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Assets for Artists

The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, with additional funding from The US Department of Agriculture and the New England Foundation for the Arts, is proud to once again bring The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art's (MASS MoCA’s) ASSETS FOR ARTISTS program to Rhode Island. Assets for Artists is a matched savings account program offering matching funds of $1,000 ($2000 for artists meeting low-income eligibility criteria), workshops and personal training to improve artists’ financial and professional/business skills. Free training includes a dynamic single-session "bootcamp" on personal finance for artists led by Esther Robinson of ArtHome, a full-day business planning workshop with Sarah Guerrette, senior trainer for Maine-based CDFI Coastal Enterprises, Inc., a Day of Legal Training for Artists by Jim Grace of the Arts and Business Council of Greater Boston, and a day of Arts Marketing taught by Deborah Obalil of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design. Artists who attend all of the Assets for Artists workshops will work with Assets for Artists staff and Blair Benjamin, founder of the Assets for Artists program, to complete an arts business plan and access working capital to finance their arts business. Participating artists will be enrolled in the Assets for Artists programs for two years or until they meet their program goals – whichever comes first.

This year, through a grant from the US Department of Agriculture, Rhode Island’s Assets for Artists program is open specifically to artists living in communities that meet the USDA's definition of "rural". These include Burrillville, Charlestown, Coventry, Cumberland, East Greenwich, Exeter, Foster, Glocester, Hopkinton, Jamestown, Johnston, Little Compton, Narragansett, New Shoreham (Block Island), North Kingstown, North Smithfield, Richmond, Scituate, Smithfield, South Kingstown (including villages of Kingston, Wakefield & Peace Dale), Tiverton, West Greenwich, and Westerly.

Application Deadline: February 20, 2015

Applicants to the Assets for Artists Program may include artists in all disciplines - visual artists, performers, designers, photographers, film-makers, writers, new media artists, artisans, etc. - whose practice would greatly benefit from the opportunity to receive working capital funds and improve their financial and business management skills to make valuable investments aimed at growing their creative enterprises. Applicants should be motivated, willing and able to invest in their arts businesses and focused in their plans. They should also be open to advice and instruction and be ready to engage in active, critical conversations about their arts business. A successful application will convey the feasibility of the artist's business - including the applicant's relevant skills and revenue generated through their artwork thus far. Applicants must be entrepreneurial, with a desire to grow their arts business.

To apply for RISCA's 2015 Assets for Artists Program, complete the online application. (If you have never applied for a grant or Fellowship from RISCA before, you will create a profile with a username and password in our online system to access the application). 

Application requirements:

1) Certify eligibility, including residency in a specified rural Rhode Island town

2) Provide basic personal financial information

3) Describe your arts business and your vision and goals for that business

4) Upload a resume or CV (attached as a word doc or pdf) and provide a current bio

5) Upload artistic support materials as jpegs or as website links


For questions about the Assets for Artists Program, email Briana Halpin, Program Associate, Assets for Artists/MASS MoCA: bhalpin@massmoca.org. For questions about completing the online application, email Cristina DiChiera, Director of Artists Programs for RISCA: cristina.dichiera@arts.ri.gov

The Assets for Artists program is a partnership of MassMoCA, The Midas Collaborative, and ArtHome. The 2015 Assets for Artists program is brought to Rhode Island through a partnership between the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts and The US Department of Agriculture with additional program support from the New England Foundation for the Arts.