Twice a year RISCA awards grants in a number of categories. Over the course of a few months, we will be profiling the amazing artists and organizations that received grants at our April 1, 2017 deadline, two at a time.
Project Grants in Education
Applicant Organization: School One
Participating Artists: Goat Hill Writers; Ann Hood, Hester Kaplan, Taylor Polites, Eve Kerrigan, Diane Xavier, and Max Winter
Project: Write Rhode Island (WRI) is a short fiction writing competition for RI students in grades 7-12 presented by School One and Goat Hill Writers. Our goal is to stimulate, promote and celebrate creative writing by RI students. WRI offers a set of opportunities for students to have their creative writing spurred, recognized and shared publicly. The competition asks them to create a short story that incorporates Rhode Island as a theme. WRI works with teaching artists to develop curriculum, consults with teachers in schools, runs writing workshops across the state, and finally publishes the winning short stories.
We plan to offer 35 workshops throughout RI. Workshops are designed to encourage teen writers to channel their imaginations onto the page, strengthen their writing skills, learn techniques for developing conflict, character, and setting, and revise work for submission. WRI will continue to host workshops in schools, as we know these are key to generating student interest and building writing skills.
Students submit stories in December through Submittable, an online platform. Our judges convene in January to assess the stories through a blind judging process; judges use a matrix to score stories through multiple rounds of review. The designer and proofreaders collaborate to create the anthology. This anthology is a key element of Write Rhode Island,
This professionally published anthology is a vehicle shows student writers that their work is serious and meaningful. It is intended to celebrate creative writing in RI and to stimulate further participation by teachers, librarians, and students in the next year’s competition. Publication is a authentic motivator for students as they take writing more seriously and expend effort polishing their words. WRI is committed to producing a high quality print publication that will serve as representation of our state’s talented students and part of a Rhode Island legacy. An award ceremony and book launch will take place in the spring.
About the Organization: Write Rhode Island is created in partnership by School One and Goat Hill. Its mission is to foster and encourage writing and learn the fundamentals of storytelling.
School One is a small, independent high school in Providence that provides an arts intensive, college prep program for students in RI and southeastern Mass. At School One, writing is central to our program, they are taught to organize complex ideas and communicate them effectively – a prerequisite for success in nearly all fields.
Project Grant for Individuals
Artist: Sokeo Ros
Project: Cambodian Lullaby explores the personal stories of three Cambodian youth. Keily, Johanna and Theo all share one common thread; they’re Cambodian. But how much do they know about their family and history? This project combines theater, story telling, video projection and dance, bringing to life stories of refugees, immigration, and adoption as a result of genocide and survival as told by the youth.
This project, Cambodian Lullaby, is a performance that tells the story of three young individuals whose grandparents/parents survived the genocide of approximately two million people during the Khmer Rouge regime. Most, of which, fled to the refugee camps in Thailand and made their way to the United States. Keily Ros, now 14, who was born in Pawtucket, is the daughter of a refugee, Sokeo Ros, who survived the Thailand refugee camps and made it to Rhode Island to live in an impoverished gang neighborhood. Johanna Sam, now 15, who was born in Central Falls, is the daughter of Sonn Sam. He was born in the United States after his parents escaped the war and Thailand but ultimately ending up in Rhode Island to also live in a low-income gang neighborhood. Theo Sok-Samnang Maier, now 17, who was born in Cambodia and was adopted from an orphanage at only 3 months old. He too was brought to Rhode Island but was given the life opposite of the other two youth. Together, they all share one common thread; they’re Cambodian. But how much do they know about their family and history?
The performance will be on November 18th at 7pm at Everett Theater, and is free.
Artist Bio: Sokeo was born in a Cambodian refugee camp in Thailand, arriving in the United States at the age of three. As a sophomore in high school, he began performing with the Carriage House Performers, a Providence-based hip-hop group. In 1998, Sokeo joined Everett as a creator and performer and has taught many master classes in universities throughout his touring experience. He has been in three touring pieces and is currently working on the fourth piece with Everett called “Freedom Project”. It explores mass incarceration and its effects on all aspects of society. Sokeo also tours throughout New England in Everett’s educational shows. He is the director of the hip-hop dance program at Everett’s School and has taught at many Rhode Island institutions including Central Falls High School, the Lincoln School, and the Rhode Island School of Design. Sokeo also directs the hip-hop based troupe, Case Closed!, which he founded in 2004. Case Closed! has performed at venues across New England including the Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Brown University and the Providence Performing Arts Center. Sokeo received a Rhode Island State Council on the Arts grant to develop a hip-hop theater piece, Culture Shock. He is a performer and creator of Everett’s last work, Brainstorm and Case Closed!’s latest piece called “A Daydream in the Ghetto”. Sokeo received another RISCA grant to work on a project called “From Refugee Camp to Project” which tells of his experiences of being born in a Thailand refugee camp and coming to the United States to live in an impoverished neighborhood. He recently came back from Cambodia from volunteering in non-profit organizations that offered free classes in education and the performing arts. He was able to conduct interviews and research his family’s compelling history of surviving the Khmer Rouge Regime. This was the first time that Sokeo got a chance to meet his family.