

“The arts are an important part of the life of every Rhode Islander,” Rosenbaum said, “and our mission is to see that every Rhode Islander has access to the best our state has to offer, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay. Through these grants, we have supported activity in practically every part of the state, where the arts contribute to the quality of life, the education of our young and the vitality of our economy.”

The R.I. State Council on the Arts, established in 1967, is charged by the state legislature with encouraging public interest and participation in the arts. RISCA is supported by state appropriations from the R.I. General Assembly and federal grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information, including the full list of grant recipients, visit www.arts.ri.gov.