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:

    Started by youth for youth, Youth in Action (YIA) gives a powerful voice to youth in Providence. By combining leadership training and skill building with social change, Youth in Action has built a strong community of young leaders equipped with the tools to create the community they envision. As evident in the Students Constructing Classrooms program, where students work with future teachers at Roger William University, youth are empowered to make the educational systems intended for them more responsive to their needs.

    Maiyah Gamble Rivers, YIA alumna, and Wila Matos, a MET high school student currently on YIA's board, describe the power of belonging to the YIA community.

    Youth in Action
  • October 23, 2014
    Imagine:

    Based on the teachings of Paulo Freire, English for Action (EFA) facilitates English language learning as a tool for community organizing. By empowering the Spanish-speaking community to have a strong voice in Providence, EFA enables its students to push for the change they envision. People of all ages and literacy levels are welcome to join the movement being built in EFA's classrooms.

    Executive Director Cristina Cabrera describes what it feels like to belong to the EFA family.

    English for Action
  • 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:

    Since its origin almost three decades ago with five people sitting around a kitchen table, DARE (Direct Action for Rights and Equality) has grown into a powerful direct action organization. DARE provides its members with a powerful voice to tackle issue directly impacting them, including education, incarceration, and health care. DARE creates a community of people within Providence in which individuals can join together to campaign on behalf of each other.

    Vice-Chairperson Sheila Wilhelm tells the story of how DARE has successfully advanced the agenda of Providence residents through effective, grassroots efforts.

    DARE (Direct Action for Rights and Equality)
  • 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