Updated March 26 at 6:25pm

NEA grants $218K to 6 local arts organizations


WASHINGTON – The National Endowment of the Arts has awarded a total $218,000 in grants to six local arts organizations, Rhode Island lawmakers announced Monday.

The funding, which is part of $23.3 million in grants issued nationwide, will support the arts community and organizations that offer arts education to Ocean State residents, according to a release.

“This federal funding will help support local artists and bolster economic development and education through the arts,” Sen. Jack Reed said in a statement. “By combining federal grants with state and local funds and private donations, we are expanding opportunities for our youth and ensuring that all Rhode Islanders have access to the arts.”

The Alliance of Artistic Communities in Providence will receive a $75,000 grant from the NEA to support the research and publication of Artists Communities: Assessing Impact. The study will examine the role residencies play for artists and communities. When combined with workshops and training activities, the project is projected to benefit as many as 6,500 Rhode Island artists.

Providence-based FirstWorks will receive $45,000 to support the Art Sparks inaugural performance and education series, which will present Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz, the Joffrey Ballet and the Kronos Quartet in a series of performances and activities. According to a release, Art Sparks is projected to serve roughly 10,000 adults and youth in three underserved Rhode Island communities.

Providence City Arts for Youth Inc. will receive $35,000 to help support year-round afterschool and summer arts learning, which offers urban youth time to practice and create in studios with professional artist mentors in a variety of disciplines.

The Trinity Repertory Co. is slated to receive $25,000 from the NEA to support the development and premiere of Jackie Sibblies' new play, Social Creatures. The production is expected to be seen by an audience of 8,250 at Providence’s Dowling Theater.

According to the release, “the play examines ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, using dark humor and extreme circumstances to examine the extent to which humans are defined by their environment and social connections.”

Providence’s New Urban Arts will receive $20,000 to support the Youth Mentorship in the Arts program and the Summer Art Inquiry program for teens.

Lastly, the Woonsocket-based RiverzEdge Arts Project Inc. is slated to receive $18,000 from the NEA to support the Studio Arts and Enterprise Project. In the project, students work with master teaching artists while being paid stipends to create client portfolios and community works.

“The Rhode Island arts community enhances the quality of life in our state, and contributes greatly to our local economy,” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse said in a statement. “These grants will support local arts organizations and help art education programs continue to grow. The recipients contribute in important ways to our state, and I pledge to keep fighting for continued funding for our outstanding arts community.”


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