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PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Cultural and humanities nonprofits in Rhode Island are sharing nearly $1 million in federal coronavirus funding to help them recover from the pandemic, officials said Monday.

The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts and the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities have announced a collaborative partnership to distribute the funds, from the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities.

The grants, called the RI Culture, Humanities and Arts Recovery Grants, are designed to assist nonprofits with general operating support to prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from pandemic-related hardships.

Organizations focused on the Black, Indigenous and people of color population as well as nonprofits with annual budgets under $500,000 will be prioritized.


“The arts, culture and humanities communities are an important economic driver in our state. These funds from the American Rescue Plan, through the National Endowments for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, deliver critical investments in this sector supporting its recovery and full return,” Governor Daniel McKee said in a statement.

“COVID-19 was a blow to every piece of what makes Rhode Island special,” said Senator Jack Reed. “By combining federal grants with private donations, we can generate economic activity and help our state’s cultural sector survive the pandemic, adapt and prepare for the future, and continue to serve audiences going forward.”

“Rhode Island’s arts, culture, and humanities organizations are a key part of what makes our state special and many were hit hard by the pandemic,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. “I’m glad to see the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts and the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities working together to distribute federal funding from the American Rescue Plan to help support this important work.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on Rhode Island’s world class culture and arts scene, but the American Rescue Plan Act is helping our incredible nonprofit sector recover,” said Representative Jim Langevin. “I’m thrilled that this federal grant funding will help our arts and humanities communities respond to the worst impacts of the pandemic and continue growing our economy and enriching the lives of so many Rhode Islanders.”


Elizabeth Francis, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, and Randall Rosenbaum, Executive Director of RISCA, added: “We are excited that the Arts and Humanities Councils have joined forces to greatly expand access to recovery funding in our communities to help culture, humanities and arts nonprofits, including small- to mid-sized and BIPOC-centered organizations, and first-time grantees. Our partnership is a departure from traditional emergency funds as it greatly expands access to grants to some of our state’s most vulnerable and hard-hit culture, humanities and arts organizations.”