The Rhode Island Expansion Arts Program would like to wish everyone Happy Holidays as we look forward to the start of the New Year


Congratulations to Angela Bannerman Ankoma
the new Vice President, Director of the Equity Leadership Initiative
at the Rhode Island Foundation

Angela Bannerman Ankoma has been appointed a Vice President of the Rhode Island Foundation. The Providence resident will lead the Equity Leadership Initiative, which is one aspect of the Foundation's broad, 3-year, $8.5 million plan to eliminate inequality and racial disparities and promote inclusion and diversity. Ankoma will also serve as a member of the Foundation’s leadership team.

“Angela will work across and within departments at the Foundation to maximize this effort’s impact, and will recruit and steward a community advisory committee to assist in developing the Equity Leadership Initiative,” said Neil D. Steinberg, president and CEO of the Foundation. “One effort of the Equity Leadership Initiative will be to identify, cultivate, mentor and seek access and opportunity for individuals who identify as Black, Hispanic or Latino, Indigenous and Asian, from across sectors, to help build a pipeline of future leaders in established positions of influence throughout the state.”

Ankoma has nearly 25 years of public policy and health policy experience. Most recently, she was Executive Vice President, Director of Community Investment, at the United Way of R.I., where she served as a member of the executive team and led the organization’s grant-making, public policy, government relations, research and evaluation activities.

“I am pleased to join the Foundation’s team and lead this effort. Community foundations have a rich history of community leadership. I am enthusiastic about the Foundation’s leadership in advancing racial equity by addressing the underlying, long-standing structures and systems that perpetuate racism and injustice. I am excited to support the next generation of industry leaders -bank presidents, hospital CEOs, and leaders in academia and K-12 education; corporate executives, policy-makers, judges and more – who are people of color.” 
- Angela Bannerman Ankoma

For more information click here

Rhode Island Foundation awards $5 million in CARES Act funding to local nonprofits
The grants come as local nonprofits cope with lower revenue and rising demand
for services amid the COVID-19 crisis

The Foundation administered two pools of CARES Act funding -- the Nonprofit Support Fund and the Nonprofit Support for Domestic Violence Victims Fund -- on behalf of the state.

Four million dollars is going to support nonprofits offering new or expanded program services or direct assistance that responds to the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on individuals and communities. Eligible uses of funds are limited to new, direct costs that are incurred in the provision of these services and direct assistance, including increased staffing, equipment, supplies and material. [The full list of Nonprofit Support Fund grant recipients is posted at rifoundation.org/NonprofitSupport.]

For more information click here
The RI State Council on the Arts (RISCA) has awarded close to $1 million in Covid Relief Funds (CRF) to artists, professional arts education associations, and arts and culture organizations. These grants announced today provide badly needed assistance to organizations, artists and arts educators who continue to experience economic hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m immensely proud that we can provide this essential support to artists and nonprofit arts organizations here in Rhode Island. These are difficult times for everyone in the arts sector. The pandemic has closed concert halls, theatres and museums, and put working artists out of work. The ability to pay salaries and help artists pay rent and put food on the table is critical to the lives and livelihoods of these Rhode Islanders, and I’m happy that we are in a position to help.”

In addition to artists, and arts and culture organizations, grant recipients include 11 organizations associated with the Rhode Island Expansion Arts Program (RIEAP) and seven culturally specific nonprofits. RIEAP is a partnership among RISCA, RI Council for the Humanities (RICH) and Rhode Island Foundation to support community-based, culturally diverse arts and cultural organizations.
List of Organizations that received grants:

Current RIEAP Cohort
Sankofa Community Connection, EcoArts USA, Langston Hughes Community Poetry Reading, Korean American Association of Rhode Island

RIEAP Alumni
Puerto Rican Institute for Arts & Advocacy, Eastern Medicine Cultural LLC, Oasis International, India Association of Rhode Island, Cambodian Society of Rhode Island,
RI Cape Verdean Heritage Committee, Quisqueya in Action

Culturally Specific Organizations
Providence Latin American Film Festival, Rhode Island Kung Fu & Lion Dance Club,
Stages of Freedom, Southside Cultural Center, Centro Cultural Andino Inc.,
Mixed Magic, RPM Voices of RI
Rhode Island Council for the Humanities - Grant Opportunity

Why It Matters. This short-term grant opportunity from the Humanities Council is for projects focused on voting, elections, and democratic participation. Why It Matters will support seven grants to RI-based non-profit organizations of $5,000 each. The application deadline is January 11, 2021 by 5:00pm. More information about the opportunity can be found on the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities Website

Background: The national and local elections of 2020 have cast a bright light on the centrality as well as challenges of democratic participation. Election systems, patterns of voting across different communities, access to voting, civic education, partisan divides, movements for social justice, and media representation are all factors for democracy now. How does democracy work in 2020, and why does it matter?

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is supporting Humanities Councils across the country to tap the power of the humanities to meaningfully ask “Why It Matters” — to learn about these issues, place them in wider contexts, and promote reflection, questions, and conversation at a moment when greater understanding is urgent. In Rhode Island, our program will make seven grants of $5,000 each to non-profit organizations to quickly and simply support public engagement with issues connected to voting, elections, and democratic participation. In partnership with the RI Department of State, Why It Matters is part of XIX: Shall Not Be Denied, an established initiative which amplifies humanities projects statewide that explore the legacy of the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote. More details at: www.shallnotbedenied.org.

Why It Matters is especially interested in projects that focus on connecting with audiences who face historic and current barriers to full participation in American democracy, including (but not limited to) young and future voters, people of color, people who speak languages other than English, people in low-income communities, and formerly incarcerated people. To make these efforts as robust as possible, we encourage participating organizations to work with community, individual, and organizational partners.

Applications are due via the Council's grant portal by January 11, 2021 at 5:00pm EST.
Sankofa Community Connection
Sankofa Community Connection is an organization whose mission is to increase pride of place within the African American Community of Newport County. This is done through social gatherings, community discussions on institutional racism and race, and historical education to “reveal, honor and celebrate the cultural heritage of African Americans of early Newport. ”The four-year-old organization is a member and current cohort of the Rhode Island Expansion Art Program
During an outdoor ceremony with guests socially distanced, Sankofa Community Connection officially opened their new headquarters on 2 Broadway in Newport, RI. Sankofa plans to hold an open house when it’s safe to convene. Sankofa Community Connection has inspired change within the community and is often sought out for its expertise in culturally relevant programming, educational materials, and consultant services by community members, schools, and organizations. To learn more about Sankofa Community Connection click here. 



Rhode Island Black Storytellers presents




This much anticipated and highly visible event is the flagship of RIBS programming and reaches a statewide audiences of thousands. Each January for the week of the Martin Luther King Holiday, RIBS tellers, local artists and invited national and international guests bring the best of Black Storytelling to Rhode Island and Southern New England. For an entire week, Rhode Island will experience some of the best cultural arts programming across the state for the 23rd year in a row.

For more information about the event click here
RHODE ISLAND EXPANSION ARTS PROGRAM is supported by a collaboration between Rhode Island Foundation (RIF), the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA), and the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities (RICH), the Rhode Island Expansion Arts Program (RIEAP) offers funding and organizational assistance to community-based, culturally diverse arts and cultural organizations. RIEAP is committed to supporting small organizations whose programs and 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. In seeking to build the capacity of these organizations, the RIEAP recognizes the broader role they play in strengthening their communities including cultural preservation, education, and youth development.
Rhode Island Expansion Arts Program Alumni
If you have any upcoming events in 2021 that you like to share with the
Rhode Island Expansion Arts Program and its alumni in our next newsletter
or for more information on RIEAP send an email to Elena Calderón Patiño, Director of the Community Arts Program Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, Elena.patino@arts.ri.gov