FirstWorks to Receive $40,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts Providence, R.I.—FirstWorks has been approved for a $40,000 Grants for Arts Projects award to support general operating costs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FirstWorks is among the more than 1,100 projects across America totaling nearly $27 million that were selected during this second round of Grants for Arts Projects fiscal year 2021 funding. “As the country and the arts sector begin to imagine returning to a post-pandemic world, the National Endowment for the Arts is proud to announce funding that will help arts organizations such as FirstWorks reengage fully with partners and audiences,” said NEA Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. “Although the arts have sustained many during the pandemic, the chance to gather with one another and share arts experiences is its own necessity and pleasure.”

“FirstWorks is thrilled to be recognized by the NEA as a cultural connector and a critical engine for sustaining the arts in Rhode Island before, during, and after the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kathleen Pletcher, FirstWorks Executive Artistic Director.

“This award will help us continue our work providing connection to the arts as our community – artists, students, audiences, and partners across all sectors – come together to imagine our next steps forward.”

This essential general operating support enables the continuation of cornerstone FirstWorks projects including “Raise Your Voice,” a programmatic theme celebrating difference and amplifying diversity through the arts.

Through ongoing “Raise Your Voice” programming, FirstWorks engages the community with performances, premieres and education opportunities featuring international, national and local artists. For more information on FirstWorks programming visit

For more information on the projects included in the Arts Endowment grant announcement, visit About FirstWorks FirstWorks is a non-profit based in Providence, Rhode Island whose purpose is to build the cultural, educational and economic vitality of its community by engaging diverse audiences with world-class performing arts and education programs.

Since 2004, FirstWorks festivals, performances and programs have attracted more than 600,000 participants. Last season, FirstWorks arts education programs reached over 5,500 students from public and charter schools across Rhode Island with transformative, artsbased learning experiences.

FirstWorks is the founding partner of PVDFest, collaborating with the City of Providence to produce the City’s free signature arts celebration. In 2019 PVDFest drew 130,000 visitors to Providence to experience music, art and spectacular performances. Embracing collaboration, FirstWorks has fostered over 90 community partnerships across business, social service, government, arts, and education sectors.

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