Governor Dan McKee, the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) and the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission (RIHPHC) jointly announced today the recipients of 24 State Cultural Facilities Grants and 18 State Preservation Grants.

Together, the projects represent some $2.28 million from RISCA and more than $1.18 million from RIHPHC for capital preservation work at public and nonprofit arts and performance facilities, museums, cultural arts centers and historic sites throughout the state.

“Rhode Island is rich in history, arts, and culture, which play a significant role in our economy in every city and town,” said Governor McKee. “Through this funding, our state will continue to be a leader nationally in historic preservation, and arts and culture. On behalf of the State of Rhode Island, our congratulations to these organizations, and thank you to RISCA and RIHPHC for their work to improve the quality of life in our State.”

“Rhode Island is recognized nationally as a leader in historic preservation and the arts,” said Jeffrey Emidy, Interim Executive Director of the RIHPHC. “These state grants are investments that build on our strengths.”

“Rhode Islanders recognized the significance of these investments in their community and their importance to our state’s economy,” said Faye Zuckerman, RISCA’s Director of Communication. “Our museums, cultural arts centers and performance spaces, which are open to the public, will receive the capital improvements they badly need.”

In March 2021, Rhode Island voters passed the Cultural Arts and State Preservation Grants Programs ballot measure, which authorized the state to allocate $7 million in funding for arts, culture and historic facilities. Of the $7 million, $2 million was appropriated to RISCA for competitive grants while $1 million went to RIHPHC to fund grants for capital improvements to key historic facilities. Carryover funds from the 2014 $30 million ballot measure totaling $460,930 were included in the grants being distributed. Both programs require grantees to secure matching funds for their projects.

Five of the 18 State Preservation Grant recipients are based in Newport County, including Historic New England/Watson Farm Barn, La Farge Restoration Fund, Fort Adams Trust, The Preservation Society of Newport County/The Elms, and Newport Restoration Foundation/Vernon House.

For a listing of State Cultural Facilities Grants, click here or see below.

Four of the 24 State Facilities Grant Program Awardees were located in Newport County, including The Newport Art Museum, Island Moving Company, Newport Performing Arts Center, and La Farge Restoration Fund.

For more on HPHC’s State Preservation Grants, visit or view below.

Organization/SiteTownGrant amount
Herreshoff Marine MuseumBristol$112,000
Linden PlaceBristol$28,200
City of Central Falls/Cogswell TowerCentral Falls$150,000
Historic Metcalf-Franklin Farm Preservation AssociationCumberland$75,000
East Providence Historical SocietyEast Providence$26,825
Foster Preservation Society/Blacksmith ShopFoster$11,900
Historic New England/Watson Farm BarnJamestown$69,000
La Farge Restoration FundNewport$150,000
Fort Adams TrustNewport$122,500
The Preservation Society of Newport County/The ElmsNewport$74,250
Newport Restoration Foundation/Vernon HouseNewport$30,000
Pawtucket Public LibraryPawtucket$58,100
City of Providence/Museum of Natural History and PlanetariumProvidence$88,500
Rhode Island Historical Society/John Brown HouseProvidence$48,000
The Steel YardProvidence$36,400
Scituate Preservation SocietyScituate$9,900
South County History SocietySouth Kingstown$42,075
Clouds Hill Victorian House MuseumWarwick$50,000
TOTAL12 towns$1,182,650

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 -

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 and 401-662-1653.