For the sixth year, in partnership with the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA), the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art’s Assets for Artists (A4A) program has named a group of Rhode Island artists to their capacity-building grant program. Through the grant, nine local recipients will build their practices while receiving development services such as financial advising, career-planning workshops, and individual coaching. “We are beyond excited about the talent, breadth, and enthusiasm of this year’s cohort,” says Molly Rideout of A4A. “We are also indebted to the hard work and advocacy of Mollie Flanagan, RISCA’s Individual Artists Program Director.” From playwriting, to performance, to printing, these artists’ stories are sure to leave you inspired.
“The new play illustrates the history of Silicon Valley, reaching as far back to Spanish colonization and the Gold Rush to map out the land’s transformation into the tech industry,” explains Baisch, a playwright and artist whose new effort envisions an alternate history of the area.
Cabrera specializes in silk-screen printing, music production, crochet, and social justice, and their work will weave these interests together. “My experience with A4A has been amazing,” begins Cabrera. “They’ve given me so much to think about and access to resources I wouldn’t have had otherwise as an artist of color coming from Providence.”
“The extra coaching from A4A has really helped me focus on developing a formal business plan and strategy,” says Campagna, a painter and printmaker who purchased a custom printing press through the grant and is working toward becoming a completely self-sufficient artist.
A multimedia artist and sculptor, Finos uses her body – in addition to clay – to explore themes of consciousness, space, and mortality. With the grant, Finos will embark on developing a sustainable practice with a goal of financial stability.
Garza is a performance artist, choreographer, healer, and educator, and part of Haus of Glitter, an empowering artistic community in Providence. “We hope that this grant opportunity will help us prepare to share our newest work – a multimedia dance opera, original album, and curriculum, The Historical Fantasy of Esek Hopkins, and convince the City of Providence to transform this national historic site into a space that is healing, care, and liberation-centered for all,” says Garza.
A musician, writer, and educator, Hope is a first-generation immigrant from Africa who strongly values community advocacy and interdisciplinary work. With the A4A grant, Hope plans to increase and strengthen the management team for his brand.
“At a time when I feel I’ve needed community, care, structure, and new pathways forward the most, the A4A grant is providing a lifeline to nourish my creative practice in conversation with a radically inspiring cohort of artists,” says King, a cross-disciplinary artist. King plans to implement her grant to launch new projects in public art and illustration.
As an author, illustrator, and educator, Robinson has a focus in children’s media and activism. “Creating my own schedule and shaping my business has been freeing,” says Robinson. “I can honor my energy, form relationships, and grow my skills in ways that aren’t always possible when I’m working within the structure of another institution.”
Vázquez Rodríguez is a photographer, painter, and performance artist, using historical, mythological, and sociological perspectives in her practice, reflective of her own body and identity as a Puerto Rican woman living in New England. The A4A grant enables full-time focus on her art.
Learn more at AssetsforArtists.org