Photo courtesy of PPAC

Providence, RIThe Community Outreach Committee of the Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC) is pleased to announce that applications for the ARTS Scholarships 2021 program will be available on Thursday, January 14, 2021; applications will then be accepted until Friday, February 26, 2021 at 4PM. Guidelines in English and Spanish and applications will be available at This year’s program will mark 25 years and celebrate awarding a total of 700 arts scholarships since its inception in 1996.

The ARTS Scholarships 2021 program, sponsored by The Textron Charitable Trust and the PPAC Annual Fund Donors with support from WPRI 12, awards up to $500 in financial assistance to each of the 30 talented Rhode Island students selected as recipients.  Qualified students must be aged 11 – 14 by June 1, 2021 and reside in and attend school in Rhode Island. These scholarships offer young artists an opportunity to participate in local summer arts education programs that will broaden each student’s experience in their chosen area of study.

“We are very grateful to the Ragosta Family for their donation this year of the Jo-Ann Ragosta Memorial Scholarship,” said Cynthia Goldsmith, Director of Special Projects / Assistant to the President. “Jo-Ann served on the PPAC Board of Directors from 1998 until her passing in September of 2020 and was Chairperson of PPAC’s Community Outreach Committee.  Her passion to assist talented young artists in the Rhode Island school community was constant, and her guidance and support are missed by all of us at PPAC.”

Beginning Thursday, January 14, 2021, links to ARTS Scholarships applications and guidelines will be available online at  To ensure the safety of applicants and PPAC staff at this time, applications and supporting materials can only be submitted electronically via Google forms and OneDrive portal links posted on PPAC’s website.  No hard copies of applications or original artwork will be accepted. All applications and supporting materials must be submitted electronically no later than 4P on Friday, February 26, 2021.  For more information, please visit or call Cynthia Goldsmith at (401) 574-3105.

In 1996, with a portion of the proceeds from the First Annual Greater Providence Gospel Fest (a production of the Providence Performing Arts Center which featured local, volunteer gospel choirs), the PPAC Marketing Department, working in partnership with the Community Outreach Committee, created the ARTS Scholarships program. This scholarship fund has been earmarked to assist students with an interest in studying the arts.

“The talents and interests of our scholarship recipients must be encouraged and developed as they begin to explore their individual potential,” said P.J. Prokop, PPAC Director of Marketing. “When we began the ARTS Scholarships program 25 years ago, we could not have foreseen its impact and success in supporting arts education in our state – as of spring 2021, we will have awarded 700 scholarships.”

Previous scholarship winners have attended summer programs at The Rhode Island School of Design, University of Rhode Island String Camp, Festival Ballet Providence, Mount Saint Charles Academy, Newport Art Museum, Next Stop Broadway®, The Rhode Island Philharmonic Music School, Rhode Island Latino Arts, among others.

The Community Outreach Committee is a committee of the Providence Performing Arts Center’s Board of Directors and is comprised of PPAC Directors, Rhode Island educators, artists, and community leaders with an interest in the arts and youth.  The Committee’s mission includes developing arts education opportunities for Rhode Island’s young people and making the Providence Performing Arts Center accessible to Rhode Island’s diverse populations. This Committee oversees the ARTS Scholarships program.

Ken Abrams

Lifestyle Editor Ken Abrams writes about music and more for What'sUpNewp, Providence Monthly, SO RI, and The Bay. He DJ's "The Kingston Coffeehouse" Tuesday nights, 6-9 PM on WRIU 90.3 FM.