LINCOLN, R.I. (WPRI) — Student voices took center stage Thursday morning when Rhode Island lawmakers made a significant investment in the arts.

Gov. Dan McKee joined Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green to launch the new $5 million program called “Art Reengages Talent in All Students,” or ARTS, at Lincoln High School.

“After more than two years of disruptions due to the pandemic, the ARTS Initiative is a fantastic opportunity to reengage students in the arts and strengthen their connection with their schools,” McKee said.

Under the new initiative, each school district and charter school in Rhode Island will receive at least $10,000 to support culinary, visual and media, design and performing arts.

“The arts have been proven to promote and improve mental health and increase academic performance. We not only look forward to the investments schools make, but the student engagement that makes them happen,” McKee said.

During the first phase of the ARTS initiative, a total of $4.5 million from the School Building Authority Capital Fund will be divided among local education agencies and a per-student basis.

The top recipients are:

  • Providence: $694,225
  • Cranston: $328,840
  • Warwick: $261,841
  • Pawtucket: $260,527
  • Woonsocket: $181,571
  • East Providence: $161,984
  • Cumberland: $151,437

The funding for ARTS initiative will be available through June 20, 2023.