city_hall.jpg(January 11, 2016) The historic Greenwich Odeum theatre in East Greenwich provided
the setting for the State’s announcement today of the slate of State Cultural Facilities Grant and
State Preservation Grant recipients, worth nearly $4 million, for capital preservation work at 45
museums, cultural art centers, and public historic sites around the state. Together, the projects
represent $70,902,214 worth of construction activity. Representatives of the State Cultural
Facilities Grant and State Preservation Grant projects were welcomed to the event by host
Kevin Muoio, President of the Odeum Corporation, along with volunteers and members of the
Odeum board. Built in 1926 to host vaudeville performances and later converted into a movie
house, the Greenwich Odeum now serves as a performing arts venue operated by the nonprofit
organization. Grants from the R.I. State Council on the Arts (RISCA) and the R.I. Historical
Preservation Commission (RIHPHC) to the Greenwich Odeum will support façade restoration,
installation of an assistive listening system, and renovation of the restrooms to make them
handicapped accessible.

“Rhode Island is recognized nationally as a leader in historic preservation and the arts,”
said Edward F. Sanderson, Executive Director of the R.I. Historical Preservation & Heritage
Commission, “These state grants are investments that build on our strengths.” He explained
that the State Preservation Grants program was established in 2003, after Rhode Island voters
supported a bond issue to award $3 million in competitive preservation grants to museums and
cultural arts facilities; an additional $3 million was approved in 2004. Ten years later, the
Creative and Cultural Economy Bond provided $5 million for State Preservation Grants and $6.5
million for the R.I. State Council on the Arts to award through its Cultural Facilities Grants
program; it also included $22 million in support for capital improvements to nine specific Rhode
Island arts organizations.

Randall Rosenbaum, Executive Director of RISCA, emphasized that every city and town
in Rhode Island has facilities that are open to the public as museums, cultural arts centers, or
civic meeting places, and many of these buildings need capital investments. ”Our cultural
infrastructure is critically important to our state’s economy,” Rosenbaum said. “These
museums, galleries and performance spaces serve Rhode Islanders, attract visitors to our state,
and contribute to the local economy in many significant ways.”

Governor Gina M. Raimondo applauded the State Arts Council and the Historic
Preservation Commission for their work in awarding this first round of grants. “These arts and
historic preservation grants will have a significant impact on the Rhode Island economy,” said
Governor Raimondo. “They will create jobs for contractors and laborers once these capital
improvement projects get underway, and our state will benefit from the revenue generated
from the increase in programming by each of these recipient organization.”

Mayor Charles A. Lombardi of North Providence spoke about the value that the
preservation and cultural grants have in local communities. “I appreciate that the State has
recognized the need to invest in civic and recreational facilities in our cities and towns. The
Town of North Providence is very grateful for the State Preservation Grant that will support the
restoration of the Stone House in Governor Notte Park. I take pride in the Town’s efforts to
leverage public and private funds to make Notte Park and Camp Meehan a great destination for
the people of North Providence and all Rhode Island.”

Together, Sanderson and Rosenbaum congratulated the grant recipients on behalf of
Governor Gina M. Raimondo. Of the 61 organizations that applied for funds in 2015, 22
organizations were awarded State Cultural Facilities Grants and 25 received State Preservation
Grants. Besides the Greenwich Odeum, one other project received grants from both RISCA and
RIHPHC. The Southside Cultural Center will receive a total of $450,000 towards its efforts to
restore historic windows, insulate, install a new elevator tower, and improve circulation in the
historic Trinity Church Annex (1914-15) in Providence. The list of grant recipients represents 21
Rhode Island communities, from Woonsocket to Westerly, North Providence to Newport.
State Preservation Grant recipients range from local treasures like the Babcock-Smith
House (mid-18th century) in Westerly and Central Falls City Hall (ca. 1889) to nationally
significant sites like Slater Mill (1790) in Pawtucket and the Chinese Tea House (1914) in
Newport. The grants will preserve a historic bank, two lighthouses, two town halls, and a
“stone-ender” house built in the 17th century. Small grants will support important community
landmarks like the Portsmouth Historical Society’s headquarters (1866). Large grants of up to
$150,000 will support high-profile projects like Pomham Rocks Lighthouse in East Providence,
the Herreshoff Marine Museum (1863) in Bristol, and the Providence Public Library (1900).

The slate of State Cultural Facilities Grants includes several awards made to improve
physical accessibility to a number of cultural sites. Other grants will expand programming
spaces for groups like New Urban Arts, who can use funds to convert unused basement space
into music studios. Grants will also support building improvements that enable more
programming at sites like the Blackstone River Theatre in Cumberland and the Granite Theatre
in Westerly.

Interested in applying for a grant? Applications for the 2016 State Cultural Facilities
Grant and State Preservation Grant round will be available later this year.
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. Visit for more

The Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission is the state agency for
historical preservation and heritage programs. The Commission operates a statewide historical
preservation program that identifies and protects historic buildings, districts, structures, and
archaeological sites. The Commission also develops and carries out programs to document and
celebrate the rich cultural heritage of Rhode Island's people. Visit for
more information.


Barrington Public Library Barrington $10,000
Blackstone River Theatre Cumberland $97,000
The Greenwich Odeum East Greenwich $250,000
East Providence Historical Society Educational Center East Providence $28,000
R.I. Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School East Providence $250,000
Jamestown Arts Center Jamestown $58,000
Dirt Palace Providence $23,500
Educational Center for the Arts & Sciences Providence $3,000
Everett Providence $50,000
Governor Henry Lippitt House Museum Providence $56,000
HeadsUp, Inc. for Mathewson St. Black Box Theatre Providence $50,000
Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design Providence $250,000
New Urban Arts Providence $250,000
ONE Neighborhood Builders for Paragon Performance
Providence Performing Arts Center Providence $50,000
Southside Cultural Center Providence $300,000
The Music Mansion Providence $50,000
The Players Providence $100,000
The Steel Yard Providence $92,650
The Wilbury Theatre Group Providence $25,000
The Contemporary Theater Company South Kingstown $100,000
Granite Theatre Westerly $33,269



Herreshoff Yacht Manufacturing Building Bristol $150,000
Central Falls City Hall Central Falls $150,000
Farmhouse at Franklin Farm Cumberland $150,000
The Greenwich Odeum East Greenwich $28,896
Pomham Rocks Light East Providence $150,000
Clemence-Irons House Johnston $29,780
Block Island Southeast Lighthouse New Shoreham $150,000
Chinese Tea House at Marble House Newport $150,000
Newport Congregational Church Newport $150,000
Vernon House Newport $22,484
Old Town House North Kingstown $43,175
Smith's Castle North Kingstown $56,100
James Hilton Bleachery/Stone House North Providence $65,525
Old Slater Mill Pawtucket $50,000
Portsmouth Historical Society Portsmouth $30,000
Providence Athenaeum Providence $16,843
Providence Public Library Providence $150,000
Southside Cultural Center Providence $150,000
Smithfield Exchange Bank Smithfield $19,866
Smithfield Town Hall Smithfield $18,755
South County Art Association South Kingstown $29,634
Armory Hall Warren $25,373
Babcock-Smith House Westerly $11,734
Westerly Armory Westerly $24,750
Museum of Work and Culture Woonsocket $20,000


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