Providence receives National Endowment for the Arts Awards - The CW Providence - WLWC

Providence receives National Endowment for the Arts Awards

City of Providence Receives Two Awards from National Endowment for the Arts

$300,000 Total Investment to Providence Arts Organizations

Providence, RI - Mayor Jorge Elorza, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, U.S. Congressmen Langevin and Cicilline and the Providence Department of Art, Culture + Tourism announced Tuesday that the City of Providence will receive two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts to be used for Providence arts organizations. 

“The National Endowment for the Arts’ investment in the City of Providence will allow for increased collaboration between our talented creative arts and business communities while expanding art based learning opportunities for our students,” said Mayor Jorge Elorza. “Providence is the Creative Capital and I join leaders from across Rhode Island in recognizing the amazing talent and passion from our artists that supported this funding opportunity.” 

A $100,000 Our Town grant will allow the City to bring the community together to envision a next chapter for the 100-year old Cranston Street Armory and adjacent Parade Ground through arts programming and design charrettes. This Our Town grant is its third jointly awarded with lead cultural partner FirstWorks, a non-profit dedicated to building community through world-class performing arts. The Our Town grant program supports creative placemaking projects that help to transform communities into lively, beautiful, and resilient places with the arts at their core.

“I commend Mayor Elorza for bringing the arts, cultural, and business communities together to enhance Providence’s proud tradition as a center for the arts.  These NEA grants reflect the high-quality, creative work happening here in Providence and I am pleased this federal funding will help local artists showcase their talents while giving more people an opportunity to experience the arts,” said U.S. Senator Jack Reed, a member of the Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the NEA’s budget.  

The Department of Art, Culture + Tourism also received $25,000 to commission a creative collaboration between Trinity Rep, The Steel Yard, and neighborhood residents to produce 6 free, outdoor public performances of bilingual English-Spanish adaptations of Shakespeare this year during PVDFest and next summer. In total, the Federal agency invested $300,000 in Providence arts organizations with additional awards made to Community MusicWorks, DownCity Design, FirstWorks, the Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, and WaterFire Providence.

“I commend Mayor Elorza for his commitment to our world-class arts community, which contributes to Rhode Island’s economy and is a key part of what makes this state such a vibrant place to live and to visit,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. “This federal funding will help our capital city’s arts organizations continue to offer distinctive works and exhibitions.”

“The arts are an integral part of the character of the City of Providence. Our capital city is home to incredibly talented artists, musicians and performers, and their creativity and passion have a tremendous impact on the city and our entire state,” said Congressman Jim Langevin. “Our theaters, our performers, our galleries and all of our arts organizations contribute to making Providence an exciting and vibrant place to live, work and visit, and I cannot wait to see how they put these funds to use.”

Through Our Town, the NEA supports creative placemaking projects that help transform communities into lively, beautiful and sustainable places with the arts at their core. These projects will encourage creative activity, create community identity, and help to revitalize local economies.

“I am delighted that the National Endowment for the Arts is providing significant federal funding to strengthen seven arts and humanities organizations in Providence,” said Congressman Cicilline. “Rhode Island’s innovative community of artists provides millions of dollars in economic benefits each year, creates jobs, and enriches the quality of life in our state. I am proud that these new federal resources will provide even greater opportunities for artistic expression and creativity in Providence.”

Providence awards

City of Providence, Rhode Island
$25,000                       Providence, RI
FIELD/DISCIPLINE:      Local Arts Agencies

To support the Department of Art, Culture + Tourism in commissioning 6 free, outdoor public performances of bilingual English-Spanish adaptations of Shakespeare through a creative collaboration between Trinity Repertory Company, The Steel Yard, and neighborhood residents. The Steel Yard will work with Trinity Rep on design/build projects to support the productions. Associated community engagement programs will include a public lecture and facilitated discussions.

City of Providence, Rhode Island
$100,000                     Providence, RI
FIELD/DISCIPLINE:      Design: Our Town

To support Neighborhood Transformation: Cranston Street Armory animated by art. The multidisciplinary project will envision potential redevelopment strategies for the vacant armory building and adjacent park through a combination of community engagement with artists, community organizers, and residents; innovative arts programming; and community design charrettes. The project is a partnership comprising the Department of Art, Culture + Tourism, FirstWorks, partners from the State of Rhode Island and more than a dozen arts and community organizations. The goal is to revitalize the historic armory building as a catalyst for economic development in the surrounding West Side neighborhood, where one-third of families live below the poverty level.

Community Musicworks (CMW)
$75,000                       Providence, RI
FIELD/DISCIPLINE:      Music

To support free music educational and performance programs for at-risk children and youth. Resident musicians in the program will provide instrumental lessons as well as instruction in subjects such as music theory and improvisation. Other activities may include a leadership development program for advanced students, performance opportunities for students, and professional concerts by resident musicians.

DownCity Design
$30,000                       Providence, RI
FIELD/DISCIPLINE:      Design

To support the Design/Learning project. Experienced design educators will lead after-school programs in which students identify needs and challenges within Providence Public School facilities and schoolyards, and work together to design and build small-scale structures that creatively respond to those needs. Design/Learning will engage more than 100 urban youth, giving them essential design skills while empowering them to become agents of change within their communities.

FirstWorks
$30,000                       Providence, RI
FIELD/DISCIPLINE:      Presenting & Multidisciplinary Works

To support a series of multidisciplinary presentations and accompanying outreach activities. Artists including composer and violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain, Dutch circus ensemble Close-Act Theatre, and dance companies Paul Taylor American Dance Ensemble, and Rennie Harris Puremovement will perform. Each artist also will participate in extensive engagement activities.

Rhode Island School of Design (aka RISD)
$15,000                       Providence, RI
FIELD/DISCIPLINE:      Museum

To support the program "An Artist's Museum: Connect, Inspire, Create." The program includes two fellowships, professional development activities, and special museum membership for artists. Run by the museum at the Rhode Island School of Design, the program will engage approximately 100 emerging and mid-career artists to develop their creative practice, increase their visibility among new audiences, connect creative sectors, and support the generation of new work. The program includes workshops and training on professional practice, access to curators and globally recognized artists, participation in programs for creative professionals, and research opportunities that support the creation of new work inspired by the collections.

WaterFire Providence (aka WaterFire)
$25,000                       Providence, RI
FIELD/DISCIPLINE:      Presenting & Multidisciplinary Works

To support a series of events celebrating statesman Roger Williams, an Imagine Your Parks project. In partnership with the National Park Service, the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, and other local arts, cultural, educational, and historical organizations, WaterFire will present a series of events at the Roger Williams Memorial. Events will include performances of spoken-word, dance, music, theater, and folk arts, as well as visual arts exhibitions, and discussions led by historians. These activities will examine the history of the founding of Providence, drawing attention to Williams' philosophy of religious freedom, free speech, and racial equality.

To join the Twitter conversation about this announcement, please use #NEASpring16. For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, go to www.arts.gov 

(release from City of Providence) 

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