RISD Graduate Elena Calderon Patino appointed as RISCA's new Community Arts Program Director

Providence Artist to Lead Effort Toward Cultural Diversity and Inclusion with State’s Artists, Organizations and Audiences

Providence, RI – October 28, 2009

The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts announced today the appointment of Elena Calderón Patiño as its new Community Arts Program Director. Patiño, an artist and resident of Providence, will manage the Arts Council’s community-based programs and services, with a particular emphasis on engaging the Arts Council with artists and audiences from Rhode Island’s many culturally-diverse neighborhoods and communities.

In announcing the appointment, Randall Rosenbaum, Executive Director of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, said, “We are delighted to have someone with Elena’s skill and dedication to cultural diversity and inclusion lead this important effort.” He went on to say that, “the State Arts Council is committed to ensuring that all Rhode Islanders have access to the arts, no matter who they are or where they live. Elena has the background and experience to help us in this effort.”

Patiño is scheduled to begin her new position on November 9.

New Position a Partnership with the Federal Government

The Community Arts Program Director position is supported through the State Arts Council’s partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), a federal agency.

“Each year we receive a federal grant from the NEA”, Rosenbaum explained, “that is designed, in part, to help us make the arts more accessible to people in underserved communities. In Rhode Island that can include people in more rural areas of our state who don’t have the same access to the arts that other communities enjoy. It can include people with disabilities who may have physical barriers to their engagement with the arts. And it can include people who, because of race, language, ethnicity or economic barriers may have less involvement with the arts.”

“Our commitment as a state agency is to serve all the people of our state,” Rosenbaum said. “The Community Arts Program Director will, on her own and working with other Arts Council staff, help improve our level of engagement and service to all Rhode Islanders.”

A Working Artist and Administrator

Elena Calderón Patiño was born in San Jose, Costa Rica. She graduated from Rhode Island College with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in Jewelry Design and has a Master of Arts in Art and Design Education from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Patiño is on the Latino Community Celebration planning committee, which is a month long celebration of the Hispanic Heritage Month. She was also on the planning committee of the City of Providence, “Creative Providence Plan” in Spring of 2009. Patiño is a former board member of the Pawtucket Arts Collaborative and a current board member of Providence CityArts for Youth, serves as Vice President of The Hispanic Heritage Committee of Rhode Island and is a former member of the Hispanic Cultural Arts Committee. She is an active exhibiting artist that has shown her artwork extensively in Rhode Island. In addition Patiño has curated many art shows. Most recently she was the coordinator and curator for the first annual State Multi-Cultural Art Exhibit, “Celebrating Diversity,” held in September 2009 at the Atrium Gallery in Providence, RI.

Patiño is currently the Coordinator of Family Programs at the Museum of Art of the Rhode Island School of Design, a position she has held since August 2008. Before that she was Outreach Coordinator for Big Sisters of Rhode Island.

About the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts

The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts is a state agency supported by appropriations from the Rhode Island General Assembly and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. RISCA provides grants, technical assistance and staff support to arts organizations and artists, schools, community centers, social service organizations and local governments to bring the arts into the lives of Rhode Islanders.

Rhode Island State Council on the Arts

Randall Rosenbaum
Executive Director
One Capitol Hill, 3rd Floor
Providence, RI 02908
email: randy@arts.ri.gov

Elena graduated from TLAD’s MA in Art + Design Education (community arts education track) in Spring “09.

Elena Calderon Patino, Rhode Island Council of the Arts