The Arts and Cultural Alliance of Newport County was formed on August 17, 1992 community members who loved the arts and sought to have one voice for the arts community.
The Alliance evolved out of the pressing and ongoing need of the arts and cultural community of the county for heightened communication and cooperation between non-profit agencies dedicated to the cultural life of the area, for addressing common problems and concerns, and for creating better community visibility for artists and the arts and cultural institutions. Over the years it has strengthened these communications lines with the changes and advancements in media world including our website, enewsletters and social media.
The organization is comprised of artists, patrons of the arts, non profit organizations, galleries, and business all representing various genres of arts. Through a series of community meetings supported by the Prince Charitable Trusts, the Alliance identified three areas of concern which could be addressed by a member run organization. The first was the relative lack of artists interacting with Newport County’s schoolchildren; the second was the difficulty of communication between the arts community and the tourism industry and tourism council; the third was the need for a performing arts venue for the County. To serve the community, the Alliance also set itself up to provide a nonprofit umbrella for individuals and organizations pursuing artistic and cultural projects in Newport County. The initial Board of directors consisted of Eileen H. Warburton, John L. Chatty, Christopher T.H. Pell, Anne Toll, Cora Lee Gibbs, Washington Irving, III, John Pantalone, Paul Crowley, Susan Sarantos, Dominique Alfandre, Brenda Bachman, and Leroy J. White.
ACA received its tax exempt certificate from the Internal Revenue Service on March 24, 1994 and since that time has been able to be a fiscal agent for other non profit arts organizations who do not yet have their tax exempt status. As a non-profit, the Alliance has elected to remain a volunteer organization, which runs itself through membership dues, small grants and fundraisers.
The ongoing GOALS of the alliance are to increase communication and cooperation among, artists, professionals in cultural agencies, and interested citizens. The Alliance offers its members a variety of communications including (formerly) a mailed newsletter and presently our enewsletter SPLASH; centralized calendars, creation and maintenance of a mailing list in Constant Contact, social networking, plus a variety of sponsored workshops for artists and networking opportunities throughout the county.
The Alliance increases visibility of the arts community as a whole by holding an annual meeting featuring speakers or panel discussions on topics important to our members, as well as other informational programs and advocacy for the community throughout the state. The Alliance works on behalf of the arts community with the DiscoverNewport, the Chamber of Commerce and RI Citizens for the Arts. The arts community’s presence in the schools has been enhanced through artist residency projects, an online resource directory of local artists, collaboration with MET school on Art View and presently through collaboration with school related agencies.
Allowing even very small groups to have a voice in civic discussion and creating a unified presence in the arts community is an effort led by the Alliance Board of Directors, which acts through its individuals as representatives, placed on civic committees and planning efforts as they emerge throughout Newport County.