Imagine Providence

Hear the voices of people boldly and creatively tackling social issues in Providence and explore how you can be part of the story.

  • October 23, 2014
    Imagine:

    With cultivating a community at the heart of its work, the African Alliance of Rhode Island (AARI) strives to improve the quality of life for Africans in Providence while sharing African culture with residents all over Providence. At farmers' markets you can find all kinds of African vegetables grown by immigrant and refugee farmers; and the urban agriculture initiatives of AARI provide jobs for members of the African community and creates access to African foods. In addition to sharing and celebrating African food and promoting health within the African community, the AARI collaborates with offices and organizations in Providence and across Rhode Island to expand the impact of its efforts.

    JR Songwe, a board member of AARI, shares how being a part of AARI has shaped his experience and the experience of other Africans in the Providence community.

    African Alliance of Rhode Island
  • October 23, 2014
    Imagine:

    When artist Holly Ewald facilitated a community redesign of signs at Mashapaug Pond to say it was sick, she had no idea it would turn into a fully-fledged movement. UPP Arts weaves art, science, and activism together to raise awarness about environmental health. In addition to hosting an annual celebratory parade drawing people from all parts of Providence outfitted in all kinds of crazy costumes, UPP Arts educates students and residents throughout the year about pollution urban ponds.

    Artistic Director Holly Ewald paints a vivid picture of UPP Arts, telling its story through snapshots of the procession.

    UPP Arts
  • September 2, 2014
    Imagine:

    Students in DownCity Design’s youth programs let their ideas run wild, as they learn to apply the design cycle to building projects all over Providence. In addition to DownCity Design’s youth programs, DownCity Design hosts Community Design Days to include all voices in the process. While the impact of DownCity Design is apparent in the physical improvements made by its students, the collaboration and community engagement emphasized in their design process builds a culture of sharing and collective problem solving in Providence.

    Founder and Executive Director Adrienne Gagnon tells the story of how youth and community members have the power to transform the landscape of their city.

    DownCity Design
  • September 2, 2014
    Imagine:

    Creative freedom and self expression take center-stage in the Carriage House, the headquarters of Everett's operations. Both the performance school and professional company celebrate the diversity and talent of Providence, apparent in the dynamic nature of Everett’s approach to teaching and performing. With many of its initiatives inspired by topics directly from the Providence community, Everett harnesses the power of performance as a medium to explore and address significant social issues, from neuroscience and mental health to mass incarceration.

    Artistic and Executive Director Aaron Jungels provides a window into the sights, sounds, and communities that have thrived in the Carriage House over the past three decades.

    Everett | Company, Stage & School
  • September 2, 2014
    Imagine:

    At Community MusicWorks, musicians of all ages and backgrounds bring classical music to life. While youth receive free instruments, training, and leadership development; skilled and professional adult musicians have the opportunity to be musical mentors or fellows. CMW creates a unique space in Providence for youth to become musicians and for musicians to play together for their community.

    Founder and Executive Director Sebastian Ruth '97 describes how CMW blends classical music and public service to build a community around and through music.

    Community MusicWorks
  • September 2, 2014
    Imagine:

    At The Steel Yard, fire, iron, and kinship converge to create a community of industrial artists. In addition to art studios and available equipment, The Steel Yard is a public gathering place which hosts art classes and community events. The Steel Yard has transformed the façade of Providence with numerous public arts projects, which include hand-crafted trash cans and bike racks all over the city.

    Executive Director Howie Sneider describes how the culture of knowledge sharing and crafting at the Steel Yard has the potential reshape the relationship between Providence residents and their city.

    The Steel Yard
  • September 2, 2014
    Imagine:

    At any of its locations in downtown Providence, AS220 looks and feels like the alternative space contained in its name. Censorship and inhibition are left at its doorstep, cultivating the open and free community that exists within its walls. In addition to the organization’s gallery space, concert venue, and bar/restaurant, AS220 has programming every single day of the year in addition to offering a youth mentorship program, studio spaces, art classes, and a job-training program.

    Artistic Director and Founder Bert Crenca provides a window into how AS220 is unlocking Providence’s creative potential.

    AS220
  • August 18, 2014
    Imagine:

    Anyone who passes by New Urban Arts can see that something good is going on inside; but until they walk into NUA's open art studio, they have no idea how spectacular it is. High school students from all over Providence have the power to create whatever they want at NUA, equipped with every creative resource imaginable. In addition to open studio opportunities for independent exploration, students at NUA select artist mentors from the Providence community to facilitate weekly workshops.

    Artist Mentor Sydney Peak '15, NUA Student Joely Barrios, and Executive Director Elia Gurna describe the magic of belonging to NUA’s artist community.

    New Urban Arts