Rhode Island Expansion Arts Program

The Rhode Island Expansion Arts Program (RIEAP) offers multi-year unrestricted funding and organizational assistance to community-based, culturally diverse; arts and cultural organizations. This collaboration is supported by Rhode Island Foundation, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA), and Rhode Island Humanities.

The program supports small organizations whose missions center on the cultural practices and traditions of Rhode Island’s diverse peoples. RIEAP provides the skills and tools these organizations need to grow as equal partners in the Rhode Island arts and cultural community. Priority is given to organizations led by people of color, newly emerging groups, and those with little history of grant funding. In seeking to build the capacity of these organizations, Rhode Island Expansion Arts Program recognizes the broader role they play in strengthening their communities including cultural preservation, education, and youth development. Funding fosters greater connections across the arts and humanities. It also provides leadership and professional development for a broader network of RIEAP eligible arts and cultural organizations.

  • Andean Cultural Center of Rhode Island

    Preserving the Andean cultures, particularly the Quechua and Aymara cultures: the Quechua and Aymara cultures are an integral part of the Andean cultural heritage.­­­
  • Cultural Society of East Bay

    Our mission is to inspire curiosity for learning and to nurture the next generation of world citizens, embracing diversity with health-conscious lifestyles.
  • Providence World Music 

    Our vision is to honor, celebrate, and enhance our connectedness as humans through music by fostering deep connections with and between various rich Indigenous musical cultures in Rhode Island, especially those of African refugees and immigrants.
  • Raíces Rhode Island Folk & Cultural Association

    The mission of our organization: “Keep alive the customs, traditions and the cultural and folkloric legacy of our ancestors in the new generations; through Colombian folk dance, to the children, youth and adults of the state of Rhode Island.”
  • Rhode Island Black Film Festival

    The Rhode Island Black Film Festival is among those who give a voice and platform to filmmakers, especially those filmmakers of color.  The RIBFF exists to inspire audiences with thought provoking cinematic stories from visionary talents in independent filmmaking, to provide a platform for emerging artists to advance their craft, engage the community and promote the industry leaders.

Alumni Consultant Program brings back culturally sensitive alumni as consultants, so they can share their experiences while mentoring the new cohort. The program created in 2017 has become an incubator and a professional development opportunity for emerging consultants of color. It has played an important role in connecting and strengthening these communities through education, mentorship, cultural preservation, and youth development.  

Youth Development Grants are offered to Rhode Island Expansion Arts Cohort organizations to start or sustain a youth development project or program. Research on arts education and youth development emphasizes that positive outcomes are the result of high-quality programs that engage students in arts and culture. Successful youth development programs teach students of color traditional dance, music, and various art forms, while promoting a healthy creative community. Youth learn more about their cultural identity, build leadership skills, and ensure their traditional heritage lives on for future generations.

Intercultural Collaboration Seed Grants promotes partnerships between the Rhode Island Expansion Arts Cohort and Alumni. These grants bring organizations from different cultures together to create projects that facilitate the sharing of ideas and traditions. The Cohort and Alumni organizations are eligible to apply for this grant that supports creative and innovative partnerships that strengthen Rhode Island’s diverse communities and cultural ecosystem.

Some past partnerships include:

  • ECAS Theater and Korean American Association of RI
  • Laotian Community Center of RI and RI Black Storytellers
  • India Association of RI and Hmong United Association of RI
  • Oasis International and RI Cape Verdean Heritage
  • Puerto Rican Institute for the Arts & Advocacy and Colombian American Cultural Society

For more information contact Elena.Patino@Arts.RI.gov and visit the Rhode Island Expansion Arts Program.