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Rhode Island’s arts, culture to benefit from federal investment

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(The Center Square) – Arts and cultural activities in Rhode Island are seeing new investments.

The R.I. State Council on the Arts awarded $828,328 to 138 entities throughout the state, Gov. Dan McKee said. The taxpayer funding is being directed to arts and culture organizations, artists, and schools.

According to a release, grants will support collaborations with healthcare, education, economic development, and veterans. The funding is supported through appropriations from the General Assembly and uses federal dollars from the National Endowment for the Arts.

“On behalf of the State of Rhode Island, congratulations to our State’s Arts Council for all of the thorough work to provide key investments in arts programming, an important sector in the lives of many Rhode Islanders,” McKee said in a statement. “The grants being announced, in addition to continuing to ensure R.I.’s reputation nationally as an arts and cultural destination, are a reminder that the arts bring audiences to our town and city centers and help fill our restaurants and shops, as well as educate our young people.”

Organizations receiving grants, according to a release, include Capeverdean American Community Development, which will use funding to host four eight-week youth art classes in Pawtucket, and Farm Fresh Rhode Island, which will use funds to host a four-concert outdoor series at Armory Park Farmers Market.

In Riverside at Hattie Ide Chaffee Home, residents and staff will be offered intergenerational arts programming. Brown University medical students, according to a release, will participate in weekly movement, drama, and enrichment activities designed to increase positive social interactions while improving mood, strength, and mobility.

“We are so fortunate to have a strong and vibrant arts and cultural economy, generating nearly 17,000 jobs accounting for 3.2% of the state’s economy, according to the Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account (ACPSA),” Lynne McCormack, executive director of the RISCA, said in a statement. “The grants support opportunities for us to come together to celebrate, learn and connect. “The state’s arts community is still working to recover from the pandemic. And, while this is challenging, it is inspiring to see how our artists and organizations are partnering to share their innovative thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills with other sectors.”

According to a release, funding is also being directed to LitArts RI to offer a series on narrative arts in healthcare for patients and caregivers and Looking Upwards, which will provide inclusive, accessible opportunities to create and exhibit woven tapestries.

Individuals receiving funding include Gregory Ayriyan of Johnston, who will take over music lessons for those living with autism, dyslexia, or other special education needs, according to a release. Marina Ekelova of East Greenwich will offer a Russian cultural art workshop series covering painting nesting dolls in traditional techniques, designing and learning the history of Faberge eggs, and sewing and creating a doll.

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