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Grants will be used for upgrades to the WaterFire Arts Center

Last week we were pleased to announce that we received a $200,000 grant from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts under their State Cultural Facilities Program and a $150,000 grant from the Champlin Foundation for updates to the historic WaterFire Arts Center building, located at 475 Valley Street, Providence, RI. These grants will support Main Hall enhancements including acoustical treatments, blackout shades, lighting, HVAC modifications, and audio/video equipment installations. Many of these features were in the original scope for the construction of the WaterFire Arts Center, but were held-off in order to focus on other areas of the building. Through these grants we will be able to make the WaterFire Arts Center an even better venue for world-class  musical and theatrical performances and we’ll be able to widen the range of services we can provide to other arts and culture partners that are looking to bring programming to the center during the 2018 season.

In May 2017, WaterFire Providence moved into the WaterFire Arts Center, the organization’s first permanent home and a large, multipurpose arts venue and unique cultural resource for Rhode Island. The WaterFire Arts Center is a critical component of WaterFire’s strategic plan with the objective of sustaining and growing the organization’s significant economic and cultural impacts for the next 25 years.

“The funding from RISCA and the Champlin Foundation allows for enhancements in performance and exhibition spaces which will maximize WaterFire Providence’s opportunities to create a world class contemporary performing and fine arts center for Rhode Island,” says Board Chair, Leslie Gardner. “On behalf of our Board of Directors, we are incredibly grateful for the generosity of both organizations and have already begun individual fundraising to supplement the effort.”

About RISCA’s State Cultural Facilities Grant Program

RISCA’s State Cultural Facilities Grant Program awards annual grants through a competitive application and review process was created because state lawmakers and voters recognized that many significant cultural properties in our state need extensive repairs or restoration, and that these organizations contribute significantly to the state and local economy.  These facilities and the organizations that enliven them contribute to the quality of life in Rhode Island and ensure that our arts and cultural activities continue to inspire new generations. Moreover, the arts and cultural sector creates jobs, stimulates tourism, and builds and revitalizes our downtowns, neighborhoods, and communities throughout the state.

About the Champlin Foundation

Since 1932, The Champlin Foundation has awarded more than $550 million to fund capital projects for Rhode Island non-profit organizations. These investments have fostered better medical care, improved education, expanded access to social services, conservation of open spaces, preservation of historic buildings, enrichment of the arts, advancement of animal welfare and more.

If you are interesting in learning more about the WaterFire Arts Center please contact us to book a tour, come visit our store (open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.), or check out our event calendar for upcoming events and volunteer opportunities.

About the author

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I've worked at WaterFire Providence since 2003. For the first 9 years of my career, I worked in the Production Shop learning all of the details that go into the physical production of the event. In 2012 transitioned to the role of managing WaterFire's social media and web presence. I now head up WaterFire Providence's digital projects including, web, social, databases, and our physical IT infrastructure.

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