Arts, Culture, and Humanities

Rhode Island Council for the Humanities

  • Providence, RI
  • www.rihumanities.org

Mission Statement

Rhode Island Council for the Humanities seeds, supports, and strengthens public history, cultural heritage, civic education, and community engagement by and for all Rhode Islanders.

Main Programs

  1. Rhode Island Center for the Book
  2. Catalyzing Newport
  3. Rhode Tour
Service Areas

Self-reported

Rhode Island

Rhode Island has a long and proud history of promoting the humanities in public life. Our own U.S. Senator Claiborne Pell, recipient of the Council's 2006 Lifetime Achievement in the Humanities Award, was one of the primary sponsors of the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities Act of 1965, which created the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The Rhode Island Council for the Humanities was founded in 1973 as an independent, nonprofit affiliate of the NEH.

Our founding purpose—which remains largely unchanged today—is to promote public understanding and appreciation of the tradition of thought and accomplishment that we call the humanities. Our work is based on the conviction that history, literature, philosophy, theology, civics, the arts and other fields of the humanities are central not only to formal education, but to the daily lives of a free and diverse people.

To date, the Council has awarded more than $7.4 million through more than 1,600 grants.

We have supported more than 550 community organizations, including historical societies, libraries, museums, educational institutions, cultural, ethnic and faith groups, and arts organizations.

The Council is proud of our long history supporting a wide range of public humanities projects: Documentary films that have gone on to premiere at Sundance Film Festival, win Emmys, and gain national broadcast on PBS; research projects that have examined everything from wartime gardening in Rhode Island to how racial integration affected the state's black baseball leagues; public history projects that have preserved stories from WWII soldiers at life's end, hurricane survivors, and apple growers to name only a few.

As we move into our fourth decade, the Council is building on the core grantmaking program through initiatives and partnerships to further support and develop the vitality of the public humanities in Rhode Island.

ruling year

1979

Executive Director since 2013

Self-reported

Dr. Elizabeth Francis

Keywords

Self-reported

history, heritage, public humanities, humanities, oral history, documentary film, community engagement, civics, civic education, research, public programs, stories, grantmaking, collective impact

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Also Known As

Rhode Island Center for the Book

EIN

05-0376246

 Number

6721892704

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Arts Council/Agency (A26)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Rhode Island Center for the Book

The Rhode Island Council for the Humanities is thrilled to partner with the Rhode Island Center for the Book to enrich our community and to celebrate the art and heritage of reading, writing, making, and sharing books among people of all ages and backgrounds across the state.

Founded in 2003, the Rhode Island Center for the Book is the state affiliate of the national Center for the Book at the Library of Congress and partners with the RI Office of Library and Information Services. With a shared value of the book as catalyst for community engagement and with the goal of reaching wider audiences, the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities began hosting the Center in 2011.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Population(s) Served

Budget

Program 2

Catalyzing Newport

A collaborative initiative with a Steering Committee of local and statewide humanities organizations facilitated by the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities and supported by the van Beuren Charitable Foundation, Catalyzing Newport utilizes a visiting scholars program that draws on extensive experience, national and international networks, and the creative excellence of established experts (known as “catalysts”) to engage local communities in meaningful exchanges. Over the next three years (starting in 2014), visiting catalysts will travel to Newport to apply their expertise during five-day residencies—which include Public Programs and intensive work with Local Action Teams—to address local and national challenges related to the Impact Areas outlined above. Catalyzing Newport offers a new vision for the city’s cultural sector, one that puts our renowned historical organizations, leaders, and cultural assets at the forefront of community conversations about Newport’s development and prosperity. Together, we will imagine a Newport whose future is rich in culture, civic life, and economic opportunities.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Population(s) Served

Budget

Program 3

Rhode Tour

Rhode Tour is a statewide mobile historical smartphone application that tells stories by and about Rhode Islanders. A joint initiative of the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, Brown University’s John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage, and the Rhode Island Historical Society, Rhode Tour brings mapping technology, sound, images, videos and well-told stories together to engage us in learning about the places we live, work, visit—or perhaps simply pass by—in Rhode Island.

Visit rhodetour.org to take a thematic tour on your computer, or download the mobile app from the App Store or Google Play for a new kind of Rhode Island guidebook.

Category

Population(s) Served

Budget

Service Areas

Self-reported

Rhode Island

Rhode Island has a long and proud history of promoting the humanities in public life. Our own U.S. Senator Claiborne Pell, recipient of the Council's 2006 Lifetime Achievement in the Humanities Award, was one of the primary sponsors of the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities Act of 1965, which created the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The Rhode Island Council for the Humanities was founded in 1973 as an independent, nonprofit affiliate of the NEH.

Our founding purpose—which remains largely unchanged today—is to promote public understanding and appreciation of the tradition of thought and accomplishment that we call the humanities. Our work is based on the conviction that history, literature, philosophy, theology, civics, the arts and other fields of the humanities are central not only to formal education, but to the daily lives of a free and diverse people.

To date, the Council has awarded more than $7.4 million through more than 1,600 grants.

We have supported more than 550 community organizations, including historical societies, libraries, museums, educational institutions, cultural, ethnic and faith groups, and arts organizations.

The Council is proud of our long history supporting a wide range of public humanities projects: Documentary films that have gone on to premiere at Sundance Film Festival, win Emmys, and gain national broadcast on PBS; research projects that have examined everything from wartime gardening in Rhode Island to how racial integration affected the state's black baseball leagues; public history projects that have preserved stories from WWII soldiers at life's end, hurricane survivors, and apple growers to name only a few.

As we move into our fourth decade, the Council is building on the core grantmaking program through initiatives and partnerships to further support and develop the vitality of the public humanities in Rhode Island.

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

RHODE ISLAND COUNCIL FOR THE HUMANITIES
Fiscal year: Nov 01-Oct 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Rhode Island Council for the Humanities

Leadership

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Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
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  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Executive Director

Dr. Elizabeth Francis

BIO

As Executive Director of the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, Elizabeth Francis leads the Council's promotion of public history, cultural heritage, civic education and community engagement and works with the Council's board of directors and leaders in government, higher education, and cultural organizations to connect humanities resources and perspectives with challenges and opportunities in the state. Overseeing the Council's relationship with the National Endowment for the Humanities, Elizabeth helps to position the Council's work more broadly as well as to build public-private partnerships.

Before her role at the Council, Elizabeth was director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at Brown University for 10 years. She earned her doctorate in American Studies at Brown, and her book, The Secret Treachery of Words: Feminism and Modernism in America, was published by the University of Minnesota Press in 2002. She completed her bachelor's degree at Hampshire College. Elizabeth taught at Brown and the University of Rhode Island for several years, has been a member of the board of the International Charter School in Pawtucket, RI, and chaired the Grants Committee as a member of the board at RICH. As a member of the RI Commerce Corporation board in 2013-2014, Elizabeth co-authored a strategic plan to develop the creative and cultural economy. She currently serves as a member of the Advisory Council for the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage at Brown University and on the Community Advisory Board for Rhode Island PBS. She lives with her daughter Lulu, a senior at Classical High School, in the historic Armory District of Providence's West End.

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Joan Abrams

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


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CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


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ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


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BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


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BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?