Natasha Brennan. Photo provided by RISCA

To dovetail with National Arts in Education Week, Sept. 11 – 17, the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) announced that it has added illustrator/printmaker Natasha Brennan, Providence, to its Rhode Island Teaching Artist Roster.

The Roster is a list of teaching artists and arts organizations who have been reviewed by public panels and selected based on their mastery of an artistic discipline, experience and training to work in educational settings. RISCA’s Roster is housed on the New England Foundation of the Arts’ CreativeGround website.

The new addition will be added to the website in the coming days or weeks, according to RISCA. To see the entire Roster, click here.

“This widely used resource taps into a wonderful resource — our community of RI teaching artists,” said Lynne McCormack, Executive Director of RISCA. “Artist-educators provide support, creativity and passion in our classrooms and related arts educational programs. I am proud to welcome Natasha to our Roster, which now numbers nearly 80 arts educators.”

RISCA provided the following background on the new Teaching Roster artist;

Natasha Brennan, based in Providence, is an illustrator and printmaker who focuses on magazines with a twist, called zines, art for children, posters and community-based projects. Currently, Brennan is the artist in residence at the Dirt Palace experimenting with printmaking and quilting. Brennan has worked as a teaching artist for RISD’s Project Open Door, CityArts and Dirt Palace Public Projects, running workshops about printmaking, drawing, activism, building shadow boxes, bookmaking, zines and collage. 

In Brennan’s workshops, students learn how to experiment with different materials, explore new storytelling techniques, and work on exciting and engaging projects. Different approaches to projects by students are always encouraged within classes and workshops. Projects can be tailored and adjusted to fit different age ranges and experiences, even within the same group. Brennan’s projects focus on students’ imaginations, group discussions, games and are sometimes inspired by different community organizations and other local artists that are in their community. 

The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) is a state agency supported by appropriations from the Rhode Island General Assembly and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. RISCA provides grants, technical assistance and staff support to arts organizations and artists, schools, community centers, social service organizations and local governments to bring the arts into the lives of Rhode Islanders.

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.