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Championing the arts. Bolstering artists. Cultivating a vibrant creative ecology in Rhode Island. That’s what the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) accomplishes on a daily basis from their office in the State House on Capitol Hill. While their game-changing work reaches across state lines, it has also made quite the splash overseas.

When RISCA established a high-level outreach trade operation with Japan—a country boasting a vibrant culture that deeply values giving and receiving gifts—it sought a work of art marking the landmark event. A piece honoring their Japanese partners while imbuing the partnership with an unforgettable sense of ceremony.

At Ahlers Designs, our fine art works are fueled by our commitment to celebration, joy, and honor. When RISCA recognized its mission in our own, it commissioned a custom Challenge coin—a distinctly American commemorative object that has been used since the 20th century to build camaraderie and express fellowship.

With my keen attention to RISCA’s message and my understanding of the partnership’s cultural and economic significance, I set about designing a custom Challenge coins that display RISCA’s logo on one side and the Rhode Island State Seal on the other.

These custom cast pewter coins accentuate the blue-ribbon American quality and craftsmanship that Ahlers Designs is known for, but they also convey so much more: the value of promoting excellence in the arts.


Randall Rosenbaum, Executive Director of RISCA, commended Ahlers Designs on its ability to create art that exemplifies timeless beauty and the power of the arts economy.

“I believe the quality of work helped to show my Japanese partners that we are an agency that honors craftsmanship,” said Mr. Rosenbaum. “This will aid in our work to deepen and broaden relationships with potential collaborators in Japan and elsewhere.”

adminRhode Island State Council on the Arts