Meet Oliver Arias and Maryann Ullman

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 picProject Grants for Individuals
Artist: Oliver Arias
Project: This project is an arts based 8 school educational tour of RI public middle and high schools that challenges our drastically different communities to think critically about our state’s history of immigration and segregation by using relevant artistic resources and encouraging youth artistic expression. I, along with my team, will be using a variety of nation wide and RI-specific primary and secondary resources, as well as framing many of the conversations through the lens of Hip Hop arts. Hip Hop’s literary canon addresses segregation and the inequitable distribution of resources in an accessible, relevant way that meets students where they are. We’ll visitOliver Arias each school at least twice in the 2017/18 school year, and create an arts based video curriculum to be used by all schools after the tour is finished.
Artist Bio: Oliver ‘SydeSho’ Arias is a Hip Hop performer/educator reigning out of Providence, RI. Engaged in the Hip Hop arts for about 6 years, SydeSho specializes in the arts of Emceein’ (Rapping) and Bboyin’ (BreakDancin’). He also is the Program/Performance Director of the Non-Profit, Pushed Learning & Media, where he travels to educate youth on the social injustice, racial injustice, and segregation in the USA while using the culture of Hip Hop to engage in these conversations. SydeSho’s goal is to utilize the culture of Hip Hop in it’s purest form to uplift communities and remain relevant in present day society.

maryannTeaching Artist Roster
Artist: Maryann Ullman
Discipline: Literary Arts
Artist Bio: Maryann Ullmann is fond of blurring the boundaries of genre, mixing realism and fabulism, and encouraging voices that the world needs more of.
She writes mostly fiction but loves to explore genres and multimedia with all age groups, and explore interdisciplinary topics such as science, civics, and language. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Chatham University with emphases on Fiction and Pedagogy, and earned the program’s top fellowship for commitment to community leadership.


Meet the Peace Flag Project and Lucas Pralle

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.

Young girl looking at big flag 1Arts Access Grant
Project:  Artist Cathren Housley and the Peace Flag Project (PFP) are collaborating to create “The United American Peace Flag, a flag comprised of more than 300 Peace Flags (PF) made by Rhode Islanders of all ages and backgrounds. Peace Flags, originally inspired by Tibetan Prayer Flags, express deep wishes for peace, kindness, unity, generosity and a better world. The 20′ by 10′ flag will be exhibited in RI at galleries, museums, concerts, festivals and more.
The United American Peace Flag symbolizes and unites the richly diverse communities of RI. As Cathren has said, “We seek to strengthen the respect for all our citizens–both newly arrived and long-time residents. The flag represents all colors, nationalities, ethnicities, religions, and ages, and unites our visions for peace.”cathren-on-flag-w-v-sign.jpg
The project is the inspiration of local artist Cathren Housley. In 2015 and 2016, PFP collaborated with Cathren to create “The Great American Peace Flag” (GAPF.) a flag of similar scale, constructed with Peace Flags made by adults and children all over RI. This flag has been displayed at concerts, festivals, graduation ceremonies, churches and Peace Fest 2016 and 2017. It has been well received as an American peace symbol as well as a spiritual one; it represents the collective expression of wishes for a better world by diverse communities in RI.
Some of the groups we are enlisting to make flags are: URI Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies, Institute for the Study & Practice of Nonviolence; 3 Unitarian Churches; Jamestown Art Center; Farmers Markets; PACE Senior Center; Community Chorus URI student making flagmembers; Elementary, Middle and High school students. We are also making a special effort to engage prominent RI artists as well as lesser known visual artists. Our plan is to include at least 75 working artists in creating flags for this project.
About the Organization: The PFP philosophy is that we are all peacemakers. We believe that each of us can make the world more peaceful in significant ways by how we treat one another every day. Behaving in more caring, thoughtful ways can promote healthier, more stable communities and a more peaceful planet. We provide opportunities for people of all ages to create Peace Flags that reflect their positive wishes for the world. Our major event is honoring the UN Peace Day each September; over the years, we have expanded to a Month of Peace.

Project Grant for IndividualsEndlessBeautifuliTunes
Artist: Lucas Pralle and Carolyn Decker
Project: Lucas Pralle will hold a series of five Endless Beautiful Creativity Workshops in Rhode Island between July 2017 and June 2018. At workshops, participants use audio-based writing prompts to simultaneously listen and write.  Participants share their writing with the group for a discussion period. Workshops are recorded and posted as episodes of the Endless Beautiful podcast. For each Endless Beautiful Creativity Workshop, Lucas Pralle and Carolyn Decker guide participants through creative writing and public speaking exercises. We use a selection of audio clips as a 15-minute writing prompt during which participants simultaneously listen and write. The audio clips are sourced from our recordings of the natural environment and other settings. After the writing exercise, we ask participants to share their writing with the group for a discussion period. Participants read their work at the microphone and answer a few questions from the group about their experience and what inspired them in their creative work. We record the readings and post them with the audio sessions as episodes of our Endless Beautiful podcast. Details about our method and podcast episodes featuring our recent workshops are available on our website:
The range of topics and styles showcased in our workshop exhibits the vibrancy of the varied cultures in our community, revealing “the endless beautiful”–the individual and communal powers of creativity that exist within our communities. Our desired and expected outcome is to reveal the creative potential in our participants to the greater community.
Artist Bio: Lucas Pralle is the Employment Specialist for Community Care Alliance, a DSC03209large social services organization that has served Woonsocket and Northern Rhode Island for over a century. His business is to help people, and he is passionate about promoting the creative arts in our communities. Pralle has several years of experience building community through the arts. Here’s a link to a short documentary about one of the projects that he was a major part of in Madison, Wisconsin called Windows of Worlds:

Carolyn Decker is a poet and a wetland biologist with Natural Resource Services, a wetlands consulting company based in Burrillville and serving Southern New England. She was the recipient of a 2014 Thomas J. Watson Fellowship to study the relationship between creative writing and nature conservation in cultures and ecosystems around the world. She has led creative writing workshops in the United States, Dominica, and Australia.

Meet Luis Rodriguez and UPP Arts

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.

picture 1 LuisProject Grants for Individuals
Artist: Luis Rodriguez
Project: The Music Program IDLC plans to enable kids and young people in dangerous part of the city of Providence, to develop and interest and learn to play a musical instrument. The potential benefits to kids who participate in extracurricular activities are nearly as limitless as the list of activities open to them to try.
The Music Program IDLC emerged as a new alternative to help solve the problem of many of our children and young people, who after coming home from school, do not find healthy activities to perform or get involved. This need brings as a consequence the promotion of idleness and therefore possible motivation in their curiosity get involved in activities that are harmful to the mind and the heart, and can even be harmful for other people.
The music IDLC program , offers classes from 4:00-8:00 pm Friday and Saturday from 10:00 am-1:00 pm, to provide the opportunity to the parents to bring their kids and allow them to be part of the development of the arts through music, when they are out of school.
The mission is to provide qualified teachers, who are equipped to teach different ages according to the vision of the music program, providing a small class environment and providing opportunities where students can display their talents, including public concerts.
The music program has 3 years serving more than 300 young youth and kids. They have been inspired to develop their skills in the art of music, putting it into practice in front of family members, schools, concerts, and other institutions of the community. The picture 2 Luisprogram has develop several concerts.
Artist Bio: I am a musician for more than 40 years, I am been involve teaching music to kids, young people and adults, in Dominican Republic and here in USA. I teach piano, guitar, and bassguitar. It has been my passion to help the community and specially the young people to express their feelings and get new opportunities through music and other expressions of art. I also work with other young people that has been part of the music program in the past who now help me teaching music to the kids.

pic 1Project Grants in Education
Applicant Organization: UPP Arts
Participating Artists: Dan Butterworth, Sarah Cappelli, Anna Snyder, and Holly Ewald
Project: UPP Arts will facilitate a series of professional development workshops for teachers from 3 high schools–Central High School and Alvarez High School in Providence, and the Greene School in North Kingstown–to exchange ideas with teaching artists, community-based arts and environmental groups, and each other on how to build effective curricula using the lessons of Mashapaug Pond (MP) and/or place-based education across disciplines, including art.
These 3 schools all of which serve students from Providence and/or the surrounding urban area, have a history of engaging in project-based learning using MP resources gathered by UPP Arts over the last 10 years and an interest in continuing to utilize these resources. UPP Arts has worked with Central and Alvarez to fund and coordinate teaching artist workshop series in the past, but now UPP Arts is stepping back to focus on creating an archive and collaborative book to share its approach with others. As UPP thoughtfully transitions, these workshops will provide a practical way for teachers to continue to strengthen their place-based teaching through cross-fertilization of ideas and best practices between their respective schools, laying the groundwork for ongoing educational exchange and interdisciplinary curricular support over the coming years.
UPP Arts will hold a series of paid professional development workshops for teachers and teaching artists from July 2017 through June 2018. Two half-day workshops will take pic 2place in July at Alvarez High School. Currently, UPP’s Urban Pond Procession serves as the primary platform for students to bring their learning to the wider community. However, since UPP will not be hosting the procession in 2018, teachers and teaching artists can decide to celebrate student learning with the public in a new and different way. In November and February, they will check in, share, and plan the public event. In May, student work will be shared at the event. June will focus on evaluation
About the Organization: ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​UPP Arts mission is to engage artists and communities in public art-making for the purpose of celebrating and building stewardship of our shared environment. UPP Arts will be successful when public art-making is a catalyst for creating healthy places and communities throughout Rhode Island.

Meet School One and Sokeo Ros

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.

group shot of only students.NAM.WRI.2017Project 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 Screen Shot Charihouse 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.

pic 1Project 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 pic 2including 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.

Meet Patricia Hawridge and Tiverton Library Foundation

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.

PatriciaTeaching Artist Roster
Artist: Patricia Hawkridge
Discipline: Theater
Artist Bio: Patricia is dedicated to teaching curriculum through the arts.  Specializing as an Arts Integration Teaching Artist, she holds an MFA in Dramatic Arts from The George Washington University and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Arts Integration from the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.
Committed to working with educators of all disciplines in grades 6-12, Pat will work with you to create innovative and fun standards-based arts integrated lessons which engage students while increasing their retention of the curriculum.

Arts Access Grant
Applicant Organization: Tiverton Library Foundationportrait-e1509557021615.jpg
Project: Noted ceramic artists Mika Seeger and Peter Geisser will engage the community in creating sculptural and mosaic murals to be installed in the Tiverton Public Library. This project will build community across generations, cultures and socio-economic groups through direct participation in the arts, and create a lasting reflection of the community. A series of workshops will be making hexagonheld at the Library and other local venues for the community to participate in making the smaller mosaic and ceramic tiles and figures for the mural. The large stoneware sculptural elements and smaller porcelain mosaic elements will be completed at Seeger’s studio in Tiverton. The pieces will be stoked in the wood-fired kiln for at least 24 hours at 2,300 degrees, and then numbered, packaged and brought to the Library. The artists and community volunteers will assemble the myriad of pieces and install the murals. The Main Lobbypig mural is 59 sf; the murals for two walls and four end panels in the Children’s Room are 130.25 sf.  The architects designed the walls to support the heavy work. The Library will catalogue the research materials and multimedia documentation.
About the Organization: The Foundation’s mission is to support the Tiverton Public Library by securing funding to provide programs, services and projects that are not possible under its annual operational budget.

Meet Ellie Brown & Smart Test

2015 self portraitProject Grants for Individuals
Artist: Ellie Brown
Project: This grant supports, in part, an exhibition of artworks about Alzheimer’s produced by people impacted by Alzheimer’s: both caretakers/family members and patients. The exhibit will draw attention to the illness as well a provide a therapeutic outlet for patients. The work will be displayed at New Hope Art Gallery, housed at the Cranston Senior Enrichment Center, from 11/17-3/18.  The opening reception is Tuesday 11/14 from 4:00-7:30pm.
I am the daughter of a 66 year old man, who in his prime was brilliant, steadfast, fascinating and my rock. This man, my father, now has early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Since the moment he was officially diagnosed two years ago, I was called into artist action by creating a limited edition print benefiting the Alzheimer’s Association and engaging in other fundraising opportunities for the organization. In all of my research and time spent with my father in his day groups, I see very clearly how making art is so very important for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Additionally, the needs of caretakers/family members are often overlooked.
I have curated an exhibition using caretaker’s work about Alzheimer’s paired with art from their loved one afflicted by the disease. Accepted caretaker artists submitted work in collaboration, representing the deceased or made work in reflection of their loved one. There will be three art making workshops through Cranston Senior Enrichment Center’s memory care unit to pair with the previously accepted work.  The allotted space will have work created at the workshops from the memory care unit and work submitted through the curatorial process.
Artist Bio: Ellie Brown is a native of Boston, MA where she attended Massachusetts brown ellie-10College of Art. She received her B.F.A. in Media Arts in 1997 and her M.F.A. in Pictorial Arts from San Jose State University in 2002.  Ellie has received numerous awards including:  a 2008 Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant, a Leeway Foundation grant, first prize from the Fraser Gallery’s International photo competition, a featured artist from women in photography international, the Calumet Award from the Print Center’s 2006 and 2008 International Photography Competition. In addition, Ellie has attended artist in residencies in Iceland at the NES Artist Residency, at the Santa Fe Art Institute on a full fellowship, Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, FL with acclaimed photographer Graciela Iturbide and a residency in Costa Rica at the David and Julia White Artist Colony. Both her bookwork and photographs have been exhibited extensively nationally and internationally including Mexico, England, Switzerland, Romania, Greece, with a solo exhibition at the Galeria Nacional in Costa Rica. The Center for the Book Arts in NYC exhibited a solo show entitled A Chronicle of Lovers in 2009. From 2000- to the present, Ellie has taught as a part-time and full-time lecturer in photography, digital media and 2D at many Colleges and Universities. Ellie served as a Visiting Professor position of Digital Information at the University of Ulsan, South Korea in 2008. Ellie has been photographing girls’ issues since 1996 and making altered bookwork since 2002. She has curated and coordinated exhibitions such as Family Ties at UPenn and “Body, Soul and Hair” at Rowan University. The BAG project was funded through USA Projects, an initiative of United States Artists, with numerous solo exhibitions of the work in PA, IL, ID, MT and MI. She is the founder and president of POP!sicle Artist Marketing. She is the playwright and producer for Dear Diary, Bye. Which had its world premiere at Plays and Players Theater, Philadelphia in April 2014. In April 2016 RISCA and the Woonsocket Mayor funded Ellie’s public art Faces of Woonsocket, featuring 100 portraits of Woonsocket residents wheat pasted around the city.  She is founder of POP!sicle Artist Marketing.  She is currently a resident of Providence, RI. She works as a teaching artist at UCAP School.  Her current work is a mixed media project called “Drawing Dad is Dizzy” about her father’s early onset Alzheimer’s disease.

pic-1.jpgProject Grants in Education
Applicant Organization: Smart Test, Inc.
Lead Teacher: Qiuping Xia
Participating Artists: Edgar Viloria
Project: Fifty two fifth students from Pleasant View School will learn basic scientific concepts of motion and apply Newton’s Laws of Motion and Gravitation to the Hip Hop genre, using their bodies to show concrete examples of scientific laws.
The project is a collaborative educational approach in which our artist will join with a classroom teacher to provide students with a forum in which they will learn some basic scientific        principles of motion through the use of dance.  Students will discover how to apply Newton’s Three Laws of Motion and Law of Gravitation to the Hip Hop dance form.  Through experimentation and exploration of these principles, students will understand how forces affect the body in motion.  By using their own bodies to demonstrate concrete examples of scientific law, the concepts will become more relevant to them.  In addition, as students learn how to pic-2.jpgapply Newton’s Law of Motion and the Law of Gravity to their choreography, a bridge is formed between the Arts and Science.  Finding this connection is crucial to learners who may otherwise shy away from science.  By using a popular dance form to teach science, our program will enlighten students about the applications of science in our everyday lives and will make them feel confident that they can learn science easily if they approach it in a way that makes sense to them.
About the artist:  Edgar Viloria, has been teaching Hop Hop Healthy and Hip Hop Science for Smart Test, Inc. for the past 4 years.  His other experience includes working for City Arts and the PASA AfterZone program and has taught Hip Hop classes in middle schools all over New England.  Edgar has also performed Educational Entertainments through New England teaching “The Marriage of Art and Science” and also “Breaking Down Science”, in which teaches science through breakdancing.

Meet Bristol Garden Club and Diana Hoffman

Raincatcher Kennard parkProject Grant for Individuals
Project Name: Garden Sculpture Project – “RainKeep”
Organization: Bristol Garden Club
Project: Allison Newsome will create an aesthetically pleasing and functional garden sculpture for Mrs. Perry’s Garden in Bristol’s Thomas Park at Silver Creek. It addresses a critical need for water in gardens not served by any municipal source. The rain harvesting sculpture will stimulate and enhance a wide range of educational opportunities for children and adults in the community.
Exploring the purpose and function of the rain harvester will complement the learning of sustainability, conservation practices, and environmental science and climate topics for adults and children. As a focal point to raise public awareness, the rain harvester will be integrated into the Bristol Parks and Recreation Department’s rain barrel campaign. This program is aimed at developing understanding and encouraging the use of rain barrel technology for water conservation and environmental improvement.
About the Organization: The Bristol Garden Club is an educational and charitable organization promoting knowledge of gardening and flower arranging, protection of the environment and encouragement of civic planting as well as charitable activities that further these objectives.

Diane Hoffman project picTeaching Artist Roster
Artist: Diana Hoffman
Discipline: Visual Art
Artist Bio: Diane’s professional artwork is inspired by the environmental concept that the more disorganized, over grown and rambling “nature” appears, the more life it can sustain. Her studio practice explores animal typologies, layering and pattern blocking to contemplate buoyancy, fecundity and collapse. She uses multi-media to make her work including paint, silkscreen printing, digital printed fabric and found textiles.
Diane has over twenty years of experience in undergraduate education. She has taught art classes at Brown University, Rhode Island School of Design and Leslie University of Art and Design and others. Diane loves teaching drawing, painting, digital collage and more.