RISCA On the Road! A Tour of the Ocean State’s Cultural Facilities and Public Art Sites

On August 7th RISCA escorted budget analysts from the House and Senate Fiscal Staff and the State Office of Management and Budget on a tour of cultural facilities and public art sites throughout the State of Rhode Island.

This was an opportunity to provide direct “off-the-page and in-the-field” experience about state investment in cultural facilities and public art to our colleagues in the House, Senate and State Budget Office.  It was a full day of traveling to a variety of sites.

RISCA’s amazing Public Art Manager, Elizabeth Keithline, organized the day’s tour. Here’s where we went:

9:00 am – Cultural Facilities project at the Common Fence Improvement Association, 933 Anthony Road, Portsmouth

Senator James Seveney (left) joins members of the Common Fence Point Community Center project in Portsmouth

10:00 am – Public art projects at the Veterans Home, 480 Metacom Ave, Bristol 

Artist Allison Newsome describes her work “The Eagle Has Landed” at the Rhode Island Veterans Home in Bristol
Artist Deborah Baronas with one of her installations at the Rhode Island Veterans Home in Bristol

11:30 am – Cultural Facilities projects at the RI Philharmonic, 667 Waterman Ave, E Providence

Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra and Music School Executive Director David Beauchesne conducts a tour of the Carter Center for Music Education in East Providence

1:00 pm – Public art projects at RI College, 600 Mt. Pleasant Ave, Providence

RISCA’s Public Art Manager Elizabeth Keithline shares information on public art on the Rhode Island College campus with participants in the tour

2:30 pm – Cultural facilities projects at the Greenwich Odeum, 59 Main St, E Greenwich

Senator Bridget Valverde (center) and her children visit the Greenwich Odeum in East Greenwich

4:00 pm – Public art projects at URI, 45 Upper College Rd, Kingston

Visiting a large bronze sculptural work by Rhode Island artist Peter Diepenbrock in front of Lippitt Hall on the University of Rhode Island campus
An installation at URI’s Beaupre Center for Chemical, Forensic Sciences by artist Erwin Redl
Participants in the day-long tour included (from left to right) Timothy Donahue, House Fiscal staff; Randall Rosenbaum, RISCA Executive Director; Elizabeth Keithline, RISCA Public Art Manager; Kelly Carpenter, Senate Fiscal staff; and Loren Spears, RISCA Council Member.

RI Cultural Anchor: Steven E Pennell

Steven Pennell is the Founder and Coordinator of the URI Providence Campus Arts and Culture Program since 1996 with a fulltime gallery of monthly exhibit and performances. He is a Theatre Director, Oral Historian, Actor and Musician, and Lecturer in Theatre History and Performance. We asked him few questions about his life and art-making in Rhode Island for our series, Rhode Island Cultural Anchors.

RISCA: Give us a brief overview of your day yesterday- what did you do in both your personal and professional life?
SP: I picked vegetables, went to the gym, and worked on administration for the Fall Semester of monthly exhibits and events ending with a follow up meeting on the Public School Art Exhibit from last May.

RISCA: What do you love about the art scene in Rhode Island?
SP: The art community is so vibrant and varied. There is something for everyone and so many opportunities available to enjoy.

RISCA: Why do you make Rhode Island your home, and how did you end up here?
SP: I was born in Rhode Island, but I lived and worked in New York, Ohio, Korea, Great Britian and Germany as a Theatre Director, Performer and Educator. I returned to Rhode Isalnd in 1994 to reestablish my roots and begin exploring new opportunities here in the visual and performing arts committed to education and social change.

RISCA: What is one thing that you want to accomplish in the next year?
SP: Establishing a PVD Solo Performance Festival.

RISCA: What is one thing you think the art community in Rhode Island needs?
SP: More interconnectedness, and more communication channels.

New Urban Arts Hiring 2 Part Time Positions

New Urban Arts is hiring a Resident Artist Mentor in the Literary Arts and a Youth Engagement Associate.

About New Urban Arts
New Urban Arts is a nationally-recognized community arts studio for high school students and emerging artists in Providence, RI. Our mission is to build a vital community that empowers young people as artists and leaders to develop a creative practice they can sustain throughout their lives.

Overview- Resident Artist Mentor
New Urban Arts is hiring a Resident Artist Mentor (RAM) in the Literary Arts. We are looking for a generalist who can work with students on various skills and in various styles, from performative self-expressions undertaken purely for personal satisfaction to school assignments and college essays. The RAM will embody our core values of connection, voice, inclusion, leadership, and risk by:

  • Participating in the life of New Urban Arts’ afterschool studio on a daily basis;
  • Creating meaningful relationships with youth;
  • Teaching, coaching, and editing students in a wide range of writing styles, including poetry, lyrics, and various forms of prose, such as fiction, creative non-fiction, academic writing, and college essays.

Overview- Youth Engagement Associate
The Youth Engagement Associate ensures that New Urban Arts is a welcoming, supportive space for everyone. They help maintain a healthy, supportive social atmosphere in our afterschool programs by building relationships with as many students as possible, connecting students to artist-mentors and each other, anticipating potential conflicts, and communicating continuously with the rest of the program staff about the needs and concerns of students. The Youth Engagement Associate builds community among students, mentors and staff. They also have data entry duties.

Please check out the full job descriptions for the Resident Artist Mentor in the Literary Arts and the Youth Engagement Associate positions. Application deadline for both positions is September 1st.