The Rhode Island Foundation is offering Newport County libraries, schools, municipal agencies and nonprofit groups grants of up to $10,000 to fund proposals that bring residents together as a community. The deadline to apply is March 31.

“We believe that community is created at the intersection of people, places, and traditions. Our goal is to make unique and important things happen that will enliven their communities,” said Jessica David, the Foundation’s senior vice president of strategy and community investments.

Potential uses include improvements to parks and other public spaces, the creative use of art in public spaces and staging programming that invites people to experience community in public spaces.

Priority will be given to proposals that include community support such as matching grants, the participation of volunteers and donated space or other forms of in-kind contributions.

This is the second consecutive year the Foundation has offered the Community Grants program. In 2016, the organization awarded grants to build bike lanes, design walking tours, plant community gardens and install public artwork and historical markers among other projects.

Last year’s recipients include the Preservation Society of Newport County, which received $12,510 to offer programs promoting the “Paradise Valley” area of Middletown;  the Town of Portsmouth, which was awarded $10,000 to create a dog park in Melville Park; and the Aquidneck Community Table, which received $12,000 to create the first community garden in Newport.

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. In 2016, the Foundation awarded a record $45 million in grants to organizations addressing the state’s most pressing issues and needs of diverse communities. Through leadership, fundraising and grantmaking activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential. For more information about the Community Grants program, visit

Information included in this story was provided by the Rhode Island Foundation.

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).