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Wednesday, June 12, 2024
Community Organizations and Partnerships

ACT and the Partnership for Providence Parks present POPArt Kits!

POPArt! Update July 29, 2020

POPArt!, usually pops up during summer in public spaces throughout Providence. It focuses on activating public spaces across the city with art that inspires, sparks imagination, honors cultures, and strengthens and creates community. POPArt! typically employs a cadre of young artists who are passionate about the process of creating and living with art. The program offers public art making experiences and the tools needed for the people of Providence to discover the artist within themselves.

During the COVID-19 shut down, POPArtist staff have been tasked with creative ways of shifting this art-focused community engagement program to fit the new guidelines of social distancing. After many conversations with the Meals’ Program supervisor, recreation staff who distribute meals, and youth who come to these sites, PopArt! has been tasked with researching, developing, and curating take-home art kits, also known as “POPArt! Kits”. For extra creative fun, POPArt! Kits each have an info card for youth to upload their creations to #EatPlayLearnPVD, which will be featured on the online Galleria via Instagram. This platform will encourage youth to showcase their hand-made works of art in windows and outside homes on doors, stoops, railings, fences, etc. This City-As-Canvas will showcase our local ArtMakers and provide endless hours of artful viewing, which neighbors who are on foot, bikes, skate boards and in cars everywhere throughout Providence, can discover!

At this moment in time, the value of art and other enrichment tools as an escape from some of the anxiety and worry of the pandemics, and as a way of healing minds and souls, merits further discussion. In particular, throughout history, art and other forms of creative exploration have been used as an outlet for feelings, whether positive or negative. Inspiration often comes from times of intense feelings, big changes, and self-reflecting. During this time of social distancing due to COVID-19, the tools within each kit create self-expression and art-making takes on new meaning. The City-As-Canvas display of works produced from the ArtKits! will link the feelings and viewpoints of PVD youth, home to home, park to park, meal site to meal site, and neighborhood to neighborhood. We love these POPArt! Kits because the art created from them will be a salve for PVD youth and more than that, a bridge connecting them to each other and to a world beyond their homes during COVID-19.

Since our first round of distribution, we have heard from many Providence Recreation Staff that sites have been busy with young artists hard at work creating masterpieces in the parks while stopping by for lunch! A special thanks to the Partnership for Providence Parks, Otraway, City Arts, and The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence for making these POPArt! Kits possible!

POPArt! 2020 Program Overview

POPArt! invites the public to participate in community art-making that sparks imagination, honors cultures, and strengthens communities. POPArt! provides the people of Providence (POP) with the art-making tools they need to discover the artist within themselves! Providence’s Department of Art, Culture + Tourism and Partnership for Providence Parks launched the predecessor of POPArt! in summer 2019. That year an “ArtCorp” composed of high school-aged youth brought in-person art-making activities to parks and public spaces in every neighborhood of the City.

POPArt Kits!

PopArt! is facilitated by young adults who are passionate about the process of creating and living with art, and is supervised by the Department of Art, Culture + Tourism. This summer, the City will introduce PopArt! Kits, a “grab and go” resource appropriate for creativity in the age of social distancing. Designed for youth 18-years of age and under, the kits include art materials and instructions for creating DIY art projects. These kits, designed in collaboration with local artists and art educators, will be distributed monthly at meal distribution sites. In this way, they will build upon POPArt!’s previous projects in parks and public spaces throughout PVD.

Share Your Art!

Make sure to upload your kit artwork to Instagram using the hashtag #EatPlayLearnPVD to be featured in the online Galleria.  For more info, visit or email with any questions.

Distribution Dates: July 14th, 2020 – July 16th, 2020

Location of ArtKits Distribution:\

Joslin Park
Neutaconkanut Park
Pastore Park
Sackett Park
Harriet and Sayles Park
Al Carrington/Richardson Park
General St. Park
George J West Park
Wallace Street Park
Father Lennon/Camden Ave
Billy Taylor Park

For more information about Eat, Play, Learn PVD, see the initiative’s website.