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The R.I. State Council on the Arts (RISCA) and the R.I. Council for the Humanities have partnered to celebrate Arts and Humanities Month in October. The councils will host programs that explore how arts, culture and the humanities build a vibrant future through community, education, the economy, the environment, and public and civic health.

This October’s theme is Culture Builds the Future.

In addition to programming and events throughout the month, RISCA and the Humanities Council will also share new tools and resources that will demonstrate how arts, culture and the humanities strengthen our communities. This will include RISCA’s new data tool R.I. Arts Education Dashboard, which will be announced at the end of the October. The Humanities Council recently released the first-ever RI Civic Health Index and the Culture is Key: Strengthening Rhode Island’s Civic Health Through Cultural Participation report, both available on the Councils’ website.

On Thursday, Oct. 27, at 11 a.m., RISCA and the Humanities Council will conclude Arts and Humanities Month with a virtual speaking program entitled How Culture Builds the Future, featuring awardees of the Rhode Island Culture, Humanities and Arts Recovery Grants (RI CHARG) program, the Councils’ historic collaborative grant program. Additionally, the event will honor Congressman Jim Langevin for his support and commitment to the arts and culture in our state. RSVP is required.

“As we move into the uncharted territory of a post-Covid world we need innovative solutions and creative empathy to solve new problems and address challenges that have been with us for generations. When arts and culture are employed to create social connection, drive economic opportunity, and create new visions for the future, we get results that are human centered, inspiring, complex and joyful,” said Lynne McCormack, Executive Director of RISCA. “And, when we are intentional about using artistic practices in systems that may no longer be relevant, we can begin to heal and repair injustice. It is wonderful to celebrate the contributions R.I. artists and culture bearers make to our state’s economy and civic life during the month of October.”

“When RISCA and the Humanities Council worked together to make relief grants last year, we wanted to catalyze the ability of cultural organizations to thrive as well as survive the pandemic. We witnessed so much resilience, adaptation and innovation throughout the state. We are inspired to celebrate Arts and Humanities Month in this spirit and to showcase how culture builds the future. We hope you engage with the many activities going on throughout the month,” said Elizabeth Francis, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities.

Interested in joining the Councils in celebrating Arts and Humanities Month? In addition to participating in the programs listed below, you can take part in arts, cultural and humanities-focused events that are meaningful to you and your community. Spread the word by communicating the importance of arts and culture to friends, family, neighbors and community leaders.

Here are the programs RISCA and the Humanities Council have announced.

–Now until Wednesday, October 26: Arts Champion Iona Dobbins – A Collection of Rhode Island Art. Gallery Reception: Friday, Sept. 30, 5-7 p.m. Atrium Gallery at One Capitol Hill on the main floor of the state’s Administration Building in Providence. Iona Dobbins’ Collection features a beautiful arrangement of drawings, paintings, etchings, monotype, a quilt, along with ceramic, metal, blown and fused glass sculptural pieces. Free and open to the public. Iona Dobbins was a former Executive Director of RISCA.

–Thursday, Oct. 6: PORTALES: Reimagining the Future – Dance Performance & Story Circle, 6 -9 p.m., at the WaterFire Arts Center in Providence, is an exhibit that will be accompanied by a dance performance by Sokeo Ros and story circle held by Anjel Newmann. The story circle is supported in part by a partnership with the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities and a project grant from RISCA.

–Friday, Oct. 14: Coffee Hour presentation about upcoming public art commissions on URI Narragansett Bay Campus, 10-11 a.m., at the URI Narragansett Bay Campus at the OSEC building, presented by the RISCA Public Art Program.

–Tuesday, Oct. 18: In Conversation: Arts and Health with Melody Gamba, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., at Southside Cultural Center, presented by the Arts and Health Network, a partnership between RISCA and RI Department of Health. Featured in this program is Health and Human Services Artist in Residence Melody Gamba, a dance artist, educator, licensed mental health counselor and board-certified dance-movement. Free. Pre-registration required via Eventbrite.

–Monday, Oct. 24: Official Launch of the Rhode Island Arts Education Data Dashboard presented by RISCA. Prepared by Quadrant Research in partnership with the Arts Education Data Project, this dashboard allows users to view arts education data in Rhode Island’s K-12 public and public charter schools. In development for more than a year, this dashboard was built analyzing data publicly available from the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) and in partnership with DataSpark at the University of Rhode Island.

National Arts and Humanities Month (NAHM) is a nationwide collective recognition of the importance of culture in America. NAHM was launched more than 30 years ago by Americans for the Arts (AFTA) to raise public awareness about the critical role arts and humanities play in our communities.

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