Trinity Square is a neighborhood gateway that connects our downtown to some of the most diverse neighborhoods in the city. At the center of the square is an emerging arts center that is home to organizations that reflect Providence’s cultural identity. In July 2015, ArtPlace America, one of the nation’s largest philanthropies dedicated to creative placemaking, invested $300,000 to further integrate arts and culture into the community planning and development of this important gateway location. The Department of Art, Culture + Tourism, LISC, RISD, Southside Cultural Center, Rhode Island Latino Arts, Rhode Island Black Storytellers and community partners are working together to catalyze change and sustain cultural equity in this important neighborhood hub.
The Illuminating Trinity partners are coming together to enhance the cultural vitality of Trinity Square. A major component of the work is dedicated to building the capacity and programs at the Southside Cultural Center of Rhode Island. The Southside Cultural Center houses nine partners of community performers, artists and musicians. Their programming is directed toward culturally enriching the neighborhood, educating youth in performing arts, and hosting community performances of comedy, dance, singing and creative hands-on arts. The partners belong to a large range of diverse backgrounds: The Laotian Community Center, Cambodian Society of Rhode Island, Providence Improv Guild, Rhode Island Black Storytellers, Rhode Island Latino Arts, and the Wilbury Theatre Group.
In September 2016, Rhode Island School of Design’s Department of Architecture and Landscape Architecture students in a yearlong design-build course completed the Southlight installation as part of this grant-funded project. The new green space, facade signage and lit pavilion realizes the vision of Southside residents and stakeholders and will serve as a new “front door” to the Southside Cultural Center. Additional support was provided from Rhode Island Housing, City of Providence, LISC, Social Light Movement, The Home Depot, HB Welding, Liberty Cedar, National Grid, Philips Lighting, Shawmut Design and Construction, Unilock, and Unitarian.