The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) announced today the appointment of Mollie Flanagan as its new Individual Artist Program Director. Flanagan, a resident of Phoenix, Arizona, will manage the Council’s programs and services for individual artists, including grants to individual artists, professional development and community-building activities.  Within the State system the position is classified as a Senior Research Technician.

In announcing the appointment, Randall Rosenbaum, Executive Director of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, said, “We are delighted to have someone with Mollie’s knowledge and experience take charge of our work supporting our state’s individual artists.”  He went on to say, “Mollie is deeply invested in the success of individual artists and the small businesses and organizations they build around them. We believe her knowledge and experience will help our state’s artists contribute to the economic and cultural life of our state.”  Mollie begins her new job on February 5th.

In accepting this position, Flanagan said “I am excited to work directly with Rhode Island artists to help them develop their creative practices, connect with all of Rhode Island’s residents, and to explore and experiment with alternative business models.” She went on to say that, “as a lover of art, I am eager to explore the rich and diverse culture of my new home and experience the wide variety of art being made in the state.”

And, as a resident of Arizona, Mollie is really looking forward to experiencing seasons for the first time.  She asks that you “please be kind if you see her and she is totally captivated by snow falling or leaves changing.”

Mollie Flanagan recently completed an MFA in Arts Entrepreneurship and Management at Arizona State University with a graduate certificate in Nonprofit Leadership and Management. She was the inaugural Tremaine Fellow in Arts Entrepreneurship, for which she conducted research about arts specific business training across the United States. This research included a national inventory of what training is currently being offered and by whom; three resource guides for artists about free training, asset building, and social impact; what training artist service organizations feel is important to artists’ careers and what business skills the artists themselves feel they need to learn in order to further their professional practice; and research on networking as applied to artists and the arts. Her thesis project focused on creating a new method for developing services or programming for arts organizations and artists within a specific community. To do this, she used an entrepreneurial process to develop services and/or resources for performing arts organizations with budgets of under $300,000 in the Phoenix metro area.  Using the Lean Launchpad method, she worked directly with representatives of Phoenix area organizations to assess their biggest challenges and needs and create a plan for implementing solutions. This method of developing programming can be translated to any specific community, working towards creating education programs and assistance that is based on what artists and residents need and want.

As a consultant, Mollie has worked with arts organizations on crowdfunding campaigns and online fundraising, marketing plans, social media, community engagement and audience development, small donor fundraising, capital campaigns, and board development. Her focus has been supporting and working with small arts organizations and arts businesses. As an artist, Mollie works as a lighting designer, production manager, and stage manager in the performing arts. Her work includes several years as the lighting designer at the Musical Instrument Museum’s music theater, production manager for a touring contemporary dance company based in San Francisco, and working in various capacities on large site specific theater projects.

The 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.

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).