WaterFire’s Accelerate program is a year-long professional development program for emerging artists under 30. This program is specifically designed to provide access to resources that will further the artistic careers of participants. The Accelerate program engages young artists who may not have had the opportunity to pursue a traditional arts education through a series of lectures, workshops, site visits, and discussions. Professionals in the field share their experiences and learnings in open discussions where topics involving best practices, self-representation, marketing, economics, and technology surrounding art are explored. Each cohort represents the Providence community and is diverse in both the makeup of participants and their art mediums. The new Accelerate cohort embarks on their journey in September and concludes their residency with a group exhibition in July of the following year. Each artist receives a $1,000 stipend, $500 at the beginning of the program, and $500 for the group exhibition. This stipend helps each artist produce new works during the program and aligns with our overall mission of supporting artists and recognizing the value of their craft. Aside from the group show, WaterFire provides various opportunities for Accelerate artists to showcase and sell their work throughout the duration of the program, such as the PVDFest Sims Avenue Block Party, WaterFire ArtMarts, and downtown lighting events and inclusion in merchandise at the WaterFire Arts Center store.
The 2021 cohort was the program’s pilot year and included 5 artists practicing in various mediums from oil painting to digital art. Guest lecturers included Dr. Joseph Chazan, a collector; Jordan Seaberry, an artist, and activist; Jeremy Schilling, a full-time artist, Harry Gould Harvey IV, and Brittni Harvey, young artists who founded Fall River MoCA, Erica Guatieri, CPA with more to follow before the graduation of the cohort.
2022 – 2023 Accelerate Selection Committee:
- Lizzie Araujo-Haller, Director, Department of Art, Culture + Tourism
- Michael Rose, Gallery Manager at the Providence Art Club
- Judith Tolnick Champa, founder and president of the Providence Biennial for Contemporary Art
- Peter Mello, Managing Director + coCEO of WaterFire Providence
- Nicole Nehiley, Community Relations Manager at WaterFire Providence
The application is due Friday, July 1, 2022 at 5:00 PM EST.
Questions? Feel free to reach out to the Community Relations Manager, Nicole Nehiley at email@example.com or (401) 443-5543.
2021 – 2022 Accelerate Cohort
About the author
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.