PROVIDENCE, RI – The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation announced today the selected projects of a recent request for proposal (RFP) to fund new attractions and destination events. Nine awardees across the state will receive a total of $731,050 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA).
“Our cities and towns, regional tourism councils, and nonprofits are invaluable partners in our state’s tourism and destination marketing efforts,” said Liz Tanner, Secretary of Commerce. “These awards are an opportunity to turn great ideas into realities that bolster tourism, economic development, and a stronger sense of place for Rhode Island.”
EDA subawards were made available to provide seed funding for the development of new attractions and recurring events across the Ocean State, with special consideration given to proposals that drive tourism during the shoulder and off-season months (November – April).
“We are always looking for new ways to promote Rhode Island’s tourism economy, especially during the off-season,” said Anika Kimble-Huntley, Chief Marketing Officer at Rhode Island Commerce. “Our awardees stepped up with creative proposals that will lead to very exciting events and opportunities for Rhode Islanders and visitors alike. A big congratulations is well deserved to all the awardees.”
The nine recipients include:
- The Bermuda Race Foundation, Inc. (Johnston, RI)| $50,000 | Funding will support the expansion and change of the Bermuda Race’s starting venue in order to grow spectator engagement and increase commercial opportunities for vendor/sponsor activities.
- Blackstone Valley Tourism Council (Pawtucket, RI) | $100,000 | Funding will support the Council’s launch of the International Food Trail in the Blackstone Valley region to showcase the authentic cuisine available from over forty different nations
- WaterFire Providence (Providence, RI) | $100,000 | Funding will support the expansion of WaterFire exhibitions and events to drive tourism to downtown Providence in the off season and shoulder season.
- City of Warwick (Warwick, RI) | $86,000 | Funding will support the city’s launch of a “Strolling Rolling Apponaug Winter Festival,” which will provide free/affordable, family friendly events in December.
- Herreshoff Marine Museum (Bristol, RI) | $65,363 | Funding will support the creation of a new Spring event in Newport and celebrate the “Golden Age” of the America’s Cup when it was sailed in 12-Metres by amateur crews.
- Rhode Island Slave History Medallions (Newport, RI) | $94,500 | Funding will support a new Newport Black History Walking Tour focusing on the Slave Medallions throughout the city and other historic sites.
- FirstWorks (Providence, RI) | $100,000 | Funding will support the launch of an outdoor sound/light/laser video project , that will illuminate downtown Providence during the darkest nights of winter and engage viewers in the creation and witnessing of a living installation.
- Touro Synagogue Foundation (Newport, RI) | $35,187 | Funding will support the expansion and marketing of the Touro Synagogue tour during the off season and peak season. The tour program includes a thirty-minute seated presentation in the synagogue and access to two floors of interactive multimedia exhibits.
- The Providence Foundation (Providence, RI) | $100,000 | Funding will support a large-scale immersive light installation project in parks around the city to encourage foot traffic adjacent to multiple commercial districts and dining venues
Remaining federal funds will be made available through a second RFP later this year.