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About Us


Established in 1967, the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) is charged by the state legislature to stimulate public interest and participation in the arts and to serve as the liaison to the state arts community. As set forth in the General Laws of Rhode Island, it is the responsibility of the Arts Council to:

    • Stimulate the growth of the state's arts and the public's participation in them
    • Survey and assess the needs of the arts state-wide, and to make recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly
    • Provide educational opportunities in the arts
    • Actively support and encourage the expansion of the state's cultural resources
    • Promote and protect freedom of artistic expression

To meet its legislative mandate, RISCA administers competitive grants to RI resident artists, non-profit organizations, schools, and units of municipal and state governments. In addition to grants, the Arts Council provides technical assistance, information services, and partnerships.

The governing body of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts is a commission of thirteen members. These Council members are appointed by the Governor to serve three-year terms. In 2003, the Arts Council established a vision for the arts in Rhode Island, as well as a mission for the agency that was in keeping with the original charge of the General Assembly:


We envision a Rhode Island where all people have an opportunity to participate in the arts, where the arts contribute to the social, economic and educational well-being of our state, and where the arts are valued by all Rhode Islanders as an integral part of life.


The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts serves as a catalyst for the advancement, appreciation and promotion of excellence in the arts, by encouraging leadership, participation, and education in the arts for all Rhode Islanders.

Funds for programs and services carried out by RISCA are provided by the Rhode Island State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

Diversity Statement

RISCA embraces a proactive approach to diversity as essential to our role as a state agency and as a promoter and supporter of the arts in Rhode Island.  In building and serving diverse audiences, RISCA affirms and supports the diversity of persons and ideas both within the organization and throughout the state.

RISCA will continue to make every effort, in collaboration with the Governor's Office, toward building an increasingly more diverse Council that is reflective of the communities we serve.  We commit to engaging and understanding the challenges that our constituents face as they strive for greater inclusion and diversity in their projects and programs.

RISCA values and promotes diversity in the arts and seeks to build on its collaboration with organizations and community groups in developing, supporting, and providing programs that both celebrate and serve diverse populations, groups, cultures, and geographic areas into the state.