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.

  • December 23, 2014
    Imagine:

    The Woonasquatucket River's health suffered as a result of pollution from the industrial revolution. The Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council (WRWC) integrates art, science, and education to improve the health and safety of the Woonasquatucket River while introducing Providence residents to this urban natural resource. WRWC introduces members from all parts of the Providence community to the river through the Woonasquatucket River Greenway, a biking and running path, with kayaking opportunties on the water. By improving water quality and ecosystem health in conjunction with public art projects and community support, WRWC is revitalizing an idyllic getaway in the middle of a bustling city.

    Executive Director Alicia Lehrer describes how the river health has improved since she first saw it and future improvements she envisions.

    Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council
  • October 23, 2014
    Imagine:

    After the schoolday ends a whole new world of learning begins through the Providence After School Alliance (PASA)'s multitude of free opportunities. By offering cooking, sports, conservation, model UN, and everything in between, PASA provides hands-on experiences for middle school and high school students through the AfterZone and the Hub. Continually challenged to explore and experiment, the students participating in PASA's program receive once-in-a-lifetime chances to access activities that allow them to grow and learn outside of the classroom.

    Brittany Sandbergen, the coordinator of professional development and training at PASA, shares the magic experienced by students in the after school programs.

    Providence After School Alliance
  • 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:

    With Narragansett Bay at the heart of its mission, Save the Bay integrates education, science, and policy, engaging community members of all ages to take ownership over the 256 miles of coastline in our backyard. Since 1970, Save the Bay's dedicated team have restored Narragansett Bay to health, creating numerous economic and recreational opportunities including an annual swim across Naragansett Bay and an interactive marine exploration center. Hosting regular coastal cleanups, providing educational programming in urban schools, monitoring the Bay, and advocating for Bay-friendly policies allow Save the Bay to continue protecting the Ocean State.

    Executive Director Jonathan Stone shares how Save the Bay's ecosystem-based approach to transforming Narragansett Bay has had tangible results since his daily rowing practices in the Bay as a member of Brown's crew team.

    Save the Bay
  • 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