Our city’s transportation hub, Kennedy Plaza, has never gone more than a decade without some revamping and upgrading, but this summer’s changes are like nothing we’ve ever seen. Just this month Mayor Angel Tavaras and US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse announced the launch of Providence’s National Endowment for the Arts “Our Town” initiative in Greater Kennedy Plaza. Providence was awarded a $200,000 grant from the NEA Our Town Funding, making us one of only 51 “Our Town” grants awarded nationwide.
The new design will be geared towards furthering arts in the city, including art installations, performances in the park, festivals and more. The plan, created by a collaboration of 18 local arts and business organizations, has the goal to create top quality arts programming and an impressive detailed design plan for the space that should liven up the entire urban area. Among the local groups involved is FirstWorks, who will oversee a new stage by Providence’s own Tony Award winning set designer Eugene Lee. Also taking part is Brown/Trinity Repertory Consortium, which will prepare Shakespeare productions in the new space; AS220, City Arts and the Steel Yard will provide public art works; and WaterFire, the Rhode Island Philharmonic and Festival Ballet will work with planners to contribute public presentations this summer.
“This project has the potential to affect every citizen in Rhode Island as it turns an underappreciated urban center into the capital city’s thriving heart and soul,” boasts Mayor Tavares. “Providence, Rhode Island is the nexus of creative place-making.”
Our Town will have its official kick-off on June 23 with a public event currently in the works. To learn more about this project visit www.providenceri.com.