Funding expands assistance reach to state’s more vulnerable and hardest-hit organizations
September 20, 2021– Some 121 RI culture, humanities and arts nonprofits 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:
- 95% are small to midsize and/or Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) centered organizations;
- 65% are organizations based outside the city of Providence; and
- More than 25% are first-time grantees.
The Councils designed the RI CHARG program to help RI’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 supporting small- to mid-size organizations, the funding priorities were to support BIPOC centered organizations and nonprofits with annual budgets under $500,000.
“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,” Governor 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.”
The Rhode Island Council for the Humanities seeds, supports, and strengthens public history, cultural heritage, civic education, and community engagement by and for all Rhode Islanders. As the only dedicated source of funding for public humanities in Rhode Island, we are proud to support museums, libraries, historic sites, schools, preservation and historical societies, community and cultural organizations, individual researchers and documentary filmmakers to bring Rhode Island’s stories to life and to amplify the state’s many diverse voices. A private nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, the Humanities Council is supported by federal funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities as well as by individuals, corporations, and foundations. Visit www.rihumanities.org for more information.
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 www.arts.ri.gov for more information.