For most of our grant programs, grant awards are determined by a panel of Rhode Island residents with an expertise in arts and culture. Some grant programs incorporate out of state panelists. These programs are: General Operating Support for Organizations, General Operating Support for Artists, and Folk Arts Fellowships & Apprenticeships.

RISCA staff members are not involved in any decision-making. Typically, the panel is comprised of three to five individuals who review less than 30 applications.

When selecting our panelists, we consider age, gender, disability, sexual orientation, geography, discipline of arts experience, relationship to arts and culture (e.g., being an artist, arts administrator or arts enthusiast) and other factors. Per our strategic plan, a minimum of two panelists must be BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, or people of color). Some grant programs require at least one panelist to be a practicing artist. The programs are: General Operating Support for Organizations, Project Grants for Organizations, Make Art Grant, and Community Engaged Project Grants.

A panelist can serve once per year for two years. Then, they must take a year off. Panelists cannot serve in the same grant program during the two-year period. This ensures a changing and diverse array of individuals evaluating our grant applications and guarantees that panels are different every grant cycle.

As a panelist, you will have the opportunity to learn more about our granting process, grant writing in general, and network with other community members interested in arts and culture.

  • Panelists receive the applications they are to review after they complete a two-part panel training: The first part focuses on implicit bias; the second part focuses on the logistics of being a panelist, including a review of the applications and rubrics.
  • Panelists receive a stipend of $350 for their time and expertise. They typically have four to six weeks to review applications and score each application prior to their in-person panel meeting. We estimate that the panelists spend approximately 30 minutes reading and scoring each application. If you are interested in serving on a grant panel, fill out this form.