The Rosa Parks House Project

Photograph of the Rosa Parks House Project in the Main Hall at the WaterFire Arts Center. Photograph by Erin Cuddigan.
Photograph by Erin Cuddigan.

Ryan Mendoza’s The Rosa Parks House Project is an art installation that honors Rosa Parks and the struggles she faced due to her courageous leadership in the civil rights movement. The house speaks to issues of the centrality of family connection in the African American experience, of the Great Migration, of segregation, of redlining of faulty mortgages and the housing crisis, of misogyny, as well as of the marginalization of black oral history.  The artwork was created with the support of the nieces and nephews of Rosa Parks and includes recreations of remembered details of her stay with them in that house.

The Rosa Parks House Project was on display from March 31 through June 3rd in the newly renovated WaterFire Arts Center.

The Rosa Parks House Project at the WaterFire Arts Center was sponsored by VisitRhodeIsland.com and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation. Funding is provided by the Nash Family Foundation. Additional support is provided by Amica Insurance honoring Cheryl Watkins Snead’s leadership in the Rhode Island community.  Other partners and contributors include the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, YouthBuild Providence, ACLU , NAACP, the University of Rhode Island’s Department of Art and Art History, Robert Dilworth and Jeanne Theoharis.

“We were pleased that the WaterFire Arts Center was the first gallery in the United States to present Ryan Mendoza’s powerful art installation giving Rhode Islanders an opportunity to experience a timely work of art that addresses so many issues that Rosa Parks faced in her life and which continue to challenge many Americans today,”

— Peter A. Mello, WaterFire Providence’s Managing Director and coCEO

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