Arts grant program offering $30M in funding on ballot this year

Ten arts organizations in Rhode Island could receive as much as $30 million in grant funding if voters approve the state’s $35 million Creative and Cultural Economy bond this November. More

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Arts grant program offering $30M in funding on ballot this year

COURTESY UNITED THEATRE
TEN ORGANIZATIONS COULD receive up to $30 million in arts funding under a bond referendum to be on the ballot this November, including United Theatre in Westerly, pictured above, which is owned by the Westerly Land Trust.
Posted 7/1/14

WESTERLY – Ten arts organizations in Rhode Island could receive as much as $30 million in grant funding if voters approve the state’s $35 million Creative and Cultural Economy bond this November.

The Cultural Arts and the Economy Grant program is included within the bond, which will appear as “Budget Article 5, Question 2” on the ballot, according to state documents.

If the bond referendum passes, the R.I. Commerce Corporation will administer the arts funding awards in collaboration with the R.I. State Council on the Arts.

The 10 arts organizations and the funding sought include:

  • Trinity Repertory Company: $4,647,750 for performance facilities, educational instruction, production and administration.

  • Rhode Island Philharmonic: $2,390,250 for music teaching, learning, performance and administration.

  • Newport Performing Arts Center: $4,216,800 for use of the opera house in Newport as a multicultural performing arts and educational facility.

  • United Theatre/Westerly Land Trust: $2,369,440 for use of the theater for performing arts, fine arts, arts instruction and other uses.

  • The Chorus of Westerly: $1,054,200 for teaching and rehearsal space, administrative space and community function space.

  • The Stadium Theater Conservatory in Woonsocket: $2,108,400 for set construction; costuming; rehearsal, voice, acting and dance studios; and administrative spaces.

  • 2nd Story Theater: $1,054,200 for performance venues in Warren, including concessions, studio/classroom space, set construction shop and administrative offices.

  • AS220: $2,108,400 for performing arts, dance studio, youth and adult education, gallery and artist live/work space.

  • WaterFire Providence: $3,162,600 to develop a 27,000-square-foot historic warehouse in the Valley/Olneyville neighborhood into a headquarters, multi-use community arts center, visitor center, education center, and arts and creative industries incubator.

RISCA will award an additional $6.9 million in matching funds based on need and other criteria to nonprofit cultural organizations which lease or own their performance space, and use some of the funding for RISCA’s expenses in administering the program.

One of the potential award recipients, the Westerly Land Trust purchased the United Theatre on Feb. 3, 2006, and the theater has applied for nonprofit status.

“The vision of the United Theatre is not only to become a premier host of artistic programming in the region but also, and more importantly, to position ourselves as leaders in arts education across our wider community,” said Simon Holt, the theater’s executive director. “Our aim is to create a synergy between local business and the arts that will position the town of Westerly as a northeast arts and culture destination.”

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