Access the Arts
children, we all learn the basic verbal skills of
reading, writing, speaking and listening. But just
as important are the non verbal ways we send messages
to each other: dance, music, and the visual arts. For
these enrich our lives and make us more fully human.
VSA arts has helped demonstrate that the arts are
a tool for learning. Programs in the dramatic arts
have led many children, whether disabled or not, to
be better readers. Through music, many have learned
to count. Dance can teach physical coordination. The
visual arts can improve fine motor skills. All children
should be encouraged to tap their imagination through
Ernest L. Boyer
President, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement
Through Access the Arts, VSA arts RI seeks to:
opportunities for intensive "hands on" arts
experiences for students with disabilities and
their teachers in Rhode Island schools.
- develop awareness of the local arts and cultural
resources available to the educational community
collaboration of various arts/cultural specialists
and special educators.
awareness of the creative potential of all people,
and to promote the importance of
in the education of students with disabilities.
Amount of Awards
Awards of $500 to $2,500 will be made. Proposals must
fall within this range. The total cost of a project
may exceed $2,500, but the budget must identify the
source(s) of any additional funding. All grant money
awarded from the Access the Arts program must be expended by June 22nd of the following academic
All Rhode Island schools, public or private, serving
K-12 students with disabilities are eligible. Proposals
may be submitted by a classroom teacher, a school principal,
a school district superintendent, or an agency director.
Each applicant/ site may submit only one (1) proposal
per site per granting cycle.
Focus of Projects
Areas of focus may include:
- Visual arts, drama, dance, literature, music,
etc. taught as separate and distinct subjects.
- The arts used to strengthen
or develop other basic learning skills.
- The arts used
- The arts used to develop and reinforce
appropriate social behaviors.
- The arts used to develop age appropriate, leisure
or vocational skills.
- The arts used as a vehicle to include students
with disabilities into school or community
are most meaningful and beneficial when they are standards based and relate
the arts experiences to the individualized
cognitive, social, emotional, physical needs and
interests of the students.
with speech problems or limited language development,
for example, may be able to convey thoughts
and feelings through painting or drawing. Verbal communication
may improve through creative writing or vocal play
using puppets of the child's own creation.
Arts activities may be extremely effective in teaching
and practicing social interaction through cooperation,
collaboration, and learning to respond to another's
Sensory experiences can help students to identify,
differentiate, and communicate qualities such as texture,
color, shape, sound, rhythm, temperature, smell, etc.
Arts involvement also practices creative problem-solving, "stretching" to
find alternatives to what previously appeared to be
The artistic process, with its emphasis on creativity,
experimentation, and active participation, is as valuable
as the outcome or "product" of the arts project.
VSA arts Rhode Island will provide grant applicants
with a roster of artists. These artists have been
selected for the roster according to the merit of
and according to their ability to communicate the
creative process to student's diverse learning styles.
An applicant may interview artists from the roster
as well as non-roster artists for their project. If a non roster artist is preferred, the applicant
is required to forward background information
on the artist's expertise to VSA arts Rhode Island with the
grant application. We encourage teachers and site
coordinators to take an active role in the interviewing
of the artist.
Artists may be compensated at a daily or an hourly
rate. The standard rate for a residency day is $150,
which covers all off site planning and preparation,
travel and a minimum of three hours of student contact.
If it is impossible or inappropriate for an artist
to have three hours of on-site student contact per
day, the artist may be hired at an hourly rate.
If an artist is to be compensated at an hourly rate,
this rate cannot exceed $50 per hour or $150 per
day with VSA arts RI grant monies.
All contracts, fees and schedules of payment are
to be agreed upon by the artist and the grant recipient
and timely payments to the artists are the responsibility
of the grant recipient.
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RI General Assembly
VSA arts RI wants to let your local elected officials know about grants awarded in their districts. For this information contact your local Board of Canvassers or RI Secretary of State via the web at www.rilin.state.ri.us
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An orientation workshop will be held prior to each
application deadline. All applicants are invited
to attend this workshop for assistance in the design
arts programming and in the completion of an application
for funding. First time applicants are particularly
urged to attend.
A second orientation meeting is mandatory for Access
The Arts grant recipients. At least one coordinator
from each site which is awarded a grant MUST attend
this second orientation meeting. The time and date
of this meeting will be announced when grants are
awarded. The required second orientation is to
recipients with the roles and responsibilities
of a site coordinator as well as all necessary
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Training and Evaluation
VSA arts Rhode Island strongly encourages applicants
to schedule a minimum of one hour of specific
planning/training with the artist before the project
activities commence and an additional hour for
the completion of the project.
Teacher(s) and artist(s)
should use the planning time to discuss the project,
its concept or theme, and
what they individually hope to accomplish. The teacher(s) will be able to share information about the students and what access accommodations may be required for optimal student participation. Artist(s)
will be able to demonstrate for the teacher(s) the
art skills and
activities that he/she will teach. The teacher(s)
and artist(s) should explore the particular Fine Arts GSE and ways in which the
can be used to enhance or integrate the core curriculum.
At the final evaluation session the artist(s) and teacher(s)
can discuss the aspects of the project which they
found to be the most or the least effective. The artist(s)
will also be able to review or reinforce skills which
the teacher(s) has/have learned from the planning session
and throughout the course of the project.
At the close of any project we hope that teachers will
have gained job embedded professional development in new arts skills which they will continue
utilize and incorporate into their teaching practices.
VSA arts RI believes the arts are basic and essential, not peripheral,
in the education of all children.
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VSA arts Rhode Island requires that you publicize
our Access The Arts grant, should you receive one,
in all print or broadcast announcements, interviews,
feature articles, advertisements and on any art installations
or materials created with this grant money.
VSA arts Rhode Island will provide copies of specific
logo and credit requirements for publicity upon notification
of a grant award. When crediting VSA arts Rhode
Island always use the full name. You may abbreviate
the state name Rhode Island to its initials RI and
use VSA arts RI, but do not use the abbreviation "VSARI".
VSA arts RI is working to raise public awareness
of the need for quality arts programming for individuals
with disabilities, and toward that end your cooperation
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A final report from the site will be due no later than 30 days, after the completion of the project. If reports are not submitted on time, future funding may be jeopardized.
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Each application is
reviewed by the VSA arts Rhode Island staff for
eligibility and completeness.
or problems relating to eligibility or application
completeness will be referred back to the applicant.
Applications will be
reviewed by a VSA arts Rhode Island advisory panel
panel advises the Executive Director of
VSA arts Rhode Island on the distribution
Funding is allocated on the basis of overall
merit of program design, according to
the following criteria:
- originality of proposal content and approach
- appropriate and qualified personnel
- standards based, in alignment with RI Fine Arts Grade Span Expectations
Commitment to Arts Programming
- accessibility including universal design for learning practices
- potential for on going programming
- evidence that
the Access the Arts project supplements, and
not supplant, existing arts
- clarity of goals and objectives
- feasibility of project
- provision for sufficient preparatory and follow
- realistic and accurate budget
- adequate promotion/publicity planned
- plan for project of sufficient length to allow
students meaningful contact with the artist
and the art form
- a site coordinator who has sufficient time
to administer publicize, document
and evaluate the
- Grant support is to be used for expenses related to the specific education project such as the production, presentation and exhibition of art. Support, or artworks from support may not be used for benefit events or profit generation activities. While project activities can be used to develop appropriate vocational skills, the grant is not intended to be used to support a small business. Any funds generated from activities should be accounted for in budget as income to offset project expenses.
- Grant applications are considered on a competitive basis. No applicant is guaranteed funding, even if all basic criteria are met, whether funded never or many times before.
- In the event that requests for
funding exceed program capabilities,
for balance between long
and short term projects may be
considered in the allocation
- Grant funds must be
expended by June 22 of the fiscal
you are required to notify
VSA arts Rhode Island immediately
in the way the grant is
to be administered.
You must receive
approval from VSA arts
RI before such changes can take
result in reduction or
cancellation of your grant award.
- Former grantees who have outstanding Final Report are ineligible to apply if obligation still exists.
For more information and deadline
VSA arts Rhode Island
500 Prospect Street
Pawtucket, RI 02860
L. Chartier, Executive & Artistic Director