Over 50 representatives from civic and cultural organizations around Rhode Island gathered Monday at the Southside Cultural Center of Rhode Island as the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities announced a total of $136,429 in new grants to 14 humanities initiatives across the state. The announcement recognized Rhode Island’s strong humanities community and the role the humanities play in civic and community engagement.

“As the Humanities Council celebrates our 45th year of grantmaking, we are delighted to recognize this year’s major grant recipients for the innovative ways their projects engage diverse audiences and provide necessary spaces for community connection, reflection on past and present, and conversation about our collective future,” said Elizabeth Francis, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities in a news release. Awards were announced by the Humanities Council’s Board Chair Touba Ghadessi, PhD, and Grants and Programs Officer Logan Hinderliter.

Among the recipients, Pushed Learning and Media was awarded $10,100 in support of Teacher Training, Curriculum Development, & Academic Support for Teachers and Ethnic Studies Programs. At the Humanities Happy Hour following the Grant Announcement, project directors Eric Axelman and Taylor Lomba discussed their project working with teachers and students in eight schools across the state connecting hip-hop and the humanities to promote civil dialogue.


In support of organizations and projects that enrich and enliven the life of our state through public humanities programs.

  1. New Urban Arts, $12,000 to Scholar and Program Support for Summer Art Internships
  2. Manton Avenue Project, $12,000 to Playwriting as Civic Engagement Series for Young People in Olneyville
  3. newportFILM, $12,000 to newportFILM OUTDOORS 2018
  4. RISD Museum, $5,000 to Program Planning for Designing Innovation: The Gorham Manufacturing Company 1850-1970
  5. South County History Center, $9,480 to Resilient Rhode Island: Disasters & Determination in the Ocean State
  6. Rhode Island Latino Arts, $10,000 to Este es Mi Barrio – Community Walking Tours
  7. Little Compton Historical Society, $12,000 to Remember Me – Little Compton’s 45 Historic Cemeteries
  8. Providence Preservation Society, $12,000 to Sites and Stories Explored through Community Engaged Art and Scholarship
  9. Stages of Freedom, $9,999 to America’s First Black Diva: Sissieretta Jones at 150

In support of documentary films that preserve Rhode Island’s stories and bring its history to life.

  1. Center for Independent Documentary, $5,000 to Unjuried/Uncensored: Making AS220
  2. Rhode Island Public Broadcasting System, $5,000 to The Missing Season: Race and Community in Rhode Island’s Golden Age of Baseball
  3. Rhode Island Historical Society, $12,000 to Triple Decker, A New England Love Story

In support of projects that enhance the humanities components of K-12 education and cultivate the civic leaders of future generations.

  1. Meeting Street, $9,850 to “Be the Change”: The Grace School Public Policy Initiative
  2. Pushed Learning and Media/New Urban Arts, $10,100 to Teacher Training, Curriculum Development, & Academic Support for Teachers & Ethnic Studies Programs

The Rhode Island Council for the Humanities seeds, supports, and strengthens public history, cultural heritage, civic education, and community engagement by and for all Rhode Islanders. Since 1973, the Council has provided over $8 million in grants to support more than 650 organizations throughout the state of Rhode Island, as well as independent researchers and filmmakers. For more information, visit http://rihumanities.org/.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.