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Federal grants to support 4 RI arts organizations

Latest NEA funds to assist the vital arts economy and post-pandemic revitalization

The RI State Council on the Arts (RISCA) and three arts organizations will receive $929,800 in grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). NEA's fiscal year 2021 partnership agreement grants address priorities in cultural tourism, community revitalization, economic development, education, and health and human services.

The awards will be given to the following organizations: • AS220, $20,000; • Community MusicWorks (aka CMW), $70,000; • FirstWorks, $40,000; • and RISCA, $799,800.

Total: $929,800

RISCA will distribute the federal funds as grants to organizations throughout the state.

"Our arts sector is a key economic driver in our state that continues to face considerable challenges especially as we enter a post-pandemic Rhode Island," Governor Dan McKee said. "On behalf of Rhode Island, thank you to the National Endowment for the Arts for a second award of assistance in less than a month. These are critical investments and are going to help us rebuild and recover better and will allow the arts to continue to play an important role in the lives of Rhode Islanders."

"Support for the arts contributes to thriving communities. I am pleased to help deliver federal funding for local arts organizations and artists to ensure that Rhode Island's creative economy can continue to enrich our state. By combining federal grants with private donations, we can generate economic activity and help arts organizations survive the pandemic and continue to serve audiences going forward," said Senator Reed.

"After a challenging year for the arts, I'm glad this federal funding is coming to Rhode Island through the State Council on the Arts and its partner organizations," said U.S. Senator Whitehouse. "Rhode Island's world-class arts scene is beginning to rev back up in time for summer."

"Rhode Island's local arts community is an important driver of economic growth and an invaluable asset to our state," said Congressman Langevin. "I'm grateful to RISCA for its deep commitment to our world-renowned arts and culture institutions, and I want to congratulate all of the grantees who contribute so much to the Ocean State. Like so many other Rhode Islanders, I look forward to enjoying your work."

"I'm proud to join the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts in announcing this important federal funding today," said U.S. Congressman Cicilline. "When they're given the chance, Rhode Island's arts community can hold its own against anyone else in the world. Their creativity generates millions of dollars in economic activity each year, and this funding will make sure they bounce back stronger than ever before."

"As the country and the arts sector begin to work towards a post-pandemic world, the National Endowment for the Arts is proud to fund the work of our partners," said NEA Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. "These agreements such as the one to RISCA, AS220, CMW and FirstWorks leverage federal funds for regional, state and local impact, reinforcing the network of support that is vital for a healthy arts ecosystem."

"These federal grants support important RI arts organizations, but in addition our federal partners provide funds to the State Arts Council to distribute throughout Rhode Island. This partnership grant directly contributes to our economy, to the education of all Rhode Islanders, and to the quality of life we enjoy in the Ocean State." Randall Rosenbaum, executive director, RISCA, said. "We thank our Congressional delegation and the NEA for once again noting the importance of the arts in our state and investing in our arts and culture economy."

In April, RISCA received $754,100 in the first round of federal funding through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) from the NEA. In February, the NEA announced its first round of recommended awards for fiscal year 2021 of $145,000 divided among seven Providence-based arts organizations.

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, and 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. Visit for more information.