How we came to be . . .
The Arts and Cultural Alliance of Newport County was formed on August 17, 1992 by a group of individuals who wanted 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.
The organization is a coalition of artists, concerned citizens and representatives of arts and cultural institutions. 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 coalition in the community. 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 the NCCVB; 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 pass through tax organization 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 mainly through membership dues.
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, 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 panels 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 Newport and Bristol County Convention and Visitors Bureau, 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, a resource directory of local artists 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.