Rhode Island gets $750K to help arts recover from pandemic

The RI Philharmonic Orchestra in a socially distanced performance before a limited audience at The Vets Auditorium in Providence March 20, 2021. Photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts is getting more than $750,000 in federal coronavirus relief funding to help arts-related small businesses, artists, and arts and culture organizations recover from the pandemic, officials said Thursday.

The council’s staff during the next several weeks will review federal guidance as it determines how these funds can best be used to support the recovery of one a key economic sector.

“Rhode Island artists, arts and culture organizations, arts educators and the entire community were hard hit by the pandemic and these funds will assist in the difficult work of rebuilding the arts economically, educationally and culturally,” Randall Rosenbaum, executive director of RISCA, said in a statement.

Rhode Island’s arts sector contributed $2 billion to the state economy and supported almost 18,000 jobs before the pandemic.

The funding from the National Endowment for the Arts is the first round of federal funding through the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan passed last month.



University of Rhode Island students graduating this spring will now be allowed to invite two guests to commencement ceremonies, the school said.

The school in the announcement Wednesday said the decision was made in line with the state’s easing of coronavirus restrictions on outdoor gatherings.

All graduates and guests must have tickets to enter Meade Stadium for any commencement activity from May 21-23. Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test will not be required for entrance to the stadium, but all attendees must wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines, the school said.

More details are coming in the near future, the school said.