WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen Seth Magaziner and Gabe Amo today announced that ten Rhode Island-based organizations and projects have been awarded a total of $275,000 in grant funding from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to help strengthen and expand the state’s arts and cultural ecosystem.

These funds from the NEA will support a range of ongoing and new projects including educational opportunities for young artists and professional development opportunities; a series of concerts, festivals, and other community engagement activities; museum exhibits; theatrical productions; and other projects that extend the reach of the arts in Rhode Island. Also included in this funding is a Literature Fellowship that will enable a local creative writer to devote more time to writing, research, and career advancement.

“Rhode Islanders understand the power of the arts to strengthen communities, spur economic development, and enrich lives. This funding will help Rhode Island’s vibrant arts community continue to drive and strengthen community connections and economic development across our state,” said Senator Reed, a key member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, which oversees NEA funding. “Last year, I was proud to welcome NEA Chair Jackson to the Ocean State to highlight our talented artists and organizations that are providing key opportunities for Rhode Islanders of all ages to engage in and explore the cultural fabric of our state and nation.”

“Rhode Island’s creative arts scene is second to none,” said Senator Whitehouse.  “This federal funding will support projects that celebrate the cultural diversity of our state, from Black storytelling and poetry to a new Trinity Rep production that tells the stories of Providence’s Latino community.  Some of this funding will also support arts education and youth programming, inspiring the next generation of artists and strengthening our creative and cultural arts community for years to come.”

“This federal funding will help Rhode Islanders express their talent, spur economic development, and enrich communities across the state for generations to come,” said Rep. Seth Magaziner. “By investing in the arts, we’re investing in Rhode Island’s future as a cultural hub and a vibrant place to live and work.”

“Rhode Islanders value and appreciate our state’s vibrant arts and culture scene,” said Congressman Gabe Amo. “Rhode Island’s love for the arts is why I am so excited to see that organizations and projects across our State have received $275,000 in National Endowment for the Arts grant funding. These federal funds will help to ensure that Rhode Island remains a world-class leader in promoting, supporting, and empowering artists and their talents.” 

Today’s announcement by the NEA is the first round of awards for fiscal year 2024. These grants will benefit projects in all 50 states through NEA grant programs including Grants for Arts Projects, Challenge America, Research Grants in the Arts, Research Labs, and Literature Fellowships.

Rhode Island projects and programs funding in this round of awards include:

  • $65,000 for Alliance of Artists Communities to support a professional development program for the artist resident field focused on emergency preparedness and response;
  • $50,000 for Rhode Island School of Design to support the exhibition and related programming for “Nancy Elizabeth Prophet: I Will Not Bend an Inch;”
  • $30,000 for DownCity Design to support a series of free design education programs for youth;
  • $30,000 for Providence College to support the commission of a mural by Trenton Doyle Hancock and related public programming;
  • $25,000 for a Literature Fellowship for Elizabeth Rush Mueller;
  • $25,000 for New Urban Arts to support a free multidisciplinary arts program for students;
  • $15,000 for AS220 to support arts education programming;
  • $15,000 for Trinity Repertory Company to support the world premiere production of La Broa’ (Broad Street) by Orlando Hernández, based on the book Nuestras Raíces by Marta V. Martínez;
  • $10,000 for Rhode Island Black Storytellers to support a festival celebrating Black storytelling and poetry; and
  • $10,000 for Newport String Project to support a series of concerts and community engagement activities.