Twice a year RISCA awards grants in a number of categories. Over the next few months, we will be profiling the amazing artists and organizations that received grants at our April 1, 2017 deadline, two at a time.
Arts Access Grant
Applicant Organization: Wickford Art Association
Project: This year the Wickford Art Association (WAA) holds its 55th Annual Wickford Art Festival. In keeping with our Mission: …to educate, encourage and inspire… the WAA will broaden the experience of new, aspiring artists from Rhode Island’s colleges and universities by showcasing their work to more than 40,000 visitors on “College Row”.
July 8 and 9, 2017 the Wickford Art Association (WAA) held its 55th Annual Wickford Art Festival on the streets of historic Wickford Village. Over 200 fine artists, both domestic and international, displayed and sold their work to over 40,000 attendees. The WAA’s Mission – to educate, encourage and inspire – took on added meaning at this Festival through the introduction of an expanded College Row. At the 54th Festival in 2016 the WAA invited art students from the University of Rhode Island to have a booth and participate in the show. It was so successful that URI returned this year with more students. Selected by faculty, the students were located in a special section of the show designated as College Row, incorporating special signage, banners, and a distinctive full-color insert in the Festival program, all designed to showcase these young, aspiring artists. The students had the opportunity to present and sell their work to a large and diverse audience, and the benefit of meeting professional artists, having their work juried by a team of experts, and gained insight into their creativity and dedication to their vocation. Included among the artists displaying on College Row will be four high school artists; the winners of the 55th Annual Wickford Art Association Scholarship Competition.
About the Organization: The purpose of the Wickford Art Association shall be to educate, encourage and inspire its membership, the local arts community and the general public and to promote fine arts in the community.
Project Grants for Individuals
Artist: Sara Azriel
Project: MARS Camp (Music-Arts-Recording-Songwriting) is a songwriting and recording program intended to empower and educate at-risk youth. Our purpose is to foster a trusting, supportive, challenging, and rewarding learning environment; to provide a safe space for students to explore and express their lives through music; to allow time and provide guidance for students to advance their abilities and learn the discipline of practice; to introduce students to the basic elements of being an independent artist in the information age. The camp is available free of cost for up to 20 high-school-aged participants.
Our desired outcomes are fully – written, produced, and recorded songs, a listening party at the school, and an online space where their songs can be streamed and downloaded. We will also take advantage of all school and community performance opportunities for the students to perform their songs in front of a live audience. Furthermore, our hope for each student is that they deepen their love of music, expand their skill- set, and gain confidence and trust in their own unique skills and capabilities.
Artist Bio: Sara Azriel is an eclectic songwriter whose music combines the universality of pop, the sincerity of folk, and the richness of soul music. “Romantically heavy and elusive as moonlight, Sara Azriel’s music defies boundaries, brightens the heart, and casts like on a young woman painfully in love with the world around her” (Eric Smith, Providence Monthly). Sara was born and raised into a large musical family near the shores of Lake Michigan and is currently based in Providence, RI. In 2013, she released her debut self-titled EP, which was mixed by Grammy award winning mix engineer James Wisner (Amy Winehouse, Justin Timberlake), and includes musical, writing, and production contributions from Davy Nathan (Christina Aguilara, Babyface), Andrew ‘Moon” Bain (Snoop Dogg, Major Lazer), and Mike Feingold (Erykah Badu, John Legend). Sara has performed her music at revered venues such as Hotel Café (Los Angeles), Knitting Factory (Los Angeles), Narrows Center for the Arts (Fall River), House of Blues (Boston), and The Veterans Memorial Auditorium (Providence).