Blog Transition

Hello! Thanks for reading RISCA’s blog – your home for Rhode Island arts jobs, grant opportunities, news, features on our amazing artists and arts administrators, and more. As part of our recent website update, our blog now lives on our website. All the old posts have been imported, so you can find them there. This will live on as an archive for a bit, but there won’t be any new posts.

Rhode Island Cultural Anchor: Libby Slader

Libby-Slader-Photo-Mrs.-Duchovny.jpegLibby Slader is the founder of Libby Slader Interior Design, Inc., an award winning design firm that specializes in hospitality and corporate office environments. She is also a Co-Founder of DESIGNxRI, a non-profit organization that promotes and galvanizes the design community in Rhode Island. Currently, she serves as the Chairman of the Rhode Island State Council of the Arts, a position she has held for 3 years.

We asked her a few questions about her life and art-making in Rhode Island for our series, Rhode Island Cultural Anchors.

RISCA: What do you love about the art community/scene in Rhode Island?

LS: The creative scene in Rhode Island, both within the arts and design communities, are so connected. There are opportunities to connect, collaborate and inspire each other. Whether that’s with individuals, organizations or institutions, the energy around those sectors keeps evolving and growing.

RISCA: Why do you make Rhode Island your home, and how did you end up here?

LS: I’m a native Rhode Islander. I left the state for a long time, after high school, but because of my family, I decided that “home” was the best place for me.

RISCA: What is one thing, personal or professional, that you or your organization want to accomplish in the next year?

LS: I feel that the arts, culture and design sectors have been working towards recognition as a formidable, important and relevant force in the economy of Rhode Island. I would love to see more resources and opportunities to grow these sectors from the state level. Increased funding from the legislature for grants to these organizations would be key to keeping this momentum moving forward.

RISCA: What are you the most excited about right now in your art practice/work as an arts and culture administrator?

LS: This fall, RISCA will be hosting the “Leadership Institute” for the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) in Providence. This conference brings the executive directors, chairs, and council members of state and US territory arts agencies together and we will get to highlight all the amazing work that RISCA and the state have been doing. We’ll also be able to show off our fantastic state and arts ecosystem to the senior staff at the National Endowment for the Arts, including the chairman.

RISCA: What is one thing you think the art community in Rhode Island needs?

LS: As a small business owner and a creative person, I understand that the “business” part is not always taught in art and design schools. Having resources available to develop skills for artists and designers around business development, marketing and finances, etc. would be invaluable. It’s not sexy, but it’s necessary.

RISCA: What is the biggest challenge for you in your art life?

LS: Educating people on the value of art, design and culture in their everyday lives.

You can follow her design work on Instagram and Facebook.

RISCA Seeks Grants Administration Intern

The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts seeks an intern with an interest arts administration, who wants to learn about the grant and fellowship process. The intern will be working with Individual Artists Program Director Mollie Flanagan to manage the spring grant cycle for individual artist grants, including fellowships and project grants for individuals. This includes reviewing grant applications for completeness and eligibility; tracking grant applications by category; preparing fellowship applications for panel review; and attending panel review meetings and taking notes. Based on the intern’s interests and skills, additional projects may include: work on the professional development workshop series; online marketing and content creation; assistance with RISCA’s strategic planning process; or program development. Internship includes mentorship from staff members, intern instigated projects, professional development, and a close up view of the day to day operations of a state arts agency.

RISCA is currently seeking an intern for April and May 2019. The intern is expected to work approximately 10-12 hours a week, exact hours are flexible and some work may be done from home. Some hours will be at RISCA offices, open Monday-Friday 8:30am-4:30pm, located at 1 Capitol Hill, Providence, RI. This program may be used by undergraduate and graduate students to obtain academic credit from their institution, but is also open to applicants not currently enrolled in an academic institution. Unfortunately, this internship is unpaid, but we will do our best to ensure a positive learning experience focused on what you want to explore.

For more information, and to apply, click here.

Introducing RISCA’s Teen Arts Assembly

RISCA is thrilled to announce the inaugural members of the Rhode Island Teen Arts Assembly. The Rhode Island Teen Arts Assembly is a group of student leaders who collaborate with the​ Rhode Island State Council on the Arts to advise the Education Department on initiatives and youth involvement, to represent Arts Education and the creative sector at events throughout the State, and to develop creative skills, leadership experience, and opportunities for their peers to engage with the arts. The Assembly members work with RISCA staff and local partners to develop projects at the intersection of arts education, advocacy and community engagement.

Lola Rael

Lola is a senior at School One.  Lola is from Cranston.  Lola identifies as a future art educator.  In just the last two years she has participated in Intergenerational Arts programs through her school, volunteered at CityArts, interned for Gallery Night Providence and been invited to sit on their board and been given charge of an audience survey for the organization. In her personal statement she wrote, “Part of Gallery Night’s mission is to make the Providence Art scene more accessible, but leaving out whole neighborhoods means we’re missing the mark. . . If I could implement one initiative in RI community, it would be art programs for older teens in South Providence.”

Mia Stevenson

Mia is from North Kingstown, attends the East Bay Met school and is part of RISD’s Project Open Door. They are a multidimensional artist aspiring to be an illustrator. Mia aims to raise awareness around the issues that LGBTQ youth face in a way that gives back to the community. They write in their statement, “As a member of POD (Project Open Door) I want to highlight their generosity and inclusivity . . .I would love to implement an initiative to get more students into free art programs . . .Making art programs for kids free makes them a million times more accessible and makes the arts seem a million times less like an ‘extra credit’ kind of thing.”

Abigail Casey

Abigail is a sophomore at Westerly high school and has been a performer with the Chorus of Westerly for 7 years. Ryan Saunders says, “she serves as connector for nearly all our teens. . . She is a center point for our expanding teen program, and she helped us nurture her fellow teens from a social and community point of view” Abigail writes, “I firmly believe everyone can learn something from each other and by collaborating together, more opportunities can arise.”

Nkeke Harris

Nkeke is a sophomore at the East Bay Met and an intern at the Tomaquag Museum. He also interns at “Rites + Reason Theatre” at Brown and was a fashion design intern at “Restored by Design”.  Nkeke wrote that if appointed to the Assembly he “would like to highlight that empowerment through art and culture brings to a community social justice and cultural reclamation.”  An American Indian from the Narragansett Tribe Nkeke would like to implement “free cultural arts classes that will give youth access to the many vibrant cultures of Rhode Island while also providing exposure to the arts.”

Flora Ackley

Flora’s interest in joining the Assembly “…is in creating a physical space where teens that are interested in are, and may not get enough of it in school, can come together.” A sophomore at School One in Providence, her advisor remarks, “Flora Ackley [is] a very strong student in the arts, academics, and community engagement.”

Jayson Rodriguez

Jayson is a sophomore at Classical High School and a member of the Studio Team Advisory Board at New Urban Arts.  Jayson is from Providence. In addition to his affiliation with NUA he is also a youth organizer for the Providence Student Union and a photographer. Jayson hopes to bring the community aspect of NUA to the RISCA Teen Arts Assembly.  He is interested in planning a student art gallery space to spotlight young local talent and give them an opportunity to sell work and begin a career as a professional artist.

Public Art Information

The Rhode Island State Council On the Arts has created a Google folder that contains information on public art. If you’d like to learn more about the Allocation For Public Facilities Act, RISCA’s process of selection or to see some samples of public art proposals that were selected, click here:

All of RISCA’s public art projects can be seen on the Public Art Archive website: Just type “Rhode Island State Council On the Arts” into the search bar.

All of RISCA’s Requests For Qualifications can be seen on the website: Just type “Rhode Island” into the search bar.

For further information, contact


New Exhibition, Block Island Airport Gallery

Kate Wilson at Block IslandThe Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) is pleased to present works by artist Kate Wilson on exhibit through September 18, 2018 at the Block Island Airport Gallery. The Block Island Airport Gallery presents the work of contemporary Rhode Island artists in quarterly exhibitions.

Kate Wilson is a fine artist who blends photography and graphic design to transform reality by elevating ordinary objects into fine art on a grand scale. Each artwork has a love note or positive word, hidden within to ignite wonder & curiosity.

Graduating from Skidmore with a BS in Education & Liberal Studies, studio art concentration, Wilson has taught both elementary school and studio art. She furthered her studies in the RISD CE graphic design program, and taught herself the art and craft of photography.  She has run her own graphic design and photography business before devoting herself full-time to fine art. Exhibiting widely throughout the New England region, Kate is represented by Candita Clayton Gallery in Pawtucket and Atelier Newport.

Exhibitors for the Block Island Airport Gallery were selected by juror Lisa Robb, Block Island’s public schools arts educator.

The Block Island Airport Gallery, a partnership between the Rhode Island Council on the Arts and the Rhode Island Airport Corporation, promotes outstanding work by artists living and working in Rhode Island.  The gallery will present art to an ever-changing audience of local, national and international travelers.

About RISCA: The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts is a state agency supported by appropriations from the Rhode Island General Assembly and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. RISCA provides grants, technical assistance and staff support to arts organizations and artists, schools, community centers, social service organizations and local governments to bring the arts into the lives of Rhode Islanders.

About RIAC:

The Rhode Island Airport Corporation operates T.F. Green Airport, the Block Island Airport and four other general aviation airports in Rhode Island. A long-time supporter of public art in Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Airport Corporation has worked with the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts on a number ofpublic art commissions.


Block Island Airport Call for Artists


Diana Sartor’s work in the Block Island Airport, summer 2018.

The gallery space at the Block Island Airport is accepting art submissions for their 2019 exhibitions.  The gallery program is a partnership between RISCA and the Rhode Island Airport Corporation, to promote outstanding work by artists living and working in Rhode Island.  The gallery at the Block Island Airport will present art to an ever-changing audience of local, national and international travelers.

Works in all media will be considered.  Note that the Block Island Airport Gallery is best suited to moderately-sized works.  The Block Island Airport presents four artists per year in solo exhibitions. Artists included in the 2019 exhibitions will receive a $100 stipend for participating in the program.

Eligibility:  All participating artists must be Rhode Island residents.  No students please. Resident Block Island artists are encouraged to apply.

Entry Deadline:  September 4, 2018

Selection: Finalists for the 2019 exhibitions schedule will be selected by the Block Island High School Visual Arts Program.

Apply: Please submit your application through Google Forms.

Artists are encouraged to apply to the gallery even if they have applied in previous years and not been selected. Artists who have exhibited previously are ineligible for new consideration for a period of two years.

If selected, artists agree to suitably frame, wire or otherwise prepare their artwork for display at their own expense. Works for Block Island must be 34” x 46” or smaller, and packaged by the artist for safe transport via ferry. Artwork is hung at gallery coordinator’s discretion, and gallery coordinator reserves the right of final selection of artwork and approval of installation. Artwork is not insured by the galleries during exhibition; artists are encouraged to carry their own insurance. Artwork may be listed for sale if desired, and any sales are direct without commission to the galleries.

Learn more about the airport galleries, and view past exhibitions.

Please address any questions regarding this call to Molly Dickinson, Coordinator, at or 401-845-0890.