Rhode Island schools, organizations, community centers and artists were awarded $164,890 in the December 2016 round of grants from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, More than $13,000 of that total was awarded to Newport County Arts Projects.

These grants will go to support arts in education, community-based projects by organizations and individual artist fellowships and projects for the remainder of this fiscal year. Statewide, 68 grants were awarded in response to 235 applications received at RISCA’s October 1 deadline.

Governor Gina Raimondo applauded the recipients of these grants, saying, “Each of these grants is an important investment in jobs and the economy of Rhode Island. We know that the arts contribute significantly to our state’s cultural and economic vitality, and I’m proud of Rhode Island’s role as a national leader in the arts and design.”

“We’re particularly pleased with this round of grant awards,” said Randall Rosenbaum, Executive Director of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. “Programs in arts education and projects that support the work of artists contribute to the economy and vitality of life in communities throughout our state.”

This year to date the State Arts Council has awarded 307 grants totaling $1,165,519 to non-profit organizations, schools, artists and community groups. RISCA funds are matched by businesses, individuals, and earned income. The Council receives its support through an annual appropriation from the Rhode Island General Assembly and from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

Newport County projects supported in the current round of grants include:

Harmony Heritage of Jamestown received $375 to support a women’s chorus that sings four part a cappella harmony in the barbershop style. The chorus will hold 3 a cappella harmony workshops in various public libraries in RI. Participants will learn and experience how the four different voice parts -tenor, lead, baritone, and bass – blend to make a magical sound when the voices “lock and ring”

Rachel Balaban of Middletown received $2,500 to support a hybrid between an experimental dancefilm and an omnibus home workout video, HOME EXERCISES is an exploration of the gestural habits and choreographies of elderly individuals in their homes. This short dance film will have a duration of approximately 20-30 minutes, segmented into 3-5 minute sections featuring elderly individuals or couples, moving in their real homes.

Danielle Genest of Newport received a $1,000 fellowship in choreography.

Newport Public Schools received a $3,000 education project grant, the Newport elementary schools are partnering with Middletown and Portsmouth Schools to integrate dance into the math curriculum for 1st and 2nd grades. Island Moving Co will be in residency at all Aquidneck Island elementary schools with workshops for students and their teachers exploring addition and measuring time through movement lesson plans.

Rebecca Noon of Newport received a $2,500 individual artist project grant for Strange Attractor Theatre that  will create and produce a one-day-only, one-hundred-person original (Greek) choral
performance called “”The Sea Pageant.”” The piece, which will be free for attendees, will be built with Rhode Islanders from many walks of life and artistic disciplines, and occur on First Beach in Newport on Aug 21, 2017 in conjunction with a solar eclipse.

Kim Marie Salerno of Newport received a $2,500 individual artist project grant to support Glass Tree, a fine art installation proposal created by Kim Salerno for the front of the Coleman Center for Creative Studies, the educational facility for the Newport Art Museum. The installation, next to the sidewalk, will serve both students and the general public.

Tiverton Library Foundation received a $1,500 arts access grant to support Ceramic artists Mika Seeger and Peter Geisser, who will engage the community in creating three large ceramic and mosaic murals in the Tiverton Public Library. This project will build community across generations, cultures and socioeconomic groups through direct participation in the arts, and create a lasting reflection of the community.

For a complete list of December grant recipients, as well as a list of all grants awarded by RISCA this year, go to the Arts Council’s web site at www.arts.ri.gov/grants/recent

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).