Hasbro Employees Support Rhode Island Philharmonic Student Scholarships

The Providence Business News profiled a unique partnership between GCRI member Hasbro employees and music students at the Rhode Island Philharmonic Music School.  Members of Hasbro’s Music Matters Employee Network teamed with the Philharmonic’s students for a benefit concert and raised $2,000 for scholarships for the program.

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Neighborworks Blackstone River Valley Hosts Concert in the Park Program

After learning about the Levitt Foundation’s AMP Your City grant program in the GCRI nonprofit newsletter, Neighborworks Blackstone River Valley applied for, and received Levitt funding to offer a summer full of free outdoor concerts.

Said Meghan Rego, Director of Resource Development and Communications at Neighborworks, “Thanks [to GCRI] for including it in the newsletter so that we knew of the opportunity and were able to apply.  Woonsocket is a buzz about [the] music already; this grant has been an incredible community building tool.”

The goal of the concert series is to reinvigorate the scenic and underused River Island Art Park, “drawing neighbors back into the once bustling public square at the heart of the city to enjoy free and accessible art, serving as both a cultural gathering center where community ties are strengthened and an economic catalyst to the surrounding area.”  The programming builds on Creative Placemaking funding that Neighborworks received from LISC RI, a GCRI member.

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Congratulations to Neighborworks, and please remember to share your RFP’s with GCRI so we can help get the word out through GCRI CONNECT, our nonprofit newsletter.

RI Council for the Humanities Hosts NEA, NEH Leaders for Cultural Conversation; Announces Grants

GCRI Member RI Council for the Humanities hosted A Cultural Conversation with Jane Chu of the National Endowment for the Arts and Karen Kenton of the National Endowment for the the Humanities, as well as all of Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation.  Over 300 community members attended the session, which took place at Trinity Repertory Theater.

RICH also announced a total of $136,429 in new grants to 14 humanities initiatives across the state.  The announcement ceremony, attended by over 50 representatives from civic and cultural organizations, recognized Rhode Island’s strong humanities community and the role the humanities play in civic and community engagement.

Grantees included New Urban Arts, Manton Avenue Project, newportFILM, RISD Museum, South County History Center, Rhode Island Latino Arts, Little Compton Historical Society, Providence Preservation Society and Stages of Freedom for the Public Project category.  In the Documentary film category, grants were awarded to Center for Independent Documentary, Rhode Island PBS and the Rhode Island Historical Society, while Meeting Street and Pushed Learning and Media/New Urban Arts received grants in the K-12 Civic Education category.

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Rhode Island Council for the Humanities Announces Grants, Kicks Off 2018 Reading Across Rhode Island

Rhode Island Council for the Humanities Announces Mini Grants, Kicks Off 2018 Reading Across Rhode Island

The Rhode Island Council for the Humanities (RICH) has announced its 2018 mini grant awardees for public humanities projects.  Public project recipients include Pawtucket School Department, for development and implementation of a middle school action-civics curriculum at Goff Middle School in Pawtucket;  Southside Cultural Center of Rhode Island, for an annual event in Providence celebrating Langston Hughes’ poetic works and contributions to American art and culture; and School One, for the second year of a statewide creative writing competition for Rhode Island students in grades 7-12.

Evan Villari was awarded a documentary mini grant to support the research phase of a documentary film exploring the creation of the Scituate Reservoir in the early 20th Century and its current role as Rhode Island’s largest freshwater resource, and Raymond Two Hawks Watson was awarded an individual research mini grant to support research exploring seven places of aboriginal cultural heritage located within the city limits of Providence.

In addition, RICH announced the Reading Across Rhode Island, Rhode Island’s One Book, One State community reading program kicked off its 16th year with its 2018 selection, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. Reading Across Rhode Island is a program of the Rhode Island Center for the Book at the RICH, made possible through a collaboration of librarians, teachers, book group leaders and readers from across the state. The 2018 program runs from January through May with readers in Rhode Island classrooms, libraries, community centers, bookstores and book groups invited to join discussions and participate in local community events such as lectures, exhibits and dramatic interpretations centered on this year’s selection.

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Rhode Island Council for the Humanities Launches New Rhode Tour

Rhode Island Council for the Humanities Launches New Rhode Tour

Rhode Island Council for the Humanities (RICH), a GCRI member, continues expanding its “Rhode Tour” app and website that shares stories of local history, and provides thematic tours of significant sites throughout the state.  A joint initiative of RICH, Brown University’s John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage, and the Rhode Island Historical Society, tours on the app include Black history, the culinary roots of the state’s food evolution, and forts used during the Revolutionary War. Some of the stories are about current landmarks, and some describe—in famous Rhode Island parlance—where or what a place used to be.

RICH will be launching the latest tour, Industrial Heritage Along the Woonasquatucket, at a Humanities Happy Hour on Thursday, November 16.  Jane Gerdard, historian and content developer for the Industrial Heritage Rhode Tour and Howie Sneider, Executive Director of The Steel Yard will offer brief remarks. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

Download the free Rhode Tour app or visit the website



RI Council for the Humanities Announces Mini-Grants

GCRI Member Rhode Island Council for the Humanities has announced the six recipients of its May public humanities mini-grant cycle.  Each recipient received a $2,000 mini-grant.  Recipients included David H. Wells (Individual Researcher Grant for documentary film project about Annu Palakunnathu Matthew); Adopt a Doctor for a panel discussion of two Black Rhode Island artists; Firstworks for a panel discussion on the storytelling troupe Qyrq Qyz; Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts for the development of an interdisciplinary ArtsLiteracy curriculum; South County History Center for four public events around memorialization in Rhode Island; and West Broadway Neighborhood Association for the development of historic panels of Luongo Square in Providence.





Rhode Island Foundation Awards Almost $500,000 in Place-Based Grants

The Rhode Island Foundation awarded almost a half million dollars in place-based grants this summer, through its Community Grants program and Newport County Fund.

The Community Grants program provided $225,000 in grants to support work that ranges from creating performance spaces and urban farms to restoring playgrounds and historic parks.  The Foundation received nearly 130 proposals; 30 received funding.

“Our grants will create places to gather, build relationships and inspire new collaborations that will strengthen community connections all over Rhode Island, said Neil D. Steinberg, president and CEO of the Foundation.  Description of funded projects

The Foundation also awarded more than $270,000 to dozens of nonprofit organizations serving Newport County residents, through its Newport County Fund (NCF).  The grants will underwrite a host of activities ranging from job readiness training and after-school activities to preventing relationship violence and stocking food pantries.

“From enriching arts and educational opportunities for young people to underwriting critical health and environmental programs, we are proud to work with partners that are improving lives here,” said Neil D. Steinberg, the Foundation’s president and CEO. “We are grateful to the donors who make our support possible and the local men and women who keep us closely connected to the community.”

Established in 2002, the NCF has awarded more than $3.8 million in grants for programs and services for residents of Jamestown, Little Compton, Middletown, Newport, Portsmouth and Tiverton.  The NCF offered grants of up $10,000 in seven key funding areas: arts and culture, basic human needs, children and families, economic security, the environment, healthy lives and housing. In making the funding decisions, the Foundation worked with an advisory committee comprised of Newport County residents.  Description of funded programs

Arts & Culture Funder Resources

NEA Releases Economic Data — Arts are 4.2% of Nation’s Economy

Grantmakers in the Arts Webinar on “Understanding Who Benefits from Our Funding Support”

May 23, 2pm:  With increasing urgency, the field of arts philanthropy is investigating funding inequities and seeking remedies to longstanding practices and policies that have led to them. Using anecdotal and soft evidence to address funding inequities make strategies difficult to develop and outcomes difficult to measure; we understand that to make meaningful progress towards closing funding gaps requires gathering specific data that tell us who our grantees are and who they are serving. Join Beth Tuttle from DataArts; Bronwyn Mauldin from Los Angeles County Arts Commission, a public funder; and Elizabeth Love from Houston Endowment, a private funder, as they discuss their approaches to collecting demographic data on grantees and their audiences.  Register

Grantmakers in the Arts Resource Blog on Responding to the Current Political Climate

Washington Post:  Federal Budget Agreement for FY2017 Maintains Funding for NEA, NEH

New York Times:  NYC Implements New Cultural Funding Formula to Increase Equity

National Association of State Arts Agencies Policy Brief on Government Support of the Arts

Potential Elimination of Arts and Humanities Funding

Potential Elimination of Arts and Humanities Funding

President Donald Trump’s proposed federal budget would eliminate funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities, in addition to numerous other cuts.  In response, GCRI member Rhode Island Council for the Humanities joined with Rhode Island State Council for the Arts to host a series of Cultural Conversations for the state’s cultural organizations and those concerned about the cuts to dialogue with Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation.

Julie Fry, president and CEO of California Humanities, responded to the proposed budget cuts with an op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle, detailing the value of the arts and humanities bring, far beyond their relatively small budgetary cost.  “Their budgets are very small, and together with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (also on the chopping block), they make up only 0.02 percent of the annual federal budget. However, their impact is exponentially large and has garnered bipartisan support across the country for their role in job creation and attracting businesses into communities,” she says.  Read more

For those interested in more information about cultural contributions to issues like economic development, be sure to check out the presentation slides from Wendy Bury’s presentation to the GCRI Roundtable on Collective Impact and Cross-Sector Partnerships this month.  Wendy is the Executive Director of the Southeastern Connecticut Cultural Coalition.

Rhode Island Council for the Humanities Impact Map

Fact vs. Fiction in Government Arts Funding

NEA Arts Funding Report

Study Showing How Arts and Culture Improve Health, Safety and Well Being

Rhode Island Council for the Humanities Kicks Off Reading Program

Reading Across Rhode Island

Rhode Island Council for the Humanities Kicks Off 2017 Reading Across Rhode Island Program

Rhode Island Council for the Humanities (RICH) kicked off its 15th Reading Across Rhode Island, Rhode Island’s only One Book, One State community reading program.  The kick off event featured a panel discussing this year’s book, Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson.  Panelists included Reading Across Rhode Island’s honorary chairs, Judges Judith Colenback Savage and Edward C. Clifton, both retired trial justices of the Rhode Island Superior Court and Distinguished Jurists in Residence at Roger Williams University School of Law.