2018 Community Grants

Our Community Grants Program funds projects that bring life to Rhode Island’s remarkable communities. Since 2016, we have awarded more than $1.1 million for activities in every city and town.

This year, we made grants to nonprofit organizations, municipalities, and local agencies to restore playgrounds, stage plays and concerts, plant community gardens, install historical markers, and more. Check out the blog post and map below to learn more about how we’re building community together.
 

_Default

Placeholder

Explore our interactive map to discover a project near you.

Barrington

Organization

Barrington Public Library

Project Name

Don't Let Addiction Win.  Stop the Stigma.

Community

Barrington, RI

Description

This $9,700 grant supports a collaborative effort to increase awareness and decrease stigma of opioid addiction in the town of Barrington. The project will provide information and strategies to strengthen the community's overall health and wellness. A series of programs addressing mental health, child development, anti-bullying, health and wellness, stigma of addiction, and the opioid crisis will be held in the library, schools, and places of worship. The series will deliver information through speakers, films, community-wide book discussions, and panel and public discussions, as well as fun programs to promote family togetherness. Physical well-being and stress reduction will be addressed as well through programs with the recreation department and the YMCA. 

Learn more

Bristol

Organization

Mosaico CDC

Project Name

South Wood Street Improvement Project

Community

Bristol, RI

Description

This $10,000 grant provides funding for streetscape improvements, including new bicycle racks and trash receptacles in the Wood Street Neighborhood. Mosaico coordinated a meeting with the Wood Street business owners and the Town of Bristol to develop a phased plan to improve the Wood Street streetscape, including lighting, trash/recycle bins and bike racks. Improvements have already started on the north side of the neighborhood, with the south end being the final phase.

Learn more


Organization

Town of Bristol

Project Name

Black Ships Festival

Community

Bristol, RI

Description

This $6,000 grant will support the Town of Bristol's historic Black Ship Festival and a survey of the economic impact on local, small businesses and the town. 

Learn more

Central Falls

Organization

Arts, Sports, and Technology Resource Organization

Project Name

ASTRO Summer Sports Camp

Community

Central Falls, RI

Description

This $10,000 grant supports ASTRO's partnership with Mayor James Diossa, Central Falls Parks and Recreation, Central Falls Police Department, local legislative representatives, school departments, community leaders, and students to expand free youth programming. They are working to bring together resources and ideas to create an exciting and engaging environment for participants to learn and be active. 
Learn more


Organization

Books Are Wings

Project Name

Making Central Falls Literacy Rich: The Little Free Library Project

Community

Central Falls, RI

Description

This $10,000 in funding will purchase and erect six to eight Little Free Libraries in strategic locations throughout Central Falls. This project has the potential to impact more than 2,000 children and their families. 
Learn more


Organization

Fuerza Laboral

Project Name

Working in the Shadows: Incarceration, Race, and Work in Rhode Island

Community

Central Falls, RI

Description

This project seeks to heal the wounds of mass incarceration by stimulating the engagement and leadership of Rhode Island’s formerly incarcerated people themselves. By recruiting a team of formerly incarcerated Rhode Islanders and training them to carry out interviews with others who have survived imprisonment, the project will nurture new relationships between and even within communities. Grant support is in the amount of $10,000.
Learn more

Charlestown

Organization

Southern Rhode Island Volunteers

Project Name

Charlestown Senior Transportation Service

Community

Charlestown, RI

Description

Charlestown has no public transportation. Senior citizens who no longer drive are isolated without the help of others in this rural town. Southern Rhode Island Volunteers propose to address this issue by providing drivers for seniors to access healthcare providers throughout Rhode Island, as well as grocery stores, food pantries, and pharmacies in Washington County. Grant support is in the amount of $5,606.
Learn more

Cranston

Organization

City of Cranston

Project Name

Eden Park Playground

Community

Cranston, RI

Description

This $10,000 grant provides the final funds needed for "green" playground equipment for Eden Park Elementary School. The surrounding neighborhood and school will benefit from the new installation. This project is a collaborative effort of the Cranston City Council, Cranston Parks and Recreation, Cranston School Department, and the Eden Park Parent Teacher Organization.

Learn more

Cumberland

Organization

Historic Metcalf Franklin Farm Preservation Association

Project Name

Education and Community Outreach Support

Community

Cumberland, RI

Description

Education is central to the mission of the Historic Metcalf Franklin Farm Preservation. This $7,941 in funding will expand community and educational outreach programs through the development of an outdoor movie area for the community, an upgrade to the electrical structure in the garage, the purchase of an event tent, the purchase of supplies for educational outreach, and the seeding of the Colonial Garden to create a grassy area.
Learn more

East Providence

Organization

East Providence Heritage Days, Inc.

Project Name

HeritageFest 2018

Community

East Providence, RI

Description

This $7,500 grant will support HeritageFest, a family-friendly three-day outdoor music, art, and food festival celebrating East Providence's heritage. The community celebration is free and open to the public. Organizers note that public art will bring the community together, creating fellowship and a sense of togetherness, and that the site, off the East Bay Bike Path, is a perfect location for bringing people together.

Learn more

Little Compton

Organization

Little Compton Quilters

Project Name

Little Compton Quilters Professional Quilting Machine

Community

Little Compton, RI

Description

This $6,790 in funding will enable the Little Compton Quilters to purchase a professional quilting machine for the Little Compton Wellness Center. The volunteer co-ed quilting group has provided quilts to those in need for more than three years working with organizations such as Lucy’s Hearth in Middletown, McAuley House in Providence, and Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island. The purchase of a professional quilting machine will allow the group to fulfill an increased demand for larger quilts for those in need. 

Learn more


Organization

Little Compton Public Schools

Project Name

Transforming Wilbur McMahon School Gymnasium through Modern Amenities

Community

Little Compton, RI

Description

This $10,000 grant supports work to transform the Wilbur McMahon School gymnasium/auditorium into a modern meeting place with quality lighting and sound to host a wide array of cultural, educational, athletic, and family-friendly activities for the entire community. As the largest public meeting space in town, the Wilbur McMahon School gymnasium/auditorium is in demand but lacks modern amenities of a traditional community center. 

Middletown

Organization

Town of Middletown

Project Name

Music and Fire Beach Night Series

Community

Middletown, RI

Description

This $10,000 grant will enable the Town of Middletown to offer an enhanced sense of community among residents through an eight-week summer music series at Second Beach. The beach, considered the jewel of the Town, is underutilized during off-peak hours. Residents requested more beach programming to bring community members together and to provide a social outlet for residents. Five personalized “Town of Middletown” fire pits and firewood will be provided on the beach. Attendees will be encouraged to bring their own chairs and socialize with their neighbors.
Learn more


Organization

Lucy's Hearth

Project Name

Lucy's Cycles Program

Community

Middletown, RI

Description

This $10,000 grant will enable Lucy's Hearth to build a bicycle oasis consisting of in-ground, secured bicycle corrals with a sun/rain shelter (assembled by volunteers) to protect riders and bicycles during inclement weather. The oasis will be available to residents, volunteers, local companies, organizations, and individuals who support Lucy's Hearth, and neighbors. 
Learn more


Organization

Middletown Tree Association

Project Name

Valley Park Tree Planting

Community

Middletown, RI

Description

This $10,000 in funding will complete the final phase of a tree planting plan for a public site in Middletown that previously was declared contaminated by the Department of Environmental Management. By planting trees in the park, located in a very congested area of Middletown, a significant open space where residents and visitors alike can walk and enjoy the beauty of the natural environment is being enhanced. These trees will offer habitat for birds and wildlife and, in addition, the trees will help to contain storm water runoff in a fragile watershed area of Bailey's Brook which runs through the area, an important water source in Middletown.

Narragansett

Organization

Narragansett Elementary School

Project Name

Narragansett Elementary School Garden

Community

Narragansett, RI

Description

A garden, which will serve as an outdoor classroom and living laboratory, will be built at Narragansett Elementary School with this $3,000 grant. A portion of the budget will be used to build a Garden Library with nonfiction, literature, and reference books at all levels. Students from Narragansett High School and the University of Rhode Island will guide and mentor younger students, complete specific projects, perform experiments, collect data, and perform maintenance. The garden also will host special events that will be open to the public, such as a harvest festival and Earth Day celebration. Local farmers and gardeners will be invited to host gardening workshops and classes in the garden.
Learn more

New Shoreham

Organization

Island Free Library

Project Name

Custom Metalwork Universal Access Handrail

Community

New Shoreham, RI

Description

The Library is an increasingly popular and important public space on the island, and this project improves the quality of life within the community, not only by increasing accessibility, but by incorporating creativity, celebrating art, literacy, and heritage in the process. Installation of a new handrail designed by the Steel Yard, supported by this grant of $7,500, will ensure the library is accessible to all. The Library already has raised 40% of the total project cost through private donations. 

Learn more

Newport

Organization

Bike Newport

Project Name

Making the Big Blue Bike Barn Green

Community

Newport, RI

Description

This $10,000 grant will allow the Big Blue Bike Barn to remain "off the grid," utilizing the power of the sun and collected rainwater. For five years, Newport youth have been loyal to a small, dilapidated, and unmarked container: their Bike Library, operated out of a parking lot between two dumpsters. Newport Housing Authority has granted Bike Newport use of their lot on Sunset Boulevard to house the expanded Big Blue Bike Barn facility. The new self-sustaining facility will be a learning experience for all involved, a demonstration of sustainability and resiliency that will benefit participants, the neighborhood, the city, and beyond.

Learn more


Organization

Newport Middle Passage Port Marker Project

Project Name

Researching a design and construction for the Newport Middle Passage Monument

Community

Newport, RI

Description

This $10,000 grant supports the Newport Middle Passage Port Marker Project's efforts to commemorate the lives of Africans who were brought to Newport as part of the Atlantic slave trade with a monument in Liberty Square. Africans played a fundamental role in the development of Newport throughout its history and African Americans continue to contribute today economically, culturally, civically, and socially. Currently, there are no memorials to visibly address the impact that African Americans have had on Newport. Creating a memorial in Liberty Square, which was set aside as public space before 1729, honors the work and sacrifices made by Africans and their African American descendants. 

Learn more


Organization

Hi-Lo Association

Project Name

Health and Wellness Center

Community

Newport, RI

Description

This $9,730 grant will provide for the purchase of exercise equipment for seniors living in affordable housing in Newport. 
Learn more

North Kingstown

Organization

Town of North Kingstown

Project Name

Ryan Park Playground Restoration

Community

North Kingstown, RI

Description

This $10,000 grant will support improvements to the playground at Ryan Park in North Kingstown. The public park is used daily for recreational leagues, trail walks, and other outdoor activities.  A new playground will attract more visitors and encourage healthy use of imagination and of play for all generations.  

Learn more


Organization

Crossroads Rhode Island

Project Name

Kingstown Crossings: Bridging Communities

Community

North Kingstown, RI

Description

This $9,500 grant will enable Crossroads Rhode Island to offer a series of activities, events, and opportunities to strengthen the Kingstown Crossings community and help create increased communication and inclusion among neighboring communities. Kingstown Crossings provides needed housing to homeless and at-risk families along with supports to help them maintain their housing. However, to reach true social and economic mobility they must feel safe and included in their immediate neighborhood and have the means to network and engage successfully in the broader community.

Learn more


Organization

Rhode Island Computer Museum

Project Name

Virtual Reality Library Learning Lab

Community

North Kingstown, RI

Description

This $6,702 grant will enable the Rhode Island Computer Museum to build a “VR Library Learning Lab” which utilizes digital and traditional media to promote creativity, critical thinking, and hands-on connected computer learning opportunities. The project is in partnership with the North Kingstown Library and the Rhode Island Office of Library Services 

Learn more

Pawtucket

Organization

Pawtucket School Department

Project Name

Music Studio

Community

Pawtucket, RI

Description

$10,000 in funding has been provided to create a music studio & creative space at Shea High School for student interdisciplinary projects, after school opportunities, and community engagement. The studio will allow students to explore various styles of music while also embracing the diversity of the student body. Students will engage with community members and Shea alumni who are in the music industry to learn more about the creative process, music production, and post-production. Through the creation of music, or spoken word pieces, students will engage the greater Pawtucket community with community events where original works could be shared.


Organization

Mixed Magic Theatre & Cultural Events

Project Name

Pawtucket Outdoor Theatre and Music Festival

Community

Pawtucket, RI

Description

Mixed Magic Theatre received $10,000 to present a concert series of heritage sharing and neighborhood building in Pawtucket. Local performers will be chosen with input from leaders from each ethnic community to allow people who live there to feel ownership and pride about the arts. This is especially true when that art reflects who they are and helps to transform and heighten the public perception of that community. The area of Mineral Spring Avenue long has been seen as a decaying old factory zone with a dump. But with efforts like this performing arts series and the artists moving to the Lorraine Mills site, this project will play a major role in the area's transformation.

Portsmouth

Organization

Melville Elementary School

Project Name

Melville Elementary School Outdoor Learning Zone

Community

Portsmouth, RI

Description

This $10,000 grant will allow for construction of the Melville Outdoor Learning Zone to include an outdoor classroom with tables and a whiteboard, a rain garden, a horticulture area, a handicap accessible pathway, and a nature play area. The project will serve as a pilot program for other communities and will incorporate sustainable green infrastructure with an outdoor educational program, helping to mitigate storm water runoff issues. It also will be a place families can enjoy when school is not in session.

Learn more

Providence

Organization

West Broadway Neighborhood Association

Project Name

West Side Neighbor Built Toddler Playground Project

Community

Providence, RI

Description

This $10,000 grant will support a new “tot-lot” in Dexter Park. The project brings together the West Broadway Neighborhood Association, the Parks Department, DownCity Design, and the Montessori Community School to make a meaningful, tangible improvement to the neighborhood for families and mobilize the talents and resources of neighborhood members, using recycled and natural materials. By directly involving community members in the creation of a unique and playful structure, organizers are striving for buy-in from the community, at a lower cost. The final design and theme will be developed through a community charrette this spring.
Learn more


Organization

Providence Community Opportunity Corporation

Project Name

Youth Police Initiative for South Providence

Community

Providence, RI

Description

This $8,500 grant will support the Youth Police Initiative for South Providence, a collaborative program of the Providence Community Opportunity Corporation and Providence Police, that strengthens positive connections between urban youth and the police in Providence Housing developments in low income neighborhoods.


Organization

Educational Center for Arts and Sciences dba Teatro ECAS

Project Name

English Translation Supertitles Simulcast

Community

Providence, RI

Description

Teatro ECAS provides translation and subtitles to their house productions in both Spanish and English, allowing a larger audience to enjoy the performance. As more children in Spanish-speaking households are learning to read and write English, this initiative, supported with a $9,700 grant, will be a great family activity. Once the program runs through its first year, the ECAS plans to underwrite costs for the next year's production.
Learn more


Organization

Woonasquatucket Valley Community Build dba the Steel Yard 

Project Name

Olneyville Fitness Trail Completion

Community

Providence, RI

Description

This $10,000 grant will fund the completion of the Olneyville Fitness Trail. With input from partner organizations and community members, the Steel Yard will design, fabricate, and install two new pieces of equipment in Riverside Park to complete the trail.
Learn more


Organization

Family Service of Rhode Island

Project Name

South Providence Community Block Parties

Community

Providence, RI

Description

Family Services of Rhode Island will use this $5,500 grant to support a series of South Providence community block parties to build a sense of community among residents who do not always have the opportunity to take part in neighborhood events. Working with a myriad of partners, FSRI will sponsor events to connect residents to information about resources (Farm Fresh Rhode Island, job/education programs, early childhood support programs, Walking School Bus, etc.) and provide economic development opportunities for locally based artists to be paid to perform in their own community. 
Learn more


Organization

Community MusicWorks

Project Name

Traces: A community sound/storytelling/music project, installation, and performance

Community

Providence, RI

Description

$10,000 was granted to fund a collaborative performance project entitled “Traces” by Community MusicWorks, tracing the sonic memory of a place: an empty lot in the West End at 1326 Westminster Street that will be the future home of the organization. “Traces” will document and celebrate through sound the multilayered history of Providence's West End, from the Narragansett and Wampanoag tribes, to early farmers, to the waves of immigrant workers who powered local factories, to the middle-class supervisors and owners of those factories, to the present day communities from Central America, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and Africa.
Learn more


Organization

Downcity Design

Project Name

CityWorks / Providence Riverwalk

Community

Providence, RI

Description

This $10,000 grant will support DownCity Design’s CityWorks Riverwalk installation. Experienced design educators will guide participants from across Providence through designing a beautiful and functional installation along the Providence Riverwalk that will entice residents and visitors to connect more closely with the water. Their project, sited along South Water Street, will explore the links and tensions between the natural and built environments, and will educate and inspire residents to discover ways to bring those systems into balance. The installation also will make visible information and ideas for increasing our city’s environmental sustainability in the face of concerns about aging infrastructure and rising water levels.


Organization

Tides Family Services 

Project Name

Tides Community Garden

Community

Providence, RI

Description

Tides Family Services will use this $10,000 grant to make needed repairs to its existing community garden and to install a new greenhouse to prolong the growing season. The Tides Community Garden was built on a vacant overgrown lot in South Providence to increase access to free, fresh produce and engage a broad group of youth and adults from the community to contribute their knowledge, skills, and experience to the garden. Produce from the garden is reinvested directly into the community at no cost to participants.

Scituate

Organization

Hope Library

Project Name

Senior Fitness Program

Community

Scituate, RI

Description

Hope Library will use its $3,000 grant to extend its Senior Fitness Program year round. The program serves seniors living in the community by providing health and well-being presentations from the Scituate Health Alliance and exercise classes taught by a certified senior fitness specialist so they may continue healthy lifestyles. The program also encompasses those seniors who may have mobility issues, teaching them that they can sit and still be fit.
Learn more


Organization

North Scituate Volunteer Fire Department

Project Name

Community First Aid & CPR Training

Community

Scituate, RI

Description

The North Scituate Volunteer Fire Department will use this $10,000 grant for community first aid and CPR instructor training and equipment to bring training resources to the community through local churches and schools. In small, rural towns like Scituate, lives may be lost due to delays in getting CPR and first aid initiated. Free monthly classes will educate community residents on how to provide basic emergency care. 


Organization

Ponaganset High School

Project Name

Vietnam Memorial Moving Wall & Oral History Project

Community

Scituate, RI

Description

This $10,000 grant will be used to bring “The Moving Wall” – a half-size replica of the Washington, DC Vietnam Veterans Memorial - to Ponaganset High School. The wall will serve as an anchor to ground a project that includes building an archive of oral histories to preserve the experiences of local Vietnam Veterans. This project affords the community the opportunity to connect with and understand the war, through their neighbors' experiences. The oral history archive will serve the community for generations.

South Kingstown

Organization

South County History Center

Project Name

Kenneth T. Mars, Jr. Photograph Collection Traveling Exhibition

Community

South Kingstown, RI

Description

This $3,900 grant was awarded to South County History Center for a traveling exhibition of the newly-acquired Kenneth T. Mars, Jr. Photograph Collection. It contains more than 25,000 photographs documenting daily life in South Kingstown and highlights the diversity of South Kingstown’s people, places, and traditions. This exhibition will be hosted by local institutions, including the Tomaquag Museum, South Kingstown Senior Center, South Kingstown High School, and Peace Dale First Church of God. Community members will be invited to engage in the project both in person and online utilizing crowd-sourcing to identify photograph subjects and locations.
Learn more


Organization

World War II Foundation

Project Name

Center for Intergenerational Learning

Community

South Kingstown, RI

Description

This $10,000 grant will support The World War II Foundation’s new Center for Intergenerational Learning in a previously vacant space in Wakefield. The Center will convene students and veterans for the purpose of learning from one another, with emphasis on the personal stories of the veterans of World War II. This new initiative will create a welcoming, high-tech environment in the heart of this community to support intergenerational learning for students, veterans, and visitors.
Learn more


Organization

South County Art Association

Project Name

Art from the Heart of the Community

Community

South Kingstown, RI

Description

This $2,875 grant to South County Art Association will support a new public art installation that connects people and place. The indoor mural will be comprised of approximately 96 canvas panels created by community members. Each 4” x 4” panel will reflect an individual's interpretation of the question: What does South County mean to you? Once completed, the mural will be on display at the South Kingstown Public Library,  Peace Dale branch. 
Learn more

Warren

Organization

Historic Warren Armory, Inc.

Project Name

Brick Wall Restoration

Community

Warren, RI

Description

Historic Warren Armory will use this $3,000 grant to repair and restore the deteriorating brick and mortar wall that is original to the building. Armory Hall and Public Hall was built in 1842 from funds given to the Warren Artillery Company by the State of Rhode Island and the Town of Warren for their loyal support of Governor King during the Dorr Rebellion of 1842. Today Armory Hall serves as a cultural center for the Town of Warren, hosting public events, meetings, and celebrations.

Learn more

Warwick

Organization

Friends of Salter Grove

Project Name

Salter Grove Playground Renovations

Community

Warwick, RI

Description

This $10,000 grant to Friends of Salter Grove will support their work, in partnership with the City of Warwick and Department of Environmental Management, to repair the deteriorating park. The grant will support the installation of new playground equipment and help create a safe, accessible, and attractive play and meeting space at Salter Grove to encourage outdoor recreation by families.
Learn more

 


Organization

City of Warwick

Project Name

Apponaug Village Community Engagement and Placemaking Project

Community

Warwick, RI

Description

The City of Warwick will use this $10,000 grant in its revitalization of Apponaug Village as a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly district. The grant will be used to design, fabricate, and install of six wayside signs that provide direction, orientation, and historical context of the village. The project also includes the installation of site furnishings and landscape enhancements along the new streetscape. Improvements will celebrate Apponaug’s cultural history and support small business economic development for years to come.  
Learn more

 


Organization

House of Hope Community Development Corporation

Project Name

Shippen Avenue and Fair House Gardens Project

Community

Warwick, RI

Description

This $9,460 grant will support House of Hope Community Development Corporation's work to rebuild the deteriorating fence surrounding their existing Shippen Avenue community garden and to install a new community garden at their newest affordable housing development on Fair Street in Warwick. The community garden engages residents through Master Gardner workshops and demonstrations. It also forges connections with the surrounding community, dispels myths about homelessness, and teaches residents how to grow healthy food and enjoy the therapeutic qualities of the garden.

West Warwick

Organization

Thundermist Health Center

Project Name

Accessible Children's Fitness Park

Community

West Warwick, RI

Description

With this $10,000 grant, Thundermist Health Center will develop an accessible children’s fitness park that serves children ages 5-12 of all physical abilities in an inclusive environment. The Town of West Warwick will install the equipment in an area of River Point Park. This project will fill a void of public recreational space for young children in West Warwick.

Learn more

Westerly

Organization

Westerly Land Trust

Project Name

Community Garden

Community

Westerly, RI

Description

The Westerly Land Trust will use this $10,000 grant to replace a vacant lot in downtown Westerly with a viable outdoor community space to beautify Main Street properties that have high visibility. The grant will support the installation of a garden area dedicated to the planting of native wildflowers and pollinator species and include appropriate signage and educational materials to make the garden an effective educational tool for the community.

Learn more

Woonsocket

Organization

Connecting for Children and Families

Project Name

Building Community in Bulldog Park

Community

Woonsocket, RI

Description

This $10,000 grant to Connecting Children and Families is for a collaborative effort by local organizations to restore Budlong Park as an outdoor play and learning space for children. The grant will fund playground-safe fiber surfacing and an additional surfacing that enables both gross motor play and accessibility.

Learn more

Address

LocationOne Union Station
Providence, RI 02903
Directions

Contact

(401) 274-4564
info@rifoundation.org

E-News Sign Up