On Tuesday, March 7th, the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, in partnership with the City of Providence’s Department of Art Culture + Tourism, the Rhode Island Foundation, and the Alliance of Artists Communities, opened the application for the Rhode Island Artist Relief Fund for arts and culture workers. Over the past three and a half weeks, we have received over 750 applications from people working in the arts across our state. On Friday, May 1st, we are temporarily closing applications to the fund.
The fund was initially seeded with $150,000 from the Rhode Island Foundation, New England Foundation for the Arts, and Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. Since launching the fund has received over $65,000 in private contributions. Together, we have awarded 418 small grants totaling $206,635.
These grants have supported artists across our state be able to afford their rent, utilities, health insurance, food, and other basic necessities, a huge need as other financial supports enacted at a federal and state level either did not extend to all freelancers and sole proprietors or there were delays or insurmountable barriers to access.
The fund’s partners understand the need is great and do not want artists and arts professionals spending their time and labor assembling requests when we know that we do not currently have available funds to grant.
We are committed to you. We know the value of your skills and talents, especially at this most challenging time. We will continue leveraging our platforms and engaging our networks to raise relief support and increase this fund. We will work to replenish available money, and hope to re-open applications in a few weeks.
If you have the means, we encourage you to donate to the Rhode Island Artist Relief Fund at https://www.artistcommunities.org/arf.