Artist Programs Director
I support artists! Including running a number of grant programs for artists, RISCA also works collaboratively to provide professional development workshops for artists with a focus on business training. I also do a fair bit of lowercase "a" advocacy both locally and nationally, working to include artists in more funding and service programs across government and the private sector. And finally, I answer a lot of questions! From taxes to legal issues to general advice, I spend a lot of time connecting artists with knowledge or people. I firmly believe that the arts can and will change the world. And that artists are at the core of this. It sounds silly to say that artists are essential to a strong arts and culture ecosystem, but from a funding and policy perspective the people actually creating and sharing the art are overlooked. So, the way I can best help change the world for the better is by supporting artists to be able to make work and participate in their communities.
Q. What is some of the work you did before you came to RISCA?
A. If it’s behind the scenes in the performing arts, I have probably done it. From experimental shows in warehouses, to the HGTV VIP area at the SuperBowl, to touring contemporary dance, to 300 seat music venues, I’ve worked on it. From running sound (not advisable) to sweeping stages, I’ve done it – but my focus was in lighting design, stage management, and production management. I started to transition to arts administration in about 2014, starting with being the executive director of a small experimental performance group in Phoenix. Since then, I completed an MFA in Arts Entrepreneurship and Management, published research on the professional development needs of artists, and consulted with a number of organizations.
Q. What comprises your artistic practice, current or past?
A. I consider myself a retired artist – my professional work in the performing arts is over, by purposeful and happy choice. Now, I make little things out of cement and sell them at small craft and arts markets. I am also a pretty serious knitter.
Mollie Flanagan (she/her) is the Individual Artists Program Director at RISCA. She manages and oversees the agency’s support for artists, including grants, programs, and services. After a decade long career as a lighting designer, stage manager, and production manager for a wide variety of performing arts, Mollie went to grad school for arts entrepreneurship and management. During grad school, she discovered a love for artist services – supporting individual artists in making art and making a living. She joined the RISCA staff in February 2017, and currently lives by the river in Central Falls. She is now a hobby crafter – knitting, crocheting, and making things out of cement (small planters, mostly).