View the report here or click here to download the PDF.
The 2021 report of the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities showcases how the humanities build community and knit together the fabric of society. The potential for the humanities to improve civic health is detailed in the Council’s recent report Culture Is Key: Strengthening Rhode Island’s Civic Health Through Cultural Participation, available on our website. Now, the Council is excited to undertake the state’s first-ever Civic Health Index. As our nation, state, and communities continue to grapple with division, change, and uncertainty, knowing who we are and the diversity of perspectives and experiences in Rhode Island is an important step on the path to improving civic health.
Through the energy and commitment of the Council’s staff and board, the Council distributed federal relief funds through a record-breaking number of grants to humanities organizations as they continued to weather the pandemic. In 2021, the Council awarded 112 grants totaling over $760,000. With the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, we created the RI Culture, Humanities and Arts Grant Program (RI CHARG) jointly distributing nearly $1 million in relief funds, centering equity and access throughout the application and decision-making process.
In the midst of deepening political polarization that placed elections at the center of national discourse, the Council’s Why It Matters initiative spotlighted the quest for civic participation in history and the current moment. The Celebration of the Humanities again was virtual and for the first time, featured a discussion among our honorees about what inspires them to engage Rhode Islanders through culture and history. Rhode Tour continues to feature new, inviting explorations. One of the year’s bright spots was the Rhode Island Foundation award to the RI Expansion Arts community, presented at the Foundation’s virtual annual meeting.
The Humanities Council is able to do all this through a dynamic combination of support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, individuals who devote their philanthropy to the humanities, and businesses, foundations, and organizations that recognize the value of the humanities for a strong democracy and rich culture.
Thank you for joining us.
Elizabeth Francis, Executive Director