The need for investment

No other single building in downtown Providence contains as much varied and dynamic arts and cultural programming as AS220’s Empire Street complex, with programs spanning music and performance, theatre, dance, visual art, youth arts education and affordable housing. However, this humble building requires long overdue upgrades, and AS220’s programming needs sustainable support to continue meeting the needs of Rhode Island’s creative community. We invite you to join us in supporting our vision for a revitalized ‘home for the arts’ in Rhode Island’s Creative Capital.

Our ‘All Access’ campaign speaks to AS220’s dearly held values of access and equity, and the core purpose of the campaign itself: to improve the physical accessibility of our Empire Street spaces; to ensure artists have greater access to opportunities to exhibit and perform; and to create an Access Fund, allowing us to continue providing our creative community with affordable access to AS220’s dynamic programming, while remaining agile and responsive to community needs.

AS220’s Empire Street complex is home to the majority of our core artistic programming. Most programming spaces have had piecemeal upgrades over the years, but this will be the first time in 25 years that AS220 has made comprehensive improvements to the building’s entire ecosystem. The redesign of spaces responds directly to community needs and an intensive period of visioning with Program Directors throughout 2016 and 2017. The upgrades are especially important at a time when other downtown Providence venues are closing and performance space is in high demand. The improvements will focus on:

  • making Empire Street accessible to all
  • creating space for more core artistic programming
  • improving existing performing and visual arts spaces
  • creation of an Access Fund for capacity building and reserves